At Issue: Will southeast DeKalb remain without county representation?

LAST WEEK: What should Woodstock do to alleviate downtown parking problems?

Downtown Woodstock has made available lots and spaces for parking over time, but anyone who has drove around looking for a spot knows it isn’t enough. Things can get tight, particularly on weekend nights and during monthly downtown events and community festivals.

Recently, the city has been working on a couple of new approaches, including a downtown-wide valet service and creation of a parking committee to help manage limited resources and business employee parking.

What do readers think? Here are some of your responses:

I would propose they make a deal to purchase the parking area at Towne Lake Parkway and Main Street (the church lot) where they host the outdoor market and build a multi-level parking garage. The church would be able to use that for parking anyway, so it would seem a negotiable solution.”

— Steve Fleming

Parking has been added west of the main street in back of the stores, but on weekends it's not enough. Marietta solved their problem with a parking garage. Not big, but a garage where you have an hourly fee. The problem is, who will finance it. Private? Metered parking won't work because who will give up shopping and eating to go out and feed a meter? — Carol Murphy

How about an inexpensive open air shuttle on event nights from larger unused parking lots around town or run a shuttle from the Towne Lake area or from the new outlet mall? Also, how about a two-story parking garage built within walking distance of downtown? — Marie Smith

Woodstock has a lot to attract visitors. However, when we go to Woodstock to enjoy one of the restaurants, we always have a "plan B," a restaurant outside the city. About 40 percent of the time "plan B" becomes "plan A" and we spend our money elsewhere due to no parking. — Sambran007

It’s no surprise to anyone in metro Atlanta that DeKalb County has concerns. But a significant portion of the county – roughly one-fifth has a diminished voice in the local government.

Earlier this month, the commission had an opportunity to put politics aside and fill the seat for District 5. The position has been vacant for nearly two years since then-Commissioner Lee May was appointed to fill in as CEO in the wake of corruption charges against suspended DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis.

The six commissioners deadlocked on voting in attorney Gina Smith Mangham. Interim CEO Lee May cast the deciding vote against the woman who ran against him in 2012.

Lee had nominated George Turner, a MARTA retiree and member of a community council that reviews zoning proposals. But Commissioner Nancy Jester abstained after the first vote on Mangham, resulting in 3-2 votes for Turner, DeKalb Planning Commissioner Markus Butts and DeKalb Parks Bond Advisory Committee member Kenneth Saunders III.

Many residents have called for May to just resign his commission seat so that residents can vote for who they want in the position. But if Ellis returns to the CEO post, May will be out of the game – at least until the next election.

Ellis has denied allegations that he shook down county contractors for campaign contributions, and a hung jury resulted in a mistrial last fall. Ellis’ retrial is scheduled to start June 1.

Will District 5 residents have to wait until then or longer before they are represented? What do you think should be done? Residents have voiced their frustration and disgust at the political shenanigans. It’s time for the readers to weigh in. Send comments by email to