Councilwoman Adrian Bonser requested the city look into changing its ethics ordinance as part of the mediation settlement agreement late November, in which she and Mayor Mike Davis dismissed the ethics charges they brought against each other relating to the alleged Project Renaissance leak.
The amendments will focus on the procedure of how the city hears and processes ethics complaints, not on what the city considers ethical and unethical behavior and expectations, said Councilman Terry Nall.
City Manager Warren Hutmacher added the moratorium serves to eliminate confusion on how to process any complaints brought up during the period of revising the ordinance.
“It does not preclude anyone from being able to make a complaint on any ethics situation they see fit,” he explained. “However, they just can’t make that complaint within that 90-day period.”
The council advised Hutmacher and the city attorney to look at successful ethics ordinances used by other municipalities, return before council within 30 days with options on how to amend the current ordinance and draft the new ordinance within 60 days. The city council will then review the amended ordinance and vote on adopting it.
Bonser also requested as part of the mediation settlement that the city provide education and training on executive session and open meetings/open records provisions.
“I would like that training to take place before we actually make any amendments or changes to our ethics ordinance,” she added.
Also at Monday’s meeting, Public Works Director Michael Smith updated the mayor and council on the status of the Dunwoody Village Parkway project. Final design plans are being submitted to the Georgia Department of Transportation this week, he explained. The final design is in line with the plan first developed and presented in 2011, which includes eliminating the center median, adding sidewalks and bike lanes, and reducing traffic lanes from four to two.
Smith said the goals are to acquire temporary construction easements by the end of February and start construction by August with project completion estimated between six to eight months later.
Bonser said she remains in opposition to the project.
“I have never heard so much opposition to a project as this one,” she explained.
Nall said while he still prefers an alternative solution to the parkway plans, he accepts the 5-2 decision of council. He explained the deliberation phase is over and it is time for the implementation phase to begin.
The city council plans to adopt a new ethics ordinance within 90 days.