City officials have a new vision for Vidette that includes a new-andimproved City Hall and compliance with Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) requirements.
“We have not been in compliance because we were not aware,” admitted Councilwoman Monalisa Pollex. The City of Vidette has hired Attorney Chris Dube to advise them at a retainer of $300 per month. “He said he will walk us through this.”
The first step is working with Dube to update their city charter, something that hasn’t been tackled since 1908.
“We feel really good about that,” Pollex said. “We want to be the example of the little town that learned they were upside down and the little town that could. We are all going to get training.”
GMA is a voluntary, non-profit organization that provides legislative advocacy, educational, employee benefit and technical consulting services to its members. The agency offers courses through The Harold F. Holtz Municipal Institute, designed to help city officials enhance their knowledge and skills in municipal related matters.
In addition, Vidette has not always been compliant when it comes to state laws.
Now, the city also intends to hold elections for positions that should be decided by public vote.
The City Hall is currently in poor condition. The new vision includes extensive renovations, including a new roof. The hope is that an office can be partitioned that will allow for a city clerk to work at least part time. The community has not yet begun the process of accepting bids for the work.
“We are trying to come up with funding because it needs a lot of renovations. We are a very small community and the only funding that we have coming in is what we see from our water bills. We are hoping we may be able to get a grant to help us.” said Mayor Rosemary Baughman. “We are in the process of getting up to state standards.”
As part of the transformation process, the city met with members of the Burke County Board of Elections and their Director Beau Gunn April 7 to discuss whether the building can be safely utilized as a polling site during the upcoming May election. Baughman said she hopes to keep the City Hall as a voting place. Gunn said he intended to bring county workers to the building to inspect the electrical system.
“It will be soon,” Gunn said. “We have an election coming up, so probably by next week.”
As part of the compliance process, the city will hold regularly scheduled council meetings that will take place the third Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. at the City Hall. The next meeting is scheduled for April 20.