Monday’s virtual Atlanta City Council meeting took place over a period of 11 hours and 45 minutes. As part of the meeting, 499 public comments were submitted, which were played and listened to by the council.
The Atlanta City Council approved legislation Monday, June 15, to add $88.4 million to the Fiscal Year 2020 budget as part of funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Legislative Reference No. 20-O-1362). The funds will be used to cover costs that are necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Other items approved Monday include:
* An ordinance to set the rate schedule for monthly water and sewer rates and charges at the current rates through June 30, 2024 (Legislative Reference No. 20-O-1372). The legislation also authorizes the City to continue applying Municipal Optional Sales Tax (MOST) revenue to water and sewer projects and costs.
• An ordinance to amend the levy provisions of the Code of Ordinances for the purpose of changing the ad valorem tax rates for personal property, bond indebtedness, parks, school operations/debt and special tax districts, and provide that those rates remain fixed for one year in compliance with the City Code (Legislative Reference No. 20-O-1318). The millage rate remains the same as the previous year until the receipt of the final tax digest.
• An ordinance to restrict the use of the Building Permit Fee Waiver Program to the growth areas as designated by the Atlanta City Design, a planning framework outlined in the City’s charter to accommodate desired population growth and employment in the city. The legislation is aimed at ensuring that growth is beneficial to Atlanta’s residents (Legislative Reference No. 20-O-1427).
•  A resolution authorizing the mayor or her designee to accept the donation by the Atlanta Police Foundation of a study to be performed by the Georgia Institute of Technology concerning the feasibility of adding one or more zones to the City’s public safety coverage to ensure the safety of Atlanta residents (Legislative Reference No. 20-R-4011).
The Council also immediately approved:
• A resolution urging the City of Atlanta and the Georgia General Assembly to adopt policies to implement comprehensive police reform.
• A resolution that the Atlanta City Council respectfully request the Georgia General Assembly to enact House Bill 426 – the “Georgia Hate Crimes Act” – within the state of Georgia.
An item was introduced to be considered during a special called meeting scheduled for Friday, June 19 at 11 a.m. to consider and adopt the City of Atlanta’s 2021 Fiscal Year budget:
• A resolution declaring the intention of the Atlanta City Council to create the Public Safety and Community Support Restricted Fund and requesting that the chief operating officer produce a report of recommendations regarding the City’s approach to public safety, including recommendations for systematic changes in police policies, reinventing the culture of policing in the city and being a model for public safety for cities across the nation, to be provided to the Atlanta City Council by no later than Dec. 1, 2020.
Several items were also introduced to be considered in committee next, including:
• An ordinance to amend the City’s code of ordinances to increase membership and expand the authority of the Atlanta Citizen Review Board.
• An ordinance to amend the City’s code of ordinances to decriminalize victimless minor offenses.
• An ordinance prohibiting the Atlanta Police Department from using military-style vehicles and ban the use of rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse protesters.
• An ordinance to amend the Atlanta Police Department’s standard operating procedures to incorporate procedural changes regarding alternatives to the use of force.
• A resolution requesting the Department of Transportation Commissioner create a participatory engagement process with the community to select a street where a permanent “Black Lives Matter” mural commissioned by members of the Atlanta City Council may be installed to commemorate the “Black Lives Matter” movement in the city of Atlanta.
• A resolution approving a deployment plan for funds allocated for rental assistance through the consumer grant program in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.