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26 October 2015

City Launches Special Tomorrowworld Inquiry with Hopes of Adopting Reforms for Future Festivals

It's been thirty days since the start of Tomorrowworld 2015.

Horror stories about the three-day festival flooded the internet during and after the event.

Chattahoochee Hills Mayor Tom Reed promised a full investigation into what went wrong. At the 23 October 2105 City Council work session, Mayor Reed and other local elected officials received a briefing about the special Tomorrowworld inquiry.

Georgia Unfiltered emailed Mayor Reed after the meeting, and asked him what was discussed; what recommendations he's hoping will come out of the investigation; and how often the panel would meet.

Below are Mayor Reed's responses, unedited and unfiltered:

In the meeting we discussed our progress on the investigation.

Our staff has nearly completed their data gathering process. Our understanding is that TomorrowWorld has been doing the same. We’ll be having at least one public information session for the same purpose – to get whatever data points that private individuals may have which for whatever reason haven’t been relayed to us yet (that meeting has not been scheduled yet, but I expect it (or them) to take place in November).

Once that is all done, we will be compiling policy recommendations for the City Council to vote on for changes in the process go-forward, to correct and mitigate whatever the specific failure points were this year, to ensure that the contingency planning is more robust, and that all of the vendors involved are capable of and committed to their parts of those plans.

Once that’s done, there will be at least another public meeting to describe those revised processes.

Not sure of the schedule of those meetings or the number that will be needed – the outcomes of the investigation will drive that process.

Keep in mind that while TomorrowWorld has a huge economic impact in the region, there’s not that much economic ‘capture’ in Chatt Hills, and the event does cause some real hardships for the neighbors here (especially true THIS year). And we have a Public Safety interest in being certain that any event that takes place here is safe for its attendees. As a City, we strongly respect and support the rights of private property owners to do things that are allowed on their property, but feel an equally strong responsibility to do what we can to mitigate any negative impacts on their neighbors and to ensure Public Safety – that’s the balance we’re aiming for here.

While we’ve got opinions on all some needed changes based on what we already know, we don’t want to presuppose the outcome of a thoughtful and thorough process.