Lawrenceville Council to ask General Assembly to extend term limits

LAWRENCEVILLE -- In an effort to bring more continuity and cost effectiveness to city business, consideration is now under way by the city council to ask local members of the Georgia General Assembly to increase term limits of municipal officers to four years.

At its regular meeting Monday night, the Council tabled an ordinance asking the legislature to amend its charter to change terms from two to four years. The matter will be taken up at the Feb. 15 work session.

If approved, the election of mayor and two council members will be held on an even year with county, state and national elections, while the two remaining council seats will be up for grabs two years later.

Also, the council is asking that the new terms take effect in 2012, but will not extend the terms of present council members, only newly elected officials. Under the new plan, a council member could only serve 12 consecutive years.

The council also unanimously approved a resolution expressing its "strong opposition" to allowing commercial passenger flights at Briscoe Field, where a portion of the field and runway resides within the city limits.

The resolution, read by City Attorney Lee Thompson, stated that such expansion would result in detrimental effects to city residents, including noise, air pollution, traffic congestion, and environmental damage, and that such expansion would not result in new job creation.

The council is urging the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners to allow Briscoe Field to remain a "general aviation airport."

In other business, the council:

• Allowed RaceTrac Petroleum to erect a digital message center at its location in the city.

• Denied a special use permit request from Judson Brown to operate an Auto Cash financial location in the old Waffle House building.

• Tabled discussion for possible salary increases for city employees until the work session. A three percent increase at a cost of $432,000 was proposed.

• Announced that the Georgia Gwinnett College Corridor Study website is now online, as plans are being made for the kick-off meeting on Feb. 23.

• Awarded several low bids as follows: $164,514 to Alltech for a digger derrick truck; $54,582 to Over and Under General Contractor for replacement of primary distribution cable on the outer loop of Regal Drive; and $12,778 to Mall of Georgia Ford for two Meter Department vehicles.

• Changed vacation policy for city employees who can now accrue leave when the person is hired rather than after the probation period is over.

• Proclaimed Monday, Feb. 6 as "Margaret Tanner Day" in honor of Tanner's 100th birthday on Jan. 8, 2012. Tanner first moved to Lawrenceville in 1938, and has been active in church work, PTA, and the Georgia Historical Society.

• Congratulated Mary Ann Grimes, who succeeds Nancy Martin as principal of Central Gwinnett High School.