My first full week on Alpharetta City Council has been a busy one.
It began on a very sad note as Alpharetta Police Officer Reece Bonilla was laid to rest on Monday. I never had the opportunity to meet Officer Bonilla but by all accounts he was a fine young man and my prayers and thoughts go out to his family. There has been a tremendous outpouring of love and support from Officer Bonilla’s fellow officers in the Alpharetta Public Safety Department and I hope that his family takes some comfort in knowing how much we appreciate his service to this community.
Monday Night’s City Council meeting brought accolades from the city’s financial auditors and served as an excellent reminder of the terrific job Director Tom Harris has done running Alpharetta’s Finance Department. Alpharetta continues to thrive in a challenging environment due in large part to Director Harris’ leadership and the hard work of his staff. Thanks for a job well done guys.
The city also awarded new landscape maintenance contracts for our parks and recreation facilities as well as the medians and right of ways along our roads. Alpharetta is special and I think everyone on council realizes that we can do a better job of highlighting our beauty by paying more attention to some of the details that may have been overlooked in the past. With the new contracts I believe we are moving in the right direction while continuing to act in a fiscally responsible way.
Council also voted to make changes to Alpharetta’s Tree Ordinance on Monday. The tree ordinance sets forth the conditions and procedures which allow property owners to cut down and alter trees on private property.
Alpharetta’s wooded areas and large specimen trees help give our city a beautiful setting and overall we have done a good job of protecting that environment. But at times the tree ordinance also failed to provide reasonable protection for innocent homeowners who wanted to make reasonable changes to their property.
The complexities of the changes we made prevent me from going into too much detail at this time but suffice it to say that after a thorough review of all the changes I believe our code now does a better job of protecting our residents from overly burdensome regulations while still protecting the trees that help make Alpharetta beautiful. I commend Councilman Mike Kennedy, Engineering / Public Works Director Pete Sewczwicz and City Attorney Sam Thomas for their work on this issue.
In addition to the council meeting I also spent alot of time this week getting to know the employees and volunteers that make Alpharetta’s Recreation and Parks Department a world class operation. I am honored that Mayor Belle Isle nominated me to serve as our council’s liaison to Parks And Rec and it has been great to meet some of the people that make my son’s baseball and daughter’s softball programs possible. I will let you know more about these great public servants and what they do for our community in the near future.
Thanks again for this opportunity to serve our community and please take the time to stay engaged in the issues that affect us all.