Decatur City Manager Peggy Merriss announced her retirement from the City of Decatur effective December 31, 2018 after 25 years of service as City Manager. The Decatur City Commission hired GovHR to lead the executive search for the City Manager’s position. As part of the process the search firm is seeking community input on the qualities, skills, and traits that are important for a new city manager.

The community is invited to a drop-in Community Open House on Wednesday, August 22 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. in Decatur City Hall (509 N. McDonough St.), to meet with Heidi Vorhees, Executive Recruiter from GovHR, in order to provide input on the experience, background and necessary skills, qualities and traits that are critical in a new manager. Information collected will be used by GovHR to develop a recruitment brochure.

*Please note that Open Office Hour with Commissioner Brian Smith has been cancelled due to a conflict with this meeting.


EDIT: Moved to rain location – Ebster Recreation Center Gym, 105 Electric Avenue.

FREE outdoor screening of Black Panther (and so much more!) TOMORROW during the Superhero Back-to-School Movie Bash in Decatur. Come out for a super fun time – complete with Marvel character photo ops, trivia with prizes, and of course, movie snacks! Hot dogs, popcorn, and pops will be for sale. BYO-blankets to set up in the gym at Ebster Recreation Center, 105 Electric Ave. The fun starts at 7 p.m. and the movie starts at 9. Share your superhero snaps from the event with the hashtag #superheromoviebash!


MOVED TO RAIN LOCATION: Ebster Recreation Center Gym, 105 Electric Ave. Note: Only blankets are allowed in the gym, no lawn chairs



The Great American Read brings America’s search for our best-loved novel to Decatur August 2-9. Drop by the Decatur Library at 215 Sycamore St. to visit the special interactive traveling booth and celebrate the power of reading through the prism of America’s 100 top novels. The Great American Read is an eight-part television series on PBS at the center of a national campaign to get the country reading and passionately talking about books. So tune in, get involved, check out the book list, and then check out the books! Want your favorite to win? – Cast your vote in person at the booth or online at www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read.

Decatur Library
215 Sycamore St.
Decatur, GA 30030

On view during regular library hours Thursday, Aug. 2 through Thursday Aug. 9, 2018

Due to the threat of heavy rains and severe weather today and tomorrow, the monthly test of the Tornado Outdoor Warning Siren System will not be conducted audibly.  If you have questions or want more information about the siren system, check out the Siren page on the City’s website or contact Police Lt. Barry Woodward at 404-373-6551.



Thanks to the “Fuel Up to Play 60” leadership team for colorful hopscotch boards that they have created at four locations around the City.  The Fuel Up to Play 60 program is a collaboration between the NFL and the Dairy Association to encourage healthy, active lifestyles for kids.  They are holding a youth ambassador summit this week at Agnes Scott College with over 200 student leaders and educators from around the country.


Need a reminder about how to play hopscotch?  Here you go,

  1. Throw a small stone, twig, beanbag, or coin into the first square. (If it lands on a line, or outside the square, you lose your turn. Pass the marker to the following player and wait for your next turn.)
  2. Hop on one foot into the first empty square, and then every subsequent empty square. Be sure to skip the one your marker is on.
  3. At the pairs (4-5 and 7-8), jump with both feet.
  4. At 10, hop with both feet, turn around, and head back toward the start.
  5. When you reach the marked square again, pick up the marker — still on one foot! — and complete the course.
  6. If you finished without any mistakes, pass the marker to the next player. On your next turn, throw the marker to the next number.
  7. If you fall, jump outside the lines, or miss a square or the marker, you lose your turn and must repeat the same number on your next turn. Whoever reaches 10 first, wins.



Intends To Explore Roles That Will Continue Her Passion For Great Local Government

Decatur City Manager Peggy Merriss announced her retirement from the City of Decatur effective December 31, 2018. Merriss joined the city staff in 1983 as the personnel director, committing to serving two years. She held that position for six years and was named assistant city manager in 1989. In 1993 she was named city manager and celebrated twenty-five years as Decatur’s city manager in June.

In announcing her retirement Merriss said, “I have been very fortunate that the community has elected outstanding City Commissioners who have supported innovation, risk-taking and outcomes that further the mission and vision of the City of Decatur. I have also worked with the most enthusiastic, dedicated and experienced public employees in the world. I cannot imagine having had any other opportunity that would have been so fulfilling.”

During her tenure the city has renovated or rebuilt all city facilities including City Hall, Decatur Recreation Center, Fire Stations 1 and 2, Public Works, and the Beacon Municipal Complex that includes the new Police Department and renovated Ebster Recreation Center. All of the City Parks have been renovated as well.

The MARTA plaza was reimagined and rebuilt to make the area more pedestrian friendly and more appealing for shopping and dining. Underutilized parking lots were redeveloped with residential housing units – first condominiums and then apartments. And most recently Decatur purchased the former Children’s Home with its 77 acres of greenspace.

Under Merriss’ management, the City of Decatur maintains a strong financial position by continuing to utilize conservative fiscal practices and by making strategic decisions that support the community’s vision. The City maintains a Standard & Poor’s AA+ bond rating and a rating of Aa1 from Moody’s.

In June, the National Civic League named Decatur as a 2018 All America City in recognition of its work toward inclusive civic engagement, addressing critical issues, community policing, and its commitment to issues of equity and inclusion.

Mayor Patti Garrett said, “All of us have reaped the benefits of Ms. Merriss’ visionary leadership, her ability to think creatively, and her passion for developing a strong management team. She is an innovative thought leader, a model of integrity, and has a unique ability to help the city pursue vibrant community engagement and healthy infrastructure while maintaining strong, conservative fiscal management for the city.”

Decatur operates under a Council-Manager form of government which means the City Commission hires a professional city manager to run the day-to-day operations while the Commissioners formulate policy. Decatur has only had two city managers in the last 45 years – Curtis Branscome served as city manager for 20 years and Merriss has served for the past 25 years. “The city is fortunate to have had the continuity of excellent, consistent and innovative leadership from local government professionals who care about local government and who work day-to-day to implement the community’s vision.”

Garrett said the City Commission will engage an executive search service to recruit applicants for the city manager position. She also said the process will include an opportunity for input on the characteristics, traits, and experience the community would like to see in a city manager. The City Commission will make the final decision and their intent is to appoint someone by the end of 2018.

Merriss is a resident of the City of Decatur and said she intends to stay in the community and remain active in local government professional organizations as she explores roles that will continue her passion for great local government. She was the first woman and the youngest person to serve as President of the International City County Manager Association (ICMA) in 2002. She currently serves as the chair of the ICMA-RC Board of Directors and will continue in that office. Click here to see Merriss’ Community Statement.

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Join the Pied Piper Parade as it makes its way through downtown Decatur on Wednesday, July 4. Gather friends and family, ride your bike, walk or skate in this community parade for anyone and everyone. Neighborhoods and organizations are encouraged to make floats and join the fun too. And don’t forget your red, white, and blue!

Parade lineup is at 5:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church Decatur, 308 Clairemont Ave. Pedestrians will gather on the lawn and vehicles will be lined up by volunteers in the parking lot. The parade begins at 6 p.m.

The concert on the square starts at 7 p.m. in the Community Bandstand, featuring the Callanwolde Concert Band. Fireworks begin at dark (approximately 9 p.m.).

This event is sponsored by the City of Decatur and the Decatur Business Association. For more information, check out http://www.visitdecaturgeorgia.com/see-do-play/special-events/fourth-of-july

Since Independence Day falls of the first Wednesday of July this year, we have decided to test the Tornado Outdoor Warning Siren System this afternoon (7/3/18) at 5:00 p.m. The test should last approximately one minute. Should the weather become inclement, the test will be postponed until Thursday, 5 July 2018.

If you have questions or want more information about the siren system, check out the Siren page on the City’s website or contact Police Lt. Barry Woodward at 404-373-6551.



UMCH Aprl 30 Meeting

UMCH Meeting.2

The Decatur community took another step forward in the master planning process for the former United Methodist Children’s Home property – arriving at a single, unified concept for the 77 acre site’s future uses and programming.

Click here for details and to hear the June 26 presentation.

 UMCH Meeting



A revised draft of the East Lake MARTA Station LCI Study, responsive to neighboring concerns voiced during an additional round of community input meetings, is now complete and ready for review in advance of consideration by Decatur’s Planning Commission and City Commission.

Read about the changes that occurred and access the final document here.

The revised draft is the final draft that will be presented to the Planning Commission on August 14. The City Commission will consider it on August 20.