Dallas city councilmen Monday gave officials the go-ahead to pursue the creation of the office of city marshal.
“What we will do is remove the code enforcement officer from the police department, have a separate department, we’ll use the same court clerk and the same municipal court for the judication of the fines and the penalties that are assessed under [code violations], but it gives him more free time or frees up his time to do exclusive work on code enforcement and the issues that are subject thereof,” Mayor Boyd Austin said of the plan of creating of the city marshal office. “It segregates the duties and kind of makes a cleaner transition, allows [Police Chief] Scott [Halter] to develop his budget and to have full-time officers that are working police duties for the laws of the federal government, state government and the ordinances of the city, and it will free a marshal up to do all the other things we’re trying to complete.”
But Austin said the creation process might involve another government entity—the Georgia General Assembly.
“I think we have the ability [to create the office] because we have police powers” under the city charter, Austin said prior to the council’s vote. “You have a resolution in front of you that if we do have to amend the [city] charter, the resolution will be sent to our local legislative delegation, and they’ll introduce legislation to allow us to create the office of the city marshal.”
“What the mayor’s proposing is the right thing to do here—we’ll have it either way,” City Attorney Glen Stinson told councilmen.
Austin said city officials would contact the state attorney general’s office to see if the legislation was needed; if not, it will not be pursued.
In other business, councilmen set the qualifying period for this year’s municipal election. Qualifying will begin the morning of Monday, Aug. 29, and run through Wednesday, Aug. 31 at 4:30 p.m.
First pitch of season to be thrown Saturday
Spring might as well be here, and for area youths, spring starts on Saturday as they begin playing baseball. The city’s Parks and Recreation department is overseeing six teams, which will all be in navy and silver uniforms. Sixty-eight youths of various age levels signed up to play, said Amber Whisner, park manager for the city.
Though the regular season begins March 19, the first home games at Sara Babb Park—a 13-14 preseason tournament and a tee-ball game—are set for Saturday. Forty-six home games will be played there within the next seven weeks, Whisner said, and all six teams will play at home on April 16, which will serve as Dallas’ kickoff day for Georgia Cities Week. Whisner invited Austin to throw out the first pitch that day, and she presented the mayor with a special edition jersey on behalf of the Parks and Recreation department.
“As soon as baseball gets over, the pool will be open and camp will be going. I think it’s going to be a fun next few months, at least through to August or so,” Whisner told Austin and the city council. “We’d love to have all of y’all come out and watch some of our ballgames.”