DeKalb County “Rotten to the Core”
The recent news about DeKalb County is good – and – bad. We’ve seen several developments in the past week.
One of the most prominent is the release of a statement by Mike Bowers that DeKalb County is “Rotten to the Core.”
In March of this year, DeKalb County Interim CEO Lee May appointed former State Attorney General Mike Bowers to investigate corruption and mismanagement within DeKalb County. Last week, Bowers released a letter publically saying that his investigation found corruption in every department, and that many county officials were not cooperating with his investigation. http://wabe.org/post/report-calls-dekalb-county-government-rotten-core.
Unfortunately, ICEO Lee May has indicated that he wants to bring an end to the investigation and will not fund it beyond August 26th.
The very same week, DeKalb County announced a deal with billionaire Arthur Blank. The county is going to give Blank’s Atlanta United soccer organization $12 million to build a training complex behind the DeKalb County jail. http://www.peachpundit.com/2015/08/03/arthur-blank-taps-dekalb-for-12m-because-he-can/
The “Memorandum of Understanding” (MOU) between Arthur Blank and DeKalb County was released just six days before it was approved by the commission. There was very little time to examine the deal. At the specially called meeting of the Board of Commissioners to approve the MOU there was no public comment allowed.
We are disappointed in these developments. This kind of behavior is what this organization is committed to stopping. We released an open letter to ICEO Lee May expressing our displeasure with these actions by DeKalb County government, and restating our commitment to working toward continued government reform. You can read our open letter to Lee May here: http://dekalbstrong.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Open-Letter-to-Lee-May.pdf?189db0
The process of getting our government back on the side of citizen’s interests will involve exposing more corruption, and will be painful. We can take some encouragement that corruption is being exposed as investigations move forward.
Is county government misbehavior a reason to form a new city?
Our answer is a resounding NO! Cities do nothing to address the problems in county government. Regardless of whether a new city is formed we are still part of DeKalb County and the majority of our municipal services (particularly the most expensive ones) are still provided by DeKalb. The work required to reform DeKalb will remain, but a new layer of government and a new set of politicians will require additional citizen oversight. To achieve the difficult work of reforming DeKalb we need to be unified as a community, not divided; we need to focus, not add an additional layer of government that will need its’ own watchdogs.
The District 80 election shows the high dissatisfaction of our neighbors with their new city.
We have heard the message loud and clear from the community that you want debates; you want to hear and consider the pros and cons of cityhood. Thereare some debates coming up that are open to the public. Please come, and bring undecided friends and neighbors!
DeKalb Strong debate
Week of Sept 28 (exact date TBA)
Lakeside High School
Laurel Ridge Shamrock Civic Association Q&A
October 13th, 7 p.m.
Druid Hills Middle School
Cityhood proponents seem reluctant to debate, and are holding a large number of one-sided meetings. They don’t announce these events widely. If you receive a robo-call or a flyer in your mailbox advertising one of these meetings, we encourage you to go, to ask questions, and to let us know.
We’re very interested in presenting information on our position in your neighborhood! Please send an email to email@example.com if you are interested in hosting an information event in your home or in another venue in your neighborhood. If you have an active civic association, please encourage them to host an event to help educate your area. We are committed to attending and to speaking at as many educational sessions as possible.
We can use help in a number of areas. Are you willing to distribute flyers in your neighborhood? Mail cards to your neighbors? Participate in phone-banking? If you would like to support us by volunteering your time and energy please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are working steadily to educate voters and turn out as many of them as possible to the polls in November. We have yard signs to supply, materials to print, and many related campaign activities planned leading up to the November 3rd referendum. These efforts are not cheap! Please consider making a donation to DeKalb Strong.
You can support our efforts by making a donation any of three ways: