WOODSTOCK — A fond farewell was given to Richard McLeod, Woodstock’s community development director and city employee for the last 10 years, at Monday’s city council meeting.
The meeting was McLeod’s last serving in an official capacity before taking on the same role for the city of Alpharetta, but McLeod said he’ll be keeping his same cellphone number and remain an actively involved Woodstock resident.
“(City Manager) Jeff (Moon) was gracious enough to let me keep that after 10 years,” McLeod said. “I will be in touch soon and often.”
McLeod’s last day will be Nov. 2, and City Planner Brian Stockton will take over his role as the interim community development director that day.
McLeod presented his last zoning request to council Monday to rezone the Woodstock Parkway right-of-way.
“I don’t recall what my first zoning case was 10 years ago, but it certainly was probably more exciting than this one,” McLeod joked.
The city-initiated rezoning request was for just over six acres along Woodstock Parkway to light industrial with the technology park overlay. As part of the outlet mall redevelopment, that part of Woodstock Parkway is being relocated and would thereby leave that area unzoned, McLeod said.
After the item was approved unanimously by council, Mayor Donnie Henriques and City Manager Jeff Moon wished McLeod well in his new role.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t say something about Richard’s performance here with the city,” Henriques said. “He’s done a terrific job and he’ll do a terrific job for the city of Alpharetta and we’re going to miss you, Richard.”
Moon said he has enjoyed working with McLeod during Moon’s four-and-a-half years with the city.
“We haven’t always agreed,” Moon said. “He’ll be the first to tell you that. We’ve had some fairly major disagreements but we’ve been able to work through everything … I just want to publicly thank him for his service to the city and wish him well.”
McLeod said it was not an easy decision to leave and called his time with the city “the most humbling pleasure of (his) life.”
“When I moved here 15 years ago, I always joked that you could see the tumbleweeds blowing down Main Street,” McLeod said. “Now, the tumbleweeds have been replaced by bustling crowds and the commerce.”
McLeod gave credit to the collaborative effort of the city staff and council throughout the years for the success seen in Woodstock.
“Thank you for your confidence and your faith in me,” McLeod said to the council and city staff.
Later, the council also approved an emergency purchase order for new replacement master meters and a budget amendment to transfer the needed funds. Council member Bob Mueller was absent.
Moon, who stood in for Public Works Director Pat Flood, said the city is losing 1.6 million gallons of water per month and estimates that equates to a monthly loss of $25,800 in water and sewer revenue.
A total of $39,872.66 was transferred from professional services to the emergency maintenance fund in the vote. The five meters to be replaced are: two at Woodstock Elementary School, one at Sky Ridge Apartments, one at Columbia Creek Apartments and another at Alta Woods Apartments.
Also, the council unanimously approved a fee schedule amendment to be in compliance with Georgia Open Records Laws for several city fees, including reservation fees for the city’s parks, gazebo and GreenPrints Trail.
Moon said the amendment takes into account for-profit events versus events sponsored by non-profit organizations, as for-profit events are now required to pay a $5 entry fee to be earmarked for trail improvements, maintenance, and other items.
“We do think if someone’s going to be using the trails to make money then they should be putting money back into the trails,” Moon said.
Moon said non-profits like the YMCA, who has done its Adventure Run through the trails in the past, would not be subject that fee.
In other business, the council:
* Read and approved proclamations in honor of Veterans Day and Red Ribbon Week and also gave special recognition to 19 athletes and six coaches with the Cherokee County Special Olympics Teams for winning national and state championships;
* Heard from Economic Services Director Billy Peppers regarding the city’s Department of Community Affairs Boomtown project. Peppers gave an update that a few members from the state department are visiting the city for two days this week and helping with a feasibility analysis for a couple of existing retail spaces to determine what types of businesses could utilize the space. Also, Peppers said the Downtown Development Authority has been working with county officials to explore possible use of the city’s trolley for special events;
* Voted unanimously to appointment of Tracy Tragessor, branch manager at Regions Bank, to fill Analisa Guay’s unexpired term as ex-officio member of the DDA;
* Approved unanimously a Georgia Department of Transportation maintenance agreement for two trails within Woodstock’s trail system that pass under Interstate 575 within GDOT’s right of way;
* Approved 5-0 the adoption of the 2012 update to the capital improvement element and short term work program;
* Heard the first reading of a planning commission ordinance revision and a special events ordinance revision to address road closing issues, parades, road races, accountability, fireworks, permitting process and approvals, and public safety/parks and recreation services;
* Approved unanimously a road closing policy to work in conjunction with the special events ordinance to address what roads can be closed, timelines, notification of surrounding businesses and the approval process;
* Approved 5-0 a downtown parking agreement with CSB to reflect changes proposed by the sub-leasee. The agreement was approved by council at its Oct. 8 meeting;
* Approved unanimously a budget amendment to streetlights related to development for an increase from $251,370 to $258,390 paid for by the Walton/Windsong developer;
* Approved unanimously a contract with CMA Inc. as the city’s broker for minicell towers;
* Approved 5-0 the surplus and disposal of a Bolens tractor with a cracked engine that is too costly to repair. The tractor will be listed for sale via online auction at www.govdeals.com;
* Approved unanimously a contract with Public Stuff as the city’s citizen request tracking system; and
* Approved 5-0 a budget amendment for Timber Ridge.