Challenge of Tucker City Council Candidate Katherine Atteberry – The Board was provided with a copy of an e-mail from Ms. Cheryl Miller stating that she wished to challenge the candidacy of Tucker District 2 City Council candidate Katherine Atteberry, and alleged that Ms. Atteberry did not live at her registered address. Upon checking Code Section 21-2-6, it was determined that another elector can only challenge a candidate within the two weeks immediately following the qualifying period and that time has expired. However, the Board has the authority to challenge a candidate up and until an election. Ms. Daniels and Mary Frances went to the candidate’s address and saw no indication that the home was abandoned or vacant, as alleged. Further, Ms. Daniels checked the Tax Commissioner’s records and Ms. Atteberry has Homestead Exemption at that address, plus Ms. Atteberry’s father forwarded power bills, mortgage notices, etc. since Ms. Atteberry is currently out of the country. In light of all of the aforesaid documentation, the staff recommendation is to not challenge Ms. Atteberry. After some discussion, Mr. Coveny made the motion to follow staff recommendation to not challenge the candidate. Ms. Perry seconded the motion. Mr. Tillman stated the motion was made and seconded. The question was called and the motion was approved. ......
WHAT WAS NOT MENTIONED:
#2 A homestead exemption is a statement on paper affecting one's taxes. It is not, by itself, proof that a person actually resides in the home, only that they are claiming to do so for tax purposes. There is no doubt that the candidate is claiming to live at the address on record. Ms. Daniels has not proven anything, nor should it be her job to do so. Why isn't the candidate making these defenses for herself? Answer: Because she could not be reached because she was not residing in the home, the county or even the country at the time of this inquiry.
#3 Her father forwarded power bills and mortgage notices because she was out of the country? Did they miss this very clear sign of vacancy? She's not even in the country! How can she even campaign for this position when she isn't even in the country? Did Ms. Daniels inquire about the length of time the candidate had been out of the country or how long she might be gone? Did she question why the candidate's father was responding to voice mails rather than the candidate herself? Doesn't this little fact concern anyone besides the voter asking for the residency to be challenged?
|Daniels, Elections Supervisor|
Remember, this was not a case of a board having to find guilt or innocence. This was only a decision about whether or not to hold an actual hearing to give the candidate a chance to prove her residency status in response to a documented challenge from one of her constituents. There seemed to be some good reasons to hold the hearing, such as the fact that the candidate could not be reached by phone and did not appear to be home when an attempt to locate her was made. But the "staff" recommended that the board should not concern itself any further. Why? We believe the staff recommended what was best for the staff, not what was the right thing to do on behalf of the voters.
Is this how government looks out for its taxpaying citizens? Or is this a case of government protecting their own? (Ms. Atteberry is employed by a very well known government contractor, Jacobs Engineering and was recently an employee of the Gwinnett County Government.)
WHO IS ON THIS ELECTIONS BOARD
Michael Coveny, Board Member;
* Also, good to note: Ms. Daniels' bio on the DeKalb County website mentions that her prior experience working for BellSouth is what made her a good choice for the job of elections supervisor. Yet another connection between the new cities in Georgia and the telecomm industry, but who's counting? Besides us, that is.