Brookhaven City Council held its first meeting after members were sworn into office at Oglethorpe University Dec. 10.
There was a celebratory atmosphere among the crowd that came to watch the new city of Brookhaven’s first official meeting.
The mayor and three council members put their hands on a Bible and took their oaths of office, followed by cheers and applause. Councilman Bates Mattison was not present. Cake and coffee was served before the council got down to business.
Though Brookhaven does not technically start up until Dec. 17, the council decided to begin meeting to tackle the work that needs to be done to set up the new city.
Council voted unanimously to appoint Bill Riley as acting city attorney and Lyn Rosser as acting city clerk. The two have served as volunteers in the same capacity for the Governor’s Commission on Brookhaven.
Council members also voted to accept a recommendation from the Governor’s Commission for Brookhaven on a location for temporary administrative office space and municipal court space.
The administrative offices will be at 200 Ashford Center North, suite 150. The building is outside of the Brookhaven city limits and in the Perimeter area. Municipal Court will be located at suite 125 in Building Two of Corporate Square, at the intersection of North Druid Hills Road and Buford Highway.
“I’m somewhat disappointed we’re not in the city, but I have seen the space and it’s just excellent,” Councilwoman Rebecca Chase Williams said of the city’s temporary office space.
In order to wire the office space before Dec. 17, council voted to award a bid for the city’s IT services to a company called InterDev.
Commission member Jed Beardsley told council members the company had already worked on a server for the city and looked into a domain name and temporary email accounts.
“They’ve done a lot of work in hopes that they would get the bid,” he said.
The council chose to wait on awarding a bid to an executive search firm to help hire a city manager.
Todd Lantier, a member of the governor’s commission, told council he recommended Slavin Management Consultants. He said they are a local firm that has done work with other cities.
“We decided it would make sense to hire an executive search firm. They could do a national search for our city,” Lantier said.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, two former candidates spoke to the council.
Alan Cole, who ran for District 1, said he was upset Mattison did not attend the council’s first meeting, especially in light of the margin with which he was elected. Mattison collected 53 percent of the vote to defeat Kevin Quirk in the District 3 council race.
Mayor J. Max Davis said that Mattison was absent because he was on a family vacation that had been planned long ago.
Thom Shepard, who ran for mayor, thanked the many volunteers who worked with the Governor’s Commission to help get the city started.
“They have set the tone for volunteerism in this city,” Shepard said.