Counties and Municipal Corporations; establishment of banking improvement zones; areas underserved; provide
Law Enforcement Officers and Agencies; performing any duty at the scene of an emergency; law enforcement officers shall not be liable; clarify
2019-2020 Regular Session - SB 173
'Georgia Educational Scholarship Act'
Was Defeated today
Senator Rhett & Minority Report
Georgia State Senate District 33
The mayors of four of Cobb's six cities are up for election on Nov. 5. In January, Austell Mayor Joe Jerkins said after nearly three decades as mayor, he would not seek reelection due to his worsening Parkinson's disease.
Powder Springs Mayor Al Thurman is on record as planning to seek reelection and this week we've also heard from Kennesaw Mayor Derek Easterling, who reports that he will seek a second term also.
"Mostly it's because I truly enjoy serving my community and the community has been very receptive and very supportive of what we've done, and now that I've gone through the learning curve, I would like to continue that, but again, it's more about continuing to serve than it is about anything," Easterling said.
First elected mayor in 1985, Smyrna's Max Bacon said he's waiting on a clean bill of health from his doctor, who he's meeting with in March, before deciding what to do. Bacon had two heart attacks in 2016.
"If I get a good OK with my doctor, I'd probably say it's 99 percent sure I will run. I feel better than I have in a long time," Bacon said.
Commissioners hear details of replacing Flex bus service with ride-sharing partnership
By Ricky Leroux firstname.lastname@example.org
County commissioners got an in-depth look at the impacts of replacing its Flex bus service in south Cobb with a partnership with a ride-sharing service on Monday.
Eric Meyer, planning division manager for the county transportation department, told commissioners that replacing the Flex routes with a partnership with a ride-sharing company could lower costs, grow ridership and fill gaps in the county's transit service. Ride-sharing services use mobile phone applications to connect drivers with riders, similar to taxi services.
The county has been examining this possibility for months. After discussing the project with commissioners on Monday, Meyer said the next steps are to work with the county's legal and purchasing departments to draft a request for proposals from companies like Uber or Lyft.
Commissioners would then need to approve sending out the request. Once the companies respond, commissioners would vote on a contract with the company that best meets the county's requirements. The county could also partner with more than one service.
Since April 2015, the county has operated three Flex routes serving residents of Austell, Powder Springs and Mableton. Unlike other buses that run on fixed routes, the Flex vehicles can provide curb-to-curb service with advanced reservations. However, the Flex vehicles only operate within these three zones.
The county began offering the Flex service when budget cutbacks required eliminating some bus routes in the south Cobb area.
It currently costs the county in the high $400,000s annually to operate the Flex service, Meyer told commissioners on Monday. The service sees an average of 1,300 riders per month, Meyer said, with each trip costing the county between $30 and $50. Riders only pay a $2.50 fare, which, based on the service's average ridership, generates about $39,000 per year.
If the county replaced the Flex service with a partnership with a ride-sharing service, the county would subsidize most of the cost of the ride, Meyer said. He estimated that the fare for using a ride-sharing service would vary from a minimum of $7.60 to a maximum of $12.
Officials would need to decide how to split up the fare between the rider and the county, Meyer said. The county could require a set cost for the rider, such as $1 or $2.50, and subsidize the rest, Meyer said. Or the county could require the rider pay a percentage of the cost.
If the county had 4,000 riders a month use the service - three times the current average - and required the riders to pay $2.50 per ride, the cost of the county's subsidy is estimated at $288,000 for the year, Meyer said. That means the county could provide service to three times as many people and save more than $150,000.
Meyer said about 80 localities in the U.S. have undertaken similar partnerships to supplement their transit systems.
Cobb SCLC Annual Martin Luther King Jr Gala
What began as a speech celebrating the Civil Rights movement became an impassioned call for unity from U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath Saturday at the Cobb Southern Christian Leadership Conference's annual
Martin Luther King Gala.
McBath was sworn in at the beginning of the year to represent Georgia's District 6, which includes part of east Cobb as well as portions of north Fulton and DeKalb counties.
After delivering a speech about her story as the daughter of civil rights activists and mother of a young black man killed by a white man with a gun, McBath went off script to tell the audience how she gained a new appreciation of the division in Washington.
"I remember all the moments and days before, when I was running for this office, and I remember watching the television; I remember hearing, across the nation, how polarized and divided we were ... I remember the day I was sworn in; I remember the first time I stepped on the House floor; and I remember the very moment that I sat in my place, and I remember watching how divided the House of Representatives is. I remember watching all the Republicans sitting on one side and all the Democrats sitting on the other, and no one reaching across to speak to one another or to congratulate one another, and I was so grieved and so pained by that because we are truly broken as a nation," McBath said.
McBath and her fellow newly-elected Representatives took office during the middle of what would become the nation's longest-running partial government shutdown, a significant crest in political divisions.
At times on Saturday, McBath fought back emotion while decrying government stagnation.
"When we are divided, our community stands in the wings waiting for us to take care of them and to preserve their lives and to make democracy work the way it's supposed to. Much is at stake, and everyone has a responsibility to stand up and to be accountable to one another. Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, you have a responsibility to reach across the aisle because we are all our brothers' keepers. Understand that we are one nation under God, and the laws that we serve are the laws of God. Remember that, and do not be divided. Divided, we cannot stand as a nation."
McBath's speech was also an occasion to celebrate the progress represented by figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., and she spoke to her parents' participation in civil rights organizing. Her dad was head of the Illinois NAACP.
The speech got high marks from the Cobb luminaries in attendance as well, including state Sen. Michael "Doc" Rhett, D-Marietta.
"I think its interesting how a person like her, when you read her personal story, she's able to take her life experiences and use them as fuel to push her passions in terms of achieving objectives when it comes to advancing the positive goals in society. ... She encouraged all of us to participate in the election process, and by us having a voice, we can perhaps break through that gridlock in Washington. ... I thought she tried to give a call for unity, and it's important for all of us to participate in the Democratic process. It gives us a voice, and it lets the politicians she has to work with in Washington know we would like to see them move forward in the best interests of the people they represent."
Cobb Delegation in action!
Cobb Elections Director Janine Eveler, right, meets with lawmakers representing Cobb at the Capitol Wednesday to discuss a bill filed last week directing the secretary of state to purchase ballot-marking devices. Attending the meeting were, from left, Cobb Commissioner Lisa Cupid, state rep. David Wilkerson, D-Powder Springs, State Sen. Michael Doc Rhett, D-Marietta, reps. Michael Smith, D-Marietta, Mary Frances Williams, D-Marietta, Erick Allen, D- Vinings, and Teri Anulewicz, D-Smyrna.
Ricky Leroux. Mdj news
Georgia Chiropractic Associaton
"I thank God I had the privilege to go to a celebration where Rome, Georgia, has selected Bill Collins as mayor," said Bishop Bobby Grier Sr., who moved to Rome from Cedartown in 1953 and was one of 15 local ministers recognized at Monday's event.
The Rev. Carey Ingram, with 32 years at Lovejoy Baptist, was the youngest of the group. His acceptance speech - the last of the evening - underscored the reminiscences shared by Collins and Commissioner Milton Slack as they presented certificates to the men and women who helped shape the fabric of the community.
"I am yours. I am a product of Rome, Georgia," Ingram said. "Most all of these ministers who stood here had an impact on my life."
Commissioner Sundai Stevenson put together the program, which highlighted the interconnectedness of local families and the importance of the church from a time of segregation to the present.
The Braziel family was well-represented on the roster, starting with Bishop Wesley Braziel - the first African-American in Rome to ride the city transit bus, to become a firefighter and to rise to the rank of battalion captain. Bishop Bobby Braziel and Bishop Howard Braziel also were recognized.
The list of honorees included the Rev. Warren Jones, 97, a white man who moved into South Rome with his family in the 1960s and set up programs ministering to children of all races. Collins said "we remember" how Jones and the late Samuel Burrell - the first black county commissioner - used to eat breakfast together in different restaurants around Rome, to make a point.
"You stepped out," Slack said to Jones. "You did your part ... I thank you, brother."
Another honoree, Bishop Jesse Pete Smith, founder of the interdenominational United Pastors Standing Strong, also accepted a certificate on behalf of his mother. The Rev. Julia Smith was called to minister in 1962, he said, at a time when it was rare for women to preach.
"She'd be well-pleased to know she is recognized as one of the pioneers of black history of pastoring as a woman," Smith said.
The Rev. Louise McCluskey, with more than 40 years in service, was on hand to accept her certificate. She noted that her Glorious New Jerusalem Pentecostal Church was integrated early, and her ministry extended beyond the church.
"I did prison ministry; I did jail ministry; I did street ministry. And some of those people are now ministers," she said. "It's great what God can do, and it's not over yet."
Others honored included the Rev. Terrell Shields, who founded the annual Thanksgiving Love Feast, and Bishop Nealon Guthrie, who turned a house of ill repute called Peggy's Place into Greater Christ Temple Rapture Preparation Cathedral.
Bishop Norris Allen, an entrepreneur who encouraged Collins in his own business and community involvement; the Rev. James B. Jewell of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church; the Rev. Gordon Wells of New Life of St. John the Baptist Church; and Bishop Alex Allen of Faith Temple on Branham Avenue also were acknowledged as longtime pillars.
"We as black folk have come a long way," Bishop Alex Allen said. "And we want to continue."
Attendees agreed, and applauded when Stevenson emphasized the sense of community embodied in the city's network of churches.
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