MINUTES
COUNCIL OF COLUMBUS, GEORGIA
SPECIAL CALLED MEETING
JUNE 16, 2015


The regular weekly meeting of the Council of Columbus, Georgia was called to order at 9:03 A.M., Tuesday, June 16, 2015, on the 2nd Floor of the Citizens Service Center, located at 3111 Citizens Way, Columbus, Georgia Honorable Teresa Tomlinson, Mayor and Evelyn Turner Pugh, Mayor Pro Tern presiding.
*** *** ***

PRESENT: Present other than Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and Mayor Pro Tern Turner Pugh were Councilors R. Gary Allen, Mike Baker, Tom B. Buck III, Glenn Davis, and Judy W. Thomas. City Manager Isaiah Hugley, City Attorney Clifton Fay, Assistant City Attorney Lucy Sheftall, Clerk of Council Tiny B. Washington and Deputy Clerk of Council Lindsey Glisson were also present. Councilor Evelyn Woodson took her seat at 9:09 a.m. Councilor Jerry Barnes took his seat at 9:23 a.m.
-----------------------------------*** *** ***-----------------------------------
ABSENT: Councilors Berry H. Henderson and Bruce Huff were absent.
-----------------------------------*** *** ***-----------------------------------
INVOCATION: Offered by Mayor Teresa Tomlinson.
----------------------------------*** *** ***------------------------------------

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Led by the Students of Angel Academy.

-----------------------------------*** *** ***-----------------------------------
MAYOR'S AGENDA:

TAXPAYER BILL OF RIGHTS PUBLIC HEARING:

Deputy City Manager Pam Hodge came forward and advised that this is the third Public Hearing for the Property Taxpayers Bill of Rights. She indicated that this hearing is required because the total amount of taxes being collected in FY16 is greater than the total amount of taxes being collected in FY15. She said this does not mean that the mileage rate has changed so each individual property owner will not see a change in their taxes if they have owned their home and there have not been any changes.

At this time City Attorney Fay announced this is the final hearing of Taxpayer Bill of Rights and then opened the floor for citizens to be heard. With the floor open for questions, comments and concerns, no one chose to be heard in regards to this matter.
-----------------------------------*** *** ***-----------------------------------
CITY ATTORNEY'S AGENDA:

WITH THE FAMILY MEMBERS OF MR. JAMES MCMULLEN, SR. STANDING AT THE COUNCIL TABLE, THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION WAS SUBMITTED AND EXPLAINED BY CITY ATTORNEY CLIFTON FAY AND ADOPTED BY THE COUNCIL:__

A Resolution (148-15) – Commending and congratulating Mr. James Allen McMullen, Sr. upon his 50-plus years of service to the funeral home profession in Columbus, Georgia.

Councilor Allen moved the adoption of the resolution. Seconded by Councilor Baker and carried unanimously by those seven members of Council present, with Councilor Barnes being absent for this vote and Councilors Henderson and Huff being absent from the meeting.

*** *** ***

THE FOLLOWING ORDINANCE WAS SUBMITTED AND EXPLAINED BY CITY ATTORNEY FAY AND ADOPTED ON SECOND READING:__________________________________________

An Ordinance (15-22) - Rezoning Properties located North of J.R. Allen Parkway, West of Blackmon Road, East of Schomburg Road from RE 1 (Residential Estate 1) zoning district to SFR3 (Single Family Residential 3) & RO (Residential Office) zoning district with conditions. (District 6-Councilor Allen) (Applicant George W. Mize, Jr.) The proposed use is single family residential and office. The Planning Advisory Commission and the Planning Department recommend approval with conditions.

Councilor Allen moved the adoption of the ordinance. Seconded by Mayor Pro Tern Tuner Pugh and carried unanimously by those seven members of Council present, with Councilor Barnes being absent for this vote and Councilors Henderson and Huff being absent from the meeting.

*** *** ***

THE FOLLOWING ORDINANCE WAS SUBMITTED AND EXPLAINED BY CITY ATTORNEY FAY AND ADOPTED ON SECOND READING:__________________________________________

An Ordinance (15-23)- Rezoning properties located at 7822 & 7838 Lloyd Road is proposed for rezoning from SFRI (Single Family Residential 1) zoning district to SFR4 (Single Family Residential 4) zoning district with a 45- foot lot with variance.

Councilor Allen moved the adoption of the ordinance. Seconded by Mayor Pro Tern Tuner Pugh and carried unanimously by those seven members of Council present, with Councilor Barnes being absent for this vote and Councilors Henderson and Huff being absent from the meeting.
*** *** ***

THE FOLLOWING ORDINANCE WAS SUBMITTED AND EXPLAINED BY CITY ATTORNEY FAY AND ADOPTED ON SECOND READING:__________________________________________


An Ordinance (15-24) - Adopting an operating budget for the Fiscal Year 2016 beginning July 1, 2015 and ending June 30, 2016, for certain funds of the Consolidated Government of Columbus, Georgia, and appropriating the amounts shown in each budget.

Councilor Thomas said if we approve the ordinance and disapprove the ordinance on the plastic bags, what type of impact this action would have on the budget.

Deputy City Manager Pam Hodge came forward and said there were three proposals as part of the budget that were included which are: the once a week pickup, the discontinuation of picking up glass and also the restriction on using plastic bags for yard waste. She said each one of those saved cost avoidance on three trucks and drivers. She said what was included in the adoptive budget was assuming two of those, so the third one meaning the plastic bags would give more flexibility to Public Works for those three trucks and drivers and also save on overtime. She said there would be no impact if the ordinance for the plastic bags did not pass because the budget was presented with two of those three items.

Councilor Davis asked if Council could request reconsideration on an item at this point with it being on second reading.

City Attorney Fay said absolutely because the issue is still on the table.

Councilor Woodson asked for clarification regarding the ordinance pertaining to the use of plastic bags. She said if this line item is approved, the citizens would no longer be allowed to use plastic bags for yard waste.

City Attorney Fay said they would have to use paper bags, plastic containers or bio-degradable containers for yard waste only; all other garbage or waste can continue to be disposed of in plastic bags.

Mayor Pro Tern Turner Pugh made a motion to amend the operating budget ordinance to add the spousal surcharge of $356.98. Seconded by Councilor Allen and carried unanimously by those eight members of Council present, with Councilor Henderson and Huff being absent from the meeting.

Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh moved the adoption of the ordinance as amended. Seconded by Councilor Baker and carried unanimously by those eight members of Council present, with Councilors Henderson and Huff being absent from the meeting.
*** *** ***

THE FOLLOWING ORDINANCE WAS SUBMITTED AND EXPLAINED BY CITY ATTORNEY FAY AND ADOPTED ON SECOND READING:__________________________________________

An Ordinance (15-25) – Adopting non-operating budgets for the Fiscal Year 2016 beginning July 1, 2015 and ending June 30, 2016, for certain funds of the Consolidated Government of Columbus, Georgia, and appropriating the amounts shown in each budget.

Mayor Pro Tern Turner Pugh moved the adoption of the ordinance. Seconded by Councilor Baker and carried unanimously by those eight members of Council present, with Councilors Henderson and Huff being absent from the meeting.
*** *** ***

THE FOLLOWING FOUR ORDINANCES WERE ALSO SUBMITTED AND EXPLAINED BY CITY ATTORNEY FAY AND ADOPTED BY THE COUNCIL PURSUANT TO THE ADOPTION OF A SINGLE MOTION MADE BY MAYOR PRO TEM TURNER PUGH AND SECONDED BY COUNCILOR BUCK, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY BY THOSE EIGHT MEMBERS OF COUNCIL PRESENT, WITH COUNCILOR HENDERSON AND HUFF BEING ABSENT FROM THE MEETING:__________________

An Ordinance (15-26) – Providing for contributions to the Columbus, Georgia General Government Employees' Pension Plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015.
*** *** ***

An Ordinance (15-27) – Providing for the supplemental contributions to the Columbus, Georgia Pension Plan for employees of the Department of Public Safety for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015.
*** *** ***

An Ordinance (15-28) – Providing for Government funding of a Major Disability Income Plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015.

*** *** ***

An Ordinance (15-29)– Providing for Government funding of a Death Benefit Escrow for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015.
*** *** ***

THE FOLLOWING ORDINANCE WAS SUBMITTED AND EXPLAINED BY CITY ATTORNEY FAY AND AFTER A VOTE WAS TAKEN RESULTED IN AN INCONCLUSIVE VOTE:_________

An Ordinance - Amending various provisions of Chapter 13 Article VII of the Columbus Code pertaining to solid waste collection and disposal.

Mayor Pro Tern Turner Pugh moved the adoption of the ordinance as amended. Seconded by Councilor Baker.

Councilor Davis then asked for a reconsideration of the ordinance. He said the Council has talked, in detail, about the elimination of plastic bags for yard waste. He said he feels the community should be more educated and the Council should continue to look at in time.

Councilor Davis made a motion to remove the prohibition of plastic bags and yard waste from Item #9 in the ordinance. Seconded by Councilor Allen.

Councilor Baker said previously we have requested that the City Manager ask each Department Head to review every department for operational inefficiencies. He said that is what Director Biegler has done; she has studied this matter for a year or two and identified the specific inefficiency. He said the inefficiency is plastic bags at the point of pickup. He said this is causing a bottle neck that relates to too much time being spent at the stop, an excess of fuel consumption and it also throws the route behind, which caused overtime. He said it is almost an operational issue more than a financial issue. He also said it’s inefficient, expensive and not environmentally sound because the plastic bags have to go back into a landfill that cannot sustain them. He said this why he is in support of the ordinance.

In response to comments made by Councilor Baker, Councilor Davis said there’s not an impact on the landfill because essentially now glass is no longer being recycled, therefore will be going into the landfill. He said this would incur greater volume that would allow for a greater amount the use of density in the landfill; plastic is not an issue in the landfill. He said we are eliminating a service that has been provided to the citizens for a long time. He said we are also mandating, which in his opinion is an indirect tax to the citizens and also heaping an increase in the cost of living on the citizenry. He said he feels that this would be a burden on the citizenry and he would like for Council to come back and relook at this issue.

Councilor Allen said his concern is the mandate, mandating what we put the grass in. He said if we just took away the plastic he would feel a lot better instead of forcing the citizens to go buy paper bags. He said if we could remove the plastic and allow them to have an option on how they would put the yard waste on the street; it would be a better approach.

Mayor Tomlinson said we do have that; a couple of months ago we made that very clear. She said it is just the removal of plastic bags. She said we are not mandating the type of receptacle that can be used.

Councilor Allen pointed out that the proposed ordinance did say “disposable yard waste containers must be biodegradable paper yard bags”.

Director of Public Works Pat Biegler came forward and said the new ordinance identifies three things: disposable household waste containers must be either plastic or two-ply because we want something that is not going to fall apart when we lift it up. She said they can use containers, paper bags or biodegradable bags.

After several minutes of discussion regarding this matter, with several Council member expressing the views and concerns, Councilor Allen made a motion to remove the words "must be" and replace them with "such as" bio degradable. Seconded by Councilor Barnes and carried by those members of Council present, with Councilors Henderson and Huff being absent from the meeting.

Mayor Tomlinson called on the motion previously made by Councilor Davis to remove the prohibition of plastic bags and yard waste from Item #9 in the ordinance, which was seconded by Councilor Allen and resulted in an inconclusive vote of five to three with Councilors Allen, Buck, Davis, Thomas and Woodson voting yes and Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh and Councilors Baker and Barnes voting no, with Councilors Henderson and Huff being absent from the meeting.

Mayor Tomlinson then called on the motion previously made by Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh and seconded by Councilor Baker, which resulted in an inconclusive vote of five to three with Mayor Pro Tern Turner Pugh and Councilors Allen, Baker, Barnes, and Woodson voting yes and Councilors Buck, Davis and Thomas voting no, with Councilors Henderson and Huff being absent from the meeting.

*** *** ***

THE FOLLOWING ORDINANCE WAS SUBMITTED AND EXPLAINED BY CITY ATTORNEY FAY AND ADOPTED ON SECOND READING:__ _________________________________

An Ordinance (15-30) – Amending Article VII of Chapter 13 of the Columbus Code, Solid Waste Collection and Disposal, by updating the poverty guidelines for an offset to the residential rate for low-income households; and for other purposes.

Councilor Davis moved the adoption of the ordinance. Seconded by Councilor Woodson and carried unanimously by those eight members of Council present, with Councilors Henderson and Huff being absent from the meeting.
*** *** ***

THE FOLLOWING ORDINANCE WAS SUBMITTED AND EXPLAINED BY CITY ATTORNEY FAY AND INTRODUCED ON FIRST READING:_____________________________________________

An Ordinance - Providing for the establishment of taxing districts, including a county-wide general services district and three (3) urban services districts, and three (3) Business Improvement Districts (BID); providing for the levy, assessment, and collection of taxes for Columbus, Georgia within such districts for the year 2015 as provided under the Charter of the Consolidated Government of Columbus, Georgia; providing penalties for violations of the provisions of said ordinance; and for other purposes.

Councilor Thomas said she had heard a conversation over the weekend in regards to the tax mileage rate. She then asked Deputy City Manager Pam Hodge to provide information regarding the tax mileage rate.

Deputy City Manager Pam Hodge said the tax mileage rate remains the same as it was last year; it is 17.88 for District One, 11.90 for District Two and 12.00 for District Four.

Councilor Thomas said she would like to make sure that it is on the record that there will not be an increase in the mileage rate.
*** *** ***

THE FOLLOWING ORDINANCE WAS SUBMITTED AND EXPLAINED BY CITY ATTORNEY FAY AND INTRODUCED ON FIRST READING:_____________________________________________

An Ordinance - Providing for the levy, assessment, and collection of taxes for the public school system of Columbus, Georgia; and for other purposes.
*** *** ***

THE FOLLOWING ORDINANCE WAS SUBMITTED AND EXPLAINED BY CITY ATTORNEY FAY AND INTRODUCED ON FIRST READING:_____________________________________________

An Ordinance - Amending Chapter 5 of the Columbus Code so as to establish and increase various fees and costs pertaining to dogs and cats in Columbus, Georgia all effective July 1, 2015; to implement the requirements of state law with respect to the regulation of vicious and dangerous dogs; and for other purposes.
-----------------------------------*** *** ***-----------------------------------
PUBLIC AGENDA
PARKING VIOLATIONS:_____________________________________

Mr. Robert Dow came forward and made comments in reference to noise that is being produced by Wade Linen Service, which is located near some of the properties he owns. He indicated that the noise levels are in violation of the noise ordinance and he would be having the Arpeggio Acoustic Consultant Company to come and measure the noise levels.

City Attorney Fay said for the record, Mr. Dow has filed a civil action against the City of Columbus. He said those issues will be dealt with by Superior Court and the issues will be framed for the court. He said the court will rule on Mr. Dow’s petition to the extent that he feels as if he needs to call the Police regarding alleged noise violations. He concluded that as far as violations of the noise ordinance or deficiencies in the rezoning, that matter is now is Superior Court and will be dealt with in the judicial system.

Officer William Poole of Special Enforcement came forward and said there have been five noise surveys conducted in this particular instance regarding the complaints made by Mr. Dow. He said of the five surveys that have been conducted, Wade Cleaners was never found to be in violation of the noise ordinance.
-----------------------------------*** *** ***-----------------------------------

CITY MANAGER'S AGENDA:

THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTIONS WERE SUBMITTED AND EXPLAINED BY CITY MANAGER HUGLEY AND ADOPTED BY THE COUNCIL:______________________________________________

A Resolution (149-15) – Authorizing the City Manager to approve the acceptance of a grant from the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council to fund the Muscogee County Mental Health Court in an award of $162,591 to provide funding from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016. Funding will have a state required match of $18,066, which results in $180,657 going to the court program.

Councilor Woodson moved the adoption of the resolution. Seconded by Councilor Davis and carried unanimously by those eight members of Council present, with Councilors Henderson and Huff being absent from the meeting.
*** *** ***

THE FOLLOWING PURCHASING RESOLUTION WAS SUBMITTED AND EXPLAINED BY CITY MANAGER HUGLEY AND ADOPTED BY THE COUNCIL:____________________________

A Resolution (150-15) – Approving utility audit services from Troy & Banks, Inc. (Buffalo, NY).

Councilor Allen moved the adoption of the resolution. Seconded by Mayor Pro Tern Turner Pugh and carried unanimously by those eight members of Council present, with Councilors Henderson and Huff being absent from the meeting.
-----------------------------------*** *** ***-----------------------------------
CLERK OF COUNCIL'S AGENDA:

CLERK OF COUNCIL WASHINGTON SUBMITTED THE FOLLOWING ITEMS AS INFORMATION FOR THE MAYOR & COUNCIL:___________________________________________________

1. Memorandum from Clerk of Council Washington, Re: Board of Water
Commissioners.

2. Memorandum from Clerk of Council Washington, Re: Convention &
Visitors Board of Commissioners.

3. Memorandum from Clerk of Council Washington, Re: Downtown
Development Authority.

4. Memorandum from Clerk of Council Washington, Re: Taxicab
Commission.

5. Memorandum from Clerk of Council Washington, Re: Tree Board. 6.

6. Copy of the Community Benefit Report of The Medical Center Hospital
Authority.

7. Copy of the Audited Financial Statements for the years ended June 30,
2014 and June 30, 2013 of Midtown Medical Center (The Medical
Center), Doctors Specialty Hospital (Doctors Hospital, Inc.) and
Northside Medical Center (Hughston Hospital, Inc.), these three entities
being lessees of the Medical Center Hospital Authority.

8. Biographical sketch of Dr. Deepali S. Agarwal, Councilor Barnes'
nominee for the Hospital Authority of Columbus.

9. Application of Thomas Hill to temporarily close 51st Street, from
Woodruff Road to 23 rd Avenue, on Saturday July 4, 2015, from 4:00
p.m. to midnight, in connection with the 3r Annual Neighborhood 4th of
July Block Party.
*** *** ***

THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTIONS WERE SUBMITTED AND EXPLAINED BY CLERK OF COUNCIL WASHINGTON AND ADOPTED BY THE COUNCIL:_________________________________

A Resolution (151-15) – Excusing the absence of Councilor Jerry Barnes from the June 9, 2015 Council Meeting.

A Resolution (152-15) – Excusing the absence of Councilor Evelyn Woodson from the June 9, 2015 Council Meeting.

Councilor Allen moved the adoption of the resolutions. Seconded by Councilor Huff and carried unanimously by those eight members of Council present, with Councilors Henderson and Huff being absent from the meeting.
*** *** ***

MINUTES OF THE FOLLOWING BOARDS WERE SUBMITTED BY CLERK OF COUNCIL WASHINGTON AND OFFICIALLY RECEIVED BY THE COUNCIL:________________________________

Board of Elections & Registration, April 2, 2015.
Board of Health, April 22, 2015.
Board of Tax Assessors, 18-15.
Columbus Iron Works Convention & Trade Center, April 23, 2015.
Land Bank Authority, May 6, 2015.
Region 6 Planning Board, March 11, 2015.

Councilor Allen made a motion that these minutes be received. Seconded by Councilor Woodson and carried unanimously by those eight members of Council present, with Councilors Henderson and Huff being absent from the meeting.
*** *** ***

NOMINATIONS AND/OR CONFIRMATION OF BOARD MEMBERS WERE MADE TO THE FOLLOWING BOARDS BY THE COUNCIL OF COLUMBUS, GEORGIA:____________ _______

AIRPORT COMMISSION OF COLUMBUS:

Clerk of Council Washington said Mr. Chris I. Badcock, Mr. William Carter Woolfolk and Ms. Shana D. Young have been nominated to fill the unexpired term of Ms. Sherry Goodrum, who has resigned from the Airport Commission of Columbus.

Mayor Pro Tem Tuner Pugh pointed out that Ms. Sherry Goodrum was the only female on the board.

Councilor Allen advised that he had spoken with one of the board members and he assured that the board would work very diligently to get another female as member.

Councilor Allen made a motion that Mr. Chris Badcock be confirmed. Seconded by Councilor Barnes and carried unanimously by those eight members of Council present, with Councilors Henderson and Huff being absent from the meeting.
*** *** ***

BOARD OF TAX ASSESSORS:

Clerk of Council Washington advised that Mr. Lawton E. Grantham has been nominated to fill the unexpired term of Mr. John W. William and he may now be confirmed.

Councilor Allen moved confirmation. Seconded by Councilor Barnes and carried unanimously by those eight members of Council present, with Councilors Henderson and Huff being absent from the meeting.
*** *** ***

HOSPITAL AUTHORITY OF COLUMBUS:

Clerk of Council Washington pointed out that Mr. Paul Todd has resigned from his seat on the Hospital Authority of Columbus and that Council needs to nominate three individuals from which the authority will select someone to succeed Mr. Todd. She further pointed out that Dr. Deepali S. Agarwal and Mr. Mike Welch has been nominated and that we need one additional nominee.
*** *** ***

KEEP COLUMBUS BEAUTIFUL COMMISSION:


Clerk of Council Washington advised that Ms. Nicole de Vries is eligible to succeed herself on the Keep Columbus Beautiful Commission and she may now be confirmed.

Councilor Allen moved confirmation. Seconded by Councilor Woodson and carried unanimously by those eight members of Council present, with Councilors Henderson and Huff being absent from the meeting.


Clerk of Council advised that Mr. Jason Cooper is eligible to succeed himself to succeed himself on the Keep Columbus Beautiful Commission and she may now be confirmed.

Councilor Allen moved confirmation. Seconded by Councilor Woodson and carried unanimously by those eight members of Council present, with Councilors Henderson and Huff being absent from the meeting.

Clerk of Council Washington then advised that Ms. Theresa Fike, Mr. Nathan Rogers, Mr. William Kent, Ms. Marsha Collins, Mr. Dale Williams, Mr. Herman Lewis, Ms. Jacqueline Boling, Ms. Carolyn Tigner, Mr. Ronald Tate and Mr. William “Bill” Murphy have been nominated to fill those at-large appointments and they may now be confirmed.

Councilor Buck moved confirmation. Seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh and carried unanimously by those eight members of Council present, with Councilors Henderson and Huff being absent from the meeting.

*** *** ***

TAXICAB COMMISSION:

Clerk of Council Washington advised that she spoke with Mr. Peter Bowden and he is still working to get a replacement for the seat of Mr. Jodi Sears. She also informed the Council that Mr. Billy Craft recently passed away therefore a nominee is needed to fill his unexpired term.
*** *** ***

With there being no other business to come before the Council, Councilor Davis made a motion for adjournment. Seconded by Councilor Woodson and carried unanimously by those eight members of Council present, with Councilors Henderson and Huff being absent from the meeting, with the time being 10:23 a.m.



Tiny B. Washington, MMC
Clerk of Council
The Council of Columbus, Georgia