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Kennedy's Update on City Center Not Useful

Here's hoping that we can get a really useful update on City Center.

In 2011, my fellow voters and I decided to spend 29 million dollars on the Alpharetta City Center project.  The details of this project, from the major to the mundane, are being overseen by Alpharetta City Council.

Last week on this blog I requested an update on this project. Councilman Kennedy responded to my request and told me that the updates are all archived on the City Council meeting minutes/videos website page on the city of Alpharetta website.

Since I did not want to watch 7 hours of video, I read the Council meeting minutes dating back 3 months, hoping I could find my update in the written word.

So, for your reading pleasure and stated almost verbatim: 

$$$ - September 10 – City Administrator Bob Regus introduced the City Center Design team who presented an update.

$$$ - September 17 – City Administrator Bob Regus provided an update and a timeline of events.

$$$ - October 1 – City Administrator Bob Regus provided an update.  The Director of EPW talked about the Haynes Bridge closure.

$$$ - October 8thCity Administrator Bob Regus introduced Michael Swartz who presented schematic design updates.

$$$ - November 5 – City Administrator Bob Regus provided an update.

$$$ - November 19 – City Administrator Bob Regus provided an update

$$$ - December 3 – The City of Alpharetta will need to spend an additional $1.4 million dollars because of a poor soils situation.  Council will devote part of their retreat to exploring how to balance the project budget.  Architects are beginning to present recommendations.

As you can see from the above, we can be assured that there is an updater making updates on the latest updates on City Center.   Oh, and also evidently Council needs to explore how to balance the project budget – I wasn’t expecting that one.

Would I have learned more details if I had watched all 7 videos? Exhausting!  And anyway, not all the information we need is in the videos.

I can't help but feel I’ve been denied a City Center update by Councilman Kennedy.

Here’s an idea.  How about providing us – the taxpayers and voters – with a meaningful update, i.e. what’s been nailed down, what’s in progress, pictures, summaries, where we are with the financials, and posting this on the woefully neglected city website page called “Downtown Development Plan”?  I say this because a) we cannot attend every City Council meeting; b) information technology really is our friend and as useful to the public as we make it; and c) it’s your fiduciary responsibility to convey to us, certainly upon request, the manner in which this project is being executed. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Mike Kennedy December 17, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Paula, You bring up a good point. We will certainly make an effort to put more materials on the web. As I pointed out in a previous post, the past few weeks have been spent on the finer points of city hall interior detail such as color of the bathrooom tiles and where the entry should be to pay a water bill. Not exactly the stuff of headlines. Tonight, the consultants will provide an update on the city hall interior and exterior and the council will vote on whether to move forward with the construction plans. I have asked for the presentation to be put on the city website.
Julie Hollingsworth Hogg December 17, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Helpful.
Julie Hollingsworth Hogg December 17, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Paula, You have stated really much better than me what I've been trying to say. Thank you for the good articulation. I agree with everything you said in this comment.
Julie Hollingsworth Hogg December 17, 2012 at 11:01 PM
see Paula Milliard's comment above.
Lee at rootsinalpharetta.com December 18, 2012 at 03:49 PM
In the time I've been covering City Hall they've gotten better at providing information online. The meeting minutes could use a little more detail, particularly those of the Planning Commission and DRB. They often will boil down a long period of the meeting by simply saying "Approved with conditions." That being said, there can be a bit of an IT challenge to present some of the material on the web. Drawings and presentations can be quite large. But I think most in the city and on council want this information online. The streaming video is awesome. I also like the city's use of SeeClickFix and crimereports.com. Forsyth County's planning Dept has a nice online permitting system that is searchable and contains PDFs of actual applications. Would be cool to see Alpharetta use something like this.

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