It is about time for another look at what is going on in DeKalb politics. It’s like “The greatest show on Earth!”. Outside of Detroit there is little to rival it. You’ve got incompetent clowns and political acrobatic maneuvers that strain credulity. Like any good comedy, there are always a few straight guys (and gals) that get thrown in the mix. Unfortunately, in DeKalb the voter often misses the normal people because the clowns absorb all the attention. We all need to really study the down ballot races to see what we are getting.
The Clown Car Routine or The Burrell Ellis Trial
This has turned as I predicted several months ago. I always thought it would be a hung jury. So far I am looking pretty good on that one. Citizens of DeKalb should beware of having to be judged by a jury of your “peers” in this county. How did we end up with this jury? What if you had to sit in front of such a jury?
Regardless of the veracity of the witness in this case, it is clear the line between political fund raising and the job of CEO was trampled to death. May it rest in peace.
What does all of this say about our DA? Why is the DA interested in some cases and not others? Do the cases reflect political motivations? Is the DA protecting DeKalb citizens, raising his status in the political world and/or currying favor with certain groups? Let’s all reflect on that.
Here’s another prediction: When we finally get around to electing a new CEO, they will be cut from the same mold.
Jugglers, Contortionists and Sideshows – The Board of Commissioner race for District 1
There are only two viable candidates in this race. The rest of the field is rounded out by a candidate that is a cure for insomnia, one that spends most of his life racking up restraining orders, and one that makes me look like a teenager. What’s a circus without a sideshow, right?
One of the candidates that I thought was viable only held up as long as it took me to research her background. Let’s put it this way – If you liked Elaine Boyer and her tactics, you will love Wendy Butler. Ms Butler was, after all, Elaine Boyer’s appointee to the Planning Commission among other things. Her chief backers all come from the Boyer “friends and family” network.
Ms. Butler’s job as an attorney was basically to represent developers, especially in their disputes with neighborhoods. She did that in Druid Hills much to the chagrin of the Blue Bloods of that neighborhood. There is still an ongoing court battle, in which she is involved, regarding that issue. Druid Hills won in the Court of Appeals and Ms. Butler’s backer (the developer she helped while a Planning Commissioner) is appealing.
Butler is a member of the Council For Quality Growth (CQG). That may sound friendly enough until you read more about them. The primary goal of this group is to influence political decisions (like zoning) to benefit developers. There’s nothing wrong with a trade group lobbying governments. It crosses a line when a member of this lobbying group is seeking to become an elected official that is charged with representing the citizens of DeKalb, District 1, often in matters that affect neighborhoods and developers. Ms. Butler’s very job and her membership with the CQG present a massive conflict of interest. Read for yourself, the mission statement from the CQG:
“Since its inception in 1985, the Council has worked as the development industry’s voice, a clearinghouse for critical information on growth and development policy and a forum for education. The Council advocates for its members to ensure that governmental development policy is fair and conducive to balanced and responsible growth. Through constructive leadership and active participation in resolving growth issues based on real-world experience, the Council is a knowledgable and informed advocate for you.
The Council’s work on behalf of its members has a direct and profitable result on their bottom line. Impact fees, development moratoriums, unrealistic code amendments—it only takes one new regulatory layer and your project becomes unfeasible. The rate of return on your membership investment will prove to be immeasurable as our policy team affects positive change in the political and regulatory web you face daily.”
Ms. Butler also wanted to continue the tolls on Ga. 400 until 2020 and use that money to expand MARTA rail. As a member of the State Roads and Tollway Authority, she and her fellow bureaucrats did just that. The tolls on GA 400 were only stopped when the Governor intervened, because of the bad press the toll extension was generating during the campaign for the T-SPLOST vote. We just don’t need more bureaucrats around that break promises to the public. We don’t need bureaucrats that are always going into your wallet to fund more, inept government or subsidize their developer friends.
That leaves us with one clear choice in the Commissioner race. That would be Nancy Jester. I got to know Nancy very well while serving on the school board with her. She was a pleasure to work with. She wanted a better life for children and taxpayers. She was indefatigable in pursuing misuse of money or what sometimes appeared to be fraud. She did what a representative is supposed to do. She represented the students and taxpayers. I am convinced that she will be there for us on the County Commission Board. She will spread so much sunshine on what is going on that the rest of those folks will be shamed into operating totally in the open. You won’t find any taxpayer funded portraits in Nancy’s office. She’s not going to charge the taxpayers for her cell phone. I know Nancy will not pay any evangelists for consulting services.
Folks we have a good one here. Give Nancy Jester a chance to represent you with integrity. Integrity seems to be almost totally missing from our board of commissioners right now.
It takes integrity and careful study to draw a balanced line between developers and neighborhoods. Nancy Jester has that ability. Nancy will be a strong presence for fiscal reform in DeKalb. She will lead by example. She will be accessible to all of the citizens in District 1. I hope that the voters in District 1 will look past the circus that seems to surround all politics in DeKalb and recognize that we have the opportunity to elect a capable and honest public servant.
AJC – 7:32 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014
Time drags awaiting verdict in DeKalb CEO Ellis trial
GeorgeChidi.com – Posted on October 14, 2014
Committing acts of journalism.