Kennesaw city manager’s contract renewed

Screenshot of Kennesaw City Council zoom meetingScreenshot of Kennesaw City Council zoom meeting

Kennesaw City Council voted to renew the contract for City Manager Dr. Jeff Drobney Monday night.

Drobney initially took over the position in 2016 when the city did not renew the contract for former manager Steve Kennedy. Drobney previously held the positions of assistant city manager, executive director of the Southern Museum, and agency director for recreation and culture.

The renewal extends the contract through the end of 2024. His annual salary will be $147,701.

In other business:

*Amendments to the Kennesaw alcohol ordinance passed 4-1 with Councilman Pat Ferris as the lone nay vote. The changes will allow businesses that operate inside designated entertainment zones to sell alcoholic beverages without a food component to the business. As the code was originally written, bars were required to earn 25 percent of their income from food sales, and restaurants 50 percent. The changes will also allow businesses that are designated as a restaurant or bar to implement food trucks as a way to meet the food sales requirement, a business model that has been proven popular by Truck & Tap’s locations in Woodstock, Duluth and Alpharetta.

*Police Chief Bill Westenberger provided the September crime statistics to the council. Overall, crime has decreased almost 20 percent to date in 2020 compared to the data from the same period as of September 2019. Year-to-date traffic citations have also decreased by 39 percent. However, the city did see a jump last month in larcenies from 20 in August to 32 in September.

“We do still have an increase in DUIs and domestic violence,” Westenberger said of the 2020 data.

*Council approved an intra-governmental agreement between the city and the Kennesaw Downtown Development Authority regarding the abandonment of Keene Street. The city will transfer the right of way to the KDDA to assist with its promotion of redevelopment of the parcel where the Budgetel Motel was destroyed in a 2018 fire. The city purchased the property last year as part of its revitalization plan. KDDA agrees to dedicate back any future right of way which the city may need for the proposed realignment of Keene Street.

Rebecca Gaunt earned a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in education from Oglethorpe University. After teaching elementary school for several years, she returned to writing. She lives in Marietta with her husband, son, two cats, and a dog. In her spare time, she loves to read, binge Netflix and travel.

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