City Council Quickly Gets Down to Business

At its first official meeting the mayor and city council hired a city clerk, attorney and consulting firm to assist in finding a city manager.

With a tap of his new gavel, Mayor Mike Mason called the first city council meeting to order promptly at 7:30 Tuesday evening at Christ the King Lutheran Church.

And in just 45 minutes the mayor and six council members had wrapped up the details of hiring a city attorney, a city clerk and a consulting firm to assist in finding qualified candidates to hire as city manager.

"Time is of the essence," said Mason in explaining the importance of getting the personnel to help run the city in place as quickly as possible.

Bill Riley, an attorney who was involved in the start-up of the cities of Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and Johns Creek, was sworn in to advise Peachtree Corners' city leaders in the legal matters of setting up the new city.

Joanie Jones, a city clerk with 15 years experience, was sworn in as Peachtree Corners acting city clerk. Jones, who works in the same capacity for neighboring Johns Creek, was recommended by Riley because of her experience in assisting with the start up of Johns Creek.

Consultants John McDonough and John Kachmar were hired to conduct an executive search for a city manager and to provide consulting services to assist in setting up a functioning city.

Also on the agenda, the new city council chose the Gwinnett Daily Post as its legal organ. The complete agenda is included with this story.

"We needed to move ahead quickly," explained Mason afterwards. "We made the best effort to get the best people available."

Alex Wright, Post 3 council member reiterated the need to get the attorney, and city clerk hired and start the process of getting a city manager on board. "We had to get all this in place."

Some 45 people attended the first meeting. Mason said he expects the council may meet on a weekly basis until they get everything in place.

The city has set up a website, www.cityofpeachtreecornersga.com, which will have information posted on the meetings, agendas and past meeting minutes.


kevin adams April 18, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Already sounds like what government does best spend money...... What ever happened to low and slow?
Lorri Christopher April 18, 2012 at 02:24 PM
The new City of Peachtree Corners is to be operational by midnight on June 30, 2012. This is 73 days from today. Some of the coordinating arrangements require 60 days notice. A temporary infrastructure is necessary to meet the deadlines needed. These opportunity for slow is not available to meet these deadlines. In the interest of fiscally conservative government, and to gain knowledge quickly, the Mayor and the Council has engaged the best talent on an interim basis to enable us to become operational in this period of time economically.
Michael April 18, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Is that the official city logo? Because that is a total diappointment, and not classy at all. A peach? Seriously? It looks the the front of a Road Race t-shirt. They should have gone with a peachtree and a circular design. A peach just screams tackiness, while a tree is refined and attractive.
Brian April 18, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Can't wait to start paying my fees to this glorified HOA.....
Bob Martell April 18, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Lorrie, I agree with the idea of hiring 'talent on an interim basis' to help get the city up and running. The appointment of a city attorney and city clerk is a good example. I also agree that those two positions needed to be filled quickly. The eventual hiring of 'talent' to conduct an executive search for a city manager is another example. Key word being eventual. Kevin's point above about 'low and slow' is well taken (or at least it should be). As you note, the city becomes operational (the charter goes into effect) at midnight on June 30th. And as you alluded to, 60 days notice is required before the city can assume control of services from Gwinnett County. But there is no requirement that services be assumed as of July 1st. In fact the charter specifies that the city has until Dec 31, 2013 to assume control of the three services it plans to provide. You actually have 18 months and 73 days. I appreciate the desire of the new mayor and council to 'get things right the first time'. Keep in mind, setting up a city correctly is a marathon, not a sprint.
Lori Howard April 18, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Lorri, thank you for sharing your comments. I have the utmost confidence in our new Mayor and elected officials doing their very best for our new City!
Alex J. Wright April 18, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Michael, The background logo, the website design, the website address..... it is all temporary. We simply wanted to have something on hand when we had our first council meeting. Considering the Council was not set until April 3rd there was not a lot of time to put anything together. Rest assured the city's website and the symbol we settle on will be well thought out, well designed and be something I think will reflect and meet the high expectations our citizens have for their new city and its image. Regards Alex Wright
Michael April 18, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Thanks for the response, Alex. I am just worried that the Council will choose a peach as the city's symbol. Our abundance of trees and our location along the Chattahoochee River are what makes this city unique, and from a marketing perspective, either one of those is a great choice for the city's symbol. Please, please, PLEASE do not choose a peach as our city's logo. I understand the city's name is Peachtree Corners, but from a marketing perspective, the Council would be wise to emphasize the tree, and not the peach. A peachtree or a flowing river are both much better selling points to potential residents than a peice of produce. The last thing we want is for our city's symbol to look like a Peachtree Road Race shirt from the 1990s.
Republican April 18, 2012 at 06:42 PM
The city charter provides specifically for a city attorney and a city clerk. Other charters for other cities provide specifically for a city manager, ours does not. Although our charter allows the council to appoint directors of departments and other appointed officers, it does not have to. Unlike other cities, Peachtree Corners presently will be involved only in 1) planning and zoning, 2) code adoption and enforcement, and 3) solid waste management services, the latter two categories apparently to be contracted out. Why do the taxpayers have to fund a separate city manager who is not specifically called for in the Charter? Why can't the city clerk also serve what limited functions are needed to manage very limited services? Why can't the mayor handle what limited administration is required? So far we're paying $57,000 for the mayor and council who apparently will do nothing administratively, who knows how much in attorneys fees for the city attorney, for a clerk, for a judge for code violations, for rent for city offices, for annual audits, for associated expenses, and now for two "consultants" to find a city manager to manage very little and who we then will have to pay for after she or he is hired. It seems the "city lite" that was voted for is rapidly becoming a "city heavy" as far as the willingness of the mayor and council to spend our money.
Jimmy April 19, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Have you ever had an original thought?
Alex J. Wright April 19, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Michael, Thanks for your input. I have heard a few other people mention the idea of incorporating the river into our design somehow. Definitely something to consider. Also, please know that the Council intends to make reaching out to the citizens for input on all important matters a priority from day one. It might not seem so right now because we are working hard to get the bare essentials in place to operate, but you will see a concerted outreach effort on our part as we move forward. Regards Alex Wright
Terry Davis April 19, 2012 at 02:16 AM
I think it was a great meeting and a great start. My faith is in God, and I have been impress with our start. I wish we could all get behind making peachtree corners the best it can be. I look forward to our continual efforts in making this the best city in the world. It begins with looking at the positive and working together. I pledge to do so.
Ground Chuck April 19, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Congrats! But what happened to Corners to Crossing celebration?
David Leader April 19, 2012 at 03:17 PM
I think something a little different? Like a cool grizzly bear leaning sleeping peacefully under a tree, that has the sign "Peachtree Corners" attached to it? Having just a tree / peach is way too generic for this state (says we aren't trying); we need something cool and powerful to represent the city for years to come. For city clerk, we should get someone outside the city to represent us; a neutral voice is necessary in deciding these things. The last thing I want is the city clerk making decisions based on what is happening around their house and such. That should almost be a requirement.
Brian April 19, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Agree with Michael. Why not keep the "peach" out of it completely and show the tree(s) in bloom? We are a blossoming new city, right? Like the river idea too.
Judy Putnam (Editor) April 19, 2012 at 07:10 PM
It's my understanding that the organizers in the city of Norcross chose not to hold the event this year.
Michael April 20, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Not to beat a dead horse, but I just want to emphasize with two examples how tacky using a peach as the city logo would be. Please look at this Peachtree Road Race shirt from 1993 and tell me that the "interim" logo (which is certainly an indication of where the city council is headed) does not look similar: http://alt.coxnewsweb.com/cnishared/tools/shared/mediahub/05/95/92/slideshow_592955_4.jpg Peachtree Corners is going to be competing with cities like Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, and Johns Creek to attract new residents and businesses. Having a tasteful and refined logo is crucial. Please look at the Peachtree Corners Business Association, who, in my opinion, have an extremely attractive logo that the city council would be wise to emulate: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://o5.aolcdn.com/dims-shared/dims3/PATCH/resize/273x203/http://hss-prod.hss.aol.com/hss/storage/patch/176f7682799b81a760c20a69e03f06dc&imgrefurl=http://peachtreecorners.patch.com/listings/peachtree-corners-business-association&usg=__ck41SkQvD2NVKD5XoScKvKENmQ0=&h=100&w=273&sz=10&hl=en&start=10&zoom=1&tbnid=N-T0kR1RqOt3zM:&tbnh=41&tbnw=113&ei=2XGRT8SBKIr06AGhkKG5BA&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dpeachtree%2Bcorners%2Bbusiness%2Bassociation%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26gbv%3D2%26tbm%3Disch&um=1&itbs=1 Even the logo used for the street sign toppers would be a good choice (minus the orange font): http://www.ahn03.com/upcca/picture/PTCSignTopper.jpg
Bob April 20, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Aren't we really splitting hairs regarding the "temporary" logo? The name of our city is Peachtree Corners, not Pickneyville (which probably would have made a little more sense, at least from an historic point of view). So I have no problem with the temporary logo. Additionally, if people and businesses are choosing a city based on a logo, then Dunwoody is really in trouble with their Wal-Mart look-a-like logo.
Lorri Christopher April 21, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Thank you for your comments regarding the future city logo and the "city lite" suggestions and ideas. It is community input that enables us as City Council members to best learn what is most important to our citizens in creating the new City of Peachtree Corners. The future vision for our city rests with the citizens of the city and by your continued comments and ideas, we will together create a city of which we all can be proud as we implement the charter we all agreed to. Lorri Christopher
Bob Chadwick May 02, 2012 at 08:45 PM
These are good questions. Why do we need a city manager for such a small operation? Evidently the people that drafted the charter felt that it wasn't necessary. What has changed that now makes it necessary? I don't know whether a City Manager is or isn't required but I would certainly like to know what our elected officials have to say about the issue and why the expansion on the charter before the city even begins operation.


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