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Voice of the People

County called on to clean up ‘trashy’ businesses

— What will it take to clean up Tara Boulevard?

When will the Lake City section of Forest Parkway stop being a hole-y mess?

Will Morrow Mayor Joseph “J.B.” Burke be able to ride his bike all of the way to the state capitol building?

Why does Batman — wait, wrong Bat-article for that topic.

Residents raised several wide-ranging questions during public comment periods at government meetings in Clayton County this week.

The Clayton County Board of Commissioners and the Morrow City Council heard from residents on a variety of topics, ranging from concerns about the appearances of businesses on Tara Boulevard to appreciation for the Morrow Police Department.

Below are the comments from residents who spoke before each government body during public comment periods. The Jonesboro City Council also met this week, but no one signed up to speak during its comments section.

Comments made by residents this week include:

Clayton County Board of Commissioners, March 12

• Dr. Henry Anderson called on the Commission to address businesses on Tara Boulevard that are not complying with county code. He singled out “tire stores” and enterprises with “decaying” buildings as examples of businesses that violate local laws by not keeping their properties cleaned up.

Anderson said he traveled along Tara Boulevard nearly a year ago with then-County Manager Wade Starr and Community Development Director Patrick Ejike to show them his concerns about the businesses. Ejike found 36 sign violations and several outdoor storage structures that did not comply with county laws, Anderson added.

“The dumpsters are overflowing with trash and there is the untidy, dirty and trashy appearances of some of these structures,” Anderson said. “They have been violating our code of ordinance, rules and regulations and laws for years.”

• Cynthia Freeman asked commissioners if she was still a member the Clayton County Ethics Advisory Committee. She described herself “as what I am assuming a long-standing member” of the committee in her remarks before essentially explaining that she has been left in the lurch about her place within that group.

In 2008, the committee drafted proposals for ethics reforms in the county. Some residents over the years that they have not seen those recommendations acted upon by county leaders.

“If I’m not in that role anymore, it’s going to dictate how I spend my summer,” Freeman said. “I’d like to be ready for you if there is role for me, but if not then I need to know.”

• New College Park City Manager Terrence Moore introduced himself to commissioners and told them he looked forward to working with them in the future.

“I look forward to a very productive relationship,” Moore said.

• Gayle A. Zinn called on commissioners to fix potholes on Forest Parkway in Lake City. He said the potholes have gotten so bad that drivers are nearly causing accidents by constantly swerving to avoid them. He added his car was almost in a collision with another car which took such actions.

Road repairs within city limits are one of many services that halted while the county and its seven cities spent the last few years trying to hash out new service delivery strategy and LOST agreements.

“Someone is going to get hurt if these things don’t get fixed,” Zinn said.

Morrow City Council, March 12

• Lana Labay thanked the city’s police department for its work investigating dog attack in her neighborhood. She was walking in the neighborhood with her “three girls” when a dog attacked them. She said she contacted police, whose investigation revealed a neighboring family had taken the stray dog in but had no idea of its capabilities.

“I want to thank them for their assistance,” said Labay. “I am very pleased with the police department. They really did get the job done.”

• Ray Aballo lauded Mayor Joseph “J.B.” Burke’s acceptance of an invitation to ride in the 2013 Ride to the Capitol event March 26. It is hosted by the Metro Atlanta Mayors Association and Georgia Bikes and is expected to draw more than 1,000 cyclists.

“I want to thank Mayor Burke,” he said. “He’s the first person from the city to go.”