The council voted unanimously to authorize Mayor Harvey Persons to sign a Wi-Fi Network Grant Agreement and a Promotion Agreement with Google, Inc. for installation and operation of an outdoor wireless Internet network to cover the downtown plaza areas, Jessie Davis Park and Hunter Park.
“It is an exciting time with the city of Douglasville,” said Persons. “The people from Google have graciously agreed to work with the city at this point in time to help us do this. Not only help us do it, but to provide the financing or the monies to be able to do that.”
He added, “What we’re able to do here will allow us to do many things. It allows us to promote the city with all the benefits that we have with being able to have Wi-Fi. It is a tremendous asset.”
In other action, the council voted unanimously Monday to waive the requirement for a City of Douglasville logo on the mayor’s and city manager’s work vehicles for calendar year 2013.
A public hearing was held during Monday night’s regular voting meeting to make an annual review as to whether the mayor and city should be exempt from having the logo and city government designation on their work vehicles.
According to City Manager Bill Osborne, it is a state requirement for local governments to review and decide on whether to keep on or take off a logo or license tag designation for a government-owned vehicle.
Osborne said during a recent work session that a waiver has to be done on an annual basis. At that time, he had informed the council members that the waiver had been approved in the past.
Douglasville resident Richard Segal was the lone person commenting during the public hearing, which led to further discussions on the matter from the council.
Segal said the requirement for a city-owned vehicle to have signage and a tag designation was “a question of transparency and accountability.”
“We want to know when a city-owned vehicle is involved in an accident on a city street,” said Segal, “or if someone is cruising around at 1 a.m in a city vehicle. It makes the driver more accountable when driving a city-owned vehicle.”
Councilman Doug Leguire said he felt the city logo should not be on the mayor or city manager’s work vehicles, as it “creates unnecessary questions.”
“It is part of the compensation they have,” he said.
Councilman Mark Adams asked if there was any way to identify that the mayor and city manager’s work vehicles are city-owned. He suggested opting not to have the city seal on the vehicle doors, but have city government designation on the license plate instead.
“I don’t have a problem with having a government tag,” said Persons. “In the past, it (the tag) has been moved from one vehicle to the others.”
The city manager announced that Douglasville City Hall would be closed Monday and Tuesday for the Christmas holiday and closed Tuesday, Jan. 1 on New Year’s Day.