Technology, legislature discussed at Oxford’s city council meeting
City has launched new Web site
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.oxfordgeorgia.org, 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.