Palmetto to hold town hall meetings

Mon, 01/14/2008 - 9:34am
By: Ben Nelms

Palmetto to hold town hall meetings

It was an enthusiastic, packed house in the Palmetto council chambers Jan. 7 for the swearing-in of incoming Mayor John Miller, incoming Councilwomen Lorraine Allen and Natalie Beavers-McFadden and returning Councilman Leon Sumlin. Not incidental in the short meeting was an announcement by Miller that the council would establish a town hall meeting venue for residents to experience local government transparency and accountability.

The meeting began in customary fashion, with outgoing Mayor Clark Boddie conducting the first portion of the proceedings. Boddie and outgoing council members Joyce Baker and Thomas Morrow left the council table during an intermission, followed by the swearing-in ceremonies.

Toward the end of the brief meeting Miller announced the council’s intention to conduct periodic town hall meetings to provide a means of enhancing communication and to bring a higher level of accountability and transparency to city government.

The public comments portion of the meeting was dotted with family members and well-wishers. Those sentiments flowed into the main office at city hall for a reception after the conclusion of the meeting.

The first town hall meeting is Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Palmetto Community Center on U.S. Highway 29.

Also at the meeting, the council voted unanimously to apply for funding through the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) program and to commit to the 20 percent matching fund requirement necessary to qualify for the program. The measure was one Miller had previously surfaced as a council member, though the application did not have enough council support at the time to win approval.

The resolution adopted Jan. 7 cites Palmetto’s desire to strengthen the town center by encouraging diverse housing, employment, shopping and recreational choices and undertake transportation improvements linking those destinations. An LCI plan would introduce a mixed use housing environment, foster pedestrian use of the town center and the connectivity of modes of travel and would preserve and enhance access to historical features and landmarks.

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