DeKalb NAACP Candidate Forum for Commission District 4 & 6
Recorded by Viola Davis
DeKalb NAACP hosted a forum on May 21, 2016 at 3015 South Rainbow Drive, Decatur, Georgia from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The candidates for CEO, District Attorney, Tax Commissioner, Sheriff, District 4 Commissioner and District 6 Commissioners that attended include:
Chief Executive Officer:
Irvin J. Johnson
District 4 Commissioner:
District 6 Commissioner:
Kathie Gannon (Incumbent)
The candidates that did not attend include:
Robert James (Incumbent)
Jeffrey Mann (Incumbent)
District 4 Commissioner:
Sharon Barnes Sutton (Incumbent)
District 6 Commissioner:
I want to go on record as endorsing Lance Hammonds for County Commissioner for District 4. In my years (over 15 years) of working as a government watchdog and with statewide government watchdogs, I have found Lance Hammonds to be trustworthy, ethical, community-oriented, a change agent and an independent spirit. If you want to see honest people in government, join me in supporting Lance Hammonds for the 4th District Commissioner.
Viola Davis – Co-Founder of Unhappy Taxpayer & Voter – agreed to write the endorsement for voters that support Lance Hammonds.
Joel Edwards with Restore DeKalb agreed to speak for supporters of Steve Bradshaw.
We have two excellent candidates that will serve Commission District 4 and help restore public trust. Our community deserve representation with honesty, ethics, integrity and respect for taxpayers and voters.
Update of New Video: Newly formed Political Action Committee (PAC) endorsing candidates in DeKalb County…
For more information, comments and/or questions: Dr. Curtis Thrasher Phone: 404-284-9984 or Viola Davis Phone: 770-256-0034; View the reasons to elect anybody but Sharon Barnes Sutton and Stan Watson at http://anybodybut.org; http://anybodybut.org , (reasons, articles and video) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Dr. Curtis Thrasher leads a coalition of citizens to move DeKalb County in a new direction with new leadership. Dr. Thrasher has identified two elected officials that need to be removed from office in order for DeKalb County to recover from the cloud of corruption and restore public trust. We have submitted documents to the Board of Commissioners that show missing money from franchise fee and peg fees with Public Access Television and over $70 million dollars missing from Public Works/Watershed. Ask your Commissioners for copies under the Open Records Request and demand an audit of these departments. Sharon Barnes Sutton and Stan Watson were on the Public Works Committee 5 of the 7 years the committee existed. Jeff Rader and Kathie Gannon were on the committee 3 of the 7 years. Lee May and Elaine Boyer were on the committee 2 of the 7 years. Nancy Jester was on the committee less than 1 of the 7 years.
TAXPAYER & VOTER ARE THE “EMPLOYERS”
Our Vote – Hire and Fire Elected Officials
Our Tax Money – Pay Elected Officials Salaries and provide Money for Budgets
These two facts define us as “Employers” of the elected officials
NEW LEADERSHIP, NEW VISION, NEW DIRECTION
DeKalb County needs to elect new leadership with the courage to move our county in a new direction. DeKalb County needs a new vision.
FREDERICK DOUGLASS QUOTES:
Frederick Douglass/Quotes If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.
It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.
Statement from Get the Cell Out – Atl: Congratulations to everyone involved in every community who helped bring this subject to the forefront of their conversations and who held their elected officials accountable for their actions. And thank you to every person involved in this fight and similar battles taking place across the country. Your willingness to put yourself on the line in order to learn the truth and face skeptics should be an inspiration to others. We would never been able to stand up to the “system” here if there were not success stories of others who had faced the same Goliath, and won their battle before ours.
We appreciate Commissioner Rader and the entire DeKalb County Board of Commissioners for stepping up and taking on this fight against T Mobile while upholding the zoning code in our communities.
Regardless of any bad publicity you may have heard about our county commissioners,
they at least did the right thing for the communities they serve when they all signed a
letter to the CEO’s office, advising that any attempt to gain an “administrative permit”
instead of using the proper channels should be denied and our county’s zoning ordinances
should be upheld.
If you have not educated yourself about the many adverse effects that have been documented about cell phone towers, please look over the many sources available on our website or email us with questions. A good source of information can also be found at the Center for Safer Wireless – http://thecenterforsaferwireless.us.
We also encourage everyone to thoroughly read the new zoning ordinance as suggested by Commissioner Rader and voice any feedback to the county commissioners and CEO’s office as soon as possible.
Federal Judge Backs DeKalb on Denying Cell Tower Permits
In 2011, T-Mobile and the DeKalb Board of Education proposed to build cell towers on 11 school properties located in residential areas. Many citizens and parents organizations were concerned and asked DeKalb County to act. At the urging of Commissioner Kathie Gannon, the DeKalb Board of Commissioners wrote then CEO Ellis and asked that the administration refuse to issue building permits because the tower locations, while on school properties, are zoned residential, which does not permit cell phone towers. The cell tower company and the DeKalb School Board challenged the right of County government to enforce its zoning code on school properties. Recently Federal District Judge Thrash ruled that the County acted properly in refusing to issue the building permits.
“I’m pleased with the Federal Court ruling and that DeKalb enforced this protection of our neighborhoods,” said Gannon. “The cell towers will not be built on the school properties.”
The Commissioner can be reached: http://www.kathiegannon.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cell-phone Tower Update
One of the most pervasive signs of our mobile communications society is the proliferation of cell phone towers across the landscape. In DeKalb, the mobile communications revolution occurred after the widespread development of the landscape, so the infill installation of these structures has been perceived as intrusive in many residential neighborhoods. One recent decision and one pending regulation are relevant and noteworthy.
The recent noteworthy decision is the dismissal of a suit against DeKalb County by T-Mobile, a cellular provider. T-Mobile had sued DeKalb seeking a building permit for structures on two DeKalb County School System (DCSS) properties in District 2: Lakeside High School and Margaret Harris Comprehensive School. T Mobile had entered into a contract with DCSS seeking to invoke DCSS’s exemption from zoning regulation to erect the towers in residential districts where they are otherwise prohibited. Encouraged by the DeKalb Board of Commissioners, the DeKalb County Administration declined to recognize the requested permits as exempt from zoning since the cell towers were not educational facilities. T-Mobile sued, but canceled their contract with DCSS after the Federal Courts ruled in favor of DeKalb. T-Mobile also paid DeKalb County court costs incurred in our defense.
The decision is important because it helps limit exemptions to zoning laws intended to protect neighborhoods from incompatible development. Governments (Federal, State, Local and Public Schools) retain this important prerogative, but it should only be exercised to directly advance their public mission, not simply to generate revenue.
The pending decision on the regulation of cell towers is in our new zoning ordinance, which will soon be considered by the Board of Commissioners. After considerable public input and a thorough investigation of relevant federal legislation, the current proposal would allow cellular antennas within or attached to nonresidential structures legally permitted in single-family neighborhoods. These would include houses of worship or other institutions that are legally permitted to be of sufficient height to make a cellular antenna attractive to a carrier. The new proposal would not allow the cell towers that were the object of the T-Mobile controversy.
The proposed policy turns on the inherent incompatibility of a free-standing antenna with a surrounding single family neighborhood, and not on the concerns that some citizens have about the radio waves generated by the antenna. This is important because federal communications regulations prohibit local regulation of cellular antennas based on radio wave concerns. We convened citizen stakeholders interested in this issue recently, who made suggestion on refining the policy for adoption. The new zoning ordinance can be found online at http://planningdekalb.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/finalDraftZoningCodeJan20151.pdf
The Commissioner can be reached at: http://www.commissionerrader.com or email, email@example.com.
Mark Niesse and Johnny Edwards wrote an article titled, “Audit: Spending reports sloppy” on October 24, 2014 in the AJC newspaper. The front page article was an investigative piece, highlighting the results of a ten year audit of the Board of Commissioners, their office staff and the clerk’s office purchase card usage.
DeKalb County has been lax in its oversight of spending by elected commissioners, and some officials frequently paid for items on their government debit cards without submitting required receipts, according to an audit released Thursday.
The audit shows the seven commissioners used taxpayer funds to pay for everything from steakhouse dinners to speeding tickets…
The DeKalb commission submitted receipts for just 57% of the transactions. However, the Purchase Card (P-card) spending by commissioners includes (according to the AJC):
1. Elaine Boyer: $103,665 with 40 percent supported by receipts
Review the actual audit at: https://www.scribd.com/doc/244408986/DeKalb-County-P-Card-Audit-Commissioner-Elaine-Boyer
2. Jeff Rader: $34,606 with 77 percent supported by receipts
Review the actual audit at: https://www.scribd.com/doc/244409024/DeKalb-County-P-Card-Audit-Commissioner-Jeff-Rader
3. Larry Johnson: $78,757, with 97 percent supported by receipts
Review the actual audit at: https://www.scribd.com/doc/244409015/DeKalb-County-P-Card-Audit-Commissioner-Larry-Johnson
4. Sharon Barnes Sutton: $108,720, with 25 percent supported by receipts
Review the actual audit at: https://www.scribd.com/doc/244410962/DeKalb-County-P-Card-Audit-Commissioner-Sharon-Barnes-Sutton
5. Lee May: $57,283, with 39 percent supported by receipts
Review the actual audit at: https://www.scribd.com/doc/244408974/DeKalb-County-P-Card-Audit-Commissioner-Lee-May
6. Kathie Gannon: $26,327, with 97 percent supported by receipts
Review the actual audit at: https://www.scribd.com/doc/244409040/DeKalb-County-P-Card-Audit-Commissioner-Kathie-Gannon
7. Stan Watson: $57,937, with 78 percent supported by receipts
Review the actual audit at: https://www.scribd.com/doc/244408999/DeKalb-County-P-Card-Audit-Commissioner-Stan-Watson
The DeKalb County Purchase Card (P-Card) audit on the Central Office Administration and Clerks:
For the entire article, view the link : http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local-govt-politics/report-finds-loose-spending-by-dekalb-officials/nhqw7/
NOTE: Stay tuned for our take on this so-called audit. We have not done a complete review as of this date. However, a preliminary perusal of this report leave us with a lot of questions to be asked and answered.