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Akins joins Forest Park City Council

Photo by Kathy Jefcoats
The Forest Park City Council welcomes Latresa S. Akins to Ward 4.

Photo by Kathy Jefcoats The Forest Park City Council welcomes Latresa S. Akins to Ward 4.

Forest Park officials issued the oath of office Tuesday night to two returning city councilmembers, and one taking an elected seat for the first time.

Linda Lord, 67, of Ward 5, and Maudie McCord, 68, of Ward 3, returned to office unopposed.

Ward 4 incumbent Don Judson, 80, died days before the November election. Latresa S. Akins was elected to that seat. At 28, she is the youngest member of the council.

"I want to thank you for the opportunity to serve," said Akins. "I look forward to working for the citizens of Forest Park. I promise to do the best I can for Ward 4, and Forest Park."

Akins' family and friends attended the meeting and witnessed her swearing-in by City Attorney Joe Harris.

Councilmembers voted Tuesday on a handful of appointments, including Robert Mack, and Joe Harris, as city attorneys; Jerry Patrick, as city solicitor; Michael Blandenburg ,as city clerk and treasurer, and Joyce Whitfield, as deputy city clerk.

Lord was recommended for appointment to the post of mayor pro tempore, a position held by Sparkle Adams of Ward 1. Lord offered an alternative plan, which was accepted by the council.

"I would like to appoint Sparkle Adams to serve one more year," said Lord. "Starting the year after, I'd like to see the position rotate by seniority."

Lord will, however, serve as a member of the National Organization to Insure a Sound Controlled Environment, a coalition of locally-elected officials and industry stakeholders working cooperatively with local and federal governments to find workable solutions to the issue of excessive airport noise. Forest Park is situated in the flight path of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Lord was also appointed to serve on the Retirement Committee, while Adams was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Clayton County Municipal Association. McCord was appointed to the Central Safety Committee and joins Mayor Corine Deyton and Akins on the Death Benefit Committee.

Appointments of Ethenia King as Municipal Court Judge, and Allyson Pitts as Environmental Court Judge, were tabled until the next meeting.

City Manager John Parker introduced Al Wiggins, who was sworn in as head of the city's Planning, Building and Zoning Department.

"He has a lot of experience," said Parker. "So far, he's doing a pretty darn good job."

In July, the city council ousted Ward 2 Representative Karen Brandee Williams, citing ethics violations. Williams appealed the decision, but the issue remains stagnant in Clayton County Superior Court. That seat, which is vacant, comes up for election next year.