Category Archives: Uncategorized

COVE Report – October 6, 2015

COVEReport logo2

 

Events

Cityhood Debate at Lakeside High

Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Here is a recording of the debate held between DeKalb Strong and LaVista Hills organizers on the subject of the referendum November 3, 2015 for the incorporation of the new city of LaVista Hills. Click here

LaVista Park Fall Festival

Saturday, October 17: Noon – 4:00 pm
Corner of Wild Creek & Brookforest
• Free food & drinks
• Silent Auction
• Many Raffle Items
• Children’s Activities
Click here

Cityhood Forum

Monday, October 19, 2015
Young Israel, 2056 Lavista Rd, Atlanta, GA 30329
Hosted by Senator Elena Parent
Time to be determined

Senate Study Committee on Annexation, De-annexation & Incorporation

Wednesday, October 21: 2:00 -5:00 pm
Tuesday, November 3: 9 AM-12 PM
Room 450 of the Capitol

Sen. Elena Parent has scheduled the last two meetings for the Senate Study Committee on Annexation, De-annexation, and incorporation. More details will follow as the agendas for both are finalized. You can also find the committee documents that have been posted online here
and the notes here
If you have any questions please contact Stephanie Tanner, Legislative Assistant to Sen. Parent, at Stephanie.Tanner@senate.ga.gov

Interim CEO Town Hall Meetings

Lee May is hosting “an up close face to face conversation concerning his Executive Order and the recent report that was released.”

Tuesday, October 13: 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Lou Walker Senior Center
2538 Panola Rd., Lithonia, GA 30058

Thursday, October 15: 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Tucker-Cofer Reid Library
5234 LaVista Road, Tucker, GA 30084

Tuesday, October 20: 6:30 – 8:00 pm
2842 H.F. Shepard Drive, Decatur, GA 30032

Thursday, October 22: 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Welcome Friend Baptist Church
3198 Bouldercrest Rd, Ellenwood, GA 30295

Don’t Forget to Vote! – DeKalb County Election

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

http://web.co.dekalb.ga.us/Voter/CurrentElectionInfo.html

On the ballot for Victoria Estates neighbors:
DEKALB COUNTY SPECIAL ELECTION
YES
NO
DeKalb County Board of Ethics Referendum
(Vote for One)
House Bill No. 597
Act No. 204
“Shall the Act be approved which revises the Board of Ethics for DeKalb County?

DeKalb County Reform Legislation

 

Pat Killingsworth – COVE President

In February 2014, a group of dedicated citizens came together at the request of Commissioner Kathie Gannon to form Blueprint to Reform DeKalb. This citizen committee determined that the initial issues that should be addressed in order to have the most immediate impact on reform involved oversight and transparency. Purchasing rules were written solely at the discretion of the CEO, were not published, and could be changed at any time, resulting in an open invitation to much of the corruption we have witnessed. Despite the fact that the position of Internal Auditor had been funded for well over five years, it had never been filled. No forensic or management audit of DeKalb County government had been performed for more than a decade, even though studies had been commissioned recommending both. And the Board of Ethics, appointed by the CEO and Board of Commissioners, was chronically underfunded, understaffed, and often without sufficient members to reach a quorum. Blueprint focused their attention on those three issues in pursuit of legislative reform.
After months of research by Blueprint members, consultations with several members of the Operations Task Force, and with the actions taken by Senators Elena Parent and Gloria Butler, and Representative Scott Holcomb, reform legislation was introduced in the Senate and the House this past session. House Bills 597 (Ethics), 598 (Purchasing), and 599 (Independent Internal Audit) passed with the unanimous consent of the DeKalb Delegation, the House, and with only one dissenting vote in the Senate. Many civic organizations were involved in getting the bills through the legislature, including DeKalb Strong, Good Growth DeKalb and DeKalb Citizens for Good Government. This past year has been clear proof of the fact that dedicated citizens in this county can, and do, make a profound difference in the governance of this county.
After being signed into law by the Governor in May, the purchasing and audit reforms went into effect on July 1st. The new Code of Ethics will be on the ballot in a referendum on November 3rd. A brief summary of the new legislation follows:
Purchasing reforms. Purchasing rules will continue to be written by the CEO, but now must be approved by the BOC before going into effect. Formal sealed bids will be required for all purchases exceeding $50,000. The BOC must approve all purchases exceeding $100,000, as well as all purchases from vendors who have more than one contract with the county. Subdividing contracts or subcontracts for the purpose of avoiding BOC approval will result in the contracts being void, and the contractor being subject to debarment from further contracting with the county. All purchasing contracts must be published on the county website within 30 days of approval.
Independent Internal Audit. A credentialed oversight committee is now being selected which will interview candidates for the position of Independent Internal Auditor, and will recommend 2-3 qualified individuals to the BOC for approval. The appointment of the auditor must be made by the BOC within 30 days of receipt of the nominations, or the oversight committee will make the appointment for them. The qualifications for the position are exacting and, once selected, the auditor and his/her office will be entirely independent of control by any other county official. The auditor is charged with performing both financial and performance audits, and has subpoena power. The auditor shall make annual reports to the audit oversight committee, the CEO and the BOC, and the report will be published on the county website in a retrievable fashion within 10 days of submission to the commission.
Ethics
*The Code of Ethics has been entirely rewritten, and is now consistent with national guidelines for local legislation. The board of ethics is completely independent and not subject to the control of any other officials, departments or agencies of county government. The seven members of the board will serve staggered 3-year terms and will be appointed by independent organizations, including the DeKalb County Bar Association, Chamber of Commerce, legislative delegation, probate court judge, chief judge of the superior court, a committee of the six major colleges and universities in DeKalb, and Leadership DeKalb. There are time limits on the appointments, and the members must be residents of DeKalb County and meet certain standards for service on the board that will ensure that there are no conflicts of interest.
* The list of persons subject to the jurisdiction of the code of ethics has been greatly expanded to cover not only commissioners and the CEO, but also all appointed officials, employees and contractors with the county, whether paid or unpaid.
* Prohibited conduct now also includes engaging in or rendering services for any agency, business or professional activity that is adverse to or incompatible with the discharge of official duties, effectively barring county elected and appointed officials, employees and contractors from providing the questionable consulting services that have recently come to light.
* A staff position of ethics officer has been created, and the officer shall be appointed by a majority of the ethics board, and confirmed by the BOC and CEO, to a term not to exceed six years. Among other duties, the ethics officer will be responsible for educating all county officials, employees and appointees on ethical conduct; monitoring a “hot line”; informing the board of all complaints and alleged violations of the ethics code; reporting suspected ethical violations to the board, and suspected criminal violations to law enforcement agencies; obtaining disclosure reports and making them available to the public; and filing an annual report with the Board of Ethics, CEO, BOC and the public.
* Complaints will be handled much more efficiently, with subject matter jurisdiction determined within 30 days, and hearings scheduled promptly once it is found that the board has jurisdiction to review the matter. Complaints that remain unresolved for months, sometimes more than a year, have been tremendously frustrating for not only the individuals who filed the complaints, but also the officials whose reputations remain in question until the case is resolved. These rules are designed to expedite advisory opinions, hearings and rulings by the board.
* Penalties for violations of the code of ethics will include a public reprimand; a fine not to exceed $1000.00; referral for prosecution by the Solicitor in state court and, upon conviction, a fine of up to $1000.00 per violation and up to six months imprisonment; in the case of a contractor, recommendation to the BOC and CEO that the contract be suspended, the contractor be disqualified from performing the contract, and/or debarment from contracting or subcontracting with DeKalb County in the future.
Upon reading the recent Bowers-Hyde Report on county corruption, it is clear that the very reforms that were envisioned by a citizens committee in 2014, and enacted in the legislature this year, are directly on point with the reforms necessary to combat the problems addressed in the report. As residents of DeKalb County, we have to take responsibility for monitoring the actions of our government, both through the oversight of county actions and through the election of honest and capable public officials. I urge you all to become more involved in community and county affairs, to help select and elect good county officials, and to VOTE!

County Corruption Report

Pat Killingsworth – COVE President
Attached for your review is the report by Michael Bowers and Richard Hyde summarizing the results of their investigation into county corruption that was commissioned by ICEO Lee May earlier this year. Responses by our Commissioners, Kathie Gannon and Jeff Rader, are also included. I hope that you will thoroughly review the report and responses, and contact our commissioners with any specific concerns that you might have.

Regardless of the legal outcome of the past actions taken by members of the governing authority, the report raises a number of flags about county governance practices that must be addressed going forward. The recently enacted reform legislation certainly puts us on the right path, but no one will disagree that more needs to be done. We have a wealth of resources in the residents of Victoria Estates, and I hope that many of you will consider becoming an active contributor to turning this ship around.
Bowers and Hyde Report

Kathie Gannon Response – Statement on Bowers/Hyde Report

Dear Friends,

The Bowers Report was released this week and there are many conversations that will need to continue. First, I need to converse with you as a listing of some of my expenses has been included. This will also be sent to Mr. Bowers, the GBI, FBI, Attorney General and Governor.

As a County Commissioner serving the public, my duties include supporting my community. Among the ways I support my community are my office’s constituent services, public appearances, community meetings, dissemination of information, and – when appropriate and when manifestly in the public interest – expenditures from the commission discretionary budget intended to facilitate these things I do to support the community. My constituents expect this sort of involvement, and I am confident that they approve what I do. Each commission office, which operates much like a separate department, is allocated the same budget amount.

At the outset of this investigation I did two things. First, I requested a meeting with Mr. Bowers where I pledged my full cooperation and agreement to provide any information he sought. All supporting records or documents that were requested were delivered. It was my hope he would delve deeper, especially into Watershed where previous attempts to investigate were sidetracked and into those expenditures for which there is no work product. Second, I notified ICEO Lee May and our County Attorney and the public that without a contract, scope of service, and adherence to budgetary policy, controls and procurement procedures, that this venture was not legal and an example of poor management. It is unfortunate that the citizens of the County had to pay over $800,000.

Mr. Bowers takes a very hard line against contributions to non-profit organizations. As you will see in my expenditures report that follows, the non-profits are organizations that the county contracts with to run our senior centers, enhance our parks, or they help our libraries and school programs. All are services that are a priority to our citizens and the expenditures I have made are for specific needs, not some unrestricted, contribution for a tax exemption. Click for more

Commissioner Rader’s Response to the Report of the DeKalb Special Investigator

DeKalb Report of Special Investigators

In April of this year, Interim CEO Lee May took unilateral action under questionable authority to hire Mike Bowers, without a contract or budget, to serve as “Special Investigator” for DeKalb. Insofar as the County Attorney supported his authority to take this action, and given swirling scandals, I, with you awaited the results of Bowers’ investigation.

Now Bowers’ report is in, and I’m in it (as are all members of the Commission with over a year’s service). My first reaction was sticker shock ($885,000 or $22,700 per double-spaced page!) and disappointment in some sloppy errors and lack of consistent documentation. As a consequence, I’ll wait for the dust to settle on his conclusions about others. The Governor has announced a review by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that will provide some perspective, which based on his tone, I think Mr. Bowers has lost.

As it relates to me, I was offended by the tone and sweeping conclusion that working with non-profits to deliver services to DeKalb residents is evidence of corruption. With a government as dysfunctional as ours, partnering with public service organizations are often the only way we can serve residents. Below, you will find facts that refute Bowers’ assertion that my expenditures to non-profits are “gratuities”.
But I also I took a step back and explored the underlying law, and agree that we need better controls to differentiate between permissible and impermissible use of public funds; rules that if in place, would prevent the abuse that now overshadows DeKalb’s government. Because the legislature this year newly empowered the County to adopt enforceable laws governing procurement and contracting, that power is in hand, though the Administration has delayed a draft of a new purchasing code since the new law’s July 1 effective date. Also, with accusations of improper activity extending into the District Attorney’s office, now is the time to formally request an outside taskforce empowered with subpoena authority to take over the investigation.
Click for more

Can Lee May still lead?

Corruption report casts doubt on DeKalb CEO’s ethics, competence.
Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015
By Johnny Edwards and Mark Niesse – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

With DeKalb County reeling from one corruption scandal after another, Lee May wanted to prove he could be trusted to lead.
So without a vote or any public input, the acting CEO awarded a no-bid, blank-check contract to a law firm charging as much as $400 per hour. As part of the deal, the county would have no control over how the investigators conducted their work, nor any say-so into the final product.
The directive: root out fraud and abuse, in a county which The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other news outlets had already shown to be teeming with it. Asked what the final price tag might be, May explained at the time, “I don’t want to put a limit on it, or even a floor.”
Six months later, the county faces a tab nearing $900,000 for an investigation that ended where it started — with May Click for more

COVE Annual Membership Meeting 2015

The annual membership meeting is Tuesday night (July 21), 7:00 – 8:00 pm, at 961 Castle Falls Drive

The meeting will include a presentation of accomplishments, election of board members, review of budget, and next year plans.

2015 COVE annual meeting agenda

COVE Annual Report 2015_PRINT_VERSION

COVE Annual Membership Meeting Minutes – 2014 July 22

The board member slate for election/re-election for 2015/2016 is:
Martha Pacini – current board member
Pat Killingsworth – current board member
Emily Koumans – current board member
Bobby Baker

Citizens of Victoria Estates Board of Directors
Erika Birg
Tim Buchman
Pat Killingsworth
Emily Koumans
Carl Lange
Ron McCauley
Martha Pacini
Peter Sederberg
David Woolf

 

Legislative Committee to Vote on City Boundaries This Morning

The five member panel tasked with determining the final boundaries for the proposed cities of LaVista Hills and Tucker is now scheduled to vote on the boundaries from 9am to 11am today (December 19).

The committee will meet in Room 606 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building at 18 Capitol Square SW (across from the Capitol). No public comments are scheduled for the meeting. It will be streamed live and recorded for those who would like to watch. You can find a link to the live stream below by going to www.house.ga.gov,. The link is not currently there but will probably say LIVE STREAM OF THE DEKALB COUNTY CITYHOOD SUBCOMMITTEE OF GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS MEETING.

Deadline for Cityhood Maps is Today

A compromise has not been reached by the proposed city initiatives of Lakeside/Briarcliff and Tucker over disputed boundaries. Today is the final deadline imposed by the Georgia legislature for consensus, before drawing its own map(s). Government Affairs Committee Chair, Amy Carter is likely to appoint a committee, drawing concerns that five people who don’t necessarily represent DeKalb could be shaping it’s future.

 

COVEReport – July 16, 2014

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Announcement: COVE Annual Membership Meeting – July 22, 6:30 – 7:30 pm, 1364 Rainier Falls Dr.

martha

We want to thank our many neighbors who have joined COVE over the past year. You are supporting our efforts to represent our neighborhood at the state, county and local level. Please renew your membership (renew/join online > Victoria_Estates_membership) so that we can continue to move the conversation forward in the areas that matter to our residents. And if you have not yet joined COVE, we could use your support now. Our annual report is here COVE Annual Report 2014.

While we believe we have accomplished a great deal over the past year, there is still much work to do to ensure that Victoria Estates is included in discussions that affect our neighborhood.

Join us for the first anniversary of the formation of Citizens of Victoria Estates—our annual meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 22 at 6:30 pm at the home of Scott and Pat Killingsworth, 1364 Rainier Falls Drive. We will be discussing our next steps both as an organization and as a neighborhood.

Would you like to be on the board or lead/participate in a committee? At the annual meeting, we will be nominating board members and committee chairs for the next year. Consider becoming a part of our effort in any way that works for you. Many hands make light the work.

As always, we welcome your suggestions and insights. Thanks, and we hope to see you on the 22nd!

Martha Pacini   404-285-7042

2014 COVE annual meeting agenda.

Current board members/ officers:

Martha Pacini – Board member / current president
Pat Killingsworth – Board member/ current vice president
Susan Bell – Treasurer
Carl Lange – Board member / current secretary
Erika Birg – Board member
Tim Buchman – Board member
David Woolf – Board member
Emily Koumans – Board member

COVE Dues Policy

RUN-OFF ELECTION: July 22

vote

Voter-specific SAMPLE BALLOTS are available here: http://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/LoginPage.aspx

Candidates appearing on DeKalb County ballots:

On ALL BALLOTS: County Sheriff (Vernon Jones / Jeff Mann)

ON REPUBLICAN BALLOTS ONLY: U.S. Senate (Jack Kingston / David Perdue) State School Superintendent (Mike Buck / Richard Woods)

ON DEMOCRATIC BALLOTS ONLY: State School Superintendent (Alisha Morgan / Valarie Wilson) (per http://web.dekalbcountyga.gov/Voter/CurrentElectionInfo.html)

VE Dog Walkers Watch

Tipping

July 16, 2014 –  Martha Pacini

More than a dozen neighbors, including a few canine guests, gathered to enjoy Jennifer & Barry Tipping’s hospitality on Tuesday evening, July 8, while learning more about Dog Walker Watch. The Dog Walker Watch program is a national crime awareness program sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) to mobilize dog walkers to serve as “extra eyes and ears” for local law enforcement.

We learned a few new pieces of information:

• 95% of police arrests are the direct result of a citizen’s phone call;

• Call 911 whenever you see or hear something that just doesn’t seem right—the 911 center prioritizes the calls so you aren’t diverting resources from a life-threatening emergency elsewhere.

• Dog Walker Watches can be very effective because dogs must be walked every day, several times a day, rain or shine, so it’s as if you have your own neighborhood patrol.

• ALWAYS carry your cellphone with you when walking the dog so that you can snap a picture and call 911 if you see something that isn’t right.

We organized the sign-in sheets by neighborhood section, just as they are grouped in the Victoria Estates directory. Based on this, we could use some more dog walkers (or just people walkers if you walk without a pet) on the upper parts of Rainier Falls and Mason Mill. Please contact Jennifer if you are a regular walker in this section of the neighborhood.

Also, we want people entering our neighborhood to be aware that we have a Dog Walker Watch. We are ordering dog bandanas—modeled beautifully by Teddy Tipping—and car magnets (which can also adhere to metal mail boxes) with the Dog Walker Watch emblem, which cost slightly less than $5 each. If you are interested in getting a bandana (small or large, please specify which size) or car/mailbox magnet to help us promote awareness of our watchfulness (a deterrent in and of itself), please let Jennifer know so that we can order the correct number. You can pay for them once they are received.

One Special Request: Please send in pictures of you and your pet so that we can highlight our vigilant neighbors—include your name and that of your pet(s).

The handouts from the meeting—

DeKalb Public Safety Resource List –  DeKalb County Police Telephone Resource List

2014 NATIONAL NIGHT OUT 2014 – August 5, 7:00 pm, 31st Annual America’s Night Out Against Crime

Bike Ride Rodeo Flyer Aug 2 – Obstacle Course, Basic Bicycle Inspection, Child I.D. Program, Food & Fun 

Suspect Descriptions -What to look for to give a good suspect description…

Dog Walkers Watch Handout

For those who wish to send Al Fowler a thank-you email, his email address is: alfowler@dekalbcountyga.gov

Victoria Estates Neighborhood 4th of July Party – Thanks Pat & Scott!

fourthJulyPat Killingsworth

As for the party, we had perfect weather and a lot of fun! We had about 30 neighbors and a few children stop by (the kids really enjoyed the pool), with some new neighbors who were glad to have the opportunity to meet us all and start making themselves at home. Scott grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, we put out chips, soft drinks and essentials, and our neighbors brought some fabulous side dishes to share. We had such a good time that we are hoping to make this an annual event.

Briarcliff and Lakeside Present Joint Statement to DeKalb County Operations Task Force Atlanta, GA, July 3, 2014 (Press Release)

Two DeKalb County cityhood groups, The City of Briarcliff Initiative, and Lakeside Yes read a joint statement before the DeKalb County Operations Task Force (OTF) on Tuesday, July 2, at the Maloof Auditorium. The Operations Task Force was created by Interim CEO Lee May and is charged with making recommendations that can be forwarded to the Georgia General Assembly by December 2014.

For months both citizens and legislators have urged the two groups to communicate and work together more. Briarcliff and Lakeside have historically shared many overlapping views of cityhood, but have differed on proposed city borders. Both groups view cityhood as an opportunity to lift up the community and improve the strength of DeKalb County.

The prepared statement from the July 2nd meeting reads: Lakeside Yes Chairman Mary Kay Woodworth read, “Lakeside YES and The City of Briarcliff Initiative appreciate the invitation to present maps to the Operations Task Force. You have received our individual working maps, but we respectfully present this joint statement in lieu of focusing on a specific map.” She continues, “Both of our groups presented maps during the 2014 session of the Georgia General Assembly. However, because our current maps overlap, Lakeside and Briarcliff have agreed to collaborate with the goal of creating a unified map free of overlapping areas and respecting existing city borders and future annexation plans. We respect the compromise map between Tucker and Lakeside as the starting point of this collaboration, and we respect the inclusive approach of the Briarcliff map. We will continue to work with our sponsors, Representative Jacobs and Senator Millar, residents and business owners in our community to reach the goal of local control and governance for this community. We invite the advocates of the city of Tucker to join with us so that we can present two cities with a clear path to cityhood prior to the 2015 session of the General Assembly.”

City of Briarcliff Imitative President Allen Venet read, “We are committed to working together because we agree on almost every issue except boundaries, and boundaries can be solved. As we refine our map, we are soliciting neighborhood input, and we will work with state, county and local elected representatives of both major parties and with the existing cities of DeKalb County.”

He Continues, “We seek to unite, rather than divide, to improve government operations not just in our region of DeKalb but in the entire county. The residents of unincorporated DeKalb deserve, and with respect we demand, the opportunity to form new cities that will become destinations where business and families can flourish. The time has come for us all to cooperate, north and south, inside the perimeter and outside, city advocates and county officials. We all share DeKalb County, and we all know the challenges we face. Cities are an important part of the solution.” He concludes, “We welcome your questions and your suggestions.”

More updates from the City of Briarcliff Initiative can be found on https://www.facebook.com/briarcliffga and http://briarcliffga.org/. About City of Briarcliff Initiative: The City of Briarcliff Initiative, Inc. is a non-profit corporation chartered under the laws of the state of Georgia. The group seeks to enable residents to form a new city government in central DeKalb County that would serve all people within the community and promote the health, welfare, and safety of the general public.

Media Contact: Keith Hanks Member, Board of Directors City of Briarcliff Initiative, Inc. info@briarcliffga.org

Briarcliff & Lakeside partnership means new map, city name

July 9, 2014, Atlanta Intown, Collin Kelley – Editor

When officials from the Briarcliff and Lakeside cityhood initiatives announced at the July 2 DeKalb Government Operations Task Force meeting that they were joining forces – “dating” (not married or engaged) in the words of Lakeside Chairwoman Mary Kay Woodworth – there was little detail about how the relationship would unfold. The couple’s first date was an awkward one as representatives from the merged cityhood movements spoke at the July 9 Lindbergh-LaVista Corridor Coalition (LLCC) meeting.

To carry the analogy further, it was basically The Breakfast Club – enemies thrown together in a social setting and warily talking out their differences to find common ground. Whether this will end with someone fist-pumping the air to “Don’t You Forget About Me” remains to be seen, but what is certain is that if the partnership between Briarcliff and Lakeside holds, those names will disappear and a new one will be chosen to represent the merged north DeKalb County territory. It also means going back to the drawing board and creating a new map.

At the end of this year’s Georgia legislative session, the three competing cityhood movements – Briarcliff, Lakeside and Tucker – found their efforts tabled over boundary disputes. A last minute effort to merge the Lakeside and Tucker plans was – here’s another analogy – an arranged marriage that neither side really wanted, but accepted in hopes of getting any kind of action at the capital. With the dust settled, Tucker is now on its own, there have been shifts in the behind-the-scenes players for both the Briarcliff and Lakeside movements and there is – at least in this early phase – a willingness to get this couple to the altar.

But before there are any wedding bells – or a referendum on the ballot – the combined cityhood initiatives are going to have to convince residents in both territories that the merged groups are viable and inclusive. If the mood of the members of the LLCC, a group comprised of residents from Lindridge/Martin Manor, LaVista Park and Woodland Hills, was any indication, there might be a few bumps in the road.

There was lingering bitterness from some residents in the LLCC neighborhoods who felt snubbed by Lakeside, which, as it was finally admitted, didn’t think the communities were essential to the movement. The neighborhoods joined the Briarcliff initiative, which stalled out at the Gold Dome as Lakeside and Tucker limped forward.

“What we are trying to do is consolidate two visions,” said Briarcliff spokesman Keith Hanks. “These first meetings are going to be raw things as we figure out how to work together.”

Lakeside representative Josh Kahn agreed, calling the cityhood process “messy.” Some of that messiness was the palpable tension between members of the Briarcliff movement as they tried to explain how the process would, essentially, start from scratch again. There was also uncertainty voiced about whether or not a state representative would take the newly merged cityhood movement to the Georgia Legislature for the 2015 session.

“We are two groups trying to get to one map,” Kahn said. “We are going to have to talk to people and see which neighborhoods want to be a part of it.” Going forward, there will be some kind of poll or survey taken of residents in both the old Briarcliff and Lakeside cityhood areas to determine if they still want to move forward with creating a new city and what essential services are most important to them. No timeline was set for when the poll might take place. The LLCC members were encouraged to talk to their neighbors and take the temperature of this new movement.

The couple’s next date has not been announced, but watch this space for updates.

DeKalb County Operational Task Force – July 2 Meeting

PatJuly 16, 2014 – Pat Killingsworth

CITYHOOD – Lakeside and Briarcliff are now “dating,” using the Lakeside map as the basis for further negotiations on the boundaries for a single new city (as yet unnamed). VE, Druid Hills and Emory are out, and Mason Mill remains divided. Tucker has gone back to their original map, which has a fair amount overlap with that of the new couple (“L/B”), and they have not yet been invited to the prom. Mike Jacobs made it clear that he is disappointed with Tucker for not sticking with the boundaries that they agreed to in a compromise with Lakeside at the last minute of the session, although he didn’t seem too upset that Lakeside returned to their prior map as well.

The Task Force agreed that they will consider the proposed boundaries of the new cities in their larger discussion of municipalities in DeKalb, without engaging in a debate at this meeting.

In speaking with some residents of Druid Hills after the meeting, I discovered that Emory is in serious discussions with Atlanta regarding annexation, and is appealing to Druid Hills to join them. Some residents of Druid Hills, unhappy with that prospect, yet sensing the inevitability of being municipalized in some fashion, expressed an interest in the possibility of creating a township in lieu of annexation into any city (Atlanta or Decatur). It would include Emory and surrounding neighborhoods with common interests (Mason Mill, VE and Druid Hills in particular). They want representatives from those neighborhoods and Emory to be included in the discussions.

CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN THE TASK FORCE – The CEO is hugely resistant to naming any citizen representative to the Task Force under the premise that it would make the group too “unwieldy”. Apparently his office has solicited names from the Commissioners and some Task Force members for a single appointment, but he made no promises.

Senator-elect Elena Parent insisted that members of the Task Force be allowed to name at least one citizen representative each to their subcommittee. She also brought up Commissioner Gannon’s Blueprint for a Better DeKalb, which has been actively working since February on many of the issues facing the Task Force, and which is entirely comprised of citizen leaders (myself and Martha Pacini included). She recommended that the Blueprint research and report (due in August) be included in Task Force discussions so as not to reinvent the wheel.

No comment from the CEO, other than to leave it up to the Task Force to decide how they want to deal with Parent’s proposals, if at all. He did not appear to be enthralled with either prospect.

ETHICS – This was hugely disappointing to me! GSU, which has committed to supporting the Task Force on many of the issues being discussed, is not currently planning to do any research on the structure of the Board of Ethics or the matter of ethics in government generally, deferring instead to the recent Executive Order creating the new positions of Integrity Officer and staff, whose duties include providing support to the BOE.

That order does not deal with the fundamental issues of appointment of board members or funding for their work, nor with the legal issues regarding BOE independence from any other agency. Appointment of an Internal Auditor, much less best practices, is not currently on their agenda.

Whatever the Task Force ends up addressing, Blueprint will continue to deal with those issues and present our recommendations to the Task Force, CEO, BOC and Legislative Delegation by the end of August.

Remember, those of you who cannot attend future Task Force meetings can view them on live stream on DCTV (cable only). I have attached the slide shows. Enjoy! operations_task_force (2)

Blueprint to Reform DeKalb Leadership – Letter to DeKalb Operational Task Force

To Members of the CEO’s Operational Task Force and Citizens of DeKalb:

PatmarthaJuly 2, 2014 , Pat Killingsworth, Martha Pacini, and members of the Blueprint leadership

RE: An Update on the Blueprint to Redefine DeKalb.

First, to the volunteers appointed to serve on the Interim CEO’s Operations Task Force, thank you for your time and service. As constituted the missing link to the Task Force seems to be the citizens of our communities. The Blueprint to Redefine DeKalb was launched in January 2014 as a citizens’ reform effort and perhaps our work can complement your efforts.

DeKalb County reached a ‘tipping point’ in 2013 and in 2014 matters even further deteriorated: nearly everyone now agrees that fundamental reforms are due. The attached Blueprint to Redefine DeKalb was drafted and electronically distributed in January. In February a group of citizens from across the County reached consensus on its main issues. A diverse Blueprints leadership team emerged and began focusing upon the consensus issues: Internal Auditor, Ethics, Procurement Procedures, Elections, Government Structure and HOST.

This is the Blueprint leadership team’s first Report to the Community. But first it must be noted that there has also been consensus that reform should follow some key principles:

• We need comprehensive solutions as big as our problems. Marginal adjustments will not work.

• Governmental transparency is a must. We cannot negotiate changes so fundamental and so diverse behind closed doors.

• Citizens’ voices count.

We ask the Task Force to consider all of the principles contained in the Blueprint as they move forward. Here is the progress to date:

IN THE AREA OF ETHICS

Internal Auditor: The Blueprint speaks to the need for an Internal Auditor and all that continues to happen in DeKalb County reinforces the need. Many governments use this method to provide independent, technical oversight of government procedures and operations. Best practices are available through the Institute for Internal Audits and others. A white paper is being prepared to include best practices for how an internal audit function should be established with an independent oversight structure. This white paper will be presented to the Legislature in October.

Board of Ethics: A Carl Vinson study of Ethics Commission best practices revealed that these boards should be nominated and vetted by an independent/neutral body comprised of community and business organizations. Recommendations for strengthening the Ethics Commission are being researched and will be proposed in a white paper. If legally appropriate a formal request will go to the Board of Commissioners to adopt a new process, otherwise this will be included in the October Report to the Legislature.

IN THE AREA OF OPERATIONS

Administrative Procedures: Consensus was reached specifically around Procurement procedures, which are not codified and are subject to change as solely determined by the CEO. Procedures should be vetted by the Board of Commissioners and the State, standardized and codified for accountability. This will require an adjustment to the Organizational Act by the General Assembly.

IN THE AREA OF ELECTIONS

Term limit change for local election: Many citizens believe that the power of incumbency is a major barrier to new voices participating in local government. The quality of the appointees to the Board of Education demonstrates the depth and quality of leadership available in a county of 700,000 people. Those attending the consensus meeting endorsed term-limits but it has not garnered support from elected officials. The team will request the Legislature to conduct a straw poll on term-limits. Consensus was not reached on non-partisan elections so it is being deleted from the recommendations.

IN THE AREA OF GOVERNMENTAL STRUCTURE

Apportion all of unincorporated DeKalb into equitable boundaries and Charter Commission: As noted, the “Genie” is out of the bottle with forming new cities, and there is no way to turn back. We all agree that people have the right to self-determination; the “problem” with cities is the way the state allows them to be formed. The current proposals for new cities and annexations have set off a panic. We should not form cities based upon our fears, but instead we should form them with an understanding of the benefits and costs for everyone.

The County must have a better understanding of the fiscal impacts upon unincorporated DeKalb of new cities and municipal annexations. The Blueprints effort does not have the resources to conduct such a study, and hopes the Operations Task Force will explore this issue. The motivation for new cities will remain particularly strong as long as corruption or the perception of corruption exists. We hope that our efforts to strengthen ethics, hire an internal auditor and alter the procurement policies will help abate corruption and begin to restore the public trust in DeKalb County.

There are people who question the current form of DeKalb government. A well-staffed Charter Commission, with strong citizen participation, dedicated to this specific issue is the preferable method to examine the options for DeKalb. However, it is premature to redefine County government when we don’t know what functions it will be performing. The issues of cityhood and annexation will require changes to County government that we can’t predict. A Charter Commission should be established after we understand the role of DeKalb County and any new cities being formed.

IN THE AREA OF INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING HOST

Sales Tax: HOST has been a very successful tool to reduce the burden of residential property taxes, but it fails to fund repairs and improvements to a large, aging infrastructure. The creation of new cities has further limited the viability of HOST as a source of capital funding. The larger community needs to be more informed about HOST in order to accomplish needed revisions. If the Legislature will not change the HOST formulas, as they have already done on two occasions, the Leadership Team will be recommending a long-term, two–year comprehensive approach to changing this law with public education as a focus. AGAIN, the existing cloud of corruption needs to be lifted first to restore our trust in the County government.

The Blueprints Leadership team will continue to meet this summer to research best practices and to draft recommendations to the Board of Commissioners and the DeKalb Delegation to the General Assembly. We will also be working to inform the citizens of DeKalb County. We are happy to collaborate with you in any way possible and hope that you will consider our efforts complementary to yours.

Sincerely, The Blueprints to Redefine DeKalb Leadership Team: Ted Daniel, Robert Glover, Jana Johnson, Pat Killingsworth, Beth Nathan, Brenda Pace, Martha Pacini, Calvin Sims, Gil Turman, Dan Wright

Website coming soon. July 1, 2014

Kathie Gannon Response to the DeKalb County Operational Task Force

about-kathie-gannonJuly 10, 2014

Dear Mr. Irons and Mr. Shelton: Thank you for agreeing to co-chair the Interim CEO’s Operations Task Force. Last week, I provided members of the Task Force an update of the Blueprint to Redefine DeKalb County. It was apparent at the meeting that an explanation about the history and intent of the Blueprints effort would have been helpful. Please allow me this opportunity to provide additional information.

In 2013 before the last legislative session, I worked with CEO Ellis, Representative Mary Margaret Oliver and others to try and develop a more thoughtful approach to the process of forming new cities and enable DeKalb to understand the impact of forming new cities and annexations. In my District, which is half of the county, I was constantly asked about what is the county doing to respond to the city movement and the ethical issues that were continuing to crop up. People in the proposed city boundaries wanted more information. Their legislators were looking for a sensible way to address the issues. Also, many citizens were not in a boundary and therefore were not a part of the discussion.

The plan we advanced was for an interactive model to be developed by Georgia State University that would use the County’s GIS and tax information to create viable financial boundaries in all of unincorporated DeKalb. The data would show the economic impact as precincts moved in or out of boundaries. Professional facilitators and other methodologies would have been employed to explore County service delivery, issues and options.

When CEO Ellis was suspended the new Administration opted to not pursue this direction. At the same time I was talking to our legislators about the need for reforms to the way we appoint our Ethics Board and the inability of the Commission to fulfill the 3 year old resolution for an Internal Auditor. There was interest in helping on those issues, and the Grand Jury Report listed other reform measures.

In January I drafted the Blueprint to Redefine DeKalb as a way of “doing something” to respond to my constituents and to disseminate the many reform measures that had already been suggested. It was circulated for endorsements from citizens around the County.

There were five broad principles in that document and they are as relevant today for the Operations Task Force as they were six months ago:

• Marginal adjustments no longer suffice. We need comprehensive solutions as big as our problems.

• No one change suffices. We need approaches as multi-faceted as our problems.

• Many levels of government must be involved. The Board of Commissioners can and must play a key role, but so too must the Board of Education, the DeKalb delegation in the State Legislature, our municipalities, and our business and private sector leaders. Each must act, do so in concert, and proceed on a jointly agreed timetable.

• Governmental transparency is a must. We cannot negotiate changes so fundamental and so diverse behind closed doors.

• Citizens’ voices count.

In February, a community meeting was held to discuss the reforms in the Blueprint, find consensus on what actions to move forward and turn the process over to the citizens. From that meeting a diverse group of citizen leaders coalesced to conduct further research and advocate for the various reforms.

A major focus of the Blueprints effort is ethics. Please keep in mind this was long before stories broke in the newspaper about the misuse of P Cards by members of the Board of Commissioners. Yet, those embarrassing stories further underscore the need for addressing ethics. It is unclear to me how much work the Operations Task Force will focus on ethics, but the Blueprints effort is pursuing this issue and will recommend changes to the Delegation and the Board of Commissioners in the areas of procurement policies, internal auditor, and the proper establishment of an ethics board.

The original concept to apportion the county and provide for ways to examine problems and options was more than a citizens group could manage without a legislative mandate or funding mechanism.

In closing, I want to reiterate that the Blueprint to Redefine DeKalb was started in the fall of 2013. It includes a broad base of diverse citizens, and can hopefully complement your work. They would be happy to cooperate with the Operations Task Force. Three members of the Blueprints leadership team asked to be recommended for participation on the Task Force subcommittees. They have a proven track record and it is my hope they can be included.

It is my sincere belief that until we address the cloud of corruption that is hanging over DeKalb, no progress can be made. The demand for creating new cities will march forward. Our attempts to improve government efficiency will be stymied and our economic development strategy will not achieve the outcomes we wish for and need.

Again, thank you for your service to DeKalb County.

Kathie Gannon, Commissioner Super District 6

CC: Members of the Operations Task Force, Interim CEO May, the Blueprints Leadership Team

Kathie Gannon DeKalb County Commissioner Super District 6 404-371-4909 www.kathiegannon.com

District 5 Commissioner

PatPat Killingsworth, July 17, 2014

Interim CEO Lee May has appointed Lisa Allen of Lithonia, attorney Rosalind Newell, and State Representative Rahn Mayo of Decatur to review candidates for the interim District 5 seat. This is to fill the vacant seat since Lee May became the interim CEO. The county reports that 20 people to date have expressed an interest in applying for the position.

The three-member panel will recommend two individuals to Lee May for consideration, from whom he will choose one to submit to the Board of Commissioners for a vote, which is expected in August.

Applicants who have filed formal requests for consideration include: Markus J. Butts, Geraldine A.Champion, Harmel Deanne Codi, Faye Coffield, Tarnisha Dent, Charles Smith Hill, S. Pierre Louis, Gina Smith Mangham, Randal Mangham, Kamau K. Mason, Melvin D. Mitchell, Angela Moore, Belinda Myers, Joscelyn C. O’Neil, Gwendolyn Peters, Kathryn T. Rice, Kenneth R. Saunders III, Jacqueline Tumbling, George Turner Jr, and Andre R. Whit.

No information has been provided regarding times or dates that the review panel might meet, or whether they will be considering citizen recommendations or concerns in their discussions.

Please contact me if you’d like copies of the candidate applications.

Commissioner Gannon Responds Concerning the Ethics Compliant Filed Against Her

about-kathie-gannonJuly 16, 2014 – Kathie Gannon

In April I sponsored a Resolution to Audit all of the commission’s expenditures. None of the Commissioners are exempt, and in that spirit my budget will be the first one to be audited. That audit is already underway. Its results will be made public and given to the Ethics Board. The Ethics Board has its own process, and the complaint will proceed according to those procedures. Let me be clear: I am confident that all my budget expenditures are legitimate and in due time I will be vindicated. The charges are bogus. Please continue to follow the work being done in District 6 and DeKalb County on my website at http://www.kathiegannon.com/.

Parks Bond Advisory Committee Meeting Outcomes

Jul 10, 2014, Citizens Association Network, Beth Nathan

Last evening (July 9, 2014) there was a joint meeting of the DeKalb Parks Bond Advisory Committee and the Initiative for a Green DeKalb Advisory Council. Following an hour of RPCA staff reports on current conditions/activities vis-a-vis greenspace and parks (see below), the committees discussed their roles and responsibilities (more discussion is likely before and at the next quarterly meeting) and authored/approved unanimously a joint-committee letter to the CEO & BOC on the proposed YMCA purchase. The committees’ letter will state that the joint committees recommend against the proposal but will ask that, if the BOC wants this acquisition, they at least renegotiate the master agreement in ways that would enable all county taxpayers to benefit from the county’s investment.

From the county reports:

– This week the BOC approved acquisition for $125K of 152 acres from the Conservation Fund (which apparently gathers and holds land from estates); tax value of the parcel is/was $794K. The parcel is off Klondike Rd across from Stonecrest Library and has no deed restrictions. Parcel is referred to as “Arabia Hayden Quarry” in the July 2014 accounting of land acquisition funds. I will post that report today to the CAN website’s reference room under the parks grouping.]

-July 2014 accounting of land acquisition funds shows “prospective acquisitions” of nearly $7million “authorized/in process” from 2006 bond funds. No specifics were available but the committees were given to understand that it was likely that the BOC in Executive Session had given authorization to move ahead with this potential acquisition(s) which are likely be in the negotiations stage. Some of the 2006 bond funds were earmarked for specific projects but some of the funding was flexible.

– KaBoom playground at Fairington Park (off Panola) was completed on schedule with 150 workers from the Federal Reserve bank and significant funding from the Federal Reserve Employees Foundation. The county’s cost was approximately $30K in preparation work, trail improvement and fencing.

– Park Pride has grant workshops coming up.

– Summer day camps are serving approximately 1500 kids.

– Pools are operating normally. GRPH district swim meet is coming up at Emory.

– Family Fun Day will be held at Mason Mill Park (1340 McConnell Dr, Decatur), Saturday, July 19, noon-5pm. Free, open to public. Includes food, music, entertainment, information, games, more. [A press release was distributed which does not seem to be posted on the county’s website. Jeff Rader’s July 3 e-newsletter covered this event.]

– Brookside project off North Decatur near 285, between Rockbridge and North Decatur. The old apartment complex has been completely demolished. There is now approximately half a million dollars available for development. Park Pride (Ayanna Williams) is trying to organize a Friends group for this park.

– 5-7 million seems to be coming available from HUD, Housing and Parks to replace the Tobie Grant Rec Center with something more like what’s at Redan Park. The project could be moving by the end of the year.

Beth Nation North Briarcliff resident; parks activist; Blueprints activist

Code Enforcement Advisory Committee – Wednesday, July 24, 2014, 5:00-6:30pm

Clark Harrison Building, 330 Ponce DeLeon, downtown Decatur, in conference room A. The committee requested the following will be in attendance: Interim CEO Lee May, Gordon Burkett of Keep DeKalb Beautiful and the Director of Sanitation.

COVEReport – April 29, 2014

COVEReport Logo

 

 

Mason Woods Burglars Apprehended

April 27, 2014 – John Bugge, Mason Mill Civic Association

Dear Neighbor,

As I mentioned briefly at the Spring Fling picnic — just before the rains came — there was a break-in and smash-and-grab burglary last night (Saturday) on Mason Woods Drive.

Here, below, is a message from Brian Craig, the owner of the house that was hit, relating what happened and, more important, what kind of precautions we should all be taking.

One special point to add:  when you hear an alarm go off in your vicinity, don’t assume it’s a false alarm; rather, have a look around outside and check to see if there’s any suspect activity going on.  If you see something that doesn’t look right, call 911.

Thanks,
John

From: Brian Craig
Sent: Sunday, April 27, 2014

John,

As discussed, here is a recap of our conversation this morning.

On the evening of April 26 at 9:53 pm, our home alarm was triggered by thieves who used a crowbar to pry open our side entrance (carport) door. Thankfully, neither my wife nor myself were in the house at the time (on a related note, the carport was empty of cars and, thus, may have presented a target to criminals).

We believe the thieves were in our house for a very brief period, probably less than two minutes.  They stole our computer and our TV, but did not take the time to ransack the place, possibly due to the alarm.  They drove away in two vehicles, as observed by neighbors down the street who were outside double checking their own car; when they heard an alarm sounding throughout the neighborhood, they believed it to be their car alarm.  At that moment, they saw the two vehicles traveling away and gave a description of one (White Chevrolet Suburban).

Our alarm company is ADT, and the signs are prominently displayed in the front yard.  However, ADT NEVER received the “alarm” signal, and they had absolutely no idea that the alarm had gone off.  Consequently, they never called the police.

We are especially grateful to Myra & Eric who heard the alarm and immediately phoned 911.

(FYI, most alarms will activate for a set amount of time, then turn off. They do not ring indefinitely.)

The DeKalb County police arrived about 10:20 pm and waited outside until my wife came home.  They checked and cleared the house and took information for their report.

Shortly after midnight, we received a call from the City of Decatur police.  They had pulled over a Grey Jeep for a traffic violation.  The Jeep did not pull over immediately, but once it came to a stop all the occupants jumped out and ran in different directions.  The City of Decatur police processed the vehicle, determined it was stolen and found our stuff in the back.

Perhaps, a couple of things the neighborhood should be aware of:

1.  Alarm companies are not infallible; had our neighbors not taken the immediate initiative to call 911 the Dekalb police would not have been alerted.  If you hear an alarm, any time day or night, call 911 ASAP.

2.  Homes without vehicles in the drive can prove tempting targets, despite visible signage.  Additionally, the Dekalb police expressed surprise that we were robbed at 10:00 pm on Saturday night, as opposed to the more popular ‘M-F during business hours when most homes are vacant’ time slot.  Our intruders worked quickly, taking only a couple of minutes to grab some valuable items.

3.  The information gleaned from our experience suggests a new modus operandi: drive thru neighborhoods in a stolen vehicle (or two) and locate homes that appear empty, no matter the time of day or night and bust in.

We hope that sharing these details will assist our neighbors to prevent criminal activity from reaching their homes.  Please feel free to follow up with any questions or comments.

Sincerely,

Brian & April

 

Advance Voting Has Begun

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Locations for Advanced Voting [click here]
Early voting continues through May 16
Monday through Friday, Hours 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Plus Saturday, May 10, 2014 – 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
The election will be held May 20.

Check Your Status and Get Your Sample Ballot

Last year several Georgia voters were taken off the voter rolls that shouldn’t have been.  Don’t wait until you go vote to find out this has happened to you.  Check your voter registration and get your sample ballot. It’s fast and easy to do online. [Click here]

 

Neighborhood Watch Training and Tour of the 911 Center

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April 28, 2014 – Carl Lange

Last week’s meeting provided details on how to set up a neighborhood watch and included a tour of the renovated DeKalb 911 center. Another meeting earlier this year, which I attended with COVE board member Erika Birg, covered making your property “hardened” against criminal activity.
There were about 50 people attending from various neighborhoods throughout the county.

–       Weekdays are the prime time for break-ins while many are away at work
–       Police are interested in patterns of suspicious activity and need you to call whenever you see something suspicious. Something you see combined with someone from another neighborhood, might contribute to a criminal being identified and apprehended. Police are just as interested as you in catching criminals and don’t mind if a lead doesn’t pan out. If in doubt, CALL THE POLICE!
–       Police resources are limited so responses are prioritized. It might take over an hour to get an officer to the scene of a car break-in, after the fact. If you feel you are in danger, these calls will be prioritized, and if possible, police will be to your location in minutes.
–       If there are recent incidents in the neighborhood, a patrol car can be requested to patrol the neighborhood randomly. (I’ve seen these myself in VE in the day and evening).
–       Use your cellphone cameras and take pictures of cars and tags that look suspicious.
–       Don’t put large television boxes out at the curb. These make your house a prime target. Cut them up first and turn the label inside out.
–       Report any crime on your property to the police. This is important information and not doing so is a disservice to your neighbors
Victoria Estates is located in the North Central police precinct with its headquarters being at 1960 W. Exchange Place, also the county police headquarters. Our representative is detective Al Fowler 770-724-7616.

Neighborhood Watch

Neighborhood watches harden the relationship between the neighborhood and police.
Detective Fowler discussed how to set up a neighborhood watch, providing paperwork with detailed instructions. Neighborhood watches extend the eyes and ears of the police and can be very effective in reducing crime. Bringing a neighborhood watch back to VE would be easier now with the use of social media, texting, etc.

Crimemapping

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Check out the crime map (click on the map) to see recent activities in the neighborhood and throughout the county.

Dog Walker Watch

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Dog Walker Watch is a new component of neighborhood watches that involves training the many dog walkers, already observing the neighborhood, to effectively report suspicious activity.

Nextdoor.com

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Nextdoor which is already being used by many VE neighbors was also identified as an important tool in lowering crime and is embraced by the DeKalb Police Department.

 

Stop Neighborhood Speeding

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Peds.org information was provided that included statistics on pedestrian fatalities:

–       Hit by a vehicle traveling at 20 miles per hour: 9 out of 10 pedestrians survive
–       30 mph: 5 of 10 pedestrians survive
–       40 mph: 1 of 10 pedestrians survive
Some helpful numbers were provided which I’ll add to Nextdoor.com and the COVE website. They include:

Detective Al Fowler (Public Education): Al Fowler 770-724-7616.
Domestic Violence: 404-688-9436
Senior Abuse Hotline: 800-677-1116
Emergency Dispatch: 911 or 678-406-7929
Records (copy of Police Reports) : 770-724-7740
Crime Stoppers Tip Hotline: 404-577-8477

 

Independent Audit for County Commissioners

about-kathie-gannon

 

 

 

 
April 23, 2014 – Kathie Gannon

Yesterday the Board of Commissioners took the first step forward into sunshine and transparency. Commissioner Rader and I introduced the attached resolution calling for an independent audit of all spending for the past 5 years by each County Commissioner starting with District 1. The audits will include Purchase Cards, all other expenditures and all commission staff. The resolution directs the County to hire a Certified Internal Auditor or a Certified Government Audit Professional using funds previously budgeted for an internal auditor. The resolution was modified by Commissioner Barnes-Sutton to start with District 6 (my District) and to go back 10 years and then begin with District 1. This substitute motion passed without a dissenting vote. Commissioner Barnes-Sutton later attempted to call for a reconsideration of her substitute motion, however that failed.  Please see the attached resolution that calls for an audit of all County Commission expenditures.

Kathie Gannon
Super District 6 Commissioner

Resolution for Internal Audit of Commissioners

 

Upcoming Events

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS TRAINING – April 29

6:30 – 8:00 pm
Maloof Auditorium
1300 Commerce Drive

If a large-scale disaster happens in DeKalb County, will you and your family be prepared? Do your family members know how to get in contact with each other during an emergency? Officials with the DeKalb Emergency Management Agency will address these and related topics to educate participants on becoming prepared and ready to respond to natural and man-made disasters.

Click here to register

Commissioner Gannon’s Walk at Gresham Park – Postponed to May 6

In observation of  Earth Week.  The walk will begin at 6:15 pm at the PATH trail, starting in the Gresham Park Rec Center Parking Lot, 3113 Gresham Road.

Campaign Event for Elena Parent – April 30

DeKalb Seeks Input on the Comprehensive Transportation Plan – Through May 9

American Cancer Society Relay for Life – May 16

Friends of Thomson Park Volunteer Day – May 17

Friends of Thomson Park Volunteer Day – July 5

COVEReport March 15, 2014

Join Us Monday! – House Committee to Vote on Lakeside

SandTimer
On Monday, March 17, 3:30 – 5:00 pm, the House Governmental Affairs Committee will be voting on City of Lakeside Senate Bill 270. This is the last week of the 2014 Legislative Session and your presence at the meeting can have an impact. Please join COVE and other Victoria Estates residents at this meeting. If you would like assistance in getting to the meeting, please contact COVE president, Martha Pacini.

The meetings will be held in room 606 of the Coverdell Legislative Building at 18 Capitol Square SW (across from the Capitol). Early arrival is recommended.

This is the current version of the map as of March 12 which shows Victoria Estates and the southern portion of Mason Mill excluded.

lakeside-3_12_14

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Week to Voice Your Opinion

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The legislative session continues and officials are counting your calls and emails. They should be directed to [more]

“I am writing to show my support for Briarcliff as my preferred city.” [more]
“My community needs and wants the opportunity to vote on creating the city of Lakeside.” [more]
“I support City Moratorium” [more]