History was made Monday with the swearing in of Brookhaven’s first mayor and city council. Superior Court Judge Daniel Coursey delivered the oath of office to the mayor, J. Max Davis, and city council members Rebecca Chase Williams, Jim Eyre and Joe Gebbia. Bates Mattison was sworn in privately as he was unable to attend the swearing in.
The event held at Oglethorpe University’s Lupton Auditorium drew a packed crowd as Brookhaven citizens wanted to be part of the historic event.
After the swearings in, the council held its first meeting, with such matters as office space and interim appointments of a city clerk, a city attorney and a even a city manager up for discussion.
The Brookhaven Governor’s Commission wrapped up its work Sunday night by turning over reports on a temporary city hall, municipal court and recommendations for contractors for government services.
After looking for several months, the task force searching for a temporary city hall came down to only one option. The group has recommended that the city enter into a one-year lease at 200 Ashford Center North, which is located on Ashford Dunwoody Road in the city of Dunwoody.
The reality, explained Commission member Jeb Beardsley, is that it was the 12,600 square foot space that was available immediately, was furnished and already wired for phone and internet, and was approved by the landlord. Three different “class A” buildings turned down the city as a tenant citing “government use” as not in keeping with its client base.
“We couldn’t find anything in the city that was available and suitable,” said Beardsley.
The other advantages of the Ashford 200 space Beardsley explained is that the offices are on the first floor, easy to access with free parking, are move-in ready and the price is slightly below that recommended in the Vinson feasibility study.
The Commission also announced that it had located space for Municipal Court in Corporate Square on Buford Highway. Beardsley explained that the 3,800 square foot space will need carpet and paint but could be ready by February 1st.
The commission handed to the new council its scoring and ranking of the 14 bidders on seven separate packages. Most of the companies are familiar in the new cities process and several have contracts with Dunwoody and other new cities.
Monday night’s meeting capped a busy week for the new elected officials. Four were elected in runoffs Tuesday night to join Jim Eyre the only council member elected outright in November.
In the mayor’s race, Davis defeated Sandy Murray, winning about 65 percent of the vote. In the city’s northernmost council district, Rebecca Chase Williams won 66 percent of the vote over Kevin Fitzpatrick. The other runoff winners were Joe Gebbia and Bates Mattison.