ROME CITY COMMISSION
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The Rome City Commission met at 6:30 p.m. this date in the Commission Room of City Hall,
601 Broad Street. Mayor Bagby presided with Commissioners Reid, Slack, Wachsteter, Doss,
Fricks, Canada, and McNiece present. Commissioner Collins was absent attending the
inauguration of President Obama. Commissioner Fricks opened the meeting with prayer and led
in the salute to the flag.
Minutes – January 5, 2009
The minutes of the January 5, 2009 meeting, as submitted in writing by the Secretary, were
approved by unanimous consent.
NAIA Appreciation Proclamation
Mayor Bagby presented a joint City/County proclamation thanking all those responsible for
making the December 20, 2008 NAIA National Football Championship Game, held in Rome, a
success. This proclamation also offered encouragement to these persons who will be working
towards organizing this same championship game to be held in Rome in 2009.
Qualifying Fees – 2009 Election
Commissioner Doss moved to adopt a resolution which would establish the qualifying fees for
the 2009 City Election. The three Ward 2 Rome City Commissioners and the seven Rome Board
of Education members will be elected this year.
Qualifying fees remain at 3% of the annual salary for both elected positions. The qualifying
period, as set by the state of Georgia, will be August 24 through August 28, 2009. Qualifying
will take place in the Rome City Clerk’s Office. Commissioner Fricks seconded the motion for
adoption, and the vote was unanimously in favor.
Garner Way Street Closing Ordinance – First Reading
Commissioner McNiece requested an ordinance be placed on First Reading, which would close a
portion of Garner Way. There was no objection to Commissioner McNiece’s request/motion,
and by unanimous consent this was done. A vote on this ordinance is scheduled for February 2,
Rezoning – First Reading
Commisisoner Reid requested that rezoning file 03-2009Z, the request to rezone 200 Rogers
Drive from Light Industrial to Community Commercial, with the use limited as only a
party/recreation center, be placed on First Reading. The Planning Commission has unanimously
recommended approval of this rezoning request with the limiting use condition. There was no
objection to Commisisoner Reid’s request/motion, and by unanimous consent this was done. A
Public Hearing on this matter is scheduled for February 2, 2009.
Broad Street Alley Closing - Ordinance
Commissioner Wachsteter moved to adopt an ordinance, which would authorize the closing of a
portion of an alley located behind 306 Broad Street and authorize the quit claim deeding of this
property to the adjoining owner. Commissioner Reid seconded the motion, and the vote was
unanimously in favor.
The required steps to officially close a street have been accomplished, and this property will be
deeded to Broad Street, LLC.
City Manager’s Vehicle – Decal Exemption Public Hearing
Commissioner Doss presented a resolution which would exempt the City Manager’s vehicle
during 2009 from the State of Georgia Decal Requirement. The State requires that all
governmental vehicles, with some law enforcement exceptions, be identified with a local
Mayor Bagby called a Public Hearing to order concerning this proposed resolution. There was
no one to speak in favor or opposition, and the Public Hearing was closed.
Commissioner Doss moved to adopt the resolution, which would exempt the City Manager’s
vehicle from the decal requirement for 2009. Commissioner Canada seconded the motion, and
the vote was unanimously in favor.
Johnny Bunch – I.T. Director
City Manager Bennett introduced Mr. Johnny Bunch as his recommendation for appointment as
the City of Rome’s Information Technology Director. Jason Lovett resigned as Rome’s I.T.
Director in 2008 in order to accept a position with Harbin Clinic. Mr. Bennett explained that Mr.
Bunch was a previous employee of the City of Rome’s I.T. Department; however, he has been
employed at Shorter College the past few years.
Commissioner Wachsteter moved to approve City Manager Bennett’s recommendation that Mr.
Johnny Bunch be appointed as the Information Technology Director for the City of Rome.
Commisisoner Canada seconded, and the vote was unanimously in favor.
Collection Agency Contract - GMA
Commissioner Fricks moved for the City of Rome to enter into a contract with the Georgia
Municipal Association for collection agency services. This contract would authorize a payment
to the Georigia Municipal Association in the amount of 16.5% for all collections on accounts
aged less than 2 years from the last date of service, and 19% for all accounts aged greater than 2
years from the last date of service. Commissioner Slack seconded the motion, and the vote was
unanimously in favor.
Recognition of City Employees Obtaining Degrees
City Manager Bennett recognized City of Rome employees who have obtained Associate
Degrees and Civil Technician Degrees during 2008. Ms. Janice Gibson, from the City of Rome
Transit Department, Deanna Dennis-Fain, from the Building Inspection Department, and James
Martin, from the Police Department, obtained Associate Degrees during 2008.
Jeremy Ollis and Chad Hampton, from the Street Department, obtained Public Works Civil
Technician Degrees during 2008.
Mr. Bennett and the Commisison congratulated these emploiyees for furthering their education
during the past year.
Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting
Mayor Bagby announced that the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce would hold their annual
meeting on Thursday, January 22nd at 6:30 p.m. in The Forum.
March 2nd Rome City Commission Meeting
Commissioner Reid moved to reschedule the Monday, March 2, 2009 Rome City Commisison
Meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. The City Commission will Caucus at noon that day. The time
for this meeting is being changed to allow City Commisisoners and Staff to attend the Parks and
Recreation’s Hall of Fame Dinner that evening. Commissioner Doss seconded the motion, and
the vote was unanimously in favor.
Rome Police Chief Hubert Smith reported that the City of Rome will again offer women’s gun
safety classes in 2009. There will be two sessions conducted in 2009 on February 5th through
February 26th, and July 9th through July 30th. There is a $20 registration fee for females to attend
From April 30th through June 18, 2009, the City of Rome will again offer the Citizens Police
Academy. There is no fee for this program.
Citizens interested in either of these programs should contact the “Joe Cleveland” Training
Center on Callier Springs Road.
Boat Dock Funding
Commissioner Slack announced that possible Community Development Block Grant Funding for
the City of Rome Boat Docks that were damaged during the recent floods is tabled at this time.
Radar List - 2009
Commissioner Wachsteter moved to approve the 2009 Radar List for the City of Rome. This list
identifies streets which are authorized for radar speed enforcement use by the Rome Police
Department. This list also indicates the speed limits for these various streets. Commissioner
Wachsteter pointed out that the speed limit on Riverside Parkway, from Turner McCall
Boulevard to Veterans Memorial Highway, will be changed from 35 M.P.H. to 45 M.P.H.
Garden Lakes Parkway and Technology Parkway will be newly added streets to the radar list.
Commisisoner Slack seconded the motion for adoption, and the vote was unanimously in favor.
Committee on Committee Reports
Commissioner Doss reported that the Committee on Committees has some important
appointments to make during 2009, and he encouraged all citizens who are interested in serving
on committees to submit a volunteer application form.
Mayor’s Day 2009
Commissioner Doss announced that the Georgia Municipal Association’s Mayor’s Day will be
held on January 24 through 26, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. The GMA District 1 will conduct a
meeting on January 26th.
Clean Community Report
Commissioner Canada announced that the first Neighborhood Focus for 2009 will be held in
April and will target the Avenue “A” area of Rome.
Commisisoner Canada announced that the Main Street Awards Banquet will be held in
conjunction with the 2009 Mayor’s Day in Atlanta, Georgia on January 24th through January
Commissioner McNiece announced that the City of Rome Finance Committee will meet on
Wednesday, January 28th. During this meeting, the City’s budget will be discussed, and
reductions in expenditures will be reviewed. There are no planned official amendments to the
budget at this time. Those official changes will likely take place during the summer of 2009.
Mayor Bagby announced that an Executive Session was held prior to the beginning of tonight’s
meeting on the motion of Commisisoner Wachsteter, second of Commisisoner Doss, and an
unanimous vote. One property matter and one litigation matter were discussed. No votes were
State of the City Address
City Manager John Bennett took the podium to deliver his annual State of the City Address. Mr.
Bennett presented a PowerPoint presentation, outlining many areas of City operations. Mr.
Bennett focused on some of Rome’s shortfalls in anticipated revenue. The single largest source
of General Fund Revenues is the Local Option Sales Tax. For 2008, Local Option Sales Tax was
below the amount received in both 2006 and 2007. As a result, the City of Rome’s Fund Balance
decreased slightly from the previous year’s amount. Mr. Bennett further explained that due to
these shortfall in revenues, the City of Rome continues to examine ways to reduce expenditures.
There are plans to make some reductions in the City of Rome’s workforce as a result of these
Mr. Bennett also spent time explaining the condition of Rome’s Water & Sewer Fund. Primarily
due to the state imposed water use restrictions, Rome treated and sold less water in 2008 than it
had in the previous 20 years. Rome hopes to have the ability to return to normal water sales in
Mr. Bennett spent the remainder of his time highlighting projects that the City of Rome has
completed or is currently working on. Many of these projects are funded through Special
Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. There are also some transportation projects in the City of
Rome that have been funded through proceeds from our Redlight Enforcement Cameras.
Mr. Bennett concluded his presentation by stating that, in spite of our economic hardships during
2008 and projected hardships for 2009, the City of Rome remains in a strong position for future
Commissioner McNiece recognized eight guests representing the current class of Leadership
There were two Scouts and two adult Scout leaders present representing Boy Scout Troop 113.
With there being no further business, Mayor Bagby adjourned the meeting at 7:35 p.m.
Joseph F. Smith