The Dunwoody mayor and City Council approved Oct. 8 a $70,000 contract with ConnectSouth to be the city’s lobbyist group in the General Assembly for 2019. ConnectSouth has represented Dunwoody at the state Capital since it sought incorporation more than a decade ago.

Councilmember Lynn Deutsch suggested opening up the lobbying contract this year to a bid. Last year’s passage of House Bill 876 erased Dunwoody’s restrictions on wood-frame apartments and was a major loss to the city, she said. Legislation approved this year giving private telecom companies broad use of city right-of-way also hurt the city, she said.

“I found last year’s legislative session pretty horrifying,” she said.

Finance Director Chris Pike said there was no way the cities were going to win the wood-frame debate because the forestry industry threw its support behind the bill. Small cell legislation is a statewide issue and more work is being done to address local government concerns on how to regulate the small cells, he added.

The vote was 6-1 with Deutsch voting no.

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.