Avondale Estates takes next step in search for police chief, plans to interview candidates in April – Decaturish


Avondale Estates, Georgia — Nine candidates will advance in the process to become the next police chief of Avondale Estates. City Manager Patrick Bryant said he has authorized the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police to take the next step in the search process, which is to conduct a one-day skills assessment.

Following the failure of the police department’s credentialing attempt, which led to the retirement of former Chief of Police Lynn Thomas, the city worked with GACP to find a replacement. GACP will conduct the assessment on March 2, Bryant said during the city commission’s Feb. 8 business session.

“We feel that each of these nine candidates has the qualifications necessary to lead the department into the future, and we are very confident that from this group of nine we will be able to find the best candidate for us. right now,” Bryant said. .

GACP indicated that it would take about a week to score the ratings. Once done, Bryant and GACP will review the scores and determine how many applicants will move on to the interview phase.

“Once this decision is made, I will convene a panel of community stakeholders to assist with this process,” Bryant said. “We expect this process to occur in the month of April. If all goes well, we hope to have a permanent police chief on board during the month of May.

The city worked on drafting requests for proposals to request a third-party review of police department policies and procedures, and a review of the department for racial bias. GACP advised the city to wait until a new police chief is hired before releasing tenders, so the police chief can participate in the process.

Commissioner Lionel Laratte questioned the importance of having the future chief of police contribute to the tenders, as this would further extend the deadline.

“I’m not sure that’s a crucial piece of the puzzle,” Laratte said. “I come to this on the assumption that it’s supposed to be an external audit, or looking at, what the procedures and policies are. I don’t believe it’s meant to be contradictory in any way. I believe what we are looking for is increasing the professionalism of our police service. I disagree that the chef has to be there.

He added that the city commission must move the process forward before the summer. The City Commission has committed to hiring a third-party consultant to review the department in June 2020 and interviewed two candidates in September 2020.

“It just feels like we’re postponing something the residents have asked for yet again,” Laratte said.

Bryant said he fears the new police chief will be blindsided by a process he was not involved in.

“I think it’s important for the organization not to create an immediate adversarial position,” Bryant said. “The department’s involvement in the eventual review would be more likely to go smoothly if the new police chief, who would look at the department with fresh eyes to begin with, was able to participate in shaping the type of examination which will take place within the department. ”

Mayor Jonathan Elmore and two other commissioners agreed the city should wait until the new police chief is hired.

“I think the first thing to do is find a new leader and allow that person to be as involved as possible. This is a critical review of our police department, and I can’t imagine doing this by excluding the person who will have to implement this stuff,” Elmore said. “I agree it’s a one, two process.”

– Additionally, during the working session, the City Commission considered splitting the North Woods Rain Garden project into two phases and looking for a contractor who could work outside of the project’s bidding process. ‘State.

The North Woods project dates back to 2008 when the city created the Lake Avondale Master Plan which included a subsequent concept plan for a North Woods rain garden to mitigate erosion, Lord Aeck Sargent’s Marco Ancheita said at a March meeting. 2021.

The master plan also identified the potential for trails through the northern woods, and there are currently informal trails throughout. The project aims to build on the master plan, take a green infrastructure approach and create an outdoor recreation area with accessible trails.

In January, the city commission rejected the only bid it had received for the project. Reeves Young, the contractor who built the city green, submitted a proposal worth more than $1 million for the base offering and around $340,000 for the alternative. The city has allocated $950,000 in this year’s budget for the North Woods project.

The offer was 40% higher than the estimated cost. To move forward and be able to use the grant funding, Bryant suggested phasing the project. The first phase would consist primarily of building the recreational trails and is expected to be completed by June 30, under the terms of the $100,000 land and water conservation fund grant the city received. The overall concept of the project has not changed.

“If the council so chooses to accept this package and move forward with this phase, then we will begin the process of finding a remedy to complete the remaining phases of the project within budget,” said Bryant. “At this time, we are reasonably confident that we would be able to do so, but the top priority is to ensure that we do not lose this grant and that the phase associated with it is completed before the deadline.

— In other cases, the municipal commission fixed the tariffs for commercial sanitation during its regular meeting.

For businesses that require garbage collection most days of the week, the fee would be $695 for the first 95 gallon container and $295 for each additional container per business.

For businesses that require garbage collection only on Wednesdays, the fee would be $295 for a 95 gallon receptacle.

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