The site is a 5,864-square-foot parcel at the corner of Roswell and Anderson streets that will include a bronze memorial statue given to the city by the Kiwanis Club of Marietta, which will be unveiled in time for the city's annual Fourth of July Parade this summer. The city is spending $600,000 to redevelop the parcel into parkland as part of its Roswell Streetscape project using federal and SPLOST dollars.
Wilson served as a state representative from 1961 to 1988 and as mayor from 1990 to 1993, when he died while in office. Tumlin called him a visionary leader.
"He had an infectious love for Marietta and Cobb County. He put our city and county and the people first and you can see his footprint everywhere," Tumlin said, citing Wilson's support of Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic University, as well as his efforts at beautifying the Square, designating the use of the hotel/motel tax for "Marietta treasures," and Marietta in general.
"He fought and won for the common man and would challenge you one day and work with you the next," Tumlin added. "You knew that you had arrived when he would put his index finger in your face and explain a situation to you. He was usually right. Marietta and its citizens and Square are better and will remain a city of excellence because of Joe Mack Wilson. He worried about the small details as he even took on the task of removing the pigeons from our square. As Joe Mack was a person of the people, the triangle park with its size and anticipated beauty as a grand entrance to our city fits the leadership and contribution of this humble leader."
The City Council also voted 6-1, with Councilman Jim King opposed, to approve a policy for how to name parks as they are created or enhanced using various funding, including the $25 million parks bond voters approved in November. Until now, Parks Director Rich Buss said the city hasn't had a policy for naming parks.
The naming policy would not allow parks and recreation facilities to be named after a living person, but could be named after an historic event, geographic reference or in remembrance of an outstanding citizen, among other criteria. Under the new policy, citizens who want a park named a particular way must first have the endorsement of a council member or the mayor for it to be consider by the full council.
King opposed the policy on the grounds that he prefers to name parks after geographic locations or roads, rather than people, because it takes the politics out of it.
In related parks business, the council:
n Voted unanimously to approve a tier system for its parks bond improvement expenses, as a way to prioritize projects. The "Tier 1" category, which is currently the only category with listed projects, includes an expansion and renovation of the Elizabeth Porter Center as well as renovation of Hickory Hills Park.
"What I was trying to do was send a message to the community that we're moving, that we're getting things done. My timeline is let's start yesterday," said Councilman Johnny Sinclair, chair of the parks committee.
n Voted unanimously to approve a parks master plan. City staff was first authorized to conduct a survey, which led to the development of the master plan in the fall of 2007. The previous council and mayor never came to consensus on adopting the document. When Sinclair was seated at the beginning of the year and appointed chair of the parks committee, he shrank the 102-page master plan down to 17 pages, removing the specifics and leaving it more general in nature.
n Voted 5-2, with Annette Lewis and Philip Goldstein opposed, to approve a contract with Tennis Dynamics Management LLC of Marietta to manage the tennis courts at Laurel Park for the remainder of the council's term in office, which is Dec. 31, 2013. The first year the contract calls for the firm to pay the city $1,500 a month in base payments with a percentage of net revenue not to exceed 7.5 percent. Staff recommended the firm, after going through a request for proposals process. The previous company that managed the tennis courts, Allcourt Incorporated, did not respond to the RFP, Buss said.
n Voted 5-2, with Goldstein and Lewis opposed, to approve a motion designating the city's 7-acre Aviation Sports Complex located on Aviation Road off South Marietta Parkway as the site of a future baseball/softball program. Lewis voted against because she said she's waiting to hear what the citizens committee charged with spending the $25 million parks bond comes up with first. Goldstein said if the city has a baseball program at Aviation, it should be run by the city, not leased out to a private firm.