December 9, 2019— Council Member Susie Walker called the Sugar Hill City Council meeting to order promptly at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the city hall. 

Following the pledge, city proclamations were in order. Council Member Marc Cohen announced the Teacher of the Year proclamations for the North Gwinnett cluster. Among the teachers recognized were Jenn Jones from Suwanee Elementary, Deanne Manotas from Roberts Elementary, Lori Tschan from Riverside Elementary, Lisa Vogel from Level Creek Elementary and Dannica Barnum from North Gwinnett Middle. 

A special proclamation was given to the Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year, Rebecca Carlisle from North Gwinnett High. She beat out teachers from the other 139 schools in the Gwinnett County School District.

An appreciation proclamation was announced to Taffeta Connery for her work with Sugar Hill Elementary. She is taking over as Principal at Rock Bridge Elementary School.

An artist by the name of Barry Palmer donated a 48×48 painting to the Sugar Hill Art gallery located in city hall. His work has frequently been presented in city events such as Sugar Rush. He was honored and thanked for his beautiful artwork.

In Council reports, Council Member Marc Cohen discussed his experience as Principal of the Day at Give West, a disciplinary school located in Norcross. He gave a special congratulations to the students at White Oak and Sugar Hill Elementary who are involved in the STEM and robotics program. The Gwinnett Historical Society recognized his son, Seth Cohen, for the work he has done in restoring the Benson-Kile cemetery in Sugar Hill for his Eagle Scout project.

Council Member Brandon Hembree arrived at the meeting late as he was receiving an award on behalf of the Historic Preservation Society for their work in preserving the essence of the city. 

Council Members Curtis Northrop and Taylor Anderson were incredibly pleased with the Tree Lighting ceremony held earlier in the week and thanked both staff and the community.

City Manager Paul Radford gave a shout out to the Parks and Recreation Department for the Holiday celebration.

Economic Development Director Mercy Montgomery announced a new Orange Theory gym opening in the E Center within the next 3-6 months. Crazy Dough Pizza has now reopened and has introduced a line of over 2o plus sandwiches. The next downtown cleanup day will be held on February 29, 2020.

Youth Council Mayor Khushi Mehta gave a summary of the work the group has been doing. A member from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been guiding their discussion on the growing vape problem amongst young people. They were able to learn about the recent city elections from City Clerk Jane Whittington and collected over four hundred dollars for their work at the Tree Lighting event. They will be meeting with Senator Unterman to discuss topics covered in a conference in January.

In public hearing and new business, Council Member Marc Cohen was once again selected as the Council’s liaison to the Art Commission. The 2020 proposed budget hearing took place in which City Manager Radford gave an overlaying description of the city expenses. The new budget expenses increased by 5.4% over the previous year. A full review of the budget can be found at

There was a public hearing on the Buford Housing Authority seeking a design review approval for the housing units they own at 100-700 Hall Place off of Level Creek Road.  The Buford Housing Authority sought approval to do exterior improvements to the units. The request was approved. The Council approved a rate increase effective January 1, 2020 for the Recycling Program.  Customers will see about a 5% or $0.68 increase per month for cart service and a comparable increase for bag service.

This concludes the regular session. The council and staff went into executive session.

— By Nida Merchant

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