Friday, October 30, 2009

City of Atlanta Launches Pilot Incentive Based Recycling Program

/PRNewswire/ -- The City of Atlanta announced that a select group of Atlanta residents will soon be rewarded for their curbside recycling efforts. In an effort to encourage proper recycling habits, boost recycling participation, reduce the amount of recyclables being sent to area landfills and save taxpayer money, City officials introduced the pilot rewards program as an opportune way to move towards a greener, cleaner Atlanta.

In order to complement Atlanta's existing sustainability initiatives, the City of Atlanta has partnered with Rehrig Pacific, a container company and service provider, to bring a unique incentive based pilot recycling program to its residents. As part of this pilot program, Rehrig Pacific has collaborated with key sponsor Coca-Cola Recycling, LLC and rewards partner RecycleBank® to offer Atlanta residents a premiere rewards and loyalty program that incentivizes household recycling. City officials are confident they will see a rise in recycling volumes and a decrease in waste tonnages. In addition to the benefit to the environment, the rewards program will give residents and local businesses a needed economic boost.

The City of Atlanta selected 10,000 households for the incentive based pilot recycling program. The participating households represent a cross section of recyclers throughout the City. The RecycleBank® rewards program will encourage better participation in the curbside recycling program. It will also allow the City to evaluate changes in the amounts of recyclables collected from residents participating in the pilot program.

"Incentive based recycling will help us to meet our recycling and sustainability goals while giving something back to our residents. During today's recession and economic climate, saving money on groceries, on clothing, or at the pharmacy translates to great value. We have found a way to provide real financial rewards and help the environment at the same time," said Mayor Shirley Franklin.

Each home in the pilot area will receive a brand new 96-gallon blue cart, retrofitted with an ID tag with the resident's household address and RecycleBank account number. City trucks have been retrofitted with technology to read the cart ID tag. Upon activating their account with RecycleBank, either online or by phone, the household will begin to earn RecycleBank Points with every pick-up.

Points can be redeemed for rewards, gift cards, groceries, and products at hundreds of local and national RecycleBank Reward Partners. Partners include giant national brands and retailers such as Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Publix, and CVS/pharmacy, as well as local partners like Zoo Atlanta, Radial Café, Rita's Water Ice, MetroFresh, Edgewood Avenue Pizza, and Six Feet Under.

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), housed in Atlanta, is a significant player in making the pilot program a reality for their local neighbors. Through sponsorship dollars, they have enabled the purchase of the 10,000 Rehrig Pacific blue recycling carts needed for the pilot program.

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Friday, October 9, 2009

SBA Opens Business Recovery Center in Fulton County

(BUSINESS WIRE)--The U.S. Small Business Administration announces today that a Business Recovery Center in Fulton County is open to help businesses impacted by the severe storms and flooding in Georgia that began on September 18, 2009. The Center opened today at the Government Services Center, 2741 Roswell Road, Atlanta, GA 30350. The hours of operation are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until further notice.

The disaster declaration covers the counties of: Bartow, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton, Gwinnett, Heard, Newton, Paulding, Rockdale, Stephens and Walker in the State of Georgia, which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA.

Small businesses and most private non-profit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Banks, Barrow, Butts, Clayton, Dade, Dawson, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Franklin, Gordon, Habersham, Hall, Haralson, Henry, Jackson, Jasper, Meriwether, Morgan, Pickens, Polk, Spalding, Troup, Walton and Whitfield in Georgia; Cherokee, Cleburne, DeKalb and Randolph in Alabama; Oconee in South Carolina; and Hamilton County in Tennessee.

Businesses and non-profit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million for physical losses. For small businesses, and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Interest rates are as low as 4 percent for businesses, with terms up to 30 years. The SBA sets loan amounts and terms based on each applicant’s financial condition.

SBA’s representatives will be on hand at the Business Recovery Centers to issue loan applications, answer questions about the disaster loan program, explain the application process and help individuals complete their applications. The Business Recovery Centers are located in the following communities and will open as indicated below:

Government Services Center
7741 Roswell Road
Atlanta, GA 30350

8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday,
until further notice

Disaster loan information and application forms may be obtained by calling the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. EDT, (including the holiday, Monday October 12) or send an email to Business loan applications can also be downloaded from the SBA Web site at Completed applications should be returned to the Centers or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. Businesses may apply for disaster loans from SBA’s secure Web site at

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is November 23, 2009. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 24, 2010.

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Emory to Host Atlanta Mayoral Candidates' Forum

Emory University will host an Atlanta mayoral candidates forum and debate at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14, at Emory's Glenn Memorial Auditorium (1652 North Decatur Road, Atlanta, 30307). The forum is sponsored Emory’s Office of Government Affairs, Emory’s Center for Ethics, the League of Women Voters of Atlanta-Fulton County, WAGA FOX-5 and the Clifton Community Partnership.

“Part of the role of the Center for Ethics is to be a safe space for public discussion of controversial issues, so it is appropriate for the center to help host a discussion with the next mayor and the concerns that confront Atlanta – issues of poverty and homelessness, education and ethics, sustainability and the workforce environment,” says Paul Root Wolpe, director of Emory's ethics center. “We are thrilled work with our internal partner, the Office of Governmental and Community Affairs, as well as the League of Women Voters to sponsor this important conversation.”

As the contest for the next mayor of the City of Atlanta enters the final weeks prior to the election on Tuesday, Nov. 3, all the qualified candidates have been invited to the Emory campus to discuss these topics and other issues of interest not only to the university, but to the entire Atlanta region.

Confirmed attendees include:

• Lisa Borders, city council president

• Peter Brownlowe, former Atlanta police officer

• Kyle Keyser, founder of Atlantans Together Against Crime

• Mary Norwood, city councilwoman

• Kasim Reed, state senator

• Jesse Spikes, attorney

The forum is free and open to the public.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

City of Atlanta Seeking Pension Payment Refund

The City of Atlanta was notified by the IRS on September 14th of unpaid taxes, penalties and interest which totaled $2.5 million related to the City’s pension funds. The penalties and interest were imposed because the City was a few days late on some of its monthly pension payments.

The City intends to seek a full refund. As a first step of that effort, the City sent a letter on September 21th requesting a refund of $894,000 that was paid to the Police Pension fund instead of the General Fund pension account.

Based on legal advice about the pension payment, the City paid the full $2.5 million IRS levy bill on September 23rd even though it is pending an appeal
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Atlanta City Concilwoman Plea for Assistance for Flood Ravaged District 9

As you may know by news reports, many of our citizens in District 9 have been affected by the flood of the Chattahoochee River, RM Clayton Wastewater Treatment Plant, Peachtree, Proctor and Sandy Creeks. I have been trying to get around to every community to assess the damage and needs.

I am appealing to you and your neighborhood organizations to help me, help those in need! Please call my office at 404-330-6044 if you can assist.

My office is working hard to coordinate services for those affected. The Salvation Army is in route to provide a Canteen with lunch, water, etc. for residents in the Buckhead, Riverside, and Lincoln/Bolton Hill Communities. If I’ve missed any areas, please alert me.

Also, we are coordinating with our Public Works department to set a pick-up day for bulk items. If you have flood insurance, you may be reimbursed for private dumpsters. Those who do not have insurance and need assistance for pick-up can call my office for coordination.

I’m preparing and electronic and printed information which I will distribute tomorrow with contact numbers for assistance and helpful hints.

This email is a call out to individuals and neighborhood associations who were not affected by the flooding to help your district and neighboring communities.

Here’s how you can help:

Volunteers to help remove items in homes damaged by the flood – I have seniors who need help!
Donation of cleaning supplies
Pumps and vacuums to remove water from homes
Dumpster donations, etc.

If you can help please call me ASAP.

Thank you,

Felicia A. Moore
Councilmember, District 9
Atlanta City Council
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2900
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 330-6044 Phone
(404) 658-7966 Fax

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Atlanta Flooding Update (w Emergency help numbers...)

Atlanta Fire Rescue (Fire Department)
· The Atlanta Fire Department opened its Joint Operation Center (JOC) this morning around 8:30 am
· The Atlanta Fire Department has searched 150 apartments on Peachtree and 58 residents are currently displaced and the Red Cross is responding to those residents
· Another area near Peachtree in Midtown has 10 people who have been displaced because of the flooding
· Georgia Mutual Aid Groups have brought boats in near Peachtree Battle Circle to help rescue residents
· DPRCA Office of Parks’ Forestry Unit is on the scene working with AFD and APD. There are 33 trees down and 12 have been completed.

A sink hole has forced county officials to close Cascade Road between Milano Drive and Danforth Road. There is also a tree leaning into the right-of-way along this stretch of Cascade Road near Utoy Springs Creek.
In the Sandy Springs area, there were several trees down on wires in the area of Mount Vernon Highway and Powers Ferry Road.
In Buckhead, Northside Drive at Woodward Way is closed because a tree has fallen.

The City of Atlanta Department of Public Works maintenance crews are responding to numerous complaints of roadway flooding and street blockages due to down trees and limbs. Our primary focus is barricade placement in advance of these blockages, and barricade placement around road washouts.

The following numbers may be used for emergencies:

- Down trees, call the Department of Parks & Recreation at (404) 817-6813

- Flooding, call the Department of Watershed Management at (404) 658-6500

- Power outages, call Georgia Power 1-888-891-0938.

- Watershed for flooding emergencies, 404-954-6340

The Fulton County Joint Operations Center (JOC) is also available for emergencies/inquires at (404) 546-2606

Thursday, September 17, 2009

City of Atlanta Receives $81,000 Refund

In August, the City of Atlanta Finance Department was required to make a $81,912 late payment to the State’s Subsequent Injury Trust Fund (SITF) which is part of the worker’s compensation system for the State of Georgia. The annual return and payment are normally due on March 1st, so August was late. In investigating the late fee with the State officials it was discovered that the notice was never received by the City and was returned unopened to the State. Based on this factor, the SITF Administrator agreed with the City Chief Financial Officer, Jim Glass, that these circumstances did not warrant the late penalty . The refund for this payment was returned to the City on September 9th.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

AED School Program at Its Best: Atlanta Public Schools' Partnership With Cardiac Science

/PRNewswire/ -- Cardiac Science Corporation (NASDAQ:CSCX) , a global leader in automated external defibrillator (AED) and diagnostic cardiac monitoring devices, announced the expansion of the largest AED deployment of any school system in Georgia with 195 Powerheart AED G3 devices from Cardiac Science.

The Atlanta Public School AED program started with 100 Cardiac Science AEDs in 2007 and has grown; now protecting 102 locations with more than 1,100 trained responders. "In Atlanta Public Schools, we not only want to ensure every student learns at high levels; we want to ensure every student is safe," said Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Beverly L. Hall.

"The district-wide deployment of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and trained on-staff first responders is a meaningful component of our emergency preparedness," Hall added. "Parents can take comfort in this security measure, driven by our own on-the-ground team of security professionals with help from leading health care experts in the community."

Often a school AED program is led by school nurses or the athletic department. In this case, the Fulton County Public Schools' Police Department and its Deputy Chief Marquenta A. Sands worked with distributor School Health Corporation and Cardiac Science Corporation to drive AED adoption.

Dave Marver, Cardiac Science president and chief executive officer, said, "We've become very good at helping major school systems with their AED programs. In addition to Atlanta, we help protect young people at large school systems in Houston, Miami, Tampa, San Diego, and throughout Ohio, New York, and Texas, which have state mandates requiring AED placement in schools. We're pleased to have partnered with School Health, Children's Healthcare, and the AHA to make this happen."

Chief Sands explained, "We need to protect our young people - and sudden cardiac arrest is a real threat to their safety. According to the American Heart Association, approximately 7,000 young people will die a sudden cardiac death this year alone. With our AED school program, we're hoping to lower that tragic toll."

Marver added, "Relatively few metropolitan public school systems in the US have formal AED programs, despite the growing number of legal mandates that protect schoolchildren against sudden cardiac arrest. We've chosen to focus on the school AED market with the intent that children everywhere would have the level of safety now provided in Atlanta."

"My deep thanks to Cardiac Science, Children's Healthcare, School Health, and the AHA for their support. We far exceeded the acceptance, visibility, and scope of our initial goals," said Chief Sands. "Ten percent of the staff is trained at each school and several schools voluntarily committed to having 100 percent of the staff trained."

Atlanta Public Schools also created a dedicated training facility available to people in the Atlanta community to learn CPR and AED use at no charge. And the school AED program is compliant with civil immunity requirements afforded by Georgia's Good Samaritan law for AED use.

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Monday, August 3, 2009

City of Atlanta Wins Playful City USA for the Third Consecutive Year

For the third consecutive year, KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to bringing play back into children’s lives, has named the City of Atlanta a Playful City USA community.

The City of Atlanta is one of 93 communities across the nation that has taken innovative approaches to make play a priority and ensure that children have the time and space they need to play. Despite the down economy, the City of Atlanta supports its communities in building and maintaining play spaces and developing programming to meet the needs of the community.

“This is an honor for the City of Atlanta to be recognized three years in row for our dedication to play, “says the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Commissioner Dianne Harnell Cohen. “We are proud to provide the residents and visitors play spaces to enjoy throughout the City of Atlanta.”

The Atlanta Taskforce on Play (ATOP) was instrumental in working with City of Atlanta in demonstrating creative commitments to the cause of play. “The freedom to play in a beautiful, safe, fun, clean, creative environment is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children,” says ATOP Founder Cynthia Gentry.

The City of Atlanta and ATOP will host the City of Atlanta’s second annual Great Atlanta PLAY DAY on September 26, 2009; a day where people will turn off their TVs, shut down their computers and go outside to play.
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

US Department of Justice COPS Hiring Recovery Program (CHRP) Grant Award

The Department of Justice has approved a COPS Hiring Recovery Program (CHRP) grant award for 50 police officer positions in Atlanta. The estimated amount of federal funds to be awarded over the three-year grant period is $11,209,300.00.

The official notification has been provided and as soon as the City receives their award letter this fall, Atlanta Police Department will begin the process of adding police officers to the force.

The department will receive a COPS Hiring Recovery Program (CHRP) grant award for 50 officer positions. The estimated amount of federal funds to be awarded to your jurisdiction over the three-year grant period is $11,209,300.00. When the grant funding ends, there must be a plan to sustain the additional officers as the City seeks to increase the police force to reach a minimum goal of 2,000 police officers.

Atlanta Deputy Chief George Turner said that the goal is to have a recruit class this fall with the 50 new recruits. Once the officers are trained they will be dispatched into the community. The police department is proud and happy to add 50 new officers to the force, said Chief Turner. All the positions awarded under the grant must be used to initiate or enhance community policing in the City of Atlanta.

Currently, the City of Atlanta authorized positions (budgeted for) is 1,701 sworn police.
Mayor Shirley Franklin believes that the COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) program is vital in the crime-fighting efforts of American cities. Franklin said, “ I join other mayors and local officials in acknowledging the Department of Justice and Attorney General Eric Holder for their efforts to advocate on behalf of cities. Atlanta competed nationally for this grant along with hundreds of other communities, and this award represents an important public safety investment in our community.”

The Recovery Act grants, which will be administered by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) through the federal agency’s COPS Hiring Recovery Program, provide much needed financial support to state, local and tribal governments, and will help the nation’s law enforcement agencies add and retain the manpower needed to fight crime more effectively through community policing. The Department of Justice received over 7,200 applications for more than 39,000 officer positions, representing a total of $8.3 billion in requested funding.

The Recovery Act includes $4 billion in Department of Justice grant funding to enhance state, local, and tribal law enforcement efforts, including the hiring of new police officers, to combat violence against women, and to fight internet crimes against children. In addition to today’s COPS awards, to date the Department of Justice has awarded $1.7 billion through formula state and local Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants, $95 million through the Victims of Crime Act Formula Grant Program, $41.5 million for Internet Crimes Against Children initiatives, $127 million in Office on Violence Against Women Recovery Act funds and $8.6 million for assistance for law enforcement along the Southern Border and in high intensity drug trafficking areas.
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Thursday, July 16, 2009

City of Atlanta Parking Management Statement

The City of Atlanta is planning to adopt new legislation for comprehensive parking management services including meter installation and maintenance, collection of meter revenue, parking enforcement, electronic processing of ticketing and payments, and delinquent collections.

The parking enforcement component will include ticketing, booting, and towing of vehicles with at least 3 outstanding parking citations.

The new system is planned for implementation in Fall 2009. Prior to implementation, a public education campaign will be used to advise the public about the new program and obtain information about outstanding parking citations. It will include public service announcements via television, print, and electronic media.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Atlanta: City Buildings Reopen on Fridays---July 10, 2009

City furloughs end this Friday, and here is an update that may be helpful to residents and visitors.

All City departments at City Hall, City Hall East and the Atlanta Municipal Court will be open on Fridays.


· The funds generated by the property tax increase will allow Atlanta Police Department (APD) and Atlanta Fire Rescue (AFR) to eliminate furloughs and fill all positions authorized in the budget. There are some vacancies right now (there are always vacancies, since people retire, quit, get fired etc all the time) but both APD and AFR have recruitment strategies in place to ensure that vacancies are filled expeditiously.
· E911 services have already been upgraded due to the move to the new center and the capabilities it provides. E911 management has a plan in place to fill the approximately 20 vacancies currently in the center, so we expect that the center will operate at full strength for most of the year. The city is also bringing in a consultant to provide a review of the policies and procedures to make sure we are allocating our staff appropriately and taking full advantage of the technology we have installed. That review will be completed this fall.
· APD and AFR have a large series of initiatives underway, as they always do, to improve public safety operations. In addition to the move to the new facilities (which will improve operational efficiencies and customer service, among other things), AFR is completing the renovation of several firehouses and adopting some new procedures in response to the ISO process. Fire Station 23 has reopened and is back in service, as well as another truck is assigned to Fire Station 12 on DeKalb Avenue.
· APD is completing the installation of the ICIS information management system, putting hand held devices into the hands of more officers to increase their efficiency, and have applied for stimulus funds which would –among other things – fund additional police officers and create a city wide video surveillance network.


· The Office of Parks will restore a five-day work week with a nine-day maintenance cycle instead of the 11-day maintenance cycle that took place during the furlough time period.


· There will be no changes to Solid Waste Services garbage collection.
· Effective September 14, 2009, Solid Waste Services will resume weekly collection of yard trimmings & recycling (on the same day as the scheduled trash garbage pickup.
· The Office of Transportation will:
1. Perform Emergency Sign installation 5 days/week.
2. Perform Construction Inspection 5 days/week.
3. Issue Permits 5 days/week.
4. Review site plans 5 days/week.
5. Offer parking enforcement utilizing a full staff 5 days/week.


· Scheduled inspections for code complaints will occur more timely due to field inspections being completed Fridays (versus postponing those inspections until the following Monday).
· Planners will resume attending NPU meetings every other month and as necessary, to present key departmental legislation, monitor the by-law approval process and the election of officers.
· The Bureau of Planning will continue to provide customer service to the public via the Planning Information Desk, staffed by Planners on a rotating basis. Due to a reduction in staffing, the hours of the Desk will be adjusted to allow for customer service, as well as allow Planners adequate time to complete other assigned duties.
· Permits and plans review will resume 5 days a week. The hours for obtaining permits will be 8:15 am to 4:30 pm to allow sufficient time for the customers to pay for their permits at the Finance Department on the first floor.
· Inspections will resume 5 days a week from 7:00 am to 3:45 pm. Special inspections for testing life safety systems can still be done on weekends or evening hours.
· Arborist and zoning inspections will be done daily from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.
· Homeowners’ permits can be done between 8:15 am -5:00 pm Monday-Friday.
· The Bureau of Housing will be open 8:15 am -5:00 pm Monday- Friday

Budget documents and related information are on the City’s homepage under the budget link
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Monday, June 15, 2009

City of Atlanta Statement in Regard to the Georgia Supreme Court’s Decision in Columbus vs. Expedia, Inc.

The City of Atlanta believes today’s Supreme Court decision in Columbus vs. Expedia, Inc. is a very positive development. In that decision upholding a permanent injunction against Expedia, Inc, the majority recognized that Expedia Inc. in fact collects taxes from its customers. The Court also recognized that, under both state and local law, occupancy taxes are to be collected on the amount the customer pays for the room. Finally, the Court held that, so long as Expedia collects taxes from customers, it must collect taxes on the amount its customers pay as a room rate and remit those taxes to the appropriate municipality. The City of Atlanta believes that this decision validates the positions that the City has taken in its lawsuit, currently pending in Fulton County Superior Court.

Atlanta brought its suit to collect recovery of occupancy taxes as collected by the online travel companies. Even though those companies would charge the same retail room rate as would a local hotel, Atlanta would receive less money in those transactions where the online travel companies rather than the hotel collected the taxes. Again, Atlanta is pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision and looks forward to recovering past due occupancy taxes in its pending case, as well as securing compliance with state and local tax laws going forward.
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Friday, May 1, 2009

Atlanta's CFO Responds to Internal Audit

City of Atlanta Chief Financial Officer James Glass today released the following statement regarding the Performance Review of the Department of Watershed Management conducted by the City’s internal auditor and KPMG at the request of the City Council:

“I am grateful for the hard work and dedicated effort that is evident in the Performance Review of the Department of Watershed Management. The Performance Review offers many sound recommendations, a significant feat given the demands of creating this important review in a relatively short time period.

However, I believe the final analysis as it relates to rate setting and budgeting to be flawed because of a lack of understanding about what is happening in the credit and financial markets and the environment in which the City of Atlanta is currently operating. Additionally, the auditors have not anticipated some serious risk factors and what they mean in relation to the Department’s debt coverage.

These risk factors could pose a significant threat to interest rates, the amount of debt the Department is carrying and termination costs and would require the Department to make drastic cuts to its capital program, potentially falling out of compliance with Federal Consent Decree mandates.

Many variables impact the Department’s financial picture. It is my belief that the Performance Review seriously understates the impact of the international credit crisis on the City’s borrowing ability and has made assumptions about budgeting that cannot be supported in this current economic climate.

Therefore, I would recommend that, with the exception of implementing some of the operational recommendations set forth in the Performance Review, the City defer taking action on any financial recommendations for six months.

This would give the Department sufficient time to determine the direction the international financial markets are taking and make judgments that will allow it to continue to meet federal requirements as it provides the exceptional water and wastewater services that are, after all, the reason the Department exists.”
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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mayor Franklin Delivers $541 Million Proposed Budget for FY2010

Mayor Shirley Franklin delivered her proposed FY2010 budget for the City of Atlanta to the City Council today. Highlights of the proposed budget include:

· The elimination of the furlough that was introduced during FY2009 as a cost savings measure. All City employees – including public safety personnel – will return to a 40 hour work week
· Savings initiatives of nearly $60 million
· The authorized General Fund workforce will be less than 4,000, a reduction from approximately 5,600 in 2001.
· A three mill increase in the property tax millage rate. For the average City of Atlanta (in Fulton County) homeowner this represents a 7% increase in the total property tax bill or a $20 per month increase in property taxes.

“Despite the fact that the City has seen an $88 million reduction in revenues as a result of this historic recession, we have a responsibility to ensure that basic municipal services are delivered”, said the Mayor. “We have reduced spending through the furloughs, layoffs, and other measures. However, we must increase our revenues if we are to return our public safety and other core services to full-time operation.”

With this budget, the City will reduce its general fund workforce from 5,617 in 2001 to 3,934, a 30% reduction. This is during a period in which the City has grown by 25%. According to recent Bain & Company analysis, the City has moved from second-worst performing city among major cities in the country in terms of efficiency to the second best.

The 3 mill rate increase is consistent with millage rate increases that have occurred during previous recessions. During both the 1991 recession (+2 mills) and the 2001 recession (+3 mills), millage rates were increased in response to declining revenues.

Budget FAQs are attached and the full budget document is available on line at
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Monday, April 13, 2009

City of Atlanta Severe Weather Update

City of Atlanta personnel are working hard in the clean-up and recovery effort following today’s severe weather.

Latest Updates as of 2:35 pm

Atlanta Fire-Rescue Department
· Received 272 unique calls.
· 218 calls pending.
Atlanta Police Department
· Attended to vehicle struck by tree.
· Tree down across Ponce de Leon at Durant Street blocking all six lanes of Ponce de Leon. Current list of all street closures will be emailed when available.
Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs
· Members of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs (DPRCA) are working with other city departments to get an assessment on the damages, clearing trees and cleaning up debris.
Department of Public Works
· Members of the Department of Public Works are providing assistance with heavy equipment as needed to DPRCA for tree removal.
· Sporadic traffic signal malfunctions are being addressed as they are reported.

There is a possibility of thunderstorms Monday evening and Tuesday morning in the Atlanta area. The City of Atlanta encourages all residents and businesses that have experienced damage to secure their tarps and debris to prevent further damage to their property. More information about tomorrow’s weather forecast can be found at
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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mayor Shirley Franklin Among Mayors to Discuss Priorities in Public Education

U.S. Mayors from across the country will convene with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and members of Congress for the Mayors’ National Forum on Education on Tuesday March 31, at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Mayors will hear presentations from the following during the Forum: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (CO), U.S. Senator Patty Murray (WA), U.S. Congressman & Urban Caucus Chair Chaka Fattah (PA), and School Superintendents from the District of Columbia, New Haven, CT and Trenton, NJ public school systems.

Made possible by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Forum will provide an opportunity for mayors to dialogue with Department of Education officials about mayoral priorities in education. The Forum will also cover topics such as early childhood education, high school dropout prevention and afterschool programming.


Mayor Sam Adams, Portland, OR
Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee, WI
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, New York, NY
Mayor Kevin Burns, North Miami, FL
Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, West Sacramento, CA
Mayor David N. Cicilline, Providence, RI
Mayor Ron Dellums, Oakland, CA
Mayor John DeStefano, Jr., New Haven, CT
Mayor Virginia Dupuy, Waco, TX
Mayor William D. Euille, Alexandria, VA
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, Washington, DC
Mayor Shirley Franklin, Atlanta, GA
Mayor Willie W. Herenton, Memphis, TN
Mayor Kevin Johnson, Sacramento, CA
Mayor Dwight C. Jones, Richmond, VA
Mayor Dannel P. Malloy, Stamford, CT
Mayor Thomas Masters, Riviera Beach, FL
Mayor Doug Palmer, Trenton, NJ
Mayor Ed Pawlowski, Allentown, PA
Mayor Brian U. Stratton, Schenectady, NY
Superintendent Andres Alonso, Baltimore, MD
Superintendent Karen Angello, Allentown, PA
Superintendent Sheldon Berman, Louisville, KY
Superintendent Tom Brady, Providence, RI
Superintendent Allen Johnson, Asheville, NC
Tom Cochran, USCM CEO & Executive Director

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The City of Atlanta’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Awarded Accreditation by the National Recreation and Parks Association

The City of Atlanta Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs (DPRCA) was awarded accreditation status through the National Parks and Recreation Association’s Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) accreditation program. CAPRA reviews best practices of parks and recreation departments’ operations, management and service to the community. The announcement was made at the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) 2009 Spring Conference in Washington, D.C. on Friday, March 20, 2009.

“The process of accreditation is an extensive undertaking that requires park and recreation agencies to respond to 155 standards representing elements of effective and efficient agency operations,” says the City of Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin. "The Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs under the leadership of Commissioner Dianne Harnell Cohen worked diligently to complete the accreditation program with successful and lasting results for the City and the community.”

“This national recognition by the National Recreation and Parks Association is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a parks, recreation and cultural affairs agency and sets us apart from thousands of other agencies and systems throughout the nation.” says Dianne Harnell Cohen, Commissioner of City of Atlanta Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs who accepted the National Accreditation Award. “Achieving accreditation validates our commitment to overall excellence in providing programs and services to the City of Atlanta.”

One of the City’s strategic partners on parks and green space, Park Pride, was instrumental in the rigorous accreditation process. Park Pride works with communities all over Atlanta to improve parks and provides assistance.

“Just seven years ago parks advocates were calling the department dysfunctional and to come so far in such a short period of time is a great accomplishment,” Park Pride Executive Director George Dusenbury said, reflecting on DPRCA’s recent accreditation.

For more information on the City of Atlanta Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, please call 404-817-6788 or visit us online at
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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Atlanta Announces Municipal Carbon Footprint to Measure Emission Reductions

Data release coincides with inaugural sustainability report for Atlanta

Today Mayor Shirley Franklin released Atlanta city government’s first report on greenhouse gas emissions as the first step towards the goal of reducing emissions in the city seven percent by 2012. Also known as the “carbon footprint,” the figure was calculated with the help of a student-faculty team from the Georgia Institute of Technology and establishes a baseline to measure progress in Atlanta’s sustainability efforts.

“The City of Atlanta’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2007 came to 540 thousand metric tonnes, which is equivalent to the household energy use of 150,000 Atlanta residents or 98,000 passenger vehicles,” said Valerie Thomas, Anderson Interface Associate Professor at the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems at Georgia Tech and primary author of the report. “Having conducted an inventory and committed to reducing emissions makes the City of Atlanta a leader in the state and region and well ahead of federal action on climate change.”

“We know that the opportunities to reduce our emissions are great, particularly now with the federal administration’s focus on green job creation and green energy,” said Mayor Franklin. “With funding from the recently-passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Atlanta’s sustainability efforts will focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives which will create jobs, save money and protect our environment,” she said.

Determining Atlanta city government’s carbon footprint coincides with the release of the inaugural sustainability report for Atlanta. Produced by Sustainable Atlanta (a non-governmental partner to the city’s Office of Sustainability), the report compiles readily available data to create benchmarks for measuring Atlanta’s sustainability efforts, including the city’s carbon footprint. The report – available at – also provides best practices, context, proposed strategies and action in the areas of water; energy and climate change; parks and greenspace; and recycling and materials management.

“The Sustainability Report for Atlanta is both a map and milepost,” said Lynnette Young, executive director of Sustainable Atlanta. “It is a snapshot of Atlanta’s current status as it relates to sustainability and a context for future measurement and opportunity, determining what we can do together to help the city advance sustainable lifestyles for everyone.”

Launched in 2008 with support from the Kendeda Fund, the Atlanta Office of Sustainability is working across city departments to “green” operations and at the same time, maximize efficiencies. Sustainable practices implemented at City Hall are already generating a 20 percent drop in electricity use, with a forecast of nearly $135,000 in annual operations cost savings.

With the municipal carbon footprint established, the next step will be to develop the Atlanta Climate Action Plan. "The Climate Action Plan will be our blueprint to guide all city departments so that current initiatives and near-term objectives are aligned with achieving the 2012 emissions reduction goal," said Mandy Schmitt, Atlanta’s Director of Sustainability. "This strategic effort to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions supports the ultimate goal of making Atlanta a community that lives within the self-perpetuating limits of its environment, while maintaining high standards for economic growth, environmental integrity, and social justice."

According to Schmitt, near-term goals for Atlanta city government to achieve by the end of 2009 include:

1. 10 percent drop in energy use in general fund* facilities through low/no-cost conservation measures yielding $300,000 to $500,000 in annual savings
2. Five percent drop in water use in general fund facilities
3. At least two renewable energy demonstration projects
4. Three percent drop in fossil fuels used by municipal fleet yielding $267,000 in annual savings
5. 10 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in general fund facilities

Atlanta’s greenhouse gas inventory was guided by a protocol developed by ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability. Atlanta is one of more than 1,057 cities, towns and counties worldwide that are members of ICLEI and that have made a commitment to sustainable development. Atlanta also hosts ICLEI’s Southeast Regional Office, and city staff shares office space with ICLEI representatives to maximize the organization’s resources in developing performance-based, results-oriented campaigns and programs.

About Atlanta’s Sustainability Initiative
The ambitious goal of reducing Atlanta city government’s greenhouse gas emissions seven percent by 2012 was set by Mayor Franklin in 2005 in Washington, D.C. when she and 140 other mayors identified environmental sustainability as a critical factor for American cities. They signed the U.S. Mayor’s Conference Climate Protection Agreement charging themselves with creating and implementing sustainability plans based on best global practices. With the help of the Kendeda Foundation, the Franklin administration then launched a parallel effort both inside and outside city government: The Office of Sustainability is reforming city government operations, while Sustainable Atlanta, a private-sector team of consultants led by former Atlanta COO Lynnette Young, is developing public policy recommendations for sustainability improvements throughout the city. For additional information regarding the City’s sustainability initiatives, visit, and to learn more about Sustainable Atlanta, go to or contact Dana Hartline at 404.832.6358 or
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mayor Franklin's Statement Regarding Department of Watershed Management’s Hearing at the State Planning and Community Affairs Committee

As one of the largest water utilities in the southeast, the City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management is constantly striving to effectively and efficiently maintain, manage and operate a water and wastewater system that serves more than a million customers. Over the past eight years, the Department has turned the corner on upgrading an aging water and wastewater infrastructure, and we will continue those efforts.

Commissioner Rob Hunter and I appreciated the opportunity to hear from Chairman Tommy Smith and others today and to share information about the strides we have made in the management of our system. It was also a chance to thank the General Assembly for its support over the years as Atlanta moves to improve not just our infrastructure, but our customer service as well. The City generates more than two million bills every year, and, with that number, there are bound to be issues -- many of which are due to leaks, running toilets, meter mis-reads and mere high usage, but some of which are due to mistakes on our part.

Aside from infrastructure work, like tunnel construction, sewer separation, sewer rehabilitation and water main replacement projects, the Department has made major improvements that include a new customer service call center, installation of new meters capable of being read remotely and facility upgrades in an effort to continue our efforts to become a Best Practice model.

We welcome the chance to hear the concerns of our customers, and we believe it is our solemn obligation to give our ratepayers the service they deserve. It is an obligation we take seriously.

- Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin
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Thursday, January 29, 2009

City of Atlanta Class A Festival Schedule

The City of Atlanta Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs and the Mayor’s Office of Special Events remains committed to working with all Class A festival organizers during the upcoming 2009 festival season. Last fall city officials met with all Class A festival organizers regarding drought conditions and Piedmont Park’s use during the upcoming festival season (April through October 2009).

The Organizers agreed to the following arrangements.

· Dogwood Festival will be held in Piedmont Park on April 17-19, 2009.
· Screen on the Green will be held in Centennial Park starting on May 29, 2009.
· The Atlanta Jazz Festival will continue its Memorial Day tradition in Grant Park.
· The Peachtree Road Race will be held on the Fourth of July starting at Lenox Square and ending on 10th Street. T-Shirt distribution and family gatherings will be held in the Meadow at Piedmont Park.
· Atlanta Pride, originally scheduled for June 26-28, 2009 at Central Park, has now been moved outside the festival season and will take place on October 31-November 2, 2009, at Piedmont Park.

“We value the festivals as a rich part of Atlanta’s culture and are pleased to work with all of the festival organizers to find suitable venues this year,” says Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Commissioner Dianne Harnell Cohen.
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