City Council Briefs: Scooter injuries; state bills opposed; ethics & compliance board

The Atlanta City Council approved a resolution Monday seeking injury data related to the use of dockless scooters. The resolution, approved unanimously, requests that hospitals, urgent care facilities and other healthcare institutions provide injury reports to the City Council on a quarterly basis. The resolution was drafted by Council President Felicia Moore in response to safety concerns generated by the growing use of such devices.

Atlanta City Councilmember and Public Safety Committee Chair Dustin Hillis introduced a resolution Monday opposing efforts in the General Assembly to preempt municipalities from regulating and establishing their own bail. House Bill 340 would curtail an ordinance adopted last year by the council that reformed how the city’s cash bail system works for many low-level offenses. Municipal judges were given greater discretion to release people arrested for committing nonviolent misdemeanors until they appear back in court. House Bill 340 would effectively undo those changes.

The City Council also expressed its opposition Monday to Senate Bill 131, a measure that would place control of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport under a state created airport authority appointed by state officials to oversee operations. Councilmember Andre Dickens introduced a resolution unanimously signed by the council that opposes any state action that changes the existing governance structure of the world’s busiest airport.

The council approved legislation expanding the composition of the Board of Ethics’ role and responsibility to ensure compliance with its rulings and city code. Legislation 19-O-1038 calls for the establishment of the new Board of Ethics and Independent Compliance as well as the establishment of the position of the Independent Compliance Officer, its jurisdiction, and duties and responsibilities. “The newly expanded Board of Ethics and Independent Compliance will play an important role in ensuring that the City of Atlanta eliminates fraud, waste, and abuse,” Councilmember Jennifer Ide said. “Establishing an Independent Compliance Office will extend the scope of the important work done by the City’s Ethics Officer and make Atlanta a leader in ethical and transparent governance.” The board would be expanded to include 11 members, with the seven current members remaining in their seats.

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