The Statham City Council, during its Tuesday, Sept. 15 meeting, approved the hiring of Sandra Bennett as the new city clerk. The 3-2 council vote — with Betty Lyle and Hattie Thrasher opposed — came following a 35-minute closed session.

Bennett, who was already employed by the city, will officially take over for Susan Gabriel, who left the post earlier this year due to family reasons. Gabriel, a previous city clerk for Statham, returned after Mayor Joe Piper took office in January. Three employees, including Bennett, had been splitting the duties of the position since her departure.

In other business during its meeting, the council:

•approved a new tree ordinance that is aimed at laying out proper planting procedures and tree and establishing a process for emergency removal of trees. The mayor would be authorized to instruct the pruning or removal of a tree that is deemed an immediate danger to the public.

•approved an updated planning and zoning fee schedule that city officials have said would increase some fees and bring Statham more in line with other nearby communities.

•heard from Piper that repair work on Broad Street west of downtown near Dooley Town Road was wrapping up and the road was set to be open by the end of the week.

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