Inside City Hall: Atlanta officials want you to weigh in on city spending

Council members Jason Winston (from left), Howard Shook, Amir R. Farokhi and Byron Amos confer as the Atlanta City Council held their first in person meeting since they were suspended at start of the pandemic In Atlanta on Monday, March 21, 2022.   (Bob Andres / robert.andres@ajc.com)

Credit: robert.andres@ajc.com

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Council members Jason Winston (from left), Howard Shook, Amir R. Farokhi and Byron Amos confer as the Atlanta City Council held their first in person meeting since they were suspended at start of the pandemic In Atlanta on Monday, March 21, 2022. (Bob Andres / robert.andres@ajc.com)

Credit: robert.andres@ajc.com

A weekly roundup of the most important things you need to know about Atlanta City Hall

The Atlanta City Council is set to vote on the city’s mammoth budget later this month, and now’s your chance to voice your opinion on the city’s spending. On Tuesday, the council is holding a public property tax rate hearing at 6 p.m., quickly followed by an “interactive community budget session” at 6:15.

Residents will have a chance to ask questions or comment on the proposed budget. If you can’t make it in person, you can also email a 15-second video to budgettalk@atlantaga.gov.

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The Atlanta Police Department has a new leader. Assistant Chief Darin Schierbaum took over as interim chief last week as former chief Rodney Bryant retired — for the second time.

Schierbaum is a 20-year APD veteran, and got rave reviews from the mayor and several council members who have worked with him.

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Atlanta interim Chief Darin Schierbaum speaks after he was named to direct Georgia's largest police department by Mayor Andre Dickens during the City's Safety Plan announcement at West Side Park on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. Miguel Martinez / miguel.martinezjimenez@ajc.com

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Atlanta interim Chief Darin Schierbaum speaks after he was named to direct Georgia's largest police department by Mayor Andre Dickens during the City's Safety Plan announcement at West Side Park on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. Miguel Martinez / miguel.martinezjimenez@ajc.com

Credit: Miguel Martinez

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Atlanta interim Chief Darin Schierbaum speaks after he was named to direct Georgia's largest police department by Mayor Andre Dickens during the City's Safety Plan announcement at West Side Park on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. Miguel Martinez / miguel.martinezjimenez@ajc.com

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Credit: Miguel Martinez

The city is still in the midst of a national search for a permanent chief, and Schierbaum is sure to be considered for that position. Dickens told WABE on Tuesday that he hopes internal candidates apply, including former chiefs who have recently left APD for other departments “that want to come back.”

”I really want someone who knows Atlanta,” Dickens said, adding that police leaders from across the country have slid into his LinkedIn messages to ask about the job.

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The mayor also told WABE the city wants to buy four homes caught within the longstanding legal dispute between the city and southeast Atlanta residents in the Peoplestown neighborhood.

When Dickens ran for mayor last year, he promised to find a way to keep the residents in their homes, while also completing the flood protection project that spurred Atlanta to use eminent domain to demolish dozens of homes in the area.

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(left to right, front) Tanya Washington Hicks marches the block with Bertha & Robert Darden after an Anti-Election rally where Peoplestown residents are fighting the city of Atlanta's year long attempt to take away their homes. The city is trying to do so in order to improve the flood protection conditions in Peoplestown. The two mayoral runoff candidates say they support the people but one of them will ultimately be on the opposing side come January. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

Credit: Phil Skinner for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

(left to right, front) Tanya Washington Hicks marches the block with Bertha & Robert Darden after an Anti-Election rally where Peoplestown residents are fighting the city of Atlanta's year long attempt to take away their homes. The city is trying to do so in order to improve the flood protection conditions in Peoplestown. The two mayoral runoff candidates say they support the people but one of them will ultimately be on the opposing side come January. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

Credit: Phil Skinner for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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(left to right, front) Tanya Washington Hicks marches the block with Bertha & Robert Darden after an Anti-Election rally where Peoplestown residents are fighting the city of Atlanta's year long attempt to take away their homes. The city is trying to do so in order to improve the flood protection conditions in Peoplestown. The two mayoral runoff candidates say they support the people but one of them will ultimately be on the opposing side come January. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

Credit: Phil Skinner for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Phil Skinner for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Now he says the homes are located within “a bowl” where they would not survive flooding caused by a “50-year or 100-year weather event. Dickens also said the city would offer a fair value price for the homes.

Peoplestown resident Tanya Washington told us they still want to keep their homes. She’s currently planning to appeal what she calls “deceptive” attempts by the city’s attorneys to toss out her legal challenge against them.

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Former city councilman and mayoral candidate Antonio Brown recently returned to Atlanta City Hall as a member of the Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Board.

Dickens appointed Brown and 25 other new members to the board to maximize their focus on youth engagement, arts, entertainment and culture, according to the city.

The full 50-person board is on the city’s website.

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Council member Mary Norwood takes her seat on the dais as the Atlanta City Council held their first in person meeting since they were suspended at start of the pandemic In Atlanta on Monday, March 21, 2022. (Bob Andres / robert.andres@ajc.com)

Credit: robert.andres@ajc.com

Council member Mary Norwood takes her seat on the dais as the Atlanta City Council held their first in person meeting since they were suspended at start of the pandemic In Atlanta on Monday, March 21, 2022.   (Bob Andres / robert.andres@ajc.com)

Credit: robert.andres@ajc.com

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Council member Mary Norwood takes her seat on the dais as the Atlanta City Council held their first in person meeting since they were suspended at start of the pandemic In Atlanta on Monday, March 21, 2022. (Bob Andres / robert.andres@ajc.com)

Credit: robert.andres@ajc.com

Credit: robert.andres@ajc.com

The Buckhead Public Safety Task Force recently released a 21-page summary of its analysis and action plan following a series of meetings held over a 90-day span.

City Councilwoman Mary Norwood sponsored the formation of the group in January to develop a comprehensive plan to deter crime on the Northside. Their report’s security plan includes 27 recommendations, such as lobbying for the city detention center to be used to reduce overcrowding at the Fulton County jail.

The group also supports the following actions: legislation to strengthen gang laws; a new storage facility for the Fulton County district attorney’s prosecutorial evidence; and enhancements to the police units focused on licensing, alcohol and street racing.

The full report is available on the city council’s website.

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April 15, 2022 Atlanta - Aerial photograph shows Atlanta Civic Center on Friday, April 15, 2022. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

April 15, 2022 Atlanta - Aerial photograph shows Atlanta Civic Center on Friday, April 15, 2022. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

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April 15, 2022 Atlanta - Aerial photograph shows Atlanta Civic Center on Friday, April 15, 2022. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

The Atlanta Housing Authority recently told us Tishman Speyer has bailed on the mixed-use redevelopment plan for the Atlanta civic center.

The flip-flop surprised city officials after eight months of conversations with the company. AHA President and CEO Eugene Jones said the developers claimed the project was just “not right” for them.

AHA said the proposal included 430 units priced at or below the region’s median income, which is $96,400 for a family of four this year. The AHA wanted to add more affordable units into the plan.

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Parkside, a new affordable housing community located on the Beltline Westside trail on Wednesday, June 1, 2022 . (Natrice Miller / natrice.miller@ajc.com)

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

Parkside, a new affordable housing community located on the Beltline Westside trail on Wednesday, June 1, 2022 . (Natrice Miller / natrice.miller@ajc.com)

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

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Parkside, a new affordable housing community located on the Beltline Westside trail on Wednesday, June 1, 2022 . (Natrice Miller / natrice.miller@ajc.com)

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

On a brighter note for affordable housing, community leaders celebrated the opening of the “Parkside” development last week.

The new, 182-unit apartment complex is on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway in Bankhead, steps from a MARTA station and the Beltline’s future Westside Trail. The complex includes one- to three-bedroom units, with monthly rents priced between 50% to 70% of the metro Atlanta’s area median income.

Send us tips and feedback at Wilborn.Nobles@ajc.com and jdapelouto@ajc.com. We’re also on Twitter, @jdcapelouto and @WilNobles.

WILBORN NOBLES III

Wilborn P. Nobles III covers the Atlanta mayor's policies for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Wil (not "Willie" or "William") previously covered Baltimore County government at The Baltimore Sun, but he never finished "The Wire." He also covered education for the Times-Picayune in his hometown of New Orleans, so he tries to avoid discussions about football. Wil used to play tuba for his high school marching band, but he eventually put down his horn to intern at The Washington Post. The Louisiana State University graduate enjoys gardening, comedy, and music.

Wilborn.Nobles@ajc.com

J.D. CAPELOUTO

J.D. Capelouto is a local news reporter covering City Hall and all things intown Atlanta for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. His work focuses the City Council, neighborhood issues, public safety, housing and transportation. J.D. was born and raised in Atlanta and has lived in the city all his life, except for four years at Boston University, where he studied journalism and learned how to dress for cold weather. He’s been with the AJC since 2018, and has previously written for The Boston Globe and the Thomson Reuters Foundation. When he’s not reporting or scrolling through Twitter, J.D. enjoys pop culture podcasts, “Survivor” and visiting various pools around Atlanta.

Joseph.Capelouto@ajc.com