The City of Stonecrest’s Development Authority members completed a day-long training recently. The 11-member panel includes local business owners, Mayor Jason Lary, Stonecrest’s Economic Development Director Sabrina Wright and Doug Stoner, a consultant hired to aid in building and managing the new authority.
The statutorily-mandated training equipped the students with the knowledge of how development authorities serve within the city’s economic development process. Training topics included ethics, conflicts of interest, bonds, incentives, strategic planning, and finance.
Development authority members will play a key role in the city’s economic development process. According to the Georgia Government Finance Officers Association, the new development authority can be used as a key financing source to further economic development initiatives in Stonecrest.
The members toured Smyrna and Suwannee to collect information on the two cities’ developments. In a briefing, Stoner explained how Smyrna redeveloped its city. He described the process of building and financing a city business center, upscale housing, streetscapes, and mixed-use developments. Stoner and Mayor Lary agreed that the governing bodies, which include the city council, planning commission, and the board of zoning appeals, must have a common economic vision and goal.
“We cannot let negative comments made at our public meetings or on social media sway us from voting and supporting development that accomplishes our goals,” Lary said.
The Development Authority must set its by-laws, elect officers and set regular meetings before beginning itswork. A meeting to begin this process will be set within the next week, Lary said.