Tech­nol­ogy, leg­is­la­ture dis­cussed at Ox­ford’s city coun­cil meet­ing

City has launched new Web site

The Covington News - - Local News - By Michelle Kim

Ox­ford’s new Web site, a “Tough­book” lap­top and in­ac­tion at the state cap­i­tal were some of the top­ics dis­cussed at Mon­day evening’s Ox­ford City Coun­cil meet­ing.

Sen. John Douglas stopped in at the be­gin­ning of the meet­ing to re­port on the close of the 2008 Ge­or­gia leg­isla­tive ses­sion, which he said was marred by name call­ing and per­son­al­ity clashes.

Bills that failed to pass in­cluded the one-cent trans­porta­tion sales tax bill and Douglas’ pro­posed con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment to in­crease terms from two years to four years, he said, al­though a school voucher bill did pass.

Res­i­dent Monty Wil­son asked Douglas if there was an ex­pla­na­tion of why a group of rea­son­ably bright peo­ple get to­gether ev­ery year and ac­com­plish so lit­tle.

“Other than the Con­sti­tu­tion re­quires us to do this ev­ery year, prob­a­bly not,” said Douglas.

He also men­tioned there may be some lead­er­ship changes as the house elects a new speaker and as po­si­tions come up for elec­tion in 2010.

Web­mas­ter Michael Dale dis­played some of the func­tions of Ox­ford’s new Web site, www.ox­ford­ge­or­, which in­clude the abil­ity to search min­utes dat­ing back to 2002, e-mail ad­dresses for coun­cil mem­bers and the mayor, up­dated or­di­nances, event cal­en­dar, a mail­ing list and a blog from Mayor Jerry Rose­berry.

Dale re­ported the Web site had about 1,150 vis­i­tors since it went up in Fe­bru­ary, and that 50 per­cent of the traf­fic was from search en­gines and 20 per­cent from the old Web site.

“Though, of course, we’re in­ter­ested in com­mu­ni­cat­ing with the out­side pub­lic, we’re mostly in­ter­ested in com­mu­ni­cat­ing with cit­i­zens,” said Coun­cil Mem­ber Hoyt Oliver.

Ad­min­is­tra­tive As­sis­tant Lauran Wil­lis up­dated the coun­cil on the sta­tus of the process to­wards dig­i­tal record keep­ing, man­dated by the Sec­re­tary of State’s of­fice, and the bid­ding com­pa­nies.

In city coun­cil busi­ness, at least 10 mo­tions were unan­i­mously ap­proved.

They ranged from choos­ing a con­trac­tor to clear 14 trees to adopt­ing the De­cem­ber 2007 com­mu­nity agenda ap­proved by the Ge­or­gia De­part­ment of Com­mu­nity Af­fairs. In other busi­ness: • Ox­ford Po­lice De­part­ment Chief Clark Miller said the de­part­ment would be­gin ap­ply­ing for state ac­cred­i­ta­tion once con­struc­tion on the new build­ing be­gan, since the build­ing is needed for cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

He said that be­ing stan­dard­ized with the rest of the state would give the city bet­ter foot- ing in court dur­ing civil law­suits.

• Ox­ford Fire De­part­ment Chief Ja­son Stri­b­ling an­nounced that $1,084 had been raised at the Fire De­part­ment ben­e­fit din­ner, to go to­ward buy­ing an­other au­to­mated ex­ter­nal de­fib­ril­la­tor, which range in price from $1,000 to $2,000, so both fire en­gines could be equipped.

• Coun­cil mem­ber Jim Wind­ham’s sug­gested up­grad­ing the lap­top to be pur­chased for Main­te­nance Fa­cil­ity Su­per­vi­sor Jody Reid from the $1,800 ver­sion to the more durable $2,600 “Tough­book” ver­sion.

• The city coun­cil also ap­proved con­tract­ing with Over & Un­der Gen­eral Con­trac­tors to in­stall un­der­ground util­ity ser­vices for Ox­ford Col­lege’s new build­ing to the tune of $162,868 — money al­ready pro­vided by Emory Univer­sity.

• Pol­icy re­quir­ing the sig­na­ture of the mayor, mayor pro-tem, city clerk, or deputy city clerk for checks less than $1,000, and re­quir­ing the sig­na­tures of two of the above for checks $1,000 and above was adopted.

• Dis­cus­sion of the fire de­part­ment pol­icy on us­ing red flash­ing lights and sirens on per­sonal ve­hi­cles was put off to the work ses­sion.

• There was also some dis­cus­sion of do­ing some­thing to wel­come the es­ti­mated 1,600 par­tic­i­pants of the June 7 Bike Ride Across Ge­or­gia (BRAG) event.

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