Thursday, July 14, 2016

Taxpayers and Voters are Unhappy with Commissioner Barnes-Sutton:

Barnes-Sutton faces Steve Bradsaw on Tuesday, July 26. 

IMPORTANT RUNOFF ELECTION TUESDAY, JULY 26!  DEKALB COUNTY'S DISTRICT 4 CHOOSES BETWEEN INCUMBENT BARNES-SUTTON OR CHALLENGER BRADSHAW! 

If you DID NOT vote in the last election, do not despair, you can STILL VOTE in the July 26 Runoff so long as  you were registered to vote at the time of the first election.  To have a say in this runoff, you will need to ask for a "Democratic ballot" for you to cast your vote on.

From the desk of the group "Unhappy Taxpayers and Voters," we received the following:

To DeKalb Teachers and Georgia Teachers:

Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton (of the 4th District in DeKalb County) has a long history of arriving to work late (Commission meetings and/or committee meetings) and/or not showing up at all. We ask that you review the following records (prior performance and work history/records of arriving to work on time and/or showing up) and ask if teachers that are not elected officials could get away with the same violations:

  1. How many teachers were allowed to be absent from work within the DeKalb County School System for 100 days in 9 months and 41 days in 3 months?
  2. How many teachers were accommodated and allowed to perform a second job ahead of the needs of the children?
  3. How many times have elected officials, employed with the school system, been allowed to violate policy in the name of fulfilling their job as elected officials?
  4. Is this special treatment? 
 Please show us "one" teacher that is not an elected official with these types of privileges.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Lakeside Has More "Bad Apples."


Note:  We continue to follow this story because Save Tucker! was told by a follower that this particular principal was specifically selected by the same individuals who were involved in the push for a Lakeside City.  Their plans would have devastated the Tucker community by splitting it up and leaving some without any commercial tax revenue in their region to help keep their own property taxes affordable.   We want others to understand that the decisions these self appointed leaders wanted to make would have been bad for everyone, regardless of where you lived.  They made decisions based on the old-school DeKalb corrupt way of doing things.  The methods that have left their own community to clean up and fix the messes like this one... bringing in a principal based on who he knows, not what he knows.  Maybe now they will stay out of the schools AND regional politics?  We can only hope.    This article below is from the AJC:

After ouster, DeKalb paid ex-principal while he didn’t work





When Jason Clyne resigned in March — as DeKalb County School District officials investigated about a dozen alleged improprieties by him — district officials said he would continue to work, while on paid leave, through June 30.

Bad apple.
That apparently has not been the case. District officials won’t say what work, if any, Clyne has done. Emails from his district account show no evidence any work was done after Jan. 25.

Superintendent Steve Green announced Clyne was placed on administrative leave on Jan. 27. Since then, he’s not been allowed on school property except for scheduled time to pick up his belongings.
At the time, fliers mounted throughout the school alleged the principal told janitors and security staff at a meeting: “You don’t want to mess with me. I’m a redneck master with a degree. I run these 40 acres!”
 
  • “You literally want to get them out the barrel because they’re the bad apple,” (Jimmy Stokes, executive director for the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders) said.

His school district email account basically went dark after Jan. 25, save a few emails asking to be taken off parent message groups where his character was being questioned often. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained the emails through an open-records request.
“Please take me off the emails for school council. I’m a bit tired of seeing how quickly folks are running to pile on and, frankly, I think it in incredibly poor taste to continue looping me in on these communications,” he wrote.

In others, he forwarded the announcement of the substitute principal assigned to take his place, and emails supporting and bashing him related to the allegations of racial improprieties.

The last email sent from Clyne’s account was a forward on March 16 on 2016-2017 employment contracts.
When asked by email whether Clyne had completed any work since leaving the school, Chief Communications and Community Relations Officer Eileen Houston-Stewart said: “It is the policy of the district not to comment on personnel matters.”

In early March, DeKalb County School District officials announced Clyne’s resignation. At the time, officials said he would receive assignments from the Office of Legal Affairs until his contract ended on June 30.
After Clyne’s resignation, the district disclosed an investigative report that showed about a dozen other infractions during his time as principal, including two others from the 2015-2016 school year.

Investigations found Clyne made unauthorized grade changes for students, allowed parent volunteers to use his computer log-in to access and update student records and made racial and discriminatory comments about black people to an assistant principal, among other things. Some investigations had never reached a conclusion.

The Anti-Defamation League worked with students and teachers at the school after Clyne’s dismissal, hoping to create a culture that resists hate in schools, district officials said. Neither the district or Anti-Defamation League officials would comment on the work done at the school.

Education leaders say it’s common for administrators on leave from their jobs not to do any work, saying they often are quarantined as contracts run out. Many take this route to avoid having due-process hearings, said Jimmy Stokes, executive director for the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders.

“If you assign people work during that time, what are you going to do if they don’t do it?” he said. “You’re already going to (terminate) them.”

Stokes said simply saying a person will be allowed to be paid for the duration of his or her contract leaves officials open to criticisms from people who don’t understand the cause.

“You literally want to get them out the barrel because they’re the bad apple,” he said. “You put them on administrative leave so they won’t be around and continue to do the things that got them there in the first place. And you’re doing it with the least amount of public disruption.”

Sunday, June 26, 2016

LaVista Hills Loses Its Steam

In an email sent to its supporters this week, Lavista Hills Alliance announced that it is closing down some of its operations and suspending some of its campaign activities.  They also alluded to a long-forgotten challenge they once made to the accuracy of the vote that sent Tucker toward incorporation and sent them home empty handed.  

According to the email, which was forwarded to us by an anonymous source, Lavista Hills' leaders are still holding out hope that the state department will issue some kind of a final report, telling them whether or not they found any fraud in connection to their allegations against the DeKalb Board of Elections and its Superintendent, Maxine Daniels.   

Save Tucker! followers may also recall that we, too, had questions regarding the fairness of some of the voting procedures taking place in DeKalb, mainly the allowing of candidates onto ballots without properly verifying their stated place of residence.  We  had very compelling evidence that more than one candidate in Tucker's city election did not reside in the location where they had claimed to live, but the matter was not investigated by the local election board nor the Secretary of State's office.  Pity.  

Even more concerning was the fact that Tucker's city elections were not announced publicly via the official new organ in the time frame required by state law, which is likely the reason there were so few challengers in Districts 1 and 3 willing to run against the pro-city group, which ended up securing its seats and the Mayor's seat as well, essentially locking in their needed block for group-think voting.  But, more about them later. 

For now, we thought you might be interested to read some excerpts from the Lavista Hills email and decide for yourself if they sound like a powerful group ready for a comeback, or a defeated minority finally accepting that they cannot force their will on the masses, even if they do have a Republican Senator and lots of dark money on their side! 

  •   "We read in the June 22nd AJC that the Secretary of State's office has opened an investigation into the primary election in Clayton County. Many of those issues mirror our November referendum problems. As you may recall, the DeKalb Registrar's office had some computers confiscated and there were allegations that memory cards containing the ballots were improperly handled. Additionally, there were questions about absentee ballots as well as locked access to some of the polling places. The fact that the investigation has been ongoing for seven months indicates that there may have been significant irregularities found – but we still do not have a target date for a final report."

  • Regarding our web presence, we will continue updating our LaVista Hills Yes Facebook page with news that is pertinent to our area, but will be suspending our web site over the next week.

  • From what we are hearing in the background, the existing cities are planning to commence with renewed annexation plans.*  

*Has anyone else heard anything about existing cities having annexation plans? If so, please tell us about it in the comments!  (And, at least Lavista Hills / aka Lakeside City folks have accepted the fact that they must now be "in the background."  That's progress, right?)

And, finally, they mentioned something about Tucker having a July 1 "start up" and wishing us all the best.  If we have a July 1 start up, what exactly have we been doing all this time, practicing?  When exactly will the new city actually "start" and what does that mean?   We will try to figure out this baffling question which should have a pretty straight forward answer, but nothing in this city fiasco has been easy, yet, so we wouldn't want to get our hopes up.   There is at least one city council member we know we can count on ... so, we will pose the question and get back with you soon on the response we receive. 

Hope you are enjoying your Summer so far!   Keep reading and staying up to date via our Facebook page:  www.facebook.com/savetuckerfromlakesidecity.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Will They Stay or Will They Go? (DeKalb's Plan for 285 and L'ville Highway and the Extended Stay Hotels)

Two and a half years ago, concerned neighbors began meeting about our issues with the motels at 285 & Lawrenceville Highway. We reached out to County leaders and have met with them a number of times. 

Dekalb County sought a technical assistance grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission to study the area and make recommendations for next steps. It has been a very difficult process, and we have often felt discouraged, but we have persisted. We have not seen any of the recommendations for this grant, so we have no idea what to expect. 

DeKalb County is ready to share their overall findings/recommendations with all of us. An Open House Meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, June 2nd, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Rehoboth Baptist Church.


It is tremendously important that we have a good turnout for this meeting. They need to see that we still have a high level of concern and engagement. Please share with your neighbors.

--  Jack Sartain

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Why You Need to Party Hop NOW!

Georgia may be a conservative state, but that does not mean it does everything the "old fashioned" way.   Let's just take today, for example.  Today is the primary election for many important offices throughout the county of DeKalb.

And, even though you might normally think of a primary election as the time when each political party gathers their registered voters together to vote for the best potential candidates to square off against one another in a general election, that isn't how we do things here in Georgia.  Nope.

Don't ask us why because that would require someone to do some more research on that topic and currently our research department is a bit understaffed and over-committed.  So, let's just skip the "why" part and jump right into the good stuff....

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME?  

So, you are probably wondering what all this non-traditional rule bending might mean for you, the DeKalb County voter who lives somewhere near what is currently or what was formerly known as "Tucker," right?  Well, actually, it could mean a lot, if you know the answer that you are going to give TODAY when you go to your NORMAL POLLING LOCATION and they ask you this question...

QUESTION:   "WHICH BALLOT WOULD YOU LIKE TODAY?"  

Don't let this very odd and somewhat intimidating question stump you.  If you live in Tucker, or really anywhere in DeKalb County, GA, your answer should be:

ANSWER:  "I'D LIKE THE DEMOCRATIC BALLOT, PLEASE." 

Now, don't get all huffy on us.  Keep reading just a little bit longer, please.  You might not consider yourself to be a Democrat and that's okay.  But, for TODAY, MAY 24, 2016 when you SHOW UP to VOTE, you will want to ask for the DEMOCRATIC BALLOT NO MATTER WHAT.  


Don't worry, you will not be kicked out of any clubs or suddenly get moved to a different tax bracket.  You might be called for Jury Duty, but that's regardless of which ballot you choose.  What you will get is an opportunity to actually VOTE on the issues and CANDIDATES in  your own community. 

The election may be called a PRIMARY, but for MANY, MANY RACES , THE PRIMARY IS THE ONLY VOTE THAT COUNTS!  


Therefore, if you do not speak up by voting in this PRIMARY on a DEMOCRATIC ballot,  you will essentially be one of those folks whom you may normally complain about because they don't show up at all! 

WRONG ANSWER:   If you ask for a NON-PARTISAN ballot, your vote will not really count for very much because you will have NO VOICE in any of the MAJOR  RACES taking place TODAY!  You will get a few fluff questions that don't have any long term or binding impact on ANYTHING.   DO NOT ask for a Non-Partisan ballot, no matter how non-partisan you may feel today.  You need to be a Democrat, just for today!

WRONG ANSWER:  If you ask for a REPUBLICAN ballot, you will get a few random opportunities to vote for people who don't have anyone running against them anyway and therefore they will move on to the General Election with or without you.   You can even vote for them in the General Election later, if you want to, but they don't need your vote TODAY.   The "Other" candidates in the REALLY IMPORTANT RACES need you to chime in on their behalf today.   You  need to be a Democrat, just for today!

If you are wondering which races and which people we are talking about, just go to this link:  https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do  for your own voter-specific SAMPLE BALLOT.  You can find out what each ballot would look like for you, specifically, if you were to ask for it.

But, just to make sure you are on board, just take a look at ALL THE EXAMPLES we have placed all over this page!  

ALL of these races will be decided ONLY by those who ask for the Democratic ballot 


And the winners of these races will not face any serious competition in the General Election.  Most of them, in fact, will not face ANY competition AT ALL in the General Election because the party that would normally oppose them in these races has not put forth ANY candidates!  That's how little hope they have of their party being able to win in that particular part of the county.  They won't even  pick a contender to go up against the incumbent, even if the incumbent is someone they have complained about incessantly.   They have no options for you, the voter, so you need to cast your vote TODAY in this primary, or be silent for another few  years until you are given this chance again.

So, that's why we're telling you that in Georgia, the PRIMARY election sometimes turns out to be the ONLY ELECTION that truly counts.  

And when you live in "Democratic DeKalb" and you are tired of seeing the same people elected over and over, and then watch them steal more of your money, misuse and abuse more of your trust, waste money and generally not care or even show up when you need them ... it is time to party hop, if only for a day!   You can do it! 

Now, let's get out there and vote!  Polls are open until 7 p.m. for all registered voters countywide.  And, in case you want to know, Save Tucker! suggests the following candidates for the above listed races:

  • SHERRY BOSTON for District Attorney  

  • STEVE BRADSHAW for County Commissioner in District 4

  • MIKE THURMOND for CEO of DeKalb County

  • JEFFREY MANN for Sheriff

  • KATHIE GANNON for County Commissioner in District 6

  • SUSANNAH SCOTT for Tax Commissioner









 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Tucker Day 2016! The Time is Now!

Tucker Day returns to Main Street Tucker on Saturday, May 14th.  Enjoy a grand parade plus musical entertainment throughout the day.  Some of the acts include the 80ators, The Young & The Elder, Bill Turpin & Shoulderbone Creek Orchestra, Back in the Saddle, Scene of the Crime and Flat Rock Swing. The event will be held from 9 am to 5 pm. For more information, visit TuckerDay.com.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Soon-to-be-Dissolved by the State: Tucker Civic, Tucker 2014, Tucker 2015, Tucker Together and Tucker Business Association

We're not sure what is going on here, but thought you would like to know about these local non-profits that are in danger of being dissolved.  Is the new city government planning to take over all these responsibilities so that volunteers will not be involved in matters that we previously had a lot of local control over?  (like zoning, permitting, etc.) 

A simple review of the Secretary of State's website shows something is going on in Tucker since the community voted to become a city - all of its notable non-profits are now at risk of being administratively dissolved.  You can try it for yourself here.

It is also interesting to note that many of our newly elected council members, including the Mayor, have been linked to many of these groups or relied upon their endorsements and support in order to get into office in the first place. 

But, here is an overview of what you will find:

Tucker Civic: Has not paid its annual dues to the state of Georgia since 2014.  Currently on the "Non compliant" list and in danger of being forcibly dissolved by the state.

Tucker 2014:  Listed as active/non-compliant.  Note states current year AR has not been paid.

Tucker 2015:  Listed as active/non-compliant.  Note states current year AR has not been paid.

Tucker Together:  Listed as active/non-compliant.

Tucker Business Association:  After being sent a formal letter that received no response in the given time frame, this non-profit has been dissolved by the state.

Only the Tucker Main Street Corporation appeared to be in compliance and active in the state of Georgia through the current year.