Atlanta's Mayor and Lawmakers Continue to Dispute Donald E. Hollowell Parkway's Improvement Plan
ATLANTA, GA - Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has banned her staff from moving forward on any city council-approved ordinance specifically dealing with safety improvements to Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway even though a city council vote overrode the Mayor's veto.
According to the news report, Mayor Bottoms signed an administrative order calling the city council's new ordinance "void and unenforceable" according to Georgia's Constitution. The city council's ordinance places a short stretch of Mitchell Street, near the southern edge of the Georgia Capitol, under state control. The ordinance, by default, would permit the state to complete safety improvements to Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway.
The Mayor's administrative order asserts that the legislation violates the Georgia Constitution's "Gratuities Clause" because the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) already committed to making the Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway improvements that are designed to stop fatal traffic and pedestrian accidents.
Under Georgia's "Gratuities Clause," public agencies are prohibited from giving gratuities, donations, and extra compensation to any public officer, contractor, or government agent after service was rendered or a contract has been executed.
Councilman Michael Julian Bond, who is a co-sponsor of the Donald E. Hollowell Parkway legislation, stated that no contract currently exists between the state and Atlanta, and therefore the gratuities law does not apply. He also stated that the Mayor lacks the legal authority to interpret the city council's legislation unilaterally.
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