City Council seeking solutions to eviction debris
Rockmart’s latest City Council meeting touched on topics such as the upcoming municipal elect i on, how t o handle eviction debris, and financial reports with no time wasted getting to the hearts of the issues.
The council congratulated incumbents Sherman Ross, Lucille Harris, and Joe Henderson who, running unopposed, are by virtue of running without challengers essentially re-elected to the council for another four years.
“There will be no need f or t he election t his year,” said Mayor Stephen Miller. “Congratulations and I’m glad to serve with you.”
Council members serve four year terms with no term limit. The Cedartown commission and Aragon city council both have contested elections this year, along with the Polk County Board of Education’s special election for the District 6 seat, but Rockmart’s council is of- ficially settled for the coming years.
A large portion of the meeting was focused on the council’s solution to the ongoing problem of eviction debris.
Eviction debris can include anything a tenant’s left over property to the wreckage of the building.
“We’re experiencing more and more incidents where a property owner will evict a tenant for whatever reason,” said City Manager Jeff Ellis. “And we’ve had numerous occasions where, once the tenant pulls off, the neighborhood comes out and ransacks the debris.”
The massive amounts of debris have served to occupy Rockmart’s Public Works department, who spent an entire day cleaning debris from a Maple Street property even with the assistance of “two trucks and five people,” said Ellis.
City Attorney Michael McRae mentioned that landlords who failed to maintain debris by letting it collect on the street were causing a “nuisance,” and that the city could “make a nui- sance case against them and then cite them for having debris.”
Though no official decision was voted on, current ordinances allow the city to take action against landlords who allow debris to accumulate in the city,
City Clerk Pam Herring also gave a brief update on the city’s finances during the Sept. 12 meeting.
“Everything looks good,” said Herring. “We’re running pretty close on target, we should get our taxes out on time, and I think we’re about where we should be this time of year.”
The Council then unanimously approved the July and August 2017 financial report.
Ellis later gave a statement in response to the recent hurricane scare saying that “we will always have measures planned out.”
“We get info about the storms, we know who will be listening, we know who will be reporting, the whole nine yards,” he said. “Just to ease your mind, we will always be ready to respond to the best of our ability.”
The Rockmart City Council kept their agenda for September 2017 light, with only a few items up for discussion.