RUNDOWN: Statesboro City Council – 6/7/22

Here’s what happened at the most recent Statesboro City Council meting on 6/7/22.

Call to Order by Mayor Jonathan McCollar
Councilwoman Shari Barr and Councilman Phil Boyum were not present.
Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance by Councilmember John Riggs
Public Comments (Agenda Item): No comments as no one signed up to speak.
Consideration of a Motion to approve the Consent Agenda

A) Approval of Minutes
a) 05-10-2022 Budget Work Session Minutes
b) 05-17-2022 Work Session Minutes
c) 05-17-2022 Council Minutes
d) 05-17-2022 Executive Session Minutes

B) Consideration of a Motion to approve Surplus and Disposition of three 2011 Dodge Chargers, one 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe, one 2012 Dodge Charger and one 2014 Dodge Charger in the Police Department that are past their service life.

C) Consideration of a motion to approve surplus of equipment in the Central Services Department that is past its service life.

D) Consideration of grant of license for the package sale of distilled spirits, beer, and
wine to Clarke Beverages II located at 607 Brannen Street in accordance with City
Ordinance 6-23(h).

Consent agenda approved 3-0.

Public Hearing to solicit input on the proposed FY2023 Budget for the City of

City manager Charles Penny told council that the FY 2023 budget totals $87.2 million which includes transfers and internal service funds.

“This budget is set in order to continue to provide the same level of services that we continue to do every, on an annual basis. It is designed also to take care of our employees, try to keep pace with rising inflation rates,” he said.

He told council members that the fund balance, by policy, is set to remain at 25% of city operations, but that the city currently maintains a balance at 49%.

No one was present to speak in favor of the measure.
Anthony Waters, co-owner of LA Waters Furniture & ISaveMore Furniture, was present to speak against the budget proposal. He urged council to be cautious in how they move forward and to consider how tax increases will impact retailers in the city.
Mike Anderson, co-owner of Bulloch Fertilizer and Anderson’s General Store, also implored council to take caution with their decision. “We can’t simply raise our prices to cover things like this,” he said before going on to discuss the impacts on residents as well.
RJ Pope, owner of RJ Pope Mens and Ladies Apparel spoke as well, telling council “I’m here to say, fund our police, fund our fire, fund our frontline people. But there’s got to be some other ways to fund the city other than property taxes.” He asked the council to appoint businessmen and property owners to give council feedback once a quarter on where the property owner is coming from.
Carlton Crenshaw also spoke against the increases.

You can view their remarks in the brief clip below.

Read the FY 2023 Budget here

As Statesboro Budget Balloons, City Preps for Tax Increases – Now, Later, or Both

No further action was taken.

Consideration of contract with Georgia Southern University and Service Foundation, Inc. (GSURSF) regarding provision of mental health and wellness services to Statesboro Police Department personnel.

City received funding from the US Department of Justice through the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act (LEMHWA) grant program. GSURSF has the requisite experience and resources to provide these services to City in accordance with LEMHWA grant conditions. Specifically, the grant is about ‘resiliency of officers.’
Read the contract.

Motion to approve made by Riggs, seconded by Chavers.

Other Business from City Council
No council members had comments to make on any other matters.
Mayor McCollar offered condolences to victims of shootings in California, Illinois, and Uvalde.

Our country is experiencing a lot of inflation. We’re seeing it at the gas tank, we’re seeing it when we go buy clothing for our families and utilities. We’re seeing it across the board and what I want the people of this city to recognize is that as difficult as these moments may be, as dimming to our lives these moments may be, there is nothing that we can’t get through together. This is a very difficult moment but what we recognize is that when we’re working together, we’re working and believing that something, the thing that we’re working for is greater than us. We can get through these moments. But in order for us to get through these moments, we have to have real, open, honest transparent conversation about where we are as a nation, as a country. And what I would tell you guys is this right here: is that you have more in common with your neighbors than what someone local, some news outlets would convince you to believe.” See the rest of his comments here.

City Managers Comments

City Manager Charles Penny reminded council that TSPLOST needs to be placed on the ballot for November 2022.
He also asked council to consider canceling the 7/5/22 meeting since it falls on the day after July 4th. Councilman Riggs asked about rescheduling it for another date, but Penny said no. Mack made a motion to cancel the meeting, seconded by Chavers.

Public Comments (General)

Scott Marchbanks spoke to council to remind members that the Boys&Girls Club of Bulloch County needs the help of the community.

“We are the least funded Boys & Girls Club in terms of money that we get from our city than any other club in the state. That’s percentage and dollar wise. I’d also like to remind you that the alcohol ordinance – Section 6-23(g) – you all made the commitment that it would be a stated policy goal of the city council to allocate 50% or more of the alcohol tax revenues to a 501(c)3 youth services organization. I would just like to ask that you recommit to that, remember that you said that, remember that we need your help. And finally, I would like to invite each one of you personally, any time you want, to come and see our program in action, to see what we do, to see our new workforce development program and how we’re implementing that…just to remind you that we’re here! And we’re asking for your help.”

Consideration of a Motion to enter into Executive Session to discuss “Personnel Matters” and “Real Estate” in accordance with O.C.G.A 50-14-3(b)

Consideration of a Motion to Adjourn

Jessica Szilagyi

Jessica Szilagyi is Publisher of TGV News She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement and corrections. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia.

Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta and a commentator on the 'Let Me Tell You Why You're Wrong Podcast.'

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