The town that can’t shoot straight starts a DDA – Well sort of!! Part 1.

Doraville, the quaint little burg known for its blue lights, k-9s, cops, and bad decisions is at it again. They started a Downtown Development Authority. Nothing new here, a lot of little and big towns and cities have done so to help a town center on the ropes. Doraville certainly qualifies as on the ropes if not DOA. All of the rigor mortus, it seems, was self inflicted by the bad decisions of the ex mall guard Mayor and her council buddies. So whats so unusual about Doraville’s DDA? Funny that you would ask- we are talking about the city made famous on Tv and radio stations as the police state of Doraville, telephone poles in the middle of sidewalk projects to nowhere, 1 million dollar one acre parks full of water, and $750,000 construction drawings that should have cost $2,000 to name a few. No worries here- what could go wrong?
The following is the State of Georgia statue concerning DDAs ( downtown devlopment authority) OCGA 36-42-1 to 16. Pretty simple, even an idiot could follow the setup directions. I am sure its author didn’t take in account the city of Doraville when the law was penned. They needed a 2nd grade primer with pictures and lot of color to go with law. Sort of like see Dick and Jane set up a DDA, or DDA for Dummies. All those words without a fuzzy little bear pointing out the important parts can be confusing to the ex mall guard mayor and some of her high school educated council members. Even the city’s law firm of Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe didn’t think, after giving all those thousands of dollars in campaign donations to the mayor and the vice mayor, that they would have to work so hard.
We will look at the startup resolution and appointment of the seven members of the DDA. Even this bunch can count to 7 without taking off their shoes. (I think, not sure). What does the law say and what did the brain trust do, you might ask. Great, shall we start.
1. all of the seven directors must be appointed by the council. AH! that is just too much to ask these nitwits to carry out. The new City manager ( more later on this genius hired by the nitwits ) and the Ex mall guard Mayor’s chain smoking assistant delivered 7 political ‘buddies’ for a quick up or down vote ( non of the seven were present at the meeting). Question, what happened to the 6 council members each presenting their own choices for approval in a open meeting instead of the back room deal? What happened to the concept of open government? Sorry, Police state of Doraville, almost forgot . The council, save for one lone vote ( a bright educated young woman that doesn’t appear to be from these parts), seemed to have missed the letter and spirit of the law. Doraville don’t truck with them smarty pants open government types. They like to keep in the family.
2. OHoh! this is getting complicated. All seven directors appointed by the council must live in the county ( Dekalb) or the city except one. Oh no. Just one? Yes just one. Doraville appointed two- one that lives in Duluth and the other lives in high dollar Buckhead- Atlanta. Gee Wiz is two more than one mr Bear. Sure is Timmy. The council and the ex mall guard mayor can’t count. Got to do it over Timmy! problem number two. More problems? yes, there is more.
3.My head is starting to hurt. Four,or their representative, of the seven directors must have a financial interest ( business or ownership ) in the dda area. REALLY???? The council didn’t see that part. Mr fuzzy bear you didn’t tell the council and the attorneys. Bad little bear. The Brain trust only appointed two of the seven that met that requirement and both of those live outside the area. Oh no Mr bear.
4. I am exhausted!! One director of the seven may be a council person appointed to keep an eye on things. They didn’t appoint anyone from the council, of course, just one more political buddy from the neighborhood. Go figure. Only one person is to be paid and that of course will be some bumbling political hack from Doraville city government. Where screwing up will get you a promotion and excellence is a fineable offense.
The following is the law if you care to verify the story. The court minutes from the city council meeting will be available next month.
Note: all of this sleaze must be approved by the Governor and his DCA department. Hmmmm. Next stop for doravilleonlinenews.
THE OCGA 35-42-1-4 LAW
There is created in and for each municipal corporation in this state a public body corporate and politic to be known as the downtown development authority of such municipal corporation, which shall consist of a board of seven directors. The governing body of the municipal corporation shall appoint two members of the first board of directors for a term of two years each, two for a term of four years each, and three for a term of six years each. The governing body of the municipal corporation may appoint one of its elected members as a member of the downtown development authority. After expiration of the initial terms, except for the director who is also a member of the governing body of the municipal corporation, the terms of all directors shall be six years; provided, however, that the terms shall be four years for those directors appointed or reappointed on or after July 1, 1994. The term of a director who is also a member of the governing body of a municipal corporation shall end when such director is no longer a member of the governing body of the municipal corporation. If at the end of any term of office of any director a successor to such director has not been elected, the director whose term of office has expired shall continue to hold office until a successor is elected. A majority of the board of directors shall constitute a quorum.
? 36-42-7. Qualifications and reimbursement of directors; election of officers; training

(a) Directors shall be:

(1) Taxpayers residing in the municipal corporation for which the authority is created;

(2) Owners or operators of businesses located within the downtown development area and who shall be taxpayers residing in the county in which is located the municipal corporation for which the authority is created; or

(3) Persons having a combination of the qualifications specified in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection;

provided, however, that one of such directors may be a member of the governing body of the municipal corporation.
There is created in and for each municipal corporation in this state a public body corporate and politic to be known as the downtown development authority of such municipal corporation, which shall consist of a board of seven directors. The governing body of the municipal corporation shall appoint two members of the first board of directors for a term of two years each, two for a term of four years each, and three for a term of six years each. The governing body of the municipal corporation may appoint one of its elected members as a member of the downtown development authority. After expiration of the initial terms, except for the director who is also a member of the governing body of the municipal corporation, the terms of all directors shall be six years; provided, however, that the terms shall be four years for those directors appointed or reappointed on or after July 1, 1994. The term of a director who is also a member of the governing body of a municipal corporation shall end when such director is no longer a member of the governing body of the municipal corporation. If at the end of any term of office of any director a successor to such director has not been elected, the director whose term of office has expired shall continue to hold office until a successor is elected. A majority of the board of directors shall constitute a quorum.
(b) Not less than four of the directors having the qualifications specified in subsection (a) of this Code section shall be persons who, in the judgment of the governing body of the municipal corporation, either have or represent a party who has an economic interest in the redevelopment and revitalization of the downtown development area. Successors to the directors shall be appointed by the governing body of the municipal corporation.

(c) The directors shall elect one of their members as chairman and another as vice chairman and shall also elect a secretary and a treasurer or a secretary-treasurer, either of whom may but need not be a director. The directors shall receive no compensation for their services but shall be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred by them in the performance of their duties. Each authority shall have perpetual existence.

(c.1) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this Code section, one director appointed to the board may reside outside the county; provided, however, that such appointed director owns a business within the downtown development area and is a resident of the State of Georgia. If subsequently to his or her appointment to the board pursuant to this subsection, the director ceases to own a business within the downtown development area or reside in the State of Georgia, such director shall relinquish his or her seat on the board.

(d) Except for a director who is also a member of the governing body of a municipal corporation, each director shall attend and complete at least eight hours of training on downtown development and redevelopment programs within the first 12 months of a director’s appointment to the downtown development authority. Directors in office on January 1, 1992, shall be exempt from this requirement unless reappointed for an additional term.

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