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City Council approves Jones as economic development council director
1-5-2012-093 new councilman John Fountain and just retired councilman Marty Jones
Marty Jones

The new director chosen last week to lead the Conyers-Rockdale Economic Development Council was revealed as Marty Jones at tonight's Conyers City Council meeting.

Jones, a former council member and current chairman of the city's Downtown Development Authority, was unanimously approved as CREDC director by the city council. As director, he will lead efforts to draw businesses to the area, among other duties.

"It does mean a lot to me," Jones told the council, adding he views his job as a team effort. "We'll need everybody in this room, everybody in this community [to move the area forward]."

Council members noted that it took 10 months to find a new director and indicated there were tensions and some heated disputes along the way. But they praised Jones, with Councilman Cleveland Stroud calling him "the best man for the job."

During Tuesday's Board of Commissioners meeting, Commissioner Oz Nesbitt, who is on the CREDC board, did not refer to Jones by name but said "I'm really exctied to announce last Tuesday the Economic Development Council and the Development Authority members came together to make a selection for our new director.

"One of the things I wanted to make sure both my collegues are aware of in making the decision, my chief concern was this individual has a balanced approach in being able to work equally with county and city and having robust relationships with our school board, hospital, and other stakeholders in our community to make sure... the best ambassador for this county is put forward so we can become a major playor in the I-20 corridor and 13-county metro area."

Chairman Richard Oden, when asked by Commissioner JaNice Van Ness, confirmed the county's budget proposals included funding for CREDC as in years past.

Oden said, "We're going to put ourselves in a position where we're going to be sustainable for years and years to come because we're going to take a whole different approach to economic development and sustainability, life long livable communities and a number of opportunities are going to take place. We're going to talk to legislators this year about tax allocation districts, about creating community improvement districts, on top of enterprise zones, on top of opportunity zones. These are the kinds of things that attract. Right now we're behind the eight ball. Newton County is getting ready to clean our clock if we don't get our clock in order."

Jones was reportedly approved in a 6-3 vote by the CREDC board.

The Rockdale County Board of Commissioners will vote on Jones at their next meeting, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 10 a.m., at 901 Main Street.


In other city council business:

The council heard a presentation on a new facility to turn yard waste and restaurant grease into electrical power and fertilizer. Planned by First Generation Energy, the $28 million facility would be located on Old Covington Road next to Pratt Industries.

The council approved a $19,900 public works plan to improve drainage on East View Road to enable its further repair. The work could include "minimal blasting," said Brad Sutton, the city's director of public works and planning.

The council also approved a five-year update to the city's Comprehensive Land Use Plan that will be the subject of a future public hearing.

A beer, wine and liquor license for Cielo Mexican Grill & Cantina at 2133 Ga. Highway 20 was approved.