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Stonecrest Digest News for The City of Stonecrest

STONECREST CITY HALL • 3120 Stonecrest Blvd., Stonecrest, GA 30038 770-224-0200



From left, Councilpersons George Turner, Diane Adoma, Robert Turner, Jazzmin Cobble, Jimmy Clanton and Mayor Jason Lary.

Saluting Stonecrest’s first elected government


n celebration of Black History Month 2018, Stonecrest Mayor Jason Lary honored the first elected government of the historic city. Lary presented commemorative plaques at the Feb. 21 City Council meeting to each of the city’s five council members: Jimmy Clanton, District 1; Rob Turner, District 2; Jazzmin Cobble, District 3; George Turner, District 4; and Diane Adoma, District 5. The plaques depicted an image of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress, with a quote by her: “You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make

progress by implementing ideas.” The tribute was featured in On Common Ground News 2018 Black History Month commemorative special section. “What I want you all to remember is this day, 2018, in Black History Month, these are the folks that stood up the largest African American majority town in DeKalb County since Reconstruction of the United States,” said Lary, adding that Stonecrest also is the second-largest majority African American town in the history of the United States. “As a culture, we need to learn how to celebrate each other. We need to learn how

to feel good about the things we are doing,” said Lary. “… You are witnessing greatness with these people who are here on (the) council. Lary and the five elected City Council members made history when they were sworn in during a joint inauguration on May 1, 2017 at The Mall at Stonecrest. A packed crowd witnessed the inauguration. In November 2016, voters passed a referendum with 59.42 percent of the vote to create the city of Stonecrest. With the approval, the city of 50,000 residents became the largest municipality incorporated in DeKalb County and the ninth city to join metro Atlanta’s cityhood movement.

The First Elected Government for The City of Stonecrest

jason lary

Jimmy Clanton

Robert Turner

Jazzmin Cobble

George Turner

Diane Adoma


District 1 Council

District 2 Council

District 3 Council

District 4 Council

District 5 Council


District map

MICHAEL HARRIS Interim City Manager PLEZ JOYNER Assistant City Manager BRENDA JAMES City Clerk NICOLE DOZIER Community Development Director AUDREY MAYS Accounts Manager ADRION BELL Communications Director LEAH RODRIGUEZ Administrative Assistant AL FERRELL Code Enforcement Manager WILLIAM KIRKLAND Code Enforcement Officer MONTY HILL Building Inspector TUYANNA DANIEL Permit Tech

Jason Lary | City Mayor Email: Jimmy Clanton | District 1 Council Email: | Phone: 470-381-8519 Robert Turner | District 2 Council Email:| Phone: 470-381-8555 Jazzmin Cobble | District 3 Council Email: | Phone: 470-381-8525 George Turner | District 4 Council Email: | Phone: 470-381-8556 Diane Adoma | District 5 Council Email: | Phone: 470-381-8528

City holds first Municipal Court session Stonecrest’s first municipal court was called to order on Tuesday, Feb. 13, at 9 a.m. Judge Michael Sheridan presided over the first session that was held to adjudicate five city environmental ordinance violations issued by the city’s code enforcement officers. Lenny Felgin served as the city’s solicitor. Deputies from DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office are slated to serve as bailiffs until Stonecrest establishes its own law enforcement division. Municipal court is scheduled for the second Tuesday of each month at 9 a.m. and the fourth Thursday at 6 p.m.

Mayor Lary announces reconstitution of city committees Mayor Jason Lary announced the reconstitution of several city committees at the City Council’s Feb. 19 meeting. Committee members range from staff members and members of the Governor’s Commission to Stonecrest business owners and residents. Lary named the following committees and appointed a chair and vice-chairperson for each: • Arabia Mountain Overlay Steering Committee – Mayor Pro Tem George Turner, Co-Chairman and Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance Executive Director Mera Cardenas, Co-Chairwoman. Councilmembers Jimmy Clanton and

Diane Adoma, committee members. • Mayor’s Steering Committee to Negotiate an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with East Metro CID. Councilman Jimmy Clanton, Chairman, and Attorney Bernard Knight, Vice Chair • Education Committee – Dr. Barbara Lee, Chairwoman and DeKalb School Board Member, Vickie Turner, Executive Liaison. • Film Commission – Councilman Rob Turner, Chairman • Finance Committee – Councilwoman Jazzmin Cobble, Chairwoman • City of Innovation Committee, which replaces the Smart City Initiative, - Mayor Jason Lary, Chairman.

REAL MEN READ Stonecrest staff members participated in a Real Men Read event at Salem Middle School last Friday. The two-hour event featured men from around the metropolitan area who volunteered to read to middle school students. Among the volunteers were Stonecrest City Manager Michael Harris and staff members, Plez Joyner, Demetrius Ivey, and Chris Wheeler.

2018 MEETING DATES FOR STONECREST CITY COUNCIL Work Sessions are held on the First Wednesday, 10 a.m. City Council meetings are held on the Third Monday, 6 p.m. March 7, Work Session March 19, City Council Meeting April 4, Work Session April 16, City Council meeting May 2, Work Session May 21, City Council Meeting

MARK YOUR CALENDAR Saturday, March 10, Cultural Exchange Breakfast, 9 a.m., School Board Member Vickie Turner and City Councilman Rob Turner, Greater Traveler’s Rest Baptist Church/House of Hope, 4650 Flat Shoals Road, Get updates from your local officials. Saturday, March 10, Deadline to register for the DeKalb County Library’s Spring Author Expo for local authors. The event will be held on March 24 at the Tucker-Reid Cofer library, 5234 LaVista Road, Tucker. Saturday, March 10, Councilman Jimmy Clanton's monthly Community Leaders Meetings, 10 a.m. to noon, Fairfield Baptist Church, 6133 Redan Road.

June 6, Work Session June 18, City Council Meeting

Thursday, March 29, State of DeKalb, 7 p.m., CEO Micheal Thurmond, Lou Walker Center, 2538 Panola Road.

July 3, Work Session July 16, City Council Meeting

Saturday, March 31, Councilwoman Diane Adoma, District 5, will host the inaugural National Women’s Empowerment Breakfast, 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Hilton Garden Inn, 7890 Mall Ring Rd., Stonecrest. Keynote speaker Rockdale Magistrate Court Judge Phinia Aten. Juanita Baranco special honoree.

Aug. 1, Work Session Aug. 20, City Council Meeting Sept. 5, Work Session Sept. 17, City Council Meeting Oct. 3, Work Session Oct. 15, City Council Meeting Nov. 7, Work Session Nov. 19, City Council Meeting Dec. 5, Work Session Dec. 17, City Council Meeting

Tuesday, March 20, DeKalb County Police East Precinct Community Forum, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Stonecrest Library, 3123 Klondike Road. Precinct Commander Major K.D. Banks hosts guest speakers A’Sheika Penn, Juvenile Chief Deputy Assistant District Attorney for DeKalb County and DeKalb County Fire Department Captain Elizabeth Sizemore.


Thursday, March 29, Prayer Breakfast for Stonecrest- area clergy. More details to come. Visit the city’s website www.

CITY OF INNOVATION Stonecrest officials planning online services for constituents, businesses


onstituents and businesses soon will be able to skip a trip to City Hall to pay fines, fees and conduct other transactions. City officials have begun laying the groundwork for a paperless system that will make services available online. Mayor Jason Lary said embracing technology as a “City of Innovation” is critical to the city’s future and he is excited about developing those plans. “We’re inventing this just like we did Stonecrest,” said Lary, who announced that he will chair the Stonecrest City of Innovation Committee, one of six city committees that he announced on Feb. 19. “Constituents will not only to be able to make payments, but they will be able to interact with their public officials to address a variety of issues and concerns. For example, if they want to know when a street is going to be paved in their community or to report a street light that is out, they will be able to do that on their Smart phone, laptop or computer.”

“You won’t have to be bogged down in paperwork. Period. It will be online. You can pull out your Smart phone and take care of it.”

Mayor Lary said an online system also would streamline operations for staff, constituents and businesses. “No more standing in line,” said Lary. “You won’t have to be bogged down in paperwork. Period. It will be online. You can pull out your Smart phone and take care of it.” Currently, fines and fees are made in person or via mail. That system wouldn’t be eliminated for those who choose to go that route, but the new technology would be available for those who do want to use it. Lary said the city has met with one service provider but plans to seek requests for proposals from others. He said he anticipates finding a company to design the software and creating a secure portal to handle online transactions will be done sometime this year. He said he hopes to launch online systems for code enforcement and building permits initially. Other departments such as public works and public safety would follow after those are up

and running. A number of cities locally and across the nation, have set up online portals to handle transactions ranging from payments for bills and fees to registering for recreation programs to renting municipal spaces for private functions. “We’re looking at integrating GIS data, constituent access, cyber security, compliance—all of those issues,” said Lary. “We want a user-friendly platform that’s going to help constituents and us to operate more efficiently.” Online payments are only the beginning of creating Stonecrest as a City of Innovation, said Lary. “The whole piece centers around constituent access constituents and businesses will be able to find whatever information they need about the city online. As we continue to bring these departments online like police, economic development, citizens will have access to the information they’ve been clamoring for,” Lary said.

STONECREST LIBRARY 3123 Klondike Road 770-482-3828

Tuesdays, March 6 and 20 Toastmasters Club. Join the Stonecrest Library Toastmasters Club and improve your communication with family, friends, colleagues, clients and even large audiences. 6:30-7:45 p.m.


Monday, March 12 Book Discussion: I’ll Walk Alone by Mary Higgins Clark. Funding provided by the Friends of the Stonecrest Library. 6:00-7:30 p.m. Friday, March 16 and Saturday March 17 Movie screening: Marshall. Open to first 155 participants. Funding provided by DeKalb Library Foundation.2:00-4:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 10 Movie screening: I Am Not Your Negro. Open to first 155 participants. Funding provided by DeKalb Library Foundation. 2:00-3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 10 Zumba! Dance your way to fitness and health with Zsa Zsa. Open to first 15 participants. Funding provided by DeKalb Library Foundation. 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Friday, March 23 Hike at the Library. Take a one-mile hike from the library entrance to the paved Arabia Mountain PATH and return for a light snack. Wear closed-toe shoes and bring a bottle of water. Meet in the lobby of the library. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Funding provided by the Friends of the Stonecrest Library. 10:30 a.m.-Noon.

Saturday, March 31 Black Speculative Fiction-RESCHEDULED. Learn about black speculative fiction from the editors of Cosmic Underground: A Grimoire of Black Speculative Discontent. John Jennings and Reynaldo Anderson will dive into Afrofuturism, AstroBlackness, the EthnoGothic, Magical Realism, Sword and Soul and the AfroSurreal. The book showcases illustrations, graphic design, literature, posters, and mixed-media digital and analog artworks, along with insightful analysis by scholars and talented creatives in the area of black cultural production. Also, meet Rochon Perry, founder of Cedar Grove Press. Open to first 155 participants. Please note: This program was rescheduled from February 24, 2018. 2:00-4:00 p.m. Friday, March 23 Sugar Scrub Make & Take. Sugar is a natural humectant and exfoliant that helps skin cells regenerate. Learn to make your own sugar scrub. Open to first 12 participants. Funding provided by the Friends of the Stonecrest Library. Noon12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 24 Contacting Your Elected Officials. Do you have questions or concerns about a particular issue? Do you know which public official is the right one to call and where your elected representatives stand on important issues. Learn simple techniques for composing your message, so your concerns as a citizen or grassroots civic group go to the appropriate policymaker. Communications expert Lucy Ke will tell you how to figure out who your elected officials are and how to properly stay in contact with them. Open to first 35 participants Funding provided by the DeKalb Library Foundation. 2:00-3:30 p.m.

SALEM-PANOLA LIBRARY 5137 Salem Road 770.987.6900

Saturday, March 10 Yoga for Beginners. A certified yoga instructor will teach basic fitness, meditation and relaxation techniques. Please bring exercise mat, water and towel. Open to first 15 participants. No registration required. Groups of 5 or more, please call branch for appointment. 1:302:30 p.m.

Congressional Management Foundation recognizes Rep. Hank Johnson for Outstanding Achievement


he office of Congressman Hank Johnson, whose Fourth District includes the city of Stonecrest, is being recognized for providing outstanding constituency services. Rep. Johnson has been selected as one of 18 finalists for the first-ever Democracy Awards, the Congressional Management’s Foundation (CMF) new award recognizing non-legislative achievement and performance in congressional offices. The Constituent Service category honors offices for their outstanding practices or achievements acting as ombudsmen with the federal government or responding to constituent requests and inquiries. “As a finalist in Constituent Service for a Democracy Award, Rep. Johnson and his district office is clearly one of the best in Congress,” said Bradford Fitch, President and CEO of the Congressional Management Foundation. “This designation demonstrates that Rep. Johnson has made a significant commitment to be the best public servant for his constituents in Georgia. Rep. Johnson and his staff are to be congratulated for not only being a model for colleagues in Congress, but for helping to restore trust and faith that our democratic institutions can work,” he said. Rep. Johnson is the only member of the Georgia delegation to be recognized by the CMF. “When I ran for Congress in 2006, I made a commitment to constituents that I would “take care of home first,” said Rep. Johnson. “I see my mission, and the mission of my staff, to offer the best constituent services we can and I think this recognition reflects our commitment to Fourth District residents.” Since taking office in 2007, Congressman Johnson has worked to help secure more than $60 million for constituents seeking help with federal agencies from his district office in Georgia’s 4th Congressional District, which encompasses parts of DeKalb, Gwinnett and Newton counties and all of Rockdale County

– more than 700,000 residents. “Helping constituents solve seemingly intractable problems is what my district office does every day. I’m proud that my staff has been able to help so many constituents receive the money and benefits due them from the federal government. Taking care of home first is my number one priority,” Rep. Johnson said. Twenty House and Senate offices were honored as finalists in four categories: Constituent Service, Innovation, Transparency and Accountability, and “Life in Congress” – Workplace Environment. A committee comprised primarily of former members of Congress and former congressional staffers will select the two winners (one Democrat and one Republican) for each of the categories. Winners will be announced in mid-May. Congressman Johnson’s office is located at 5240 Snapfinger Park Drive, Suite 140, Decatur, GA 30035. The office number is 770-987-2291. The fax number is 770-9878721.


Beauty, history await at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit

he Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance is again hosting its monthly Saturday Highlights & Insights Tour at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit. Tours are scheduled March 24, April 28, May 26, June 23. During the two-hour tour, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., visitors are invited to revel in the profound beauty and history of one of the most magnificent places in Georgia. Docents guide visitors on a remarkable journey through a place filled with purpose and discover the spiritual landscape where Trappist monks live, work, and pray in a community cloistered from the outside world. Participants will gain insight into the Abbey Church’s architecture and construction, marvel at handcrafted stained glass, and will be joined by a monk to visit spaces normally closed to the public. The tours give visitors a special opportunity to discover why the Monastery of the Holy Spirit is considered the spiritual gateway in the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area. The cost is $12 for participants ages 13 and over; children 12 and younger are free. Pre-registration is required and tickets can be purchased at http:// For more information about the tour, contact Director of Interpretation Sarah Lisle at 404-998-8384 x6 or sarah@arabiaalliance. org.


Thursday, March 1

at Eagle’s Landing

5:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 3

at McIntosh

11:30 a.m.

Saturday, March 3

Lakeside at McIntosh

1:30 p.m.

Monday, March 5

St. Pius

5:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 8

at Newton County

5:55 p.m.

Monday, March 12


5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 14

at Clarkston

5:00 p.m.

Friday, March 16

at Southwest DeKalb

5:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 17

at Cedartown

11:00 a.m.

Monday, March 19

Southwest DeKalb

5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, March 21

Miller Grove

5:00 p.m.

Friday, March 23

at Miller Grove

5:00 p.m.

Monday, March 26


5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, March 28

at Chamblee

5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 3

Charles Drew

11:00 a.m.

Thursday, April 5

Cedar Grove

11:00 a.m.

Monday, April 9

at Lithonia

5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 11


5:00 p.m.

Friday, April 13

Cross Keys

5:00 p.m.

Monday, April 16

at Cross Keys

5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 18

at Columbia

5:00 p.m.

Thursday, April 19


5:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 21


11:00 a.m.

HEAD COACH Eric Hoxie ROSTER 0 - Drevion Ivy 1 - Silas Butler 2 - Jayln Hawkins 3 - Corey King 4 - Ross Witherspoon 5 - Jonathan Parks 6 - Terrance Phillips 7 - Jordan Sterling 8 - Conard Heath 10 - Joshua Campbell 11 - Micah Sanders 12 - Tyler Suber 13 - Judah Hill 14 - Juston Jordan 16 - Tyson Scott 44 - Justin Hollis ARABIA MOUNTAIN HIGH SCHOOL 6610 Browns Mill Rd. Lithonia, GA 30038

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ARABIA MOUNTAIN Arabia Mountain, a granite monadnock, is one of the most distinctive features of the Heritage Area. The Arabia Mountain monadnock, or an isolated and exposed rock hill, is one of the few found in Georgia besides Stone Mountain and Heritage Area sister Panola Mountain. The unique topography and geology of a monadnock allows for unusual plant and animal species to thrive. Arabia Mountain has five species that are listed as both state and federally endangered, including the bright-red diamorpha plant that lives in small pools of water that form on the monadnock. INTERPRETIVE & RECREATIONAL HIKING WITH RANGER ROBBY March 9 @ 8:00 am - 10:00 am Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Center 3787 Klondike Rd. Free

SUNSETS AND SNORKELWORTS March 17 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Center 3787 Klondike Rd.

Treat yourself to a casual sunset hike with Ranger Robby and the U.S Fish and Join us for a hike and learn about the natural Wildlife Service. This event will highlight the and cultural resources of the Davidsonsuccessful recovery efforts of two federally Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve. You’ll endangered species and celebrate this leave inspired with a better understanding unique and treasured ecosystem. Please of local history, early DeKalb industry, and bring a mug, water, and dress comfortably the animals and plants that call this special for the outdoors. place home. Hikes are moderate for 2-3 hours. Please dress in long pants, closed-toe shoes, and bring plenty of water. ARABIA MOUNTAIN GEOLOGY HIKE March 18 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm JR. RANGER CAMP Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Center March 12 @ 8:30 am - 4:30 pm 3787 Klondike Rd. Davidson-Arabia Nature Preserve Free 3787 Klondike Road $40 Join Ranger Meredith for an interpretive hike about the geology of Arabia Mountain When school is out, camp is in! Join Rangers to learn more about our 400 million year from Arabia and Panola Mountain for a full old history. We’ll discuss rocks and minerals day of guided hikes, fishing, educational and explore the life that lives on the rock. games, and more for youth ages 7-12. Please dress in long pants, closed-toe shoes, Campers will explore both Parks, interact with and bring plenty of water for this moderate/ Rangers, and learn about unique ecosystems. difficult hike. $40 per child; $35 per additional child. Space is limited. Call the Panola Mountain Nature Center at 770-389-7801 to register.

On Common Ground is Stonecrest’s official newspaper

Stonecrest Digest: March 2018  

Welcome to the first monthly edition of the Stonecrest Digest. Here, you'll find highlights about the city of Stonecrest, news features and...

Stonecrest Digest: March 2018  

Welcome to the first monthly edition of the Stonecrest Digest. Here, you'll find highlights about the city of Stonecrest, news features and...