Packed house, is an understatement if you’re looking to describe the attendance of this first Public Meeting of the Governors Commission on City of Stonecrest.  Yes it is true the room was small, but it is also true that the turn out was large.  Joel Thibodeaux, Chair of the Commission, presided over the meeting, with all other commission members including Jim Burgess, Markus Butts, Michelle Emanuel and Shawn Jones.

I felt the meeting went well, it was a precise and informative first step.  Here’s a recap of the meeting for those who weren’t able to attend. THESE ARE NOT THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING.

The meeting open with public comments . . .

Dr. Nancy J. Williams opened the comments session with information regarding the city potential engagement in wholistic well-being and ended with comments from Harrell Smith with questions regarding the new city’s plan for emergency risk management, adequate start-up strategies to insure transparency from the start.

Mr. Thibodeaux introduced the commissions members. He stated the purpose of the Commission . . . you can find the commission members info and the purpose in On Common Ground here . . .

The commission will “facilitate the provision of municipal services and facilities, the collection of taxes and fees, and the negotiation of intergovernmental agreements in preparation of the establishment of the new municipality.”

But its members “will not have the ability to enter into any binding agreements, to expend public funds, or to incur any liability on behalf of the new municipality.”  

The commission serve until the elected officials are sworn into office after the March 21 election.

Other items mentioned by the commission:

  • Commission is responsible for proforma budget for the city
  • Commission cannot tax people, spend public revenues, commit city to any debt or effect any contract on behalf of the city
  • The commission can only negotiate these items and present the best possible choices to the Mayor and City Council after they’re elected and seated.
  • “At no time will people who you did not vote for make decisions on behalf of the city you are committed to . . . “, Joel Thibodeaux.
  • Committees (aka Task Force) established by commission;
    • zoning and planning,
    • parks and recs,
    • code enforcement and beautification,
    • city operations,
    • economic development, and
    • community affairs (incl. public safety & education). These committees will make suggestions directly to the commission.
  • The city charter includes the establishment of a new Community Improvement District (CID), which mean that existing CID will need to be repeal. Final CID approval, boundaries and implementation lies with City Council.

Committee Chairs

  • Patrick Agekae(?)  – Planning & Zoning
  • Micheal Williams – Public Safety
  • Vera Cardenas – Parks and Recs
  • Barbara Lee – Community Affairs -Education Committee
  • Michelle Emanuel – Code Enforcement/Beautification
  • Shawn Jones – City Operations
  • Vaughn Irons – Economic Development
  • Representative from the law firm of Coleman-Talley, Tom Currey introduce by chair. Chair requested the board consider Coleman-Talley serve as legal advisor (at no cost) to the commission. Commission decided to discuss this in an executive and bring to vote at next public meeting.

Agenda completed.

“I think that it is important that this commission make sure, that every step of the way, the citizens attending these meeting understand that what you guys are making are recommendations as opposed to binding agreements and that at the end of the day it will be the people that they elect who will be able to review these recommendations and then adopt (or not) as part of the city moving forward.”  Statement by Jimmy Clanton, Jr. to Commission.