• Fighting For DeKalb Tax Payers re: Soccer Practice Field "Deal"
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  • Chedder - The DeKalb County Fire Department Dog
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Press Releases

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)
Aug 21
2015

Arthur Blank holds secret meeting on development of soccer complex

via CBS 46 Atlanta
Posted: Aug 21, 2015 6:32 PM EDTUpdated: Aug 21, 2015 6:47 PM EDT

In an attempt to ease taxpayers concerns, Arthur Blank held a private meeting Friday with three DeKalb County commissioners initially opposed to the development of a multi-million dollar soccer complex near I-285 and Memorial Drive.

“My concern is overall fiscal. What is the return on investment, and I don’t think DeKalb County has done a sufficient job analyzing that,” DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester said.

Earlier in August, commissioners voted 4-3 in favor of the deal, which requires the county to give $12 million to the development of the practice complex. 

Plus, Atlanta’s new professional soccer team that will occupy the facility will be tax exempt for 30 years under the deal. 

"How we get there and the investment and where it comes from, that’s what we’re talking about,” Jester said.

When asked what brought Blank to the meeting, he responded, “We were here to listen and understand the views of all the commissioners and 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.”

However, commissioners like Jester want discussions about the project to remain as transparent as possible moving forward. She said there has been little public input on the deal.

“I look forward to trying to make sure the citizens and taxpayers of DeKalb [County] get a return on this investment,” Jester said.

When asked if the deal was still on, Blank replied, “The deal is still on. Absolutely.”

The CEO’s office for DeKalb County told CBS46 that their numbers show the return on investment for the soccer complex would be 325% and this is one of the largest investments in the area in decades.

Aug 21
2015

County leaders take bus tour of southeast DeKalb

Posted: 4:31 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21, 2015

By Mark Niesse - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

DeKalb commissioners and its CEO piled into a MARTA bus Friday for a tour of the southeastern portion of the county, the area that had lacked representation until Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson was elected last month.

The county’s government leaders saw vacant land ripe for development, parks, industrial areas, a historic dairy farm and a variety of residences — from blighted homes to an upscale neighborhood.

The three-hour trip was a rare occasion for the politically divided commission to come together, seated elbow-to-elbow, for a casual morning outing. They ended the tour with a barbecue lunch.

Johnson said she brought the commissioners together to show them the promise of her 144,000-resident district.

“They’re seeing many of the jewels we have in the Fifth District: green space, medical facilities, Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area,” she said. “There’s just so much potential here for economic development. We want to attract the type of businesses in the Fifth District that would make us all proud.”

Johnson said she wants to work with the commission and the administration to recruit businesses, create jobs and improve quality of life.

The southeast DeKalb district is the largest in the county, covering 83 square miles. With 1,725 residents per square mile, it’s the least dense district in the county.

Besides attracting business, Johnson also hopes MARTA will extend its rail system eastward along Interstate 20 so that it reaches to Stonecrest Mall.

Johnson won a special election in July, filling the seat that had long been vacant since former Commissioner Lee May became DeKalb’s interim CEO two years ago.

Aug 20
2015

DeKalb Ethics and John Boyer Sentenced

John Boyer, husband of former DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer, was sentenced yesterday to a year in jail after pleading guilty of defrauding taxpayers in a scheme that included Commissioner Boyer. Here's the money quote, courtesy of the AJC's Mark Niesse,


After Commissioner Nancy Jester said,

"I think that the price of this investigation is small in comparison to the harm that has been done to the taxpayers over the years,"

O'Hayer asked,

"So, you're saying for all of the size of this [legal] bill, it is worth it. A taxpayer might say, 'look, I'm all for looking into things but this is more than a half million dollars with the potential to be more, at what point does it become a political expense rather than one that benefits the county?"

As a DeKalb County taxpayer, let me tell you my answer to O'Hayer's question. Since it's a question about money, it requires math.
Let's assume the worst about the cost of the investigation, and say maybe it will cost $1 Million dollars.
Doing the math tells us that the cost of the investigation will be less than 1/100th of a percent of the County budget.
To bring that down to a scale I can understand, I'll ask this way.
If an expert in termites said, "Infestation in your home is rampant...." would you spend $200 to find out if your $200,000 house were indeed infested?
That's a no-brainer, and I hope that Mike Bowers and Richard Hyde will continue their work rooting out infestation in DeKalb County's government.
Aug 20
2015

The Obama Administration Justice Department:

Corruption in DeKalb County Is Rampant

This from the Obama Administration Department of Justice:

"Corruption in DeKalb County is rampant, and its residents are frustrated and disheartened," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Davis in federal court. "There are real and severe consequences for violating the law and the public trust."

This from Commissioner Nancy Jester:

It is time for everyone, at every level, to accept reality, acknowledge the government in DeKalb County is in crisis, and adopt a policy of full transparency, disclosure, and cooperation.

I call on the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners and every elected official in DeKalb County to pledge to fully cooperate with the Bowers’ Investigation.

I will also motion that the Board of Commissioners fully fund the Public Integrity Unit in the Office of the DeKalb County District Attorney and motion that the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners invite the DeKalb County District Attorney to present to the BOC in public session his budget needs to do so.

Additionally, I will motion that the Board of Commissioners formally invite Mr. Bowers to present his report to the BOC in public session  - with no time limits - upon the release of the final report.

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