Town Hall meeting today in Ward 2

FOREST PARK — There will be a Town Hall meeting at 3 p.m. today for residents in Ward 2, said Councilman Dabouze Antoine on Monday night.

Antoine, who took office in January, said he will host his first meeting with residents at his church, Divine Church of Atlanta, behind Piggly Wiggly at 4769 Jonesboro Road.

“We’ll talk about issues in Ward 2 and give updates on issues happening city-wide,” he said. “We’ll also have a representative who can help you understand the Affordable Care Act.”

Antoine said the meeting is open to any Forest Park resident.

“Food will be served,” he said. “Anyone who wants to should come out.”

City Manager Frank Brandon publicly praised city employees faced with unusual inclement weather for the second time this month.

“As a citizen and city manager here, I want to say that our fire, police and public works department employees did an outstanding job during the most recent crisis,” he said. “Many, many of them were here two and three days, sleeping at the fire department, police department, public works.”

Brandon said the public works employees are “extraordinary.”

“If you see any city workers, thank them, buy them lunch,” he said. “I’ll even set aside my Southern Baptist upbringing and say, ‘Buy them a bottle of wine.’”

Resident Carl Evans echoed those sentiments during the public comments portion of the meeting.

“I’d like to commend the public works employees,” he said. “They worked hard and around the clock.”

Brandon acknowledged two “glitches” during the snow and ice storms.

“The majority was with Georgia Power but I really can’t blame them,” he said. “At one point, they had more than 600,000 outages. They were overwhelmed.”

Secondly, the National Guard Armory enclave on Gillem was opened and equipped for sheltering residents but not many were aware, he said.

“We could have advertised it better,” Brandon said.

The city’s first newsletter was handed out during Monday’s meeting. The six-page “Forest Park City Times” is the council’s compromise response to a suggestion months ago to hire a public information officer to positively promote the city.

The front page features a “Message from the Mayor” on the city’s decision to repeal the “saggy pants” ordinance last year, and a calendar of upcoming events.

Inside there is a message from Brandon, an update on Gillem Logistics Center and an announcement of a new online resident request program through Planning, Building and Zoning Department.

There are three pages devoted to police department news and crime statistics. The back page contains photos of the mayor and members of council and information on when their terms expire.

Residents can pick up a copy of the newsletter at City Hall.