Catrice Crawford (right), a poll worker, helps LeAnn Strom as her daughter Trina Sims (left) looks at The Ministry Center of First Baptist Church of Tucker on Tuesday. Tucker residents were electing their first mayor and city council members as the historic community prepares to become a full-fledged city. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: Hyosub Shin
Photo: Hyosub Shin

Tucker elects its first mayor and city council

Tucker residents elected their first city leaders Tuesday, choosing a mayor and council to guide the community’s transformation into a municipality.

Frank Auman, a local business owner, will become Tucker’s inaugural mayor after defeating two opponents. He supported cityhood as a way to protect the community’s identity and manage its growth.

Nearly three-quarters of Tucker voters supported forming a city during a November referendum, with supporters saying they wanted greater local control of their government and more attention paid to their needs.

When Tucker’s government begins operating this summer, it will become the eighth city formed in metro Atlanta since Sandy Springs became a municipality in 2005.

The city of more than 33,000 residents will cover about 20 square miles, reaching from the eastern edge of Interstate 285 to Stone Mountain and beyond.

Voters also chose from a field of 16 candidates running for six city council seats. Tucker will have three city council districts, with two representatives from each district.

  • Honey Van De Kreke and Bill Rosenfeld will represent east Tucker.
  • In north Tucker, Anne Lerner and Michelle Penkava won city council seats.
  • Both west Tucker races are heading to runoffs March 29 after none of the candidates won a majority. Katherine Atteberry will face Matt Robbins, and Susan Wood will run against Noelle Monferdini.

Three of Tucker’s initial leaders — Auman, Penkava and Lerner — were deeply involved in the area's incorporation. They pushed the Georgia General Assembly to approve the cityhood referendum last year, and then they talked with residents about the benefits of cityhood.

The mayor’s salary will be $20,000, and the council members will be paid $14,000 annually.

“We have an opportunity to start from scratch,” said Jan Price, a Tucker resident, after voting at The Ministry Center of First Baptist Church of Tucker. “I’m hoping the city will improve quality of life.”

Tucker will start with a small government that provides three services: parks and recreation, planning and zoning, and code enforcement. DeKalb County’s government will continue to provide police and other services.

“I’m excited,” said Todd Robinson after casting his ballot. “I feel there’s going to be change and growth — and maybe new restaurants.”

Though cityhood is new to Tucker, the area has been a well-defined community in the metro area since the Tucker Post Office opened June 25, 1892.

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