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Posted by on November 15, 2012.

Q&A with city’s mayoral, District 1 candidates

The Nov. 6 election narrowed the field, but in most cases the votes to choose members of Brookhaven’s new government ended in runoffs. Only District 2 Brookhaven City Councilman Jim Eyre took enough of the vote – more than half – to win election outright. Brookhaven voters return to the polls Dec. 4 to choose a mayor and three additional members of the council.

Here are the candidates for mayor and for the District 1 council seat. Some of their answers were provided before the Nov. 6 election and some more recently, in anticipation of the runoff. Information on candidates from the remaining two districts will appear in the Nov. 30 issue of the Brookhaven Reporter.

Mayor

J. Max Davis

J. Max Davis

Occupation: Attorney

Neighborhood: Brittany in the Silver Lake area

Past offices held: none

Other community involvement: founding member of Friends of Murphey Candler Park; founding member of the Ashford Alliance Community Association; President of Brookhaven Yes; appointed by Gov. Sonny Perdue to the board of the Post Secondary Education Council; Murphey Candler football coach; led grassroots efforts to bring responsible and positive development at Town Brookhaven.

Why are you running for this post?

I am running for mayor because Brookhaven residents deserve a city that is efficient, accountable, friendly and responsive. Now that we have incorporated, I am ready to help build exactly that. Achieving cityhood required many volunteers and I am very proud to have been one of them. I look forward to continuing to get to know and understand the concerns of those who had differing opinions about cityhood. The whole experience shows just how much we all care about our community. Listening to all points of view helps in understanding the challenges of any issue, which is important in finding the best solutions.

Starting a city from scratch requires public servants who understand the importance of fiscal responsibility, and who also understand Brookhaven will have to be run vastly different from our county and even federal government. In the new cityhood model, fiscal irresponsibility is simply not an option. Foremost in my thoughts is the firm belief that we must be vigilant in all of our actions to ensure that the Brookhaven taxpayer is served by a city government that will make all of us proud.

What do you think differentiates you from the other candidate in this race?

The distinction is my passion and energy has been and is focused on making Brookhaven the best it can be – a positive, forward looking, and efficient city. However, my opponent now claims she supported the city – which is patently false. Whether one was for or against the creation of our city, we now need to move forward in a positive fashion. I have the courage of my convictions and it seems my opponent has an ongoing issue here which is reflected in her campaign of negative and false attacks.

 

Sandy Murray

Sandy Murray

Sandy Murray

Occupation: Small business owner

Neighborhood: Oglethorpe Estates

Past offices held: no other elective offices

Why are you running for this post?

I speak with people every day in our community about a brighter future for Brookhaven. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to be involved in various projects and organizations that have benefited our community, such as the Brookhaven Arts Alliance, Taste of Brookhaven, Brookhaven Arts Festival, and National Night Out at Blackburn Park.

I’ve also worked with the Ashford Alliance and Brookhaven Peachtree Community Associations to address planning and zoning issues and to make sure that our neighborhoods remain intact. The Brookhaven Overlay livable community initiative continues to remain one of our top priorities for ensuring that Brookhaven remains strong for families and businesses. As the president of the Ashford Alliance, I have been fortunate to lead discussions on property tax assessments, police services, roads and drainage, and public transit in our area.

I want to make Brookhaven the best it can be – a safe and friendly place to live and work.

What do you think differentiates you from the other candidate in this race?

I am the candidate that voters can trust to create an open and transparent government that doesn’t do back-room deals. I am also the only small business owner and entrepreneur running for mayor.

Voters can trust me to make sure we start our police department right. My opponent has played politics with our police and threatens to copy Dunwoody, which has recently been written up twice by the AJC as woefully understaffed. Reported incidents of crime are up over 77 percent in Dunwoody since this time last year.

Finally, I have refused all campaign contributions from vendors and lobbyists, even though they’ve been offered. My opponent has accepted thousands, possibly tens of thousands, of dollars in contributions from outside interests, according to ethics reports.

 

City Council District 1

Rebecca Chase Williams

Rebecca Chase Williams

Rebecca Chase Williams

Occupation: Journalist, small business owner, retired ABC News national correspondent

Neighborhood: Byrnwyck

Community involvement: Board member of Citizens for North DeKalb; District 1 appointee for the DeKalb Zoning Board of Appeals (2011 to present); president of the Byrnwyck Community Association (1997-2006); on the association board (1997 to present); Ashford Alliance Community Association Co-Chair Zoning Committee (2007-2010); St. Martin’s Episcopal School Board of Trustees (1994-2002); St. Pius X High School Advisory Board (2004); past volunteer with Marist School, Murphey Candler Girls Softball Association, All Saints Catholic Church, Catholic Charities, and Girl Scouts.

Why are you running for this post?

We only have one chance to launch the city of Brookhaven and I want to make sure we get it right. The voters in the community have put their trust in a new model of governance. I want to make sure we deliver on the promise of efficient, fiscally responsible government that is transparent and accountable to all residents.

What do you think differentiates you from the other candidate in this race?

While I respect and like my opponent, he’s a liberal, and I’m a conservative. He has represented unions, has taken campaign contributions from unions, and talks about how one union contract he negotiated sent a company into bankruptcy.

I’m not opposed to unions, especially where there is bad management. But I do question if unions have any place in a new city in which most services will be implemented through public-private partnerships.

I would ask my opponent if that is his vision for our city. I’m a fiscal conservative and will fight to keep taxes low. He is supported by politicians who favor raising taxes and increasing government spending.

I’m a small business owner who will watch the budget like a hawk and make the tough decisions needed to run a successful operation.

 

Kevin Fitzpatrick

Kevin Fitzpatrick

Kevin D. Fitzpatrick Jr.

Occupation: Attorney specializing in aviation and employment law

Neighborhood: Gainsborough

Community involvement: Member of the Oglethorpe University board of trustees; member of the Parish Council for Our Lady of the Assumption Church; coach with the Murphey Candler Girls Softball Association; president of the Saint Thomas More Society; coach of the mock trial team at Marist School. Worked for traffic calming measures in Gainsborough and lobbied the DeKalb County Commission to secure a change in an ordinance that was preventing the OLA Church from achieving a Special Land Use Permit needed to build its new church.

Why are you running for this post?

I am running for this post because I think that Brookhaven’s neighborhoods and citizens will be significantly affected by the actions of the first City Council for decades. It is important that we learn from the experiences of our neighboring cities; that we maintain a superior level of public safety; that we are transparent and responsive; and that we advocate against neighborhood-destructive ideas like the widening of I-285 and an increase in the size of aircraft flying in and out of PDK.

What do you think differentiates you from the other candidate in this race?

I am ideally suited to represent Brookhaven’s interests as we transition away from DeKalb to local governance. An experienced negotiator, I am a 27-year resident of Brookhaven who will ensure we have the most desirable address in Atlanta, thanks to a homeowner-oriented decision making process and transparency in Brookhaven’s affairs from the start.

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