September 8, 2020 (online meeting)
Meeting starts 7:03pm.
Opening Remarks – Myron Polster
Reminders: September 29 is the election to replace Rep. John Lewis. Early voting has begun. Winner will serve for a month or so and then we’ll vote for a permanent replacement in November. Don’t forget to get a flu shot.
Brandon Fields, representing Commissioner Larry Johnson: Meeting to be at 5:30pm. September 10 on Intrenchment Creek land swap, via Zoom. Public will be allowed to share their views (link in chat).
Q: Why was the meeting announced on a Friday and not posted on the county website? Why announced on a holiday weekend? Why not a clickable link to the meeting info, A: Lashon Atwater from Johnson’s office responds: It was published in the Champion newspaper on Thursday. There also was a flyer distributed via email. In future she will have the county email sent to Myron so he can forward to EACA membership. Q: Who from the community, from what areas, is advocating for the swap? A: She doesn’t have a list, but it includes members of the Cedar Grove community and others. Q: NPU-W passed a resolution on this discussing the legality of the swap. Has the county law department offered an opinion on the legality of the swap in relation to agreements already in place? A: She doesn’t know. The law dept would have reported to the CEO and then he is to make a recommendation to the commissioners. No recommendation has been made. Q: We were told in Feb the swap had been approved. Is that the case? A: No.
State Rep. Bee Nguyen: Voting and elections: Working with other legislators to make Nov election smoother than in June. They are to send five recommendations to the secretary of state. One is a new ballot tracking system. Sec of State’s Office is working with the vendor to make the system work. Nine USPS machines were disabled at the airport, so mail has been slower, potentially slowing ballots. Ballots postmarked by Election Day received up to 72 hours later should be counted under a recent court ruling. But the Sec of State is appealing that ruling. She suggests you request your ballot now, and then drop the completed ballot at one of the DeKalb Count drop boxes or hand it to a poll worker at an early voting location. Early voting begins October 12. Election Day is November 3. She explained why the successor for John Lewis involves two votes. Winner of first vote will serve about a month. The Democratic nominee in November will not be on the ballot until November. Answers to some questions sent to her before the meeting: Unemployment: Department of Labor way behind in processing claims. If you are still waiting, send an email to her. NYT story on COVID testing: She spoke to the CDC. There was a concern about different thresholds of testing. Those are set by labs, not by the state. People who are pre-symptomatic can still be contagious. Q: Is she sponsoring an event 7:00pm tomorrow night? A: Yes, with Sen. Elena Parent. The event is with Nakima Williams, running for Lewis’ seat, and Warnock, the Democrat running for Johnny Isakson’s seat. Question as to whether mentioning this event runs contrary to the prohibition against 501c3s getting involved in politics.
Michelle Olympiadis School Board rep: Virtual learning update- the board is constantly watching the COVID case level, which is high but is trending down. If the trend continues down, they hope to pivot to a hybrid learning model. Mixed reviews on virtual learning.
Suprit Patel, Neighbor in Need food drive: Collecting c 17-20 and then will distribute food to the neighbors who need it. Watch the EACA newsletter and other sources for more details.
Joe Peery, Intrenchment Creek land swap update: Stoptheswap.org is where you can go if you want to learn more about the issue. There is a protest planned at the park at the same time as the meeting at 5:00pm Thursday. Meet in the parking lot. The event will be masked and socially distanced. They’ll provide posters with slogans about the swap and may have a projector so they can watch the county’s meeting during the protest. They’ll also be watching from phones and will have members of the press.
Michelle Rice, update on Strut: More than 100 houses signed up to Strut Your Street, about 80 vendors, artists, bands to pair with them.
Land Use and Zoning Committee – Karla Causey: Ormewood Forrest compromise with part preserved and part developed with 11 properties. She’s waiting for drawings of the specific plan and then the committee will discuss.
Thrive/Toll Brothers at Bouldercrest Triangle: The site plan was denied based on East Atlanta’s historical designation. That has been appealed and will come up at the zoning board. If you’re interested in sharing views on this, please message firstname.lastname@example.org Jen Murray thanks folks for making noise on this development to achieve the denial, but there is still more to follow-through needed.
Jeanne Fore on EAV-O-Ween: There will be a meeting on Tuesday, September 15 at 7:00pm to discuss how it could work this year. See info in the chat.
Fundraising and Grants Committee – Andy Cleary: Signal box and scavenger hunt update. Working on a master timeline on pushing this out to the various NPUW neighborhoods. Be thinking of judges of the artwork. Brainstorming meetings will start in
mid-September and then the call for artists will go out, with artists painting by Thanksgiving, Cluetown hunt ready in December.
Transportation Committee: Dawn Rivera Will be working with the committee on spending the grant awarded last year for tactical urbanism at the bus stop at Bouldercrest and Flat Shoals, on county-owned land.
East Atlanta Business Association – Nate Minor: New logo coming in the next week or two, thanks to Joe Price. Myron notes Joe also has done work for EACA and we have talked about co-branding with EABA. We will be reviewing his ideas for EACA. RE the placemaking grant: Permit for crosswalk work has been submitted and EABA is looking for storage space and restrooms for the artist to use. Work will start in late September and be completed in early October.
Public Safety Committee – Myron Polster: Security patrol is hurting a bit on membership. Go to easecuritypatrol.com to learn more. The patrol has been short of officers for various causes, with the remainder working extra hours to cover for those who’ve been out. But most will be back soon, which is good because October through December can be higher crime months. There has been an uptick in violent crime in surrounding areas, so please be on alert and stay safe. Jen Murray: Speeding on Flat Shoals has become unbearable, and Zone 6 cars are not obvious. She says it’s a huge quality of life issue and a safety issue. Myron says he’ll take the concerns to the major in charge of Zone 6. He notes the problem of racing/cruising is not exclusive to our area, which makes it harder to address. Overall, Myron says, we’re not seeing a big increase in crime. Be sure to clean out cars and prevent break-ins; there have been a number of guns stolen from cars lately. Ed notes that anything visible through a car window can lead to a break-in. Nate adds that includes charging cables, etc.
Treasurer’s Report – Ralph Green: Motion to accept financial report and last month’s minutes. Seconded and approved.
Final Remarks – Myron Polster: Question in chat on updates from APD. Myron says he and other neighborhood leaders have noted we don’t see the police at meetings much anymore, even though Zoom calls should make it easier. The major perhaps doesn’t see a benefit in coming. But Myron thinks it is valuable and he’s escalating the request up the APD ranks to see if meeting attendance can be prioritized more. Ed says NPU has had the same problem and he also thinks it is valuable for the police to attend. Ed says he’s happy to work with Myron on that Zone 6 has set up a community forum that they think is a substitute for attending meetings, but Myron and others disagree.