Athens City Council met Monday evening to discuss several ordinances and heard from Damon Krane, an independent At-Large Council candidate, during the section of Council meetings when citizens are allowed to speak on legislative items and city services not covered on the agenda.
Council discussed a change in parking fines and fees. Under the proposed amendment, Councilman Jeff Risner, D-2nd Ward, said violation of the 72-hour parking restriction will result in a $35 parking citation. He said other parking violations may result in an individual being guilty of a misdemeanor in lieu of a court appearance.
Another possible ordinance considered would make an amendment to the city code regarding vendors. The amendment would add jail time along with fines for vending without a permit. The first offense will come with a fine, and second, third and fourth offenses will come with jail time and intensified fines of up to $750.
Finally, near the end of the meeting, Krane addressed Council in regards to the recent audio leak of Mayor Steve Patterson disparaging independent Council candidates published by The Athens NEWS. He read his grievances with Council about the statements made by Patterson.
“He is clearly not the mayor of progressives in the city or he wouldn’t be trying to ally with Trump supporters to defeat them,” Krane said.
Krane also commented on how he hopes Councilman Ben Ziff, D-At Large, and Councilman Micah McCarey, D-At Large, will join him and Iris Virjee, another independent at-large candidate, in “opposing a city establishment that is undeniably hostile” to underrepresented communities.
McCarey and Ziff, both Council members who were named by Krane, expressed wishes to meet with Patterson to discuss the night’s events personally.
“It will be extremely important for all of us to maintain a productive working relationship with city administration and fellow council members, so I think, of course, these things need to be processed and discussed. So, I’m looking forward to that opportunity, too,” McCarey said.
Patterson said he had no comment on what happened at the Council meeting but would gladly meet with McCarey and Ziff to discuss.