On August 16, the Auburn City Council held its second meeting of the month. Mayor Ron Anders began by thanking public safety officials for working to provide School Resource Officers to local schools. Though the provision is not complete, Anders said he was hopeful that these SROs will soon be put in place.
Anders also noted next week’s municipal elections. On Tuesday, voters from several wards will be eligible to vote on who will represent them during city council meetings. If needed, runoff elections will be held on September 20. Anders encouraged all who had an election regarding their ward to get out and vote.
City Manager Megan McGowen followed by announcing plans to fill 3 vacancies on the Industrial Development Board. Appointments will be made on September 20. McGowen also discussed two agenda items with the council, one regarding the renewal of a membership in the Alabama League of Municipalities and another regarding the purchase of 27 parking kiosks from T2 Systems. Both items were approved.
Following this, it was unanimously decided to annex approximately 6.51 acres of land at 2190 Richland Rd. A motion to rezone approximately 0.21 acres from Development District to Medium Density Residential District that required a unanimous decision and public hearing was struck down.
The council approved a motion that allowed for the commercial and entertainment use of a property on East Magnolia Avenue. Also, a motion was approved that states that part of Miracle Road will have to be vacated so that the Woodward Oaks project can continue. The vacation will be carried out in phases.
To end the meeting, the floor was opened up to citizens. One citizen took to the podium to discuss some possible negative effects that implementing SROs could have on students. One of the major effects that the citizen noted was a higher incarceration rate of black students and students with disabilities.
This notion faced pushback from councilman Tommy Dawson, who noted that SROs are put in place to protect students from dangerous situations and should not be discouraged by those who have never been put in their shoes.
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Tucker Massey, sophomore in journalism, is a news editor for The Auburn Plainsman.