Clayton County Fire Chief Dwayne Jackson, center, and members of the Clayton fire stations No. 6 and No. 10 were recognized Monday by Lovejoy City Council. (Staff Photo: Johnny Jackson)
LOVEJOY — Without objection, members of the City Council unanimously approved an agreement to allow one of their own to provide services to Lovejoy city employees.
Mayor Bobby Cartwright was flanked by council members Mary Ann Carp, Marci Fluellyn and Rebakah Holland Wright, who approved moving forward with fellow councilman Tommy Green’s supplemental insurance services to city workers.
Green recused himself from the vote Monday, stepping out of the public meeting room.
“I wanted to do it the right way,” said Green, who answered the city’s request for proposal earlier this fall to broker supplemental benefits to employees.
Two other companies submitted to the council’s request for proposals, including Primerica and Jon Hines of ADP Retirement Services, but Green’s proposal best suited the city’s objectives and needs, said Cartwright.
Green operates Educated Financial Solution LLC, at 3576 Covington Highway in Decatur. The agency is an affiliate of The Horace Mann Companies, which provide auto, home and life insurance as well as retirement products.
“For years Lovejoy had been wanting to do something around retirement for their folks,” he said. “I have some experience in that, and the company I work with has some experience with other municipalities.”
Green said the agreement should not affect his impartiality or influence as a councilman. He said his company’s dealings will be directly with individual employees looking to purchase the supplemental insurance and retirement products.
“The city pays for nothing,” he said. “And the products are all voluntary. Employees won’t be forced to buy anything.”
Monday’s council meeting highlighted officials’ efforts to bring in city enhancement grant funding.
Officials announced that Clayton County government approved a $144,000 Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The funds are to be used for the development of a new skate park and the existing community garden downtown.
Cartwright, who is spearheading both projects, said he hopes funds will be split to develop both the park and the garden.
The garden, he said, has provided dozens of residents with fresh produce in just the few months it has been active.
Officials plan to incorporate a skatepark at the city-owned complex downtown. The space includes a landscaped park, a playground and the community center.
The city also received about $46,000 in reimbursement from a Gateway grant through the Georgia Department of Transportation. The grant covers about 80 percent of the costs associated with landscaping along Tara Boulevard in Lovejoy.
Lovejoy plans to match a transportation enhancement grant worth roughly $900,000 with $220,000 of its own money to help revitalize the downtown area with green space — landscaping, sidewalks and pedestrian paths.
The mayor capped off the meeting with several recognitions.
Cartwright presented a plaque to Clayton County Fire Chief Dwayne Jackson and members of fire stations No. 6 and No. 10.
“It’s our job,” said Jackson. “We enjoy coming down here not only to provide a service but to help with the city’s activities.”
Firefighters attended Lovejoy’s Fall Festival in September and were featured in its Oct. 9 health fair.
The City Council recognized Clayton County Sheriff’s Maj. Robert Sowell and Rick Webster, retired major from the Clayton County Police Department, for their support and presence in the community.
Cartwright said Webster was instrumental in developing the Lovejoy Police Department.
The mayor and city council members also applauded Cassandra Hettermann, Sharon Shaw and Torisheda Agbofodoh, who were recognized for their volunteer efforts in Lovejoy.
Officials closed Monday’s meeting by announcing Saturday’s town hall meeting on the Affordable Care Act, hosted by State Rep. Demetrius Doughlas (D-Stockbridge). The event will be held from 10 a.m. until noon at the Lovejoy Community Center, 11622 Hastings Bridge Road.