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Commissioner Jeff Raider Says DeKalb Voters Get What They Deserve

We ran across a narrative published online by Jeff Raider on the "Reporter Newspapers" website.  In it, he offered some words of advice to DeKalb voters:

(this is a partial reprint of text from longer article, found here.)

"The most recent election to fill the vacant District 5 Commission seat attracted less than 6 percent turnout. It can be reasonably argued that DeKalb voters are getting the representation they deserve.

What does that mean? Often we are represented by figures that seem superficially attractive, but have no substance. With no track record of success in their private lives, they depend too much on their offices for income, or see their offices as private property, not a public trust. They make bad decisions, and they discourage others from service.

What can be done?  First, the voters must understand and vote their interests. Educate and motivate yourself, your family and friends. There is a growing network of local news sources and bloggers who work to inform and influence opinion.

Second, we must all become more active in public service. Join a neighborhood or civic organization, and participate in efforts to build and strengthen the community. And run for election, if you are successful enough to afford to donate the time required, and have the skills and temperament to serve the greater good.

Don’t worry so much that it’s a swamp. Drain it! You would be surprised how quickly things can improve with a good government majority serving you.

DeKalb is not so different from other metro governments. But we have lost our momentum, and seem dominated by politicians who think first of their own welfare, and not yours. It’s the voter’s job to sit up and take charge. And the politicians will respond – or lose the election."

NOTES From Save Tucker!:  
  • No one in Tucker ran for the office of County Commissioner vacated by the resignation of Elaine Boyer. 
  • The few Tucker residents who put their resumes into consideration for the appointed school board were not selected. 
  • No one from Tucker ran for the office against Jim McMahan in the last school board election. 
  • No one  has been elected to state office since the Senator from Gwinnett, but his district is not included in the city of Tucker map. 
  • We were represented in front of the House of Representatives by  a lobbyist from Smoke Rise who has since that time dropped out of sight and a big time SPLOST funded builder's wife from Embry Hills who is also MIA from the city campaign. 
  • While Tucker has civic minded individuals, we have produced very few politicians.   To say that we've wanted "local control" by way of a city government is an extreme position that doesn't explain that the citizens never actually took a poll that would suggest we asked for a city at all.  
  • The most vocal Tucker residents have stood up to ask for their inclusion in the city of Lavista Hills. 
  • The Tucker bill was filed by the Representative from Stone Mountain and reluctantly supported, eventually, by a Tucker Senator who never spoke in favor of it and warned that taxes could go up as a result of it.
  • The city group for Tucker has given away the bulk of our assets to the Lavista Hills side, causing a decline in our projected surplus from $3.2 million in a 2013 report to under $800 K in the latest 2015 update. 
  • Before you support forming a new government that will simply "protect us" from other neighboring governments, some that don't even actually exist, make sure you know the facts about what a city of Tucker could actually do - or what will happen if we don't have anyone  willing to step up and run for office  when the first city council and mayor elections are held.  Before that, consider the attitude of the Republican city supporters and how little they say about Tucker.  If they are the ones appointed to the Interim city council, they could simply commit us to all kinds of service contracts that our residents have no possible way of affording.   What will happen then ?
  • If you plan to vote yes, then we hope you also have a  plan for what we will do beyond that.  If you  want to run for office and think you can straighten out the mess that has unfolded over the past three years, that's great.  But, if you are expecting someone else to jump on board  at this stage  and  run for  office, but you just haven't met that person,   yet, then reconsider your options.  Tucker will remain Tucker by name.  It's a designated place in the Census and by zip code.  We've survived more than 100 years without a new layer of government.  Why start now?

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