- Molly Bloom For The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
We asked candidates running in next month’s city, school and municipal elections to explain why you should vote for them. In addition to asking them questions about their experience and their stand on prominent issues, we asked some candidates to tell us which television character with whom they most identify. See where candidates stand on important issues, and who has a lot in common with Batman.
Atlanta (see Fulton County Voter Guide)
City Commissioner (Vote for Two)
Name: Joe Anziano
Residence: Avondale Estates
Profession: Real Estate sales and management
What experience will help you in office? I'm an active member of the Avondale Planning and Zoning Board so I know the rules of the road for zoning; I'm a director of the Avondale Community Club so am socially active with our citizens, I'm an active Citizens Patrol driver giving me a full understanding of our streetscape. Plus I've attended and participated in almost every meeting and planning session of the Board of Mayor and Commissioners and Downtown Development Authority for the past five years. I know what's happening.
What issue got you into this race? Avondale is on the verge of creating a wonderful and walkable downtown area to add to the already wonderful residential areas; I want to be a part of keeping our vision on point with smart planning and development, and helping make good things happen in Avondale.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Local news
Facebook: Joe Anziano
Name: Paul Brown
Residence: Avondale Estates
What experience will help you in office? Brown Architects LLC: Architect/owner since 1987
Avondale Elementary School Education Foundation; Founding chair - achieved 501c3 accreditation 2016.
City of Avondale Estates Board of Appeals; member since 2013.
City of Avondale Estates Ad Hoc Educational Committee; community volunteer
Generation Avondale; Member
What issue got you into this race? I have actively participated the last eight years in the BOMC and AE city government attending meetings and providing a reasonable voice for education, stormwater retention, and improving Sam’s Crossing Bridge for the community.
Make practical policies to create a more open public realm; to expand high-quality affordable housing options and make long-term investments in children and families, specifically in education, health and economic well-being.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) in “Blue Bloods.”
Website: Paul Brown For Commissioner (Facebook)
Facebook: Paul Brown
Name: Ben Dostal
Residence: Melford Place
Profession: Program manager
What experience will help you in office? In my professional life I have worked with cities and neighborhoods to build consensus and create mutually beneficial events and programs. I would like to bring these skills to public service.
What issue got you into this race? I was motivated to run after my neighborhood lobbied the Board of Mayor and Commissioners to change a zoning regulation that would have greatly impacted us.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Leonard Hofstadter (”The Big Bang Theory”) Though I'm not lactose intolerant I am a bit of a nerd.
Name: Wilmer Engle
Residence: Avondale Estates
Profession: Student at GSU, B.B.A. in Accounting (2017)
What experience will help you in office? I served in the military for six years as an intelligence analyst and have been studying business and accounting for the last few years.
What issue got you into this race? Slow business and recent crimes that have happened.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Ben Wyatt from “Parks and Recreation”
Name: Terry Giager (i)
Name: Candace A. Jones
Residence: Avondale Estates
Profession: Retired public health manager and nutritionist
What experience will help you in office? Since 2014, I have been a very active city resident. Attending and participating in most city meetings, work sessions, and public hearings. I am knowledgeable of the issues, plans, codes, documents, processes, responsibilities, and time commitments required to be an effective commissioner.
Professionally, I have over 30 years of public health management experience at the state, district and county levels. Responsibilities included:
- Planning and implementing programs, budgets, policies and procedures, plans, contracts, and grants
- Managing personnel and completing local agency performance audits
-Collecting, analyzing and evaluating data
-Evaluating the impact of proposed legislation.
What issue got you into this race? Our city is at an important point in its evolution. I want to serve our city as we act and plan for the next several years as well as its next century. I want to ensure that our city retains its high quality of life for current and future individuals, families, and businesses as we progress forward. We must continue to balance the needs of our current residents and residential areas, which are the core of our city, against the needs of future residents and businesses in our downtown areas.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan of the “Bones” television series.
Name: Lionel Laratte
Residence: Avondale Estates
What experience will help you in office? I have helped over 60 companies successfully manage and take advantage of their evolution. A large part of that is working with various interests to develop and implement a common vision. I think there are a lot of parallels with being a commissioner.
What issue got you into this race? It wasn't one specific issue but my primary interest is our downtown and its development. I believe we are on the verge of realizing its potential as a unique and engaging center. I want to bring my experience and love of the city to the table and help move that along.
Which current television character do you identify most with? I like characters who are very cerebral and at some disadvantage. For example, I watched the series “Goliath” and thought Billy Bob Thornton's character was great. He was flawed and not taken seriously. But he was intelligent and he worked hard to do the right thing because it was the right thing to do.
Name: Elise "Lisa" Shortell
Residence: Historic district
Profession: Former teacher and tutor
What experience will help you in office? I have been actively attending Board of Mayor and Commissioner meetings, work sessions, and other city meetings such as Downtown Development Authority and Planning and Zoning meetings for years. My involvement has included participation in planning document updates and workshops. I, along with a small group of fellow residents, started a citizen interest group called Second Century Avondale which has now been advocating for a high quality, walkable, and unique downtown for three years.
What issue got you into this race? Avondale Estates is at an exciting and pivotal juncture. Downtown development is coming and the community has an incredible opportunity to create something special that will benefit generations to come. Of course, there are great challenges and these need be met with planning and strategy. These include growing Avondale's unique identity and character, funding, and establishing a physical framework that incorporates all aspects of public space (streets, sidewalks, stormwater infrastructure, bike connections, and open space).
Which current television character do you identify most with? None. I don't watch much television.
Council Member District 2
Name: H.J. "John" Park (i)
Residence: Ashford Park
Profession: Technical architect
What experience will help you in office? First, the last three years of experience as a city councilman. I also spent many years in consulting where we analyzed businesses’ processes and assisted our clients in change management and process improvement. Decision making was key. My experience in troubleshooting as an IT performance engineer brings analytical skills to government.
What issue got you into this race? Balancing growth and maintaining the natural beauty of our neighborhoods.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Ron Swanson. You'd never expect someone like him in government.
Council Member District 4
Name: Dale Boone
Residence: Cross Keys
Profession: CEO of World League Of Competitive Eating
What experience will help you in office? Working with world known international company will help dealing with the International corridor of Buford Highway. With its cultural and economic diversity, that needs to be preserved. Studied abroad in India and I am multilingual.
What issue got you into this race? The lack of leadership, accessibility and neglect from our elected official in District 4.
Crime rate in district 4 has to be brought under control. Traffic congestion needs a solution ASAP.
District 4 needs new Leadership.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Jorge - “90 day Fiance”
Name: Joe Gebbia (i)
Residence: Pine Hills
Profession: President / owner - Health Matters
What experience will help you in office? For the last five years I have served as a founding councilman for Brookhaven and I am very proud of the work I have done to help birth this new city. Being a team player I have been effective in developing strong partnerships with many individuals and agencies on the local, regional, state and federal level. This will be of immense value as the city enters an explosive growth period over the next four years.
What issue got you into this race? During the next four years the Buford Highway corridor will be the city's focal point for development and redevelopment. One key project includes the completion of our new $36 Million Peachtree Creek Greenway park that will connect to the Belt Line. In addition, District 4 will be "ground zero" for $2 to $3 billion in new office, commercial, retail and residential developments. I am seeking re-election to continue guiding these efforts.
Which current television character do you identify most with? I make a real effort not watch TV. The news is skewed and depressing, and evening shows filled with excessive violence and sex. I have no problem finding other things to do.
But talk movies - I would answer Indiana Jones: a man confronting multiple obstacles but still gets it done.
Name: R. Eric Clarkson (i)
Name: Van Pappas
Residence: Huntley Hills
Profession: Certified financial planner
What experience will help you in office? Founder of the Chamblee Chamber of Commerce, serve on the Downtown Development Authority, decades of financial planning experience
What issue got you into this race? The need to bring a financial planning approach to our city leadership
Which current television character do you identify most with? Tom Selleck - “Blue Bloods.” Family oriented, transparent, follow the law kind of guy
City Council At Large
Name: Brian K. Mock (i)
City Council District 1
Name: John Mesa (i)
Name: Beverly H. Burks
What experience will help you in office? Twenty years of community engagement, five years as Certified PMP, eight years of policy experience, 1.6 years on city council
What issue got you into this race? I want to continue the progressive agenda I started on city council and make sure Clarkson has strong leadership to move us forward.
Which current television character do you identify most with? “Game of Thrones’ “ Daenerys Targaryen. She is a strong woman and many people underestimated her power and strength.
Name: Edward "Ted" Terry (I)
Residence: Casa Woods neighborhood
Profession: Executive director
What experience will help you in office? I bring over 17 years of community organizing, nonprofit management and public service to this office. I have served as mayor of Clarkston for the last 3.5 years. I am a public servant at heart. My purpose in life is to contribute to a larger movement seeking an inclusive, just and equitable society for all.
What issue got you into this race? We have made great progress in Clarkston over the last four years. But we have much more work to do. We need to make Clarkston one of the safest cities in Georgia. We need a cleaner city, improved roads, programs for our youth and seniors. We want more restaurants, walkable paths, and a sense of community. Together we can create a Clarkston we will all be proud to call home.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Iron Fist
City Council Member (Vote for Three)
Name: Yterenickia "YT" Bell
Residence: The Reserve at Twin Oaks
Profession: Mental health professional
What experience will help you in office? My extensive policy, legislative advocacy, and teamwork capabilities will help me in office.
What issue got you into this race? I'm very passionate about people and improving their quality of life. As a result, I am eager to serve my neighbors and work towards creating more progressive solutions to Clarkston's challenges. The issues that I am running on in this race are safety, sense of community, economic development, and affordable housing. I will work with elected officials, city staff, and Clarkston residents to continue the redevelopment of downtown Clarkston, cultivate affordable housing options, adopt responsible budgets, and promote economic development through partnerships and business improvement/enterprise zones.
Which current television character do you identify most with? The current character that I identify with is Randall from the TV show “This is Us.” I identify with Randall, because of the impact that a few, recent events have had on my career and life path.
Name: Christopher Busing
Name: Jamie Carroll (i)
Residence: Jolly Avenue
Profession: Commercial litigation attorney
What experience will help you in office? I learned a lot about the legislative process by drafting and sponsoring the first Tiny House community ordinance in Georgia. While drafting the Tiny House ordinance, I got feedback from experts and other stakeholders in the community, and worked with other Clarkston council members and the mayor to refine the ordinance so that ultimately we were able to successfully pass the Tiny House Ordinance, which will create affordable housing options for Clarkston residents.
What issue got you into this race? We need more housing at all prices, and to support existing businesses and encourage the creation of new businesses, so Clarkston residents can afford to live here and have the option of jobs close to home. I want to make sure that Clarkston continues to grow while remaining affordable for all of its residents. This growth will also provide Clarkston with the revenue we need to increase public safety resources and fund more community programs.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Edmund Reid, from “Ripper Street.” I admire his tireless dedication to justice, even when nearly all the other characters in the show are willing to give up the search for criminals.
Name: Ahmed M. Hassan (i)
Name: Laura Carol Hopkins
Profession: Coordinator of clinical education
What experience will help you in office? Some strengthening experiences: from being an accountant - attention to detail; from being a business analyst - reading fine print; from being an immigrant who did not know the language - humility; from being an executive recruiter - the importance of a win-win outcome; from my degree in finance - finance; from being a chef - the importance of creativity, and from serving in the administration of a major university - the importance of collaboration.
What issue got you into this race? No particular issue hooked me but simply a love of Clarkston and a sense of duty to cultivate a healthier community. I have just helped my mother to move here, and we are both committed to Clarkston as home. I want to promote an environment where people feel heard and connected, feel safe to trust, and confident to grow. We want business and balance. I can help. My keys: livability, affordability, safety, and community.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Agent Carter
Name: Dean S. Moore (i)
Residence: Rayford Trail
Profession: Commercial construction superintendent
What experience will help you in office? Eleven years of service to the community as a member of the Planning and Zoning Committee and more recently as a councilman is a good reference point. Knowing the community. Training with the Georgia Municipal Association and the Atlanta Regional Commission as well as being on the GMA Board of Directors has been invaluable. As a superintendent/project manager, I’ve had the pleasure of building a wide variety of complex projects and buildings with a variety of craftsmen of varying skill levels for clients from all walks of life, including medical operating rooms, churches, restaurants, and even a Starbucks. ...[edited for length]
What issue got you into this race? As an incumbent these past eight years, the City Council has turned the city around. It keeps getting better and better and I wish to continue as a member of a successful winning team. One main project, the streetscapes project that cuts through the city from one side to the other, straight through the heart, has been in process and engineering design for 12 years. It has just hit the ground and I want to be there for the ribbon cutting when it is completed.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Presidential historian John Meachum may not qualify as a character. I’ve been a witness to the current history of Clarkston and would want him to ghost write the book for me. Second choice is Joyce Kerns Goodwin.
Name: Grant Hassan Salaam
Name: Jennier Schliestett
City Council Member (To Fill the Unexpired Term of Beverly Burks, Resigned)
Name: Andrea Cervone
Residence: Casa Woods
Profession: Communications director
What experience will help you in office? I will bring more than seven years of communications, marketing, and policy experience to the Clarkston City Council.
What issue got you into this race? I believe good government should be open, accessible and accountable to the community it serves. Clear, transparent communications is something the current government in Clarkston is woefully lacking in, and I believe my communications and marketing experience will modernize the efforts of the city.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Batman has been my hero since I was a child, and will likely always be, in part because of his relentless drive to do what's right, not what's easy.
Name: Warren Hadlock
Residence: West Smith Street
Profession: Retired contractor
What experience will help you in office? I have eight years of previous experience as a city councilman including one year as vice-mayor; 2-plus years on Planning and Zoning; work on two comprehensive plans and LCI plans. Ongoing volunteer caretaker of Friendship Forest Wildlife Sanctuary. Numerous seminars accredited by the Georgia Municipal Association.
What issue got you into this race? I spearheaded the development of many projects and positive changes during my first time as council member, but there are still many essential programs where we are lacking. A recreation program for our youth and a senior citizens' center are badly needed. Citizen safety: A much more efficient 911 service is needed. Pedestrian safety: We need pedestrian crossings with traffic lights. I want to reach out to our newly annexed citizens, who I currently feel are not aware of what Clarkston has to offer them.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Chuck Todd on “Meet The Press.” Sorry, that's as close as I can get if you want a current one.
Facebook: Councilman Warren Hadlock
City Commissioner District 1 Post A
Name: Betty Blondeau
Residence: Pinetree Drive
What experience will help you in office? I have been a professional fundraiser in the arts with the Alliance Theatre and Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company working extensively with corporate and volunteer boards, government and foundation funders. Also as a volunteer I have worked for greenspace funding for Woodlands Garden as well as historical restoration with the Mary Gay House. In my work over the years as a citizen activist in Decatur and DeKalb County I have gained experience in the areas of planning, development, and zoning, areas that affect the quality of life for all of us. I have worked with the Citizens Task Force...[edited for length]
What issue got you into this race? A desire for transparency has brought me into the race. I want to be sure that citizens know about upcoming issues before the issues are resolved and that they have the information they need so that they can be a part of finding solutions for their concerns. I want to be in the room where these decisions are made and be sure that citizen concerns are considered in finding answers.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Grace in “Frankie and Grace” played by Jane Fonda
Name: Melissa Manrow
Residence: Decatur Heights
Profession: attorney, recently retired from a civilian law enforcement position
What experience will help you in office? My deep roots in the city, my service on the Decatur Planning Commission since 2010, involvement in the updating and implementation of the city’s Uniform Development Ordinance, on the Decatur Infill Task Force in 2005, and on the Decatur Heights Neighborhood Association executive committee from 2004-2008. I wrote and presented the Decatur Heights Neighborhood Association plan to the City Commission, requesting that any new development within Decatur Heights not exceed existing housing density.
What issue got you into this race? My love for Decatur, plus the avalanche of support I've received since announcing. Certainty that our best days are still ahead of us, and even more so if we make sure to bring all our fellow citizens along with us. Fostering access to housing for “all ages and stages.” At every stage of life, where we live is the foundation for our health, education, safety and well-being. Encouraging strong succession planning among Decatur’s senior staff.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Lillian from “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” For that matter, Kimmy, though I've never been kept in an underground bunker for years on end.
Name: Tim Martin
Residence: Rosewalk-Cottage Grove
Profession: Financial adviser
What experience will help you in office? As the recent president of the Decatur Business Association, I have worked with the city government and know what it takes to get things done. Being a financial adviser has allowed me to work with my clients' assets to help them reach their financial goals. I'll bring the same decision-making skills as a commissioner with Decatur's tax dollars and harness the energy of good people around me to make a real difference.
What issue got you into this race? Multiple issues to address: We are facing two major challenges --unprecedented growth in our city as well as dwindling diversity among our citizens. We need to focus on housing for seniors to age in place and establish some workforce housing options; taming Scott Boulevard through traffic calming measures as well as implementing safer pedestrian walkways; also, we must focus on our downtown to keep it livable for its residents and thriving for our businesses.
Which current television character do you identify most with? I love watching cooking shows …my favorite is “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.” Chef Guy Fieri gets to experience our country and meet extraordinary people through food. He has a large personality that I love and gets to taste everyone’s best dish. I hope to get to travel and do that someday!
Name: Kelly Walsh
Residence: Clairemont Great Lakes Neighborhood
What experience will help you in office? My experience combining a busy professional life with active volunteerism and community organizing for the last dozen years has prepared me to be an elected leader in our city and makes me the most qualified candidate. Having worked with multiple constituencies via service to our city government and our schools provides me with unique insight and vision into what residents want from their new commissioner and where we are headed as a community.
What issue got you into this race? My platform is an integrated set of priorities that best represents the very qualities of our city that Decatur residents value because they are what make it an amazing community in which to live. My priorities are to support our city's greatest asset of walkability, in combination with a focus on enhancing and enlarging greenspace, fostering diversity through affordable housing and inclusive government, while supporting our schools as a stakeholder and parent myself.
Which current television character do you identify most with? I have really enjoyed watching Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) on”Parks and Recreation.” Leslie is a dedicated public servant who is passionate about her work, loves where she lives, and just generally loves life. I identify with her sense of humor and her ability to always laugh at herself.
City Commissioner District 2 Post A
Name: Patti Garrett (i)
City Board of Education At Large
Name: Annie Caiola (i)
City Board of Education District 1 Post A
Name: Lewis B. Jones (i)
Residence: 615 Glendale Ave., Decatur
What experience will help you in office? I have served on the board the past four years. Legal experience helps, given the bewildering array of legal mandates applicable to school districts. I also draw on my experience working with clients to structure and work through public involvement processes. Finally, I spent one eye-opening year after college as a high school math teacher. God bless our teachers! Finally, I have five children, including two DHS graduates, and a super spouse.
What issue got you into this race? We are doing important work to set high academic standards for all students of all abilities, reduce disproportionality, and serve the needs of struggling readers. I want to push to ensure these initiatives continue. I will also continue to advocate for STEM as well as for programs such as art, music, sports, and other extracurriculars that build character and help develop the whole child.
Which current television character do you identify most with? The Demogorgan in “Stranger Things.”
City Board of Education District 2 Post A
Name: Heather Tell
City Council Member District 1
Name: Stuart Anderson
Residence: District 1 Tilly Mill area
What experience will help you in office? I am Stuart Anderson DBA Psycle Racing. For 40 years, Psycle Racing has consulted professional motor sport teams and individuals; consults on engineering projects and conducts R&D.
I start with this, in that a crew chief works in a time-restricted problem-solving, decision-making environment. Detecting and prioritizing a problem or situation, acting on a solution and considering the intended or unintended consequences are a skill set that I bring.
However, what I also bring to the voter / city is that Psycle Racing also consults on questions of zoning. Interests range from the GM and Kmart developments ...[edited for length]
What issue got you into this race? As a 42-year Doraville resident, I am running for office because I have a vision for what I consider to be one of the most promising properties in the Atlanta area ... Doraville, Georgia.
I will continue efforts to pursue a more citizen and business friendly policy of notification, for those affected, or those proposed to be affected by the actions of the city.
[Nov. 2007 C.C. resolution]
Which current television character do you identify most with? I read
Name: Dennis E. Chupp
Residence: Winters Chapel, Doraville
Profession: retired animal control department head
What experience will help you in office? Lifetime resident of Doraville, educated in its schools, small business owner and 25 years as the city's animal control officer .
What issue got you into this race? The financial mismanagement of the city. The city is in debt for the first time since 1871! Hundreds of millions in bonds, 30 year tax abatements, 16 percent tax increase with more to follow. Nothing to show for it except body shops and car dealerships on the GM site.
Which current television character do you identify most with? I read the newspaper, books and Use the internet . I don't watch TV. Prefer the outdoors.
Name: Robert Patrick (i)
Residence: Guilford Village
Profession: City planner
What experience will help you in office? I have worked in a community development department for over 10 years and am familiar with permitting, zoning and development issues. I have served as a Doraville District 1 council member for five years during which we have hired our first city manager, paved streets, fixed potholes and sidewalks, invested in our parks, wrote a zoning code for the redevelopment of the Assembly and Nexus sites, equipped our police officers with body cameras, and did all this with a balanced budget.
What issue got you into this race? I was concerned with the steep decline of residential property values due to the Great Recession. Since then, I have worked to attract mixed-use developments with vibrant employment centers, improved pedestrian access to parks, and government transparency at city hall. I will continue to build on these successes and continue my strong support for public safety in Doraville.
Which current television character do you identify most with? I like to watch movies. One of my favorites is “Limitless.”
City Council Member District 2
Name: Joseph Geierman
Profession: Director of real estate and facilities
What experience will help you in office? I’ve lived in the community for nearly 16 years, and have been actively engaged in neighborhood and city issues throughout that time - most recently serving as planning commissioner.
I have leadership experience – not only at my job, where I head up the real estate and facilities group – but also having served as president of several professional groups, as well as my neighborhood association.
What issue got you into this race? I am concerned that Assembly - the development project at the former GM plant - has been stuck in neutral for too long.
I want to prioritize infrastructure improvements that will attract businesses to that site. I'll also focus on bringing Doraville's zoning and codes in line with those of our neighboring cities - making it easier for homeowners to improve their properties and for businesses to open shop here.
Which current television character do you identify most with? N/A
Name: Tim Snyder
Profession: Freelance TV producer
What experience will help you in office? Working worldwide with film/TV clients demands problem solving, budgeting and negotiating skills. These valuable skills will serve me in the city's future business dealings. Seventeen years of neighborhood advocacy gives me the local knowledge to protect and serve my constituents.
What issue got you into this race? The city's disregard and lack of concern for our neighborhoods and the homeowners that live here. Questionable business alliances and spending that has depleted the city's reserves.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Will McAvoy. (Jeff Daniels-”The Newsroom”)
Name: Peaches Toppin
Residence: Arbor Woods
Profession: Founder of Peach Threads Boutique
What experience will help you in office? As an experienced accountant and small business owner, I intend to utilize my skills in management and strategic planning to create opportunities that will meet the needs of Doraville’s diverse and ever- evolving community.
What issue got you into this race? As a new resident, I fell in love with the essence and energy of Doraville, which is rooted in community, growth and family. We have major opportunities to benefit from under-utilized resources right in our backyards.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Olivia Pope (”Scandal”)
City Council Member District 3
Name: Lee Flier
Profession: Programmer, musician
What experience will help you in office? I’m a 23-year resident, active in civic affairs for many years. My experience and training spans several disciplines including business and technology, the arts, and environmental design, so I bring some fresh perspectives to the table while remaining fact based and grounded. I’m good at connecting/inspiring people and finding common ground, work well with others and am known for being level headed, reasonable and caring.
What issue got you into this race? I love my city and it's a critical time for us. We're a small city undergoing big changes, and I'm very motivated to make sure our growth happens in a responsible way that improves life for all residents.
Which current television character do you identify most with? I honestly don't have time to watch TV these days! I did watch the new “Twin Peaks,” but can't say I identify with any of the characters, luckily for Doraville! I'm more of a “Northern Exposure” type.
Name: Stephe Koontz
Profession: Retired church administrator
What experience will help you in office? I was a successful small business owner, which gives me a firsthand understanding of what a city needs to do to attract and keep quality businesses in our community. As a church administrator, I worked within a completely different budget framework and left the nonprofit’s finances in a far better state than when I arrived.
What issue got you into this race? I was part of the steering committee for the 2016 “Design Doraville” comprehensive plan, and the experience made me realize that now is a pivotal point for the future of the city. We have to remain true to the vision we crafted in that plan, keeping our focus on what’s best for Doraville in the long run.
Which current television character do you identify most with? I guess it would be Admiral Janeway from “Star Trek: Voyager” (I’m kind of a nerd). She’s a strong woman who is deliberative and thoughtful when confronted with a problem, but if time is short, she is decisive and is willing to take responsibility for her choices.
City Council Member District 1 Post 1
Name: Joe Hirsch
Name: Pamela H. Tallmadge (i)
Profession: Executive assistant Charter System Foundation and City of Dunwoody Council Member, District 1
What experience will help you in office? My experience is a great assistance to me. I have built relationships with key personal at DeKalb County Schools, including the superintendent’s office. Also, the leadership team at the Georgia DOE. Locally, neighboring municipalities’ council members and our state legislators welcome my call. My volunteer work has afforded the opportunity to meet citizens whose opinions and advice act as a good sounding board as I work for the citizens of District 1.
What issue got you into this race? I am honored to have served. My platform of “common sense” was my slogan then, as it is now. We have a great opportunity to build a new Dunwoody focusing on the future and not forgetting the past. Our quality of life is important. I want to be the voice for the future. We must have “the Dunwoody” that we have all come to love and manage the expected growth we are going to experience.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Tom Selleck, Police Chief Frank Reagan on “Blue Bloods.” He makes hard choices for the betterment of his city, not personal benefits. Listens and takes advice from his staff, advisers, friends, and family. Holds strong family values. Like the show - I have the Sunday night rule of family dinner!
City Council Member District 2 Post 2
Name: Jim Riticher (i)
Residence: 5276 Trowbridge Dr.
Profession: Retired engineer and IT professional
What experience will help you in office? Among other things, cities build things (parks, public works, etc.) and pass judgement on things proposed to be built (planning and zoning). From my first career in commercial building engineering I read plans better most, which is helpful in evaluating what comes before us on city council.
What issue got you into this race? I ran four years ago on a platform of stick-to-basics government, and remain true to that for my re-election campaign. We've reduced the paving cycle, are making sensible decisions on city spending for parks, and are taking the city from being renters (leased office space) to owners with our new, very frugal, city hall that we will move into later this year.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Alec Trebek? I don't watch much television.
Name: Robert "Bobby" Zuckman
City Council Member District 3 Post 3
Name: Henry H. Bierenfeld
Residence: Andover Heights
Profession: Event coordinator, East Lake Golf Club
What experience will help you in office? The combination of helping to run a family business for over twenty years and my management experience in the nonprofit and for-profit sector will allow me to make a significant impact in our local government.
What issue got you into this race? There was not one issue that inspired me to run for office. However, the desire to be a part of the future of Dunwoody as a member of our City Council as we embark on our next decade as a City was motivating to me. As a resident for over forty-seven years, I have witnessed the positive impact the creation of our city is having, and I wanted to be part of the process.
Which current television character do you identify most with? The current television character that I identify most with is Leroy Jethro Gibbs played by Mark Harmon on the CBS Series “NCIS.” The character Gibbs is portrayed as being patient but firm with his team but has little patience for excessive bureaucracy.
Name: Tom Lambert
Profession: Marketing consultant - writer - at-home dad
What experience will help you in office? Charter member and vice-chair of Dunwoody Sustainability Commission; Citizens Advisory Committee for Comprehensive Transportation Plan; Chair – Kingsley Charter Council; President – Kittredge Magnet School PTA; President – Kingsley Racquet and Swim Club; President - CHS Touchdown Club; Board of Directors – Murphey Candler; Board of Directors – Georgians for Local Area School Systems (GLASS); Committee Chair – Boy Scouts (pack/troop 434, All Saints); coordinated Dunwoody’s walk to school movement; volunteer coach – Murphey Candler, Atlanta Colts, Dunwoody Senior Baseball, DUMC, CMS.
What issue got you into this race? The time to start building the Dunwoody of tomorrow is today. Let’s move out of perpetual planning and into building the projects that make a difference! Priorities are immediate implementation of the Brook Run Park plan and a commitment to projects in the Winters Chapel corridor. We can protect our residential neighborhoods and the character that makes Dunwoody such a special place to live, while adding the services and amenities our citizens desire and deserve.
Which current television character do you identify most with? MacGyver ... I always make the best out of whatever resources are available to me.
Facebook: Vote Tom Lambert
City Council (Vote for Three)
Name: William "Ric" Dodd (i)
Name: Diane W. Howard (i)
Name: Amelia Inman
Residence: City of Lithonia
What experience will help you in office? I have been a resident in the City of Lithonia for over 18 years. I knew as a little girl I always wanted to make a difference. My sister and I painted the mural near the train tracks on Conyers street; this was recognized in Atlanta Magazine. My family and I would pick up trash, maintaining the appeal of our city. As an involved resident in my community I will use what I know of real estate and the concerns of residents to increase knowledge, value, and pride of our homes and community. ...[edited for length]
What issue got you into this race? It was not an issue that entered me into the race; it is more of awareness for change and new ideas. As a millennial with aging parents I understand that youth need to have a stronger voice in every area of our socio-economic structures because we truly are the future. Many residents see me involved in the community hosting home buying seminars as well as social events engaging with other millennials; so it became an ongoing question: “Are you going to run for city council Ms. Inman?” Nonetheless with prayer and confirmation I decided to move forward in the running ... [edited for length]
Which current television character do you identify most with? I most identify with Donna Paulsen from “Suits.” She is smart, classy and professional. Her character exudes excellence and she is always aware of others and their needs. She also seems to be a part of the solution rather than merely focusing on the problem. In those traits of Donna’s character we are similar.
Name: Tracy-Ann M. Williams (i)
City Council Member (Vote for Three)
Name: Jean Bordeaux (i)
Name: Brandy M. Hall (i)
Name: Augusta M. Woods (i)
Name: Patricia Wheeler (i)
City Council Member Post 4
Name: Diana Roe Hollis
Residence: Mountain Village Estates
Profession: Retired risk manager
What experience will help you in office? My longtime love and commitment to our community. Over 40 years of insurance experience and customer service have prepared me to work with the public, research and find solutions within the law.
What issue got you into this race? The indifference to the needs of the citizens of our community, by the current council. This is public service, not personal promotion.
Which current television character do you identify most with? I really don't watch a great deal of television
Facebook: Diana Roe Hollis candidate
Name: J. Michael Rollins
Residence: Historic Stone Mountain
Profession: Technical writer
What experience will help you in office? My writing skills as well as my experience acting helps me communicate better. Another part of being a writer is being able to listen to people to make sure you get what they are trying to say.
What issue got you into this race? Trying to improve the city, bring more businesses to the village, as well as trying to make the village and city a place people want to visit and live in.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Barry Allen due to his desire to make a difference and help as well as his enthusiasm and good-natured outlook.
City Council Member Post 5
Name: Shawnette Bryant
Residence: Rockborough subdivision
Profession: Reports clerk
What experience will help you in office? My experience that will help me be successful in my new role, is first being a leader in my community and social organizations. I have held several leadership roles, so I have had experience working with diverse groups, communicating, and collaborating with others. I take pride in my experience that l've learn and gained throughout the years. I plan to take my proven track position to my new political position.
What issue got you into this race? I saw the state of my community. I am not one to complain, without having a solution to solve it. I saw a need and want to bring about change that would not only help change the landscape of my community, but give future generations a community they could be proud of. I want to make a difference, and the expectation for the growth of Stone Mountain. I want Stone Mountain to be not known only for its beautiful and famous landmark, but I have a vision for Stone Mountain as a great place to introduce new businesses ...[edited for length]
Which current television character do you identify most with? I most identify with Wonder Woman, a woman with super-strength, determination and who defends everyone.
City Council Member Post 6
Name: Judy F. Asher
Residence: Mountain Village
Profession: Interior designer
What experience will help you in office? I have worked with numerous groups in the city under different capacities. This knowledge and the awareness of what is going on within the city will benefit me as a council member. All the wonderful people I have helped over the years and contine to help is the greatest experience. I have also spent time organizing events in the past and with that I want to use that experience so I can do more for our community.
What issue got you into this race? There are numerous issues that made me enter the race. Stone Mountain, like other cities, needs change. There is a lack of transparency within the city government and that needs to change. People need answers to the questions they keep asking. What is going to be done for us. Neighborhoods, streets, crime, drug problems, new businesses and an interaction with the city government all need to be addressed and that is what I want to do for the citizens of Stone Mountain.
Which current television character do you identify most with? I don't watch that much television so I can't give you a certain character.
Name: Jasmine I. Little
Profession: Business owner
What experience will help you in office? Running a business has taught me the best ways to communicate and what Stone Mountain needs to be successful.
What issue got you into this race? Building the business district and education.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Maggie from “The Walking Dead”
City Councilmember, Post 1
Name: Jimmy Clanton Jr (i)
City Councilmember, Post 3
Name: Jazzmin Randall Cobble (i)
City Councilmember, Post 5
Name: Diane Adoma (i)
Name: Frank Auman (i)
City Council Member District 1, Post 1
Name: Honey Van De Kreke (i)
Residence: Smoke Rise
Profession: Manufacturer's representative
What experience will help you in office? I was elected in 2016 to this seat. Elected officials are required to attend trainings by the Georgia Municipal Association on all aspects of government, so I have educational credits in addition to several decades of working in the community prior to Tucker becoming a city.
What issue got you into this race? There was no single issue, I am committed to making Tucker the best city in Georgia. Although Tucker is now 20 months old, we have more to do to establish a solid foundation to build the future.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Jethro Gibbs played by Mark Harmon. I like his character's no-nonsense approach.
Facebook: Honey Van De Kreke for District 1 Tucker City Council
Name: Pat Soltys
Residence: Spencers Mountain
What experience will help you in office? I have held elected office, served as an officer and negotiator for the board of education with the unions, worked on economic development in four states, served on the Governor’s Technology Commission, served as an officer on many boards for many charities and organizations, Served as a director in professional organizations and am very active in community organizations that serve District 1 and currently serve on the Tucker Zoning Board of Appeals.
What issue got you into this race? Responsive communications: There is a great deal of frustration in the lack of communications and engagement. Example: The one and only town hall meeting for our district drew lots of people with the expectation of Q & A on important issues. The agenda was set with speakers that the crowd was not really interested in with no time for Q & A and important issues were avoided. Constituents deserve communications, answers and input options.
Which current television character do you identify most with? Probably the Commissioner on “Blue Bloods” - listens openly, seeks input, is fair, brings people together even when there are difficult issues, does not shy away from challenges, works toward objectives with conscience and values, is family oriented and has a sense of humor.
City Council Member District 2, Post 1
Name: Matt Robbins (i)
Residence: Idlewood Acres East
Profession: Retired (EPA 43 years)/City Council
What experience will help you in office? I currently serve on the first-ever Tucker City Council, having been elected in March 2016. The past 18 months required extensive time and deliberations on research, collaboration with the Council, county officials and staff and diverse constituents, resulting in decisions concerning the legal, personnel and business city functions. The progress we have made as a team needs to continue as we develop additional policies and procedures to improve the quality of service to residents.
What issue got you into this race? The initial issue was to be part of the foundation for Tucker. My tools then and now are ability to work under pressure, to listen and collaborate with residents, states and municipalities, and diverse organizations, to implement actions relating to complex environmental and socio-economic issues. 18 months is not enough time to develop all appropriate partnerships or identify all relevant programs leading to greater customer service; I want to continue to make it happen.
Which current television character do you identify most with? My watching is limited to news, sports and movies. I do not presently follow any specific show or character (my all time favorite series have been “Columbo” and “MASH”). For this question: Anderson Cooper who listens as people talk and then captures their thoughts into actions or further research.
City Council Member District 3, Post 1
Name: Dave Deaton
Name: Michelle Penkava (i)
Profession: Tucker City Council member
What experience will help you in office? Tucker’s success is my passion. I was part of the team that sought Cityhood and I have the privilege of serving on the inaugural City Council. While working on cityhood, I gained experience fostering successful relationships at the state, county and local levels, which provides opportunities for future collaboration and support. And as a council member I have been involved in all levels of set-up, planning and operation of our new city.
What issue got you into this race? There is not one particular issue that compelled me to seek re-election. If given the privilege to serve a second term on the Tucker Council, I will continue working with our team to complete our city set-up, mindful that we must set sound policies to provide a workable and conscientious road map for future councils. I want to continue to be part of the council that will establish our city as the voters intended.
Which current television character do you identify most with? There isn’t really a character that I identify with. Though I would like to think that I am (or with more practice can become) as cool under pressure as President Kirkman from “Designated Survivor.”
Facebook: Michelle Penkava, Tucker City Council, District 3
DeKalb County Suspension of Homestead Option Sales Tax and Approval of Equalized Homestead Option Sales Tax
“Shall an equalized homestead option sales and use tax be levied and the regular homestead option sales and use tax be suspended within the special district within DeKalb County for the purposes of reducing the ad valorem property tax millage rates levied by the County and municipal governments on homestead properties?”
(Unless BOTH the equalized homestead option sales and use tax (EHOST) AND the special purpose local option sales and use tax (SPLOST) are approved, then neither sales and use tax shall become effective.)
DeKalb County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax
Shall a special 1 percent sales and use tax be imposed in the special district of DeKalb County for a period of time not to exceed 6 years and for the raising of an estimated amount of $636,762,352 for the purpose of capital projects?
(A full list of county and city projects can be found on your ballot (https://www.dekalbcountyga.gov/sites/default/files/user305/November%207%202017%20General%20Municipal-Special%20Election%20Composite%20Ballots.pdf) and at https://www.dekalbcountyga.gov/splost/dekalb-county-splost)
DeKalb County Homestead Exemption Act 73, Senate Bill 143
“Shall the Act be approved which amends the homestead exemption from certain DeKalb County ad valorem taxes for county purposes in an amount equal to the amount by which the current year assessed value of a homestead exceeds the base year assessed value of such homestead by extending the time limitation on such exemption?”View full experience