Senoia City Council

Ethics, big rigs topics at Monday's meeting

by Alex McRae

Ethics and big-rig trucks in downtown Senoia were the main topics of discussion at Monday’s meeting of the mayor and city council.

The meeting got off to a playful start for April Fools’ Day, when “Sasquatch” lumbered down the aisle and roamed the floor in front of the mayor and council as Mayor Robert Belisle proclaimed that, from now on, April 1 in the city of Senoia would be known as Bigfoot Day.

The hairy visitor mumbled “Thank you, thank you very much” in its best Elvis imitation and wandered off.

City business resumed.

The mayor and council approved a variance for a detached garage at 225 Pylant St. The approval was given with the stipulation that the finished upper floor would not contain a kitchen and would not qualify as a living space.

The mayor and council tabled discussion of the city’s proposed 3 percent hotel/ motel tax until more research on the matter was completed by all involved, including city attorney Drew Whalen.

During discussion regarding amending the current ethics ordinance, council member Jeff Fisher said he had researched statutes in other states and municipalities and that many of the proposals he investigated for possible implementation in Senoia “seem to be working.”

One of Fisher’s suggestions was implementation of an approved time period during which the person charged with an ethics violation could respond to the complaint in writing prior to the formal hearing. The written response would be considered during the hearing.

It was also suggested that hearing proceed as quickly as possible after a charge was filed, preferably within 30 days.

Senoia city attorney Drew Whalen said he had no problem with proposed changes and would draft documents reflecting those changes for discussion by the mayor, council and citizens.

Discussion turned to problems with large trucks having trouble navigating sharp turns in downtown Senoia. Instances were cited of trucks damaging sidewalks and curbs and even knocking over a streetlight.

The consensus was that the major problem was GPS directions that route trucks through downtown to large industries, including WinPak. It was noted drivers who make regular deliveries to Senoia industries know how to access their destinations by staying on state Hwys. 16 and 74 and avoiding downtown.

It was proposed that city officials investigate the possibility of installing signs at city entrances to direct trucks away from town. Other methods of addressing the problem will also be investigated.

In other business, the council appointed Gary Baumgartner to fill a vacancy on the Senoia Historical Preservation Commission.

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