• Fighting For DeKalb Tax Payers re: Soccer Practice Field "Deal"
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  • Kingsley
  • PDK Dekalb Fire
  • Dunwoody Food Trucks
  • Northlake Commissioner Conversation
  • With Senator Renee Unterman - End Human Trafficking
  • Chedder - The DeKalb County Fire Department Dog
  • Tucker 2015
  • LaVista Hills - Yes

Press Releases

Aug 31
2015

 

Commissioner Nancy Jester Announces Town Hall Meetings

 

Commissioner Nancy Jester - Listening To DeKalb County

 

Commissioner Nancy Jester announces her third series of meetings listening to DeKalb County tax payers. 

 

The Nancy Jester Listening to DeKalb County Town Halls are free and open to the public. The format will begin with a brief update from Commissioner Jester followed by discussion and questions from the public.

 

Tucker: The Orchard Senior Living
15 September: 7:00 – 8:30pm

2060 Idlewood Rd

Tucker, GA 30084

 

Doraville: Doraville Civic Center
22 September: 7:00 – 8:30pm
3770 Central Avenue
Doraville, GA 30340

Chamblee: Chamblee Civic Center
29 September: 7:00 – 8:30pm
3540 Broad Street
Chamblee, GA 30341

Dunwoody: Dunwoody Library
3 October: 10:30am -12:00pm
5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road
Dunwoody, GA 30338

 

Brookhaven: Brookhaven City Hall
6 October: 7:00 – 8:30pm
4362 Peachtree Road NE
Brookhaven, GA 30319

LaVista Hills: Barbara Loar Library
13 October: 7:00 – 8:30pm
3772 LaVista Road
LaVista Hills, GA 30084

Dunwoody: Dunwoody Library
27 October: 7:00 -8:30pm
5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road
Dunwoody, GA 30338

Aug 30
2015

via The Champion

County officials tour District 5’s assets, challenges

DeKalb County’s commissioners and other government officials boarded a MARTA bus Aug. 21 for a three-hour tour of DeKalb’s fifth district.

The bus, accompanied by a four-motorcycle police escort, traveled by the Kensington Station area and the site of the proposed Atlanta United Football Club soccer headquarters and practice fields. The tour included Indian Creek MARTA station; the new south campus of Georgia Piedmont Technical College; DeKalb Medical Hillandale; Lithonia Industrial Boulevard; Lithonia, the district’s only city; Stonecrest Mall; and Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve.

The tour was the idea of District 5 Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson, the county’s newest commissioner.
She said, the tour “was not really for me.”

“I [have] lived, worked and played and gone to church in this district for 30 years so I knew what we had in the fifth district,” Johnson said. “My husband [Congressman Hank Johnson] was a commissioner in this district before he went to Congress.

“I’m very familiar with the district, but the challenge I think we have in the 5th District is to attract economic development and also keep the nature of the somewhat rural suburban flavor,” Mereda Johnson said.

“What I wanted to do was to show all of my commissioners the 5th district,” she said. “I wanted them to see it and I wanted them to have an appreciation for the possibilities that [are] here in the 5th district.”

Mereda Johnson said, “It’s a unique district in that a large percentage of the district is residential and [there’s] so much potential for commercial. [There is] so much that the fifth district can do to attract…substantial businesses into the [district].”

With its medical centers, greenspace and MARTA rail station, District 5 is poised to “attract meaningful development,” Johnson said. “We have enough to sell ourselves, and we have not done that before. I’d like to see us be proactive and to do that I wanted the other commissioners to have an appreciation of the 5th district. That was the reason that I requested this tour.”

Andrew Baker, the county’s director of planning and sustainability, said, “The purpose of the trip was really to expose the general commissioners to the assets as well as some of the potential opportunities within District 5 because it’s not often that they get to drive and see and detail the different things that are happening and being developed in District 5.”

Baker said District 5 assets include South DeKalb Mall, Stonecrest Mall, its industrial areas and DeKalb Medical Hillandale.

“The challenges are to expose and have a coordinated strategy to link those assets and opportunities to the strategic economic development plan,” Baker said.

Another “great gem and a great asset” is Arabia Mountain, Baker said.

“I think the best-kept secret is Arabia Mountain,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of opportunities for it…to really bring people and tourism to that particular area, because then they could stay at the hotels [and have] connectivity to Stonecrest [Mall].”

DeKalb Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson organized a bus tour of District 5 for commissioners and other county officials.

Commissioner Nancy Jester said, “It was great to be on this tour with my fellow commissioners and the CEO and all the other folks. It was great to be able have an interactive conversation and hear from different folks narrating the tour that have a lot of expertise in different areas.”

The highlight of the tour was “the Arabia Mountain area and learning about the heritage sites there,” she said.

“I thought…going to the city of Lithonia and hearing from the mayor was particularly interesting,” Jester said.

Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson, who took the District 5 tour, told the participants about the historic Bruce Street School, the first public school for Blacks in DeKalb County. She also talked about the city’s history in the granite industry.

“That was fascinating and I really appreciated learning that,” Jester said.

District 5 has “some beautiful conservation areas—the park lands,” Jester said. “That’s a real jewel and we need to make sure we’re protecting that.”

The district has “some areas …where blight needs to be addressed and where redevelopment needs to be addressed and we talked about that on the tour,” Jester said.

“I look forward to working with the county and my fellow commissioners to make sure those things happen and we can revitalize some of those areas and redevelop some of those areas that need to revitalized,” Jester said.

“I think District 5 has a unique position …because it’s positioned so advantageously with regards to transportation and close proximity to the other counties to our south,” she said. “As economic activity…starts to increase with increased traffic through the Port of Savannah…, I think District 5 is positioned to be a transportation hub [and] a distribution hub.”

Interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May called the tour “unprecedented,” saying it was the first time in his nine years in county government that all the commissioners and the CEO have been on a tour together.

“I really believe this will work to bring us closer together with greater understanding at least of District 5,” May said. “I think we ought to redo this for all of the districts. I know District 5 because I represented it for almost nine years, but I don’t know District 1, 2, 3 and 4 that way.

“I think this is going to add value well beyond today,” May said.

Aug 30
2015

via CBS 46 News

DeKalb County corruption investigation not complete

DEKALB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

CBS46 uncovered new information into a corruption investigation involving the DeKalb County government. The CEO's office said that a final report into alleged misuse of county funds is due out next week.

County Commissioner Nancy Jester wanted to set the record straight after personally speaking with investigators Friday.

“Mr. Bowers said he was always clear with the CEO and his office that it was always October 6 and not a day before, and I said has that changed and they told me no, it had not changed,” Jester said.  “I have no idea why anyone would tell you otherwise. Why there would be any suggestion that we’re going to get it next week.”

May hired former Attorney General Mike Bowers to review county operations in an attempt to restore public trust, but May said he would not pay the investigators beyond August 26. 

Thus far, the investigation has identified rampant credit card fraud by county employees.

Some of the improper expenditures included the purchase of a cruise to the Bahamas for an employee, flower arrangements, a live guitar player, a Christmas tree and the dry cleaning bill for a judge's robe.

“Number one, we have to see what the details say in the final report, but we’re going to be vigorous, we’re going to be very aggressive in dealing with them as they come to us,” May said.

“If Mr. May takes clear, decisive action based on the report that we do get to rid the county of those folks that are harming the taxpayers, I will stand with him and support him,” Jester said.

Aug 30
2015

Metro Atlanta soccer deal gets kicked around again

DEKALB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

The concept for the development of a multi-million dollar soccer complex in DeKalb County gets kicked around once again.  

“We are giving so much to this one project and it has no revenue stream. It’s not going to generate anything for the citizens of DeKalb County from a revenue standpoint, ever,” DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester said.

In early August, commissioners voted 4-3 in favor of the deal which requires the county to give $12 million dollars to the development of a practice complex. Nearly half of that money will be used to clear the land, but Jester says that won’t be enough. 

“There’s just no way it will be $3 million to $5 million dollars. We have to relocate road and drainage facilities, we’ll have to do studies, we may have to remove contaminants, then we have to sod and irrigate these 41 acres,” Jester said.

Jester said there has been very little public input on the deal and she just found out about a community meeting that was scheduled this week and later canceled on the issue, which she was not invited to.

“Let’s all get together, all the commissioners and let’s reschedule that and let’s talk soccer with the public. Let’s have a full open dialogue,” Jester said.

Last week, Arthur Blank met with commissioners to hash out the deal which will provide a practice facility for the city’s new professional soccer team.

“We had a very positive meeting and the discussions are private and we’ll keep them that way and we look forward to continuing discussions,” Blank said.

“I would like and request Mr. Blank to come back to the table to renegotiate the terms of it,” Jester said.

Aug 28
2015

A Letter From Commissioner Nancy Jester to DeKalb iCEO Lee May Atlanta United FC Training and Practice Facility

VIA PERSONAL HAND DILEVERY

Dear iCEO May:

I note that your Let’s Talk Soccer Community Forum has been delayed. I support your concept of a county-wide community conversation regarding the new Atlanta United FC Training and Practice Facility.

Given your regret and agreement with me, which you shared at your recent press conference, that the public should have had public comment prior to the vote, I want to offer to partner with you as DeKalb County moves forward with this important community conversation.

Certainly, you will agree, that every point of view must be heard regarding the new Atlanta United FC Training and Practice Facility.

I suggest that we jointly host a public community conversation regarding the new Atlanta United FC Training and Practice Facility at the Maloof Auditorium on a weeknight where the public is invited to offer their thoughts and views.  I encourage and welcome participation from the entire Board of Commissioners to stand with you as we listen to our bosses – the tax payers of DeKalb County. 

While everyone wants to welcome Atlanta United FC to DeKalb County, DeKalb tax payers are not united behind the current deal and many questions have been raised that deserve to be answered.  It is my hope we all will place a priority on listening to the public.

While everyone wants to welcome Atlanta United FC to DeKalb County, DeKalb tax payers are not united behind the current deal regarding the new Atlanta United FC Training and Practice Facility.

I look forward to working with your staff, over the next two business days, to find a date for an inclusive community conversation which allows the public to express their thoughts regarding the new Atlanta United FC Training and Practice Facility.

Nancy Jester

Commissioner

Aug 28
2015

Letter from Commissioners Kathie Gannon, Nancy Jester, and

Jeff Rader To Dekalb iCEO Lee May

Atlanta United FC Training and Practice Facility

Dear iCEO May:

We note that your Let’s Talk Soccer Community Forum has been delayed. We support your concept of a county-wide community conversation regarding the new Atlanta United FC Training and Practice Facility. 

You shared at your recent press conference, your regret and agreement with us, that the public should have had public comment prior to the vote.  We would like to partner with you as DeKalb County moves forward with this important community conversation.

Certainly, you will agree, that every point of view must be heard regarding the new Atlanta United FC Training and Practice Facility. 

We suggest that we jointly host a public community conversation regarding the new Atlanta United FC Training and Practice Facility at the Maloof Auditorium on a weeknight where the public is invited to offer their thoughts and views.  We encourage and welcome participation from the entire Board of Commissioners to stand with you as we listen to our bosses – the tax payers of DeKalb County.   

While everyone wants to welcome Atlanta United FC to DeKalb County, DeKalb tax payers are not united behind the current deal and many questions have been raised that deserve to be answered.  It is our hope we all will place a priority on listening to the public.

We look forward to working with your staff, over the next two business days, to find a date for an inclusive community conversation which allows the public to express their thoughts regarding the new Atlanta United FC Training and Practice Facility.

Commissioners,

Kathie Gannon

Nancy Jester

Jeff Rader

Aug 27
2015
DeKalb Announces 2015 Labor Day Sanitation Collection Schedule for Residential Customers
The DeKalb County Sanitation Division announces its Labor Day solid waste and recycling collection schedule for residential customers. In observance of Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 7, garbage, recyclable materials and yard trimmings collection for residential customers will be based on a revised holiday schedule as follows:
Monday, Sept. 7 – Labor Day observed; no sanitation collection services
Tuesday, Sept. 8 – Residential customers whose regularly scheduled collection day is Monday, Sept. 7 will be serviced on Tuesday, Sept. 8
Wednesday, Sept. 9 – Residential customers whose regularly scheduled collection day is Tuesday, Sept. 8 will be serviced on Wednesday, Sept. 9
Thursday, Sept. 10 – Residential customers whose regularly scheduled collection day is Wednesday, Sept. 9 will be serviced on Thursday, Sept. 10
Friday, Sept. 11 – Residential customers whose regularly scheduled collection day is Thursday, Sept. 10 will be serviced on Friday, Sept. 11 (read more in the attached release)