Posts Tagged ‘Open City Hall’

Are you interested in learning more about the City’s FY17-18 budget? There are a few ways for you to get involved between now and adoption day on June 19, 2017.

  1. Take some time to read through the budget document. It’s available online at www.decaturga.com/budget. Or if you prefer to look at a hard copy, head over to the Decatur Library reference desk (215 Sycamore Street) or stop by the City Clerk’s Office (509 N. McDonough Street) to check one out.
  2. Attend a public hearing and let the City Commission know your thoughts on the budget and the 2017 millage rates. We have three public hearings scheduled in the coming weeks – Monday, June 12th at 6:00 p.m.; Monday, June 19th at 3:30 p.m.; Monday, June 19th at 7:30 p.m. All meetings will be held in the City Commission Meeting Room at Decatur City Hall (509 N. McDonough Street.)
  3. Let us know your thoughts via the Open City Hall forum. If attending a meeting at City Hall just doesn’t work for you, you can still let the City Commission know your thoughts by sharing them here.
  4. Watch the archived video of the City Commission work session focused on the FY16-17 revised budget and the FY17-18 proposed budget. An archived video of the session is now available on the City’s website.

Budget 2017_small



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If you were one of the lucky 1,500 residents randomly selected to receive the 2016 Citizen Survey and you have not mailed it back in yet, there is still time. Survey responses are being collected through tomorrow via mail postmarked March 11, 2016 or by using the link to the online version of the form.

If you didn’t receive a survey this year but still want to be a part of the action, head on over to the City’s Open City Hall forum to register your opinion about the City’s “Complete Streets” policy, Police Department community program offerings and the establishment of a community advisory board relating to diversity, inclusion and equity. The citizen survey topics will close on March 18th.

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Be on the look out for new Open City Hall questions next week about high performance (green) buildings. Meanwhile, you can share your thoughts on three key questions about the draft Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) on Open City Hall now.

UDO phases

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The Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) process continues, and the community is asked to weigh in on three key questions.

  • Minimum floor area requirement: Should the city eliminate its minimum floor area requirements for homes, to allow residents to build more affordable housing that has less environmental impact?
  • Design review for increased floor area: Should residents be able to increase the floor area of their property by 6% if the Historic Preservation Commission approves the design?
  • Demolition delay: Should the city require property owners to post demolition permits for 15 days before demolition, to give neighbors more notice and provide the opportunity for interested parties to propose alternative uses for the property before demolition? There is no current posting requirement for demolition permits.

Go to the city’s Open City Hall page now and let us know what you think.  The questions close Sept. 7 at 11:59 p.m.


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City of Decatur residents have six days to give their feedback (via Open City Hall) about the City of Decatur’s proposed FY2014-2015 budget.


The City of Decatur’s Revised 2013-2014 and Proposed 2014-2015 budgets have been presented to the City Commission and is available to the public for review. The City’s budget is scheduled to be voted upon by the City Commission on June 16, 2014.

Do you support or oppose the adoption of this budget by the City Commission? Click here to have your say.


The City Commission is considering balanced budgets that maintain existing service levels at the existing millage rate. Highlights of the proposed budget include:

  • No change in the City millage rate of 13 mills
  • Maintain existing service delivery levels
  • Continued focus on supporting and maintaining quality of life services
  • Implementation of strategic plan priorities
  • Capital improvements – Completion of Beacon Municipal Center
  • 3% merit-based market adjustment for all positions in January 2015
  • 2.5% merit increase for in-step, non-probationary employees
  • Pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements
  • Completion of a Unified Land Development Ordinance
  • Support of Decatur’s Kitchen Garden at the United Methodist Children’s Home

The proposed 2014-2015 budget reflects the City’s “vision-based” budgeting process which is guided by the 2010 Strategic Plan and the results of citizen and employee surveys that provide an understanding of the community’s priorities. Five interdepartmental vision-based budgeting teams convened around the four 2010 Strategic Plan principles and one team focused on support of exceptional public service based on innovation, professional expertise and creativity. In addition to descriptive narratives around each strategic plan principle, the budget quantifies how each principle is supported financially.

The proposed 2014-2015 General Fund budget totals $21,830,940. This is $1,177,150 higher than the adopted 2013-2014 budget of $20,653,790. The proposed 2014-2015 budget anticipates contributing $769,930 to fund balance. This would result in a remaining fund balance of approximately $5,862,150 at June 30, 2015 or approximately 27% of the operating budget. The City’s financial policies recommend maintaining a fund balance between 20-30% of the operating budget.

Overall, the budget combines conservative revenue estimates, prudent expenditure requests, responsible use of fund balance and a commitment to the city’s strategic plan and long-term vision.

For more detailed information about the proposed budget and City priorities, you can visit the City’s budget resources page.

A summary of the budget and descriptions of projects and programs can be found in these three documents:

City Manager’s Budget Message (180 KB PDF file)
Budget Narrative (2.3 MB PDF file)
Summary of Fund Budgets (1.9 MB PDF file)

Do you support or oppose the adoption of this budget by the City Commission? Click here to have your say.

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There are 15 days left to weigh in about the updated tree ordinance draft on Open City Hall. The question is “Do you support the adoption of the UPDATED Tree Conservation Ordinance?” You can select from “Strongly Support, Support, Neutral, Oppose, Strongly Oppose” and also have the option to submit a written statement.

What is Open City Hall?

Open City Hall is an on-line forum for civic engagement. Read what others are saying about important Decatur topics, then post your own statement. City officials will read the statements and incorporate them into their decision process.

When you post your first statement, you will be asked for your name and home address. This confidential information is only used to identify statements from residents in and near Decatur – so that users know which statements are from local residents.

Open City Hall is run by Peak Democracy, a non-partisan company whose mission is to broaden civic engagement and build public trust in government. They will keep your information confidential per their strict privacy policy.

As with any public comment process, participation in Open City Hall is voluntary; city officials will consider input from this forum along with all other channels for participation. However you choose to participate, thanks for helping us build a better Decatur.

Share your opinion about the updated tree conservation ordinance right now, online

trees square

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You can now be notified by Twitter whenever a new topic opens, closes or changes. For those of you who already have Twitter accounts, click on the “Follow this Forum on Twitter” link located on the Decatur Forum homepage (see image above) to follow DecaturForums. If you don’t have a Twitter account and would like to receive updates, go to www.twitter.com and create an account – it’s free! If you don’t have a Twitter account and don’t understand why you should sign up, click on the “Why?” link on the Forum homepage or visit www.twitter.com to learn more about the service.

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We added two new topics for discussion on Open City Hall:

1.) Should the City continue its Smart Growth strategy in downtown Decatur?
2.) Should major intersections be rebuilt to promote bicycle and pedestrian uses, even if motorists are inconvenienced?

Add your thoughts and see what other participants are saying by clicking on the Open City Hall link on the www.decaturga.com homepage (see image above for clarification) or click here.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Open City Hall forum on Annexation. The statements were shared with the commissioners. They voted unanimously to defer consideration of a large-scale annexation plan and revisit the issue in 2011.

Although the Annexation topic is closed, the Urban Farming forum is still open for comments.

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Decatur is seeking input from the community regarding annexation and urban farming.  Go to www.decaturga.com and click on City Services (the City Hall building on the front page).  You will see a link to Open City Hall.  Click on that and register your name and address, read the information and post your opinions and comments.  You may choose to remain anonymous next to your comment but you must register your name and address for verification. 

Decatur is partnering with Peak Democracy and the Alliance for Innovation to be a pilot site for this program which allows public participation without having to attend a public meeting.  Be one of the first to give your opinion online and read what others have to say.  If you change your mind, you can always go back in and change your viewpoint.

The city will post a total of six questions for feedback over the next few months.  At the end of the process, Peak Democracy will provide a report to the city that includes the number of participants, the opinions, and the quadrants in which participants live.

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