Decatur considering $100,000 for creation of Community Action Plan

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt July 20, 2015
Decatur City Hall

Decatur City Hall

The creation of a plan to address concerns about decreasing diversity in the city of Decatur is expected to cost upwards of $100,000.

Part of that would be funded by a $25,000 grant from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. The rest of the funding is in the city’s current budget, according to a memo from City Manager Peggy Merriss to the city commission.

During its July 20 meeting, commissioners will consider awarding a $109,000 contract to The Art of Community for the creation of a Community Action Plan. The creation of the plan came about after a group of citizens, led by former School Board member Don Denard, raised concerns about alleged racial profiling by city Police Officers. That turned into a wider discussion about diversity in Decatur and led to a $25,000 contract being awarded to the Art of Community for facilitating the discussion.

Merriss’ memo says, “Work on developing a process to create the Community Action Plan began in 2014 with the work of the Leadership Circle, a group of City of Decatur residents and city officials representing a diverse cross section of the community.  The purpose of the Leadership Circle was to meet over a period of time to work together to assess, define and be part of a recommendation to incorporate the broader community into a process that would result in an actionable plan.”

For a full break down of the contract, click here.

For more information on Decatur’s ongoing diversity discussion, click here.

The July 20 City Commission meeting begins with a work session about the plan at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at City Hall, located at 509 North McDonough Street. All meetings are open to the public.


About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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  • Marty

    I have read that at least one member of the “Leadership Circle” advising the city wrote that “all prayer is political.” It is a very interesting perspective of an individual providing input on city policy. By extension, are houses of worship political entities?

    Perhaps Mr. Abercrombie should request that the political entities he is associated with collect tithes to support he and his colleagues political causes.

    Great question for the commissioners next election cycle, Do they support the position that “all prayer is political”?

    • Jason

      Mr. Abercrombie is one of our city’s most engaged and thoughtful residents. Maybe you should include your own last name before quoting him out of context as an anonymous user.

  • G Buck

    I feel strongly we should have more ninjas in the city. Many more ninjas. Unless we already have a bunch. It’s hard to tell with ninjas.

    But seriously! A full $100k to talk about how we should all be nicer to one another? A six figure expenditure to decide we should treat one another with respect and understanding?

    Surely we can find something more productive to do with ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND dollars.

  • Marty

    “Chris, I appreciate the questions you raise in you lengthy post. I will be inviting my friends to join me in a vigil to honor those who died in what is clearly a hate crime. Will it be political? All prayer is political. Your assumption that this is a flash mob is a great leap. There are other projections that go well beyond any evidence.”

    What is out of context Jason?

    I am absolutely sure that Mr. Abercrombie is engaged. All prayer is political; a thoughtful perspective? It is without a doubt one of the most disturbing comments and perspectives I have ever read on a Decatur blog.

    Jason, if all prayer is political, is a prayer vigil actually a political event?
    If not, why not, if all prayer is political? Further, if one does not share a political ideology, are they not worthy of prayers or a prayer vigil. For example, when is the prayer vigil on the square for those individuals gunned down in Chattanooga?

    Look forward to the discussion.

    • Andrew

      At its essence, prayer is an appeal to a higher authority for something you want but may not get. That’s essentially synonymous with how our political process works. I don’t get why recognizing the similarities is so disturbing.

  • Marty

    Is Mr. Denard also a member of the “Leadership Circle”?

    From the AJC –
    Former Decatur school board member Don Denard recently asked the city commission for “better training” of the city’s police department in “dealing with the subconscious level of racism.”

    Mr. Denard implies that all DPD are subconscious racists, impugning the integrity of all the members of DPD serving the community on a daily basis.

    How exactly does Mr. Denard or any individual delve into the subconscious level of an individual or group of individuals to elucidate an understanding of the subconscious?

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