NORCROSS - Mayor Bucky Johnson of Norcross plans to sit down this week with representatives from the United Peachtree Corners Civic Association. Johnson hopes to listen to the association's concerns regarding the proposed annexation of the Technology Park area into the city of Norcross, then address those concerns with City Council members.
Norcross officials recently announced plans to annex areas both east and west of the city. Should the matter proceed, as Johnson and City Council members intend, residents of these areas would be able to vote in November either for or against annexation.
"The Peachtree Corners Civic Association has made it clear they don't want (the annexation)," Norcross City Council member Andrew Hixson said.
Mayor pro tem Craig Newton agreed with Hixson, suggesting that the City Council move forward Monday night with proceedings.
Councilman Charlie Riehm disagreed, saying that most of the objections by the Civic Association are erroneous and that Johnson may be able to deter some of those objections in this week's meeting. Riehm suggested that waiting two weeks before moving ahead with annexation proceedings might make the discussions more effective.
Council members agreed to wait two weeks to proceed with the proposed annexation. A special-called meeting will be held in Norcross on March 16 for that reason.
Norcross voters will decide two-year vs. four-year terms
A binding referendum will be held in Norcross in November, giving voters the opportunity to decide whether their mayor and council members will continue to serve 2-year terms or lengthen those terms to 4 years.
The mayor and council have the option of deciding the matter themselves, but all agreed that the voters should make the choice.
Leaders vote not to extend traffic light camera contract
The city of Norcross has been spending $16,000 per month for red-light cameras and monitoring. Police officers have seen a 25 percent decrease in the number of traffic accidents in the city since the cameras were installed.
State officials, as of Jan. 1, added one second to the yellow light at these intersections. That one additional second resulted in an 80 percent decrease in citations, thereby making it difficult for the city to justify the $16,000 per month expense. As a result, council members voted Monday not to renew their contract with LaserCraft Inc., the red-light monitoring company based in Norcross.
Police officers awarded Stars
Norcross police officers Craig Dallape, Adrian McKinnon and Lt. Doug Morphis were awarded the Star Award on Monday night by Johnson and Police Chief Dallas Stidd. The three officers responded to a recent domestic violence call in which a wife shot her husband.
Although the officers had the option of calling in a SWAT unit, they put themselves in danger to act quickly to restore safety to nearby citizens, including a 10-month-old infant.
"It's a special occasion that we have this honor. These men put themselves in grave danger to protect our citizens," Stidd said.
Gwinnett County awarded the three officers Bronze Stars following the incident.