Category: Politics

Atlanta City Council moves closer to creating inspector general position

The Atlanta City Council moved forward with legislation Jan. 21 in a 15-0 vote to amend the city’s charter to create an Office of Inspector General, an independent investigator. The council is expected to consider final adoption during its meeting Feb. 3. The proposal comes in the wake of a City Hall procurement corruption scandal involving the administration of former Mayor Kasim Reed. City Councilmember J.P. Matzigkeit of Buckhead’s District 8 said that given the strong council support, the measure is likely to pass next month. “This is my number one goal for the entire year,” he said. “We...

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DeKalb Commissioner Gannon announces she won’t seek another term

DeKalb County Commissioner Kathie Gannon whose district includes Brookhaven and Dunwoody announced Jan. 17 she would not be seeking another term, saying after 15 years of service it was time “for the next generation to move on up.” Gannon’s announcement was made in a written statement with the headline, “Change is coming to District 6.” The statement included a list of Gannon’s accomplishments during her tenure, projects she will continue to work on during her final term in 2020, and her decision that it was time for new blood to serve on the county’s governing body. “So, I have...

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Brookhaven passes nondiscrimination law protecting LGBTQ people

Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity will no longer be allowed in Brookhaven. That was the conclusion reached by the City Council Jan. 14 as it voted unanimously to pass an ordinance, sponsored by Councilmembers Linley Jones and Madeleine Simmons, that bans local businesses from discrimination against minority groups, including LGBTQ people. “This is our opportunity to step up and join the other cities in setting an example that discrimination is not tolerated in Brookhaven,” Simmons said before the vote was taken. “Not only is it good for business but it’s really good for our residential community...

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Sandy Springs’ Temple Emanu-El to host discussion on treatment of asylum-seekers

A Jan. 26 community event in Sandy Springs featuring many nonprofit groups and places of worship aims to raise awareness about the treatment of asylum-seekers in Georgia and at the U.S.-Mexico border. Three immigration experts will speak at the nonpartisan event, called “Bearing Witness: A Humanitarian Crisis,” from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El, 1580 Spalding Drive. There will also be a “resource fair” of nonprofit organizations. The public is invited and there is no cost to attend, but registration is required by clicking here. “The goal of the day is two-fold: to shine a light on and...

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Brookhaven mayor and council members take office after swearing-in ceremony

Brookhaven City Hall was packed Jan. 7 with family, friends and supporters to witness the swearing in of the mayor and two City Council members. DeKalb State Court Judge Mike Jacobs swore in John Ernst for his second term as mayor and Linley Jones for her second term as the District 1 representative on the City Council. Madeleine Simmons was sworn in for her first term as the District 3 representative on the council. “We did a lot in the last four years and we will continue to do a lot in the next four years,” Ernst said after...

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Gov. Kemp names Brookhaven resident to Georgia Board of Regents

A Brookhaven resident is one of five people who were named Jan. 3 by Gov. Brian Kemp to serve on the Board of Regents. The 19-member Board of Regents is responsible for overseeing public higher education in the state. Cade Joiner of Brookhaven, founder of Shred-X Secure Document Destruction, was appointed by the governor to serve as an at-large member on the Board of Regents, according to a press release from the governor’s office. In 2018, Joiner served on Kemp’s Finance Committee and he was also on the executive committee for Kemp’s inauguration, according to the release. In early...

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New Dunwoody mayor and City Council members take office

Dunwoody City Hall was packed Jan. 2 for the swearing in ceremony of the city’s new mayor and council members. DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Stacey Hydrick swore in Lynn Deutsch and new City Council members Stacey Harris and Joe Seconder. John Heneghan, who has served on the council since the city was incorporated in 2008, was also sworn in after being reelected with no opposition. Heneghan was also elected Mayor Pro Tem. The crowd gave standing ovations and loud rounds of cheers following the swearing in. “The best is yet to come,” Mayor Lynn Deutsch said. “We are...

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Brookhaven mayor, council members to be sworn in Jan. 7

The Brookhaven City Council will begin the new year with a special meeting and swearing-in ceremony for the mayor and two council members. The special called council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 7, at 10:30 a.m. at City Hall, 4362 Peachtree Road. John Ernst will be sworn in for his second term as mayor after defeating challenger Jen Heath in the Nov. 5 election. Linley Jones will be sworn in as the District 1 representative; she was reelected after facing no opposition. Madeleine Simmons will be sworn in for her first term as the District 3 representative after...

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Dunwoody mayor, council swearing-in set for Jan. 2

The New Year in Dunwoody begins with a new mayor and two new City Council members who will be sworn in during a special meeting on Thursday, Jan. 2. The meeting is at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 4800 Ashford-Dunwoody Road. Following the swearing-in, the council will elect a Mayor Pro Tem. There will be time for the public to comment, but no other business is on the agenda. Lynn Deutsch, after serving two terms on the City Council, will be sworn in as mayor. She defeated Terry Nall for the seat. Also being sworn in will be Stacey...

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U.S. Rep. John Lewis diagnosed with advanced cancer

U.S. Rep. John Lewis has an advanced form of pancreatic cancer, he announced in a Dec. 29 press release. “I have been in some kind of fight – for freedom, equality, basic human rights – for nearly my entire life. I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now,” said the Atlanta Democrat, whose 5th Congressional District includes part of southern Buckhead. Lewis, 79, was among the leading figures in the 1960s Civil Rights movement. He has held the Congressional seat since 1987. Gov. Brian Kemp quickly responded on social media, saying, “John Lewis has...

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Transit authority official’s app idea gets momentum, raises ethics concern

As a board member for the new metro Atlanta mass transit authority, Steve Dickerson is successfully swaying some peers, elected officials and neighborhood groups with his public and private advocacy of a universal cellphone app tying together various transportation modes and payment systems. At the same time, Dickerson runs a private company to build such an app and is suing Uber and Lyft for allegedly infringing a patent it holds, a position that one watchdog groups says is a conflict of interest. “It’s never in the public interest for an elected official to use their office for personal gain,”...

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Commentary: Looking into the political crystal ball for 2020

What does the new year – and new decade – have in store for local communities? We asked local leaders to dust off the crystal ball and predict the biggest local issues in 2020 and how they might play out. Here’s what they had to say. Andy BaumanSandy Springs City Council We will continue to face many consequential local and regional issues in 2020, including the impact of countless infrastructure projects, managing growth, and, for many, rising cost of living (particularly housing and healthcare). In my view, however, the biggest challenge will be the political polarization, tribalism and incivility...

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