Recap of January 9 APS Meeting

Jan 15 2012

As drafted by a Lake Claire resident and circulated on the Candler Park Parents email list:

Jan 9 Meeting Summary (Key Points Relevant for SRT -3)

·       Meeting started with a review of the redistricting project – what has been accomplished to date and next steps.  Refer to the timeline later in this note for details on next steps and timing.

·       The final 2 – 3 options will be presented at the end of January followed by more community meetings (refer to the get involved section for more detail).

·       Morningside voiced their perspectives and presented a 1000+ signature petition.  They want to keep Morningside Elementary in the Inman Middle/Grady feeder path (versus going to the proposed new middle and high school to be constructed).

·       SPARK voiced their perspectives and also presented a 1000+ signature petition.  They are very much opposed to the split academy  proposal with Hope-Hill and want $ to continue to expand SPARK.  Key concern of these parents is that their children were recently moved from Morningside to SPARK, and a split academy proposal would be yet another move for their children.

·       Kirkwood residents made the case to expand either Toomer or Coan to be a K-8 school and rezone the neighborhoods to the north (i.e. 30307) to this school.   Stated it would be fiscally irresponsible for APS to build a new middle school when an under enrolled facility (Toomer/Coan) could be used instead, and brought to capacity by rezoning neighborhoods to the north to it.  (Kirkwood APS rep supports this and recommended the board consider this proposal)

·       Consistent comments from many parents about the lack of transparency in the process, data inaccuracies, opposition to split primary school academies, the positives of having children attend schools that are walkable/bike-able, APS needs to improve the quality of all schools in the system, etc.

Key Takeaways

·       The final 2 (maybe 3) proposals will look very different than the four options presented back in December.  The original options were created to drive community feedback, and the final options take into account the community feedback (as stated by APS).   So while the original proposals kept 30307 in the Inman Middle/Grady cluster, we should not assume we will remain in the final proposals

·       While there were many requests for a more inclusive and transparent process, the timeline (see below) will not change (per APS).   That means we as a community will need to be prepared to act quickly when the final options are presented late January.

·       The final rezoning proposals are meant to last 10 years are longer – it is important that the final option is one that works for our community. 

Redistricting Project Timeline

·       January 2012 Demographers will develop the final 2 – 3 rezoning proposals based on ABOE and community input.

·       January 30 – Feb 2 2012:  Final 2- 3 options are presented, community meetings held.

·       February 2012 - Demographers will collect and evaluate community response to the  options and debrief the ABOE.  Final report delivered.

·       March 2012:  Superintendent Erroll Davis will take ownership of the process through the following phases: Superintendent Evaluation, Superintendent's Public Hearings, and Superintendent's Report and Recommendations

·       April 2012:  Final Superintendent Recommendations to the ABOE

·       Fall of 2012-13 School Year: Implementation

Get Involved

(1)   Reach out to Our Representatives

It was clearly stated at the Jan 9 ABOE meeting that the demographers are still open to public feedback and are also taking into account guidance provided to them by APS Board Reps based on the community feedback they receive.   The Demographers are drafting the final options, the Superintendent will recommend one to the Board, and the Board will make the final decision.  

·       Superintendent Erroll Davis: ebdavis@atlanta.k12.ga.us

·       Brenda Muhammad: bjmuhammad@atlantapublicschools.us

·       Reuben McDaniel: rrmcdaniel@atlanta.k12.ga.us

·       Cecily Harsch-Kinnane: chkinnane@atlantapublicschools.us  (CP/LC rep)

·       Courtney English: cenglish@atlanta.k12.ga.us

·       Nancy Meister: nmeister@atlanta.k12.ga.us

·       LaChandra Butler-Burks: lbburks@atlantapublicschools.us

·       Yolanda Johnson: yjohnson@atlantapublicschools.us

·       Emmett Johnson: edjohnson@atlantapublicschools.us

·       Demographers:  APSdemographicstudy@atlantapublicschools.us

(2) Attend Key Meetings 

Mark your calendars to attend these important meetings - strong attendance from our community is important to ensure our opinions are heard and that we are viewed as a cohesive, active group.

January 30th - SRT3 Community Meeting  (Final 2 – 3 rezoning options will be presented and discussed)

  • 6:30 p.m.
  • Location:  Jackson High
  • 801 Glenwood Avenue Southeast, Atlanta, GA 30316

February 6th – Next APS Board Meeting

  • 2:00 p.m. – Board Committee Meeting (no public comments)
  • 6:00 p.m. – Community Meeting (public comments)
  • ***It is critical that you arrive by 5:30  to get your name on the list to speak****
  • Location:  APS - The Center for Learning and Leadership Auditorium
  • At 130 Trinity Avenue SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303

Where to Get More Information

www.30307schools.org

Informational source organized by parents to support the Grady High School cluster of schools and help improve them where possible. 

www.bigtent.com/groups/apsrezoning

Online discussion forum – very interesting to hear point of views from parents/residents of other neighborhoods (e.g. Morningside, Kirkwood, etc.).

http://eastatlanta.patch.com/search/articles?cat=1998198827

Community news site that regularly publishes articles and points of view of the redistricting, and also has a repository of all the neighborhood positioning statements.

www.cinsatlanta.org

Council of Intown Neighborhoods and Schools, represents a cluster of eleven schools, all located within Atlanta in town neighborhoods. CINS mission is to work with Atlanta Public Schools (APS) to foster the development of safe, quality education, in the Grady cluster of schools. 

http://www.atlanta.k12.ga.us/Page/413

Atlanta Public Schools Redistricting Page

Want To Be Featured in AJC's Private Quarters of Sunday Homefinder?

Jan 15 2012

From AJC Photographer Christopher Oquendo, as passed along by a Candler Park resident. If interested, please send Christopher an email.

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Happy New Year!  I am reaching out to you because in the past you have supplied me stories to run in the AJC’s Private Quarters of the Sunday Homefinder.  I am putting together my stories that will run Spring/Summer and wanted to see if you might have any families that would like to be featured along with their homes (features of their home,renovations or things they love about their community) for the paper.

The one restriction that the paper has is that homes cannot be for sale. I am looking for homes inside and outside the perimeter with the first choice going to outside the perimeter.

Here are some sample galleries that have I have had published:

http://projects.ajchomefinder.com/gallery/view/homes/private-quarters/pr...

http://projects.ajchomefinder.com/gallery/view/homes/private-quarters/pq...

http://projects.ajchomefinder.com/gallery/view/homes/private-quarters/hf...

http://projects.ajchomefinder.com/gallery/view/homes/private-quarters/hf...

Events Process Guidelines

Jan 13 2012

Every year, a few dozen events take place in and around Candler Park. Some are small road races with a few hundred runners and other are large festivals that bring more than fifteen thousand visitors to our neighborhood. Regardless of their size, these events impact our neighborhood in ways large and small.

Many impacts are positive: we're lucky to live somewhere that we can take part in so many activities right outside our door. Often, event organizers give money and volunteer hours back to the community. And we can take pride in living in a neighborhood others want to visit.

Other impacts are less welcome. Large events bring traffic and parking problems, noise issues, litter, and crime. Our quality of life can be affected. Frequently these negative impacts are unnecessary and occur only because the organizers aren't familiar with our neighborhood, and don't know how to plan for them. 

This happens because the City of Atlanta gives us a limited voice in the planning and approval process for these events. And they give no guidance at all to event organizers about how they should engage with the neighborhood. Consequently, many event organizers don't know who to work with in Candler Park and we miss opportunities to make events better for both visitors and our neighbors.

We'd like to change that. We have proposed a set of guidelines for how event organizers should engage with the neighborhood, and we'll discuss them at our upcoming membership meeting. The guidelines can be found here. Please review them and come prepared to share your ideas on January 16th.

These are a work in progress, so we welcome feedback and suggestions. However, we'd like to start socializing these guidelines outside the neighborhood, so we will take a vote of support for using them. If you have questions before the meeting, please address them to president@candlerpark.org.

CPNO Monthly Meeting Monday at 6:30 pm

Jan 12 2012

The Candler Park Neighborhood Organization monthly meeting is this Monday, January 16th. We'll start with socializing (wine, beer, and snacks) at 6:30 pm and move on to general business at 7 pm.

Reminder, we have child care available!

On the agenda this month:

  • Votes on grants to fund the L5P Mini-Precinct and a ramp replacement at First Existentialist Church
  • A discussion and vote on our proposed event process to help manage the impact of festivals on our neighborhood
  • An update on the proposed Candler Park visioning exercise

Where: First Existentialist Congregation (470 Candler Park Drive) -- Across from the golf course

When: January 16th at 6:30 pm (this Monday)

Significant Votes

  • We will vote on a zoning variance at 620 Oakdale.
  • We will vote on a Liquor License application for Cameli's Pizza at 337 Moreland Avenue.
  • We will vote on a $4,000 grant to the First Existentialist Church for a ramp replacement.
  • We will vote on a $5,000 grant to the Little Five Points Business Association for operating the Mini-Precinct.

CPNO Board Memo on Little Five Points Mini-Precinct Grant

Jan 11 2012

The Little Five Points Business Association has asked us for $5,000 towards the operating budge of the mini-precinct in Little Five Points. They need about $20,000 per year for rent & utilities. Labor (one police officer) is provided & paid for by the City of Atlanta.

Their funding for 2012 includes $5,000 from the Inman Park Neighborhood Association, $5,000 from the Halloween Festival, and $6,000 in donations from businesses and individuals (numbers taken from the budget they provided in the grant request). Our $5,000 would complete their funding needs for 2012.

More information about this grant can be found in this article written by the Little Five Points Business Association.

When we discussed this grant, the board expressed reservations about the limited contribution from businesses and the hours the precinct is staffed (9-5 on weekdays only). There were also concerns about the size of our expected contribution given that our budget is significantly smaller than IPNA.

We have asked several times what it would take to adjust operating hours to more closely conform to our current crime problem times -- evenings and weekends -- but have not gotten an answer. To help make a solution to that a priority, a board member proposed a compromise: $2,500 given unconditionally, and $2,500 given on the condition that staffing transitions to at least 20 hours a week between 7pm and 2am.

The board recommendation is to support this grant application with the condition that these requirements are included. We voted on the following proposed motion:

"A motion to give $5,000 to the Little Five Points Business Association for rent and utility expenses related to operating the Mini-Precinct. Half of this money will be given immediately, and half once APD staffs the precinct between 7pm and 2am at least 20 hours per week."

We will take a vote on this grant application at our upcoming membership meeting on Monday, January 16th.

 

CPNO Board Memo on First Existentialist Church Ramp Replacement Grant

Jan 11 2012

The First Existentialist Church has asked us for $4,000 to help with a ramp replacement project. The ramp will be replaced with a mechanical lift. They have already raised $7,000 via grants from their national church organizing body, and believe they can raise the remaining money from their membership.

More information about this grant can be found in an article written by First E and published on our web site.

In general, the this grant aligns with our mission to promote the common good and general welfare in our neighborhood. As with other grants, we recommend we attaching conditions to our funding that specify when the money needs to be spent by, and that the organizers must raise enough money to complete the project before we disburse funds.

The board recommendation is to support this grant application with the condition that these requirements are included. We voted on the following proposed motion:

"A motion to give $4,000 to First Existentialist Church towards the purchase of a mechanical lift to replace their existing ramp. These funds will be released when the project is fully funded. All work must be complete by December 31st, 2012".

We will take a vote on this grant application at our upcoming membership meeting on Monday, January 16th.

APS Community Meeting Regarding New Maps / Options

Note: Candler Park is in SRT-3, so the community meeting for our cluster of schools is on January 30 at Jackson High School. Please attend if you can so we have a good showing and we all stay informed.

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Posted on the APS web site:

The next round of Demographic Community Meetings have been scheduled.  Demographers will present new options and maps to the public and request input.  Please see the list below for dates and locations:

January 30, 2012:  SRT 3 – Jackson High School

January 31, 2012:  SRT 1 and SRT 4 North West – Young Middle School

February 1, 2012:  SRT 4 North East – North Atlanta High School

February 2, 2012 SRT 2 – Price Middle School

All meetings begin at 6:30pm.

The first presentation of options and maps by demographers took place at the end of 2011.  Below are documents and support data from those meetings.  New options and maps will be posted on the district’s website  prior to the January 31 – February 2 meetings.

Date: 
Mon, 01/30/2012 - 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Location: 
Jackson High School - 801 Glenwood Avenue Southeast Atlanta, GA 30316-1813

APS Board Meeting on Monday, January 9

Jan 8 2012

Update following the meeting:  For a play-by-play, you can read the live tweeting here.

Highlights:

  • No slow-down of the process is happening, per APS Superintendent Davis
  • Two new scenarios will be available online prior to community meetings the week of Jan 30
  • Feedback on the scenarios will be considered and is supposedly very important
  • Recommendations go to Superintendent in March, then the demographers are out of it and it's in Davis' hands.
  • March - supposedly more public feedback
  • April - final recommendations, will be voted on and ultimately approved by the board
  • New plan will go into effect for the 2012/2013 school year
     

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As posted on the Candler Park Parents email list:

APS will be conducting its monthly board meeting Monday, January 9th.  For those of you following the demographic study and possible rezoning, there will be an update on the study at 2:00 p.m.  At 6:00 p.m. the community meeting will be held, where comments from the public will be heard.  If you want to speak at this meeting, you must arrive by 5:40 p.m. to sign up.  The location and agenda for tormorrow's session can be found below.
 
My understanding is that this meeting will likely have good attendance with parents from local neighborhoods/schools, as this is the LAST MEETING PRIOR TO THE TWO FINAL REZONING OPTIONS BEING PUBLISHED (end of January).
 
It is important that OUR (Mary Lin and IP/CP/LC) voice is  heard at this meeting.  Other schools/neighborhoods are planning on being very vocal/visible at this meeting.  
 
Please attend if you can  - details are below.  
 
Meeting Location:
 
Center for Learning and Leadership
130 Trinity Ave, Atlanta, Georgia 30303
 
Janauary 9, 2012 - BOARD MEETING NOTICE
2:00 PM - Committee of the Whole
Organizational Meeting (Board Elections)
Work Session Topics
1. Chuck Burbridge, Chief Financial Officer
-Financial Forecast
2. Steve Smith, Deputy Superintendent & Chief of Staff
-Demographic Study Update
6:00 PM - Community Meeting
7:00 PM - Legislative Meeting

First Existentialist Church Requests Funds from CPNO

Jan 5 2012

Note: Please see information below; the First Existentialist Church is requesting a $4,000 grant from CPNO. We will be voting on this request at the Monday, January 16 membership meeting.

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A grant to fund accessibility at First E.

Jonathon A. Nye and Shelby Smith

The First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta (First E) is asking the Candler Park Neighborhood Organization (CPNO) for $4,000 in matching funds to dismantle the existing wooden access ramp and install a mechanical lift for our disabled and less-abled members, visitors and patrons. First E is an independent member of the Unitarian Universalist Association founded in 1976 by Rev. Lanier Clance. From 1980 to the present, First E has occupied the historic Old Stone Church in Chandler Park, a granite stone building built by the African American community of the Antioch East Baptist Church from 1918-1922. The sanctuary's entrance is 10ft in vertical elevation from the street and accessed by a set of stairs or wooden ramp located on the north face of the building. The ramp was built by congregants/volunteers in 1985 and is showing significant signs of functional and structural wear. In addition, the ramp is causing degradation of the stone mortar adjacent to the structure because of trapped moisture. Because of its age, the ramp does not meet current Title III Public Accommodation Standards of the American Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. Therefore upgrading the ramp would require it to be completely rebuilt. First E is planning to replace the wooden ramp with a mechanical lift.

First E has 65 members, of which two use wheel chairs including one of our ministers, and over 10% are less-abled and prefer alternative access other than stairs. However, congregant use is a small percentage (~20%) of the overall building purpose. First E provides its sanctuary and outdoor green space to the Candler Park community for special events including festivals, social justice rallies/demonstrations, fundraisers, ceremonies, and weddings (20%). Community patronage comprises the additional building usage including the CPNO meetings, theater, musical events, after school children's daycare/educational programs and our new community garden (60%). Many of these events keep the ramp in continuous use, whether it's for those that are physically restricted or for moving large items to and from the building. A new lift will allow congregants and the Candler Park community to utilize the First E sanctuary with the same expectations of access as currently enabled with the wooden ramp.

First E's role in the Candler Park community has always been a reflection of one of its core principles: providing a safe space for socially and economically disenfranchised individuals and groups. We expect the long-term success of this project to enable us to continue our social justice activism without access barriers. Our work has a long and rich history with the neighborhood and included providing space for Circle of Healing (making a nurturing home for people with AIDS), Road Busters (a neighborhood preservation group), Zami (African-American lesbian writers), Latino Lesbian and Gay Association, National Organization of Women (NOW). We have co-sponsored events and benefits such as Men Stopping Violence, Charis Circle, ACLU, Rainbow Poetry Collective and many, many more.  

This year, First E has participated in the anti-death penalty movement (particularly surrounding the Troy Davis trial), the Georgia Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (First E has signed on as a "safe sanctuary" for immigrants unlawfully targeted by GA HB-87), LGBT awareness through our Third Friday Night Film series and assisting queer homeless youth by delivering survival supplies to Saint Lost and Found.

First E is proud of it role in the Candler Park community and maintaining its diverse neighborhood function involves eliminating physical barriers to its space. The leaders of the Congregation are dedicated to being responsible stewards when making improvements of this extensive nature. A new lift will be a less obtrusive, less costly and an ADA sanctioned solution compared to rebuilding our current ramp. It will enable First E to continue servicing the Candler Park community as it has for the last 31 years.

First E is a 501(c)(3) tax except organization. If you wish to make a personal gift to help fund out lift project, please make your payment out to First E and date checks to 12/31/11 or earlier to be included on your 2011 tax return. Indicate that your donation is for the lift project. Please stop by First E and watch our progress! We have just finished installing the concrete landing on the east face of the building that will receive the lift. Questions regarding the lift grant proposal can be sent to Jon Nye at jnye@uwalumni.com. Thank you all!

L5P Precinct Requests Funds from CPNO

Jan 5 2012

Note: Please see information below; the L5P precinct is requesting a $5,000 grant from CPNO. We will be voting on this request at the Monday, January 16 membership meeting.

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Funding Request for the L5P APD Mini-Precinct

The APD Mini-Precinct in Little Five Points was formed in 1998 as a result of citizens and businesses in and surrounding L5P becoming weary of the gangs, drugs, and violence that had taken over the area and filtered into adjacent residential neighborhoods.  The APD staffs the L5P Mini-Precinct with an officer from 9am to 5pm on weekdays at no cost to the Business Association (L5PBA) or neighborhoods.  The L5PBA has taken charge of administering a Mini-Precinct account and collecting and distributing funds to pay for rent on the property and utilities.  These expenses total $20,400 per year.  The amount requested from the Candler Park Neighborhood Organization is $5,000, approximately 25% of the yearly operating costs for the Mini-Precinct property.  Insufficient funding may result in the property being leased for other purposes and likely loss of this APD Mini-Precinct.

Crime that occurs in Little Five Points directly spills out into the adjacent neighborhoods of Inman Park and Candler Park.  The Mini-Precinct has been hugely successful in deterring crime in L5P before it has a chance to spill out into Candler Park and responding to crimes in the direct vicinity in Candler Park.  This is a huge direct benefit that improves the general welfare of the Candler Park neighborhood, and we hope that you, as a member of the CPNO, will vote to support this great asset to your neighborhood.

Bob Sandage
L5PBA President
bobsandage@yahoo.com