This is a blog about the small town of Tucker, Georgia, which is located just outside the major metropolitan area of Atlanta, Georgia. On March 13, 2013, the residents of Tucker learned that a small group of politically motivated individuals who lived nearby wanted to incorporate using Tucker's commercial areas and leaving many of the long-time residents on the outskirts of the new city. This is the story of how the residents have fought back to preserve history and their own community.
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Ethics Issues with the Ethics Board in DeKalb?
Former County Commissioner Elaine Boyer's Chief of Staff Bob Lundsten claims that the Ethics Board in DeKalb is led by a man with questionable ethics.
From the AJC: (the referenced Channel 2 video is posted above.)
As an ethics case is pending against Bob Lundsten, the chief of staff for former DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer, he has brought his own complaint against the chairman of the Board of Ethics.
Lundsten’s complaint, filed Thursday, accused Board of Ethics Chairman John Ernst of failing to be impartial. During an interview with Channel 2 Action News, Ernst compared unethical government employees to termites.
“Sometimes when there’s termites in the building, the homeowner doesn't care how they get out,” Ernst said in the interview. “If they leave, they leave.”
Ernst said Friday he has no opinion on Lundsten’s case and hasn't yet received an investigator’s report.
“I want to make it clear, however, that I in no way mentioned Mr. Lundsten in my comments about DeKalb employees who have already left,” Ernst said.
Boyer resigned and then pleaded guilty Sept. 3 to charges that she accumulated more than $15,000 in personal expenses on her county-issued Visa card and engineered a $78,000 kickback scheme.
Lundsten has continued to work since her departure, and voters will decide on a new commissioner in Tuesday’s election.
The pending ethics complaint against Lundsten alleged he too misused his county purchasing card for personal expenses.
The driving force behind the city of Tucker has been the leadership within the community known as "Smoke Rise, GA." Smoke Rise residents currently have addresses that say "Stone Mountain, GA" and many of them worked hard in order to create a separate identity for themselves, petitioning the U.S. Post Office to change their official name to "Smoke Rise." While the Post Office did not agree to change the official name, they did agree to allow "Smoke Rise" as a recognized alternative to "Stone Mountain" that could be used interchangeably as long as it accompanied their 30087 zip code.
It is important to note that these residents did not ask the Post Office to recognize their use of "Tucker" as an acceptable alternative. They asked to be called "Smoke Rise."
It appears that zip codes and address labels are important to them, just as our Tucker zip code is important to us. And, while we do understand that Smoke Rise…
Who drew this map? We are not really sure. We stumbled upon it recently while looking for Tucker election results. We do, however, think this map, called "Tucker Township" actually shows a good compromise between Tucker and Lavista
Hills that could have worked well for everyone. It offers a great way to
share the Northlake area commercial tax revenue. So, why didn't anyone
suggest something like this prior to putting forth competing bills in
the 2013 and 2014 legislative sessions? And, why is Tucker's city still
being allowed to move forward when it has been called
"unconstitutional" by even the legislators who supported it?
Limited services government in the form of a new city is something that the Georgia constitution does not allow, apparently. But, unless citizens decide to fight the creation of Tucker or Peachtree Corners, two of such limited cities are going to continue operating until someone tells them that they cannot.
Newly elected Tucker Mayor Frank Auman (center) and four council-members were
sworn in to their positions on March 8 at Tucker High School. The council members represented exactly 2 of the 3 districts. Despite the fact that they were not bound by any particular charter requirement to do so, they decided to move forward without the conclusion of District 2's election, which was held over by the need for a runoff.
When met with objections, they promptly began holding meetings anyway. And they hired staff members, specifically lawyers, more specifically lawyers who are experts in election laws and understanding the charter.
The seats for District 2 were decided in a runoff election March
29. And April 1, the results were deemed finalized by the Elections Supervisor in DeKalb County. A separate swearing
in ceremony was held at Tucker Recreation Center for them.
When Auman was elected mayor, he said his first goal is to build a foundation for the city.
“We have to get the rev…