Category: Politics

Applications open for DeKalb County Board of Ethics members

A new DeKalb County Board of Ethics is being selected and applications for positions are open until Dec. 1. The board is intended to independently review claims of improper conduct by public officials. The current board has been inactive since the Supreme Court of Georgia ruled in 2018 that its current board member appointment method was unconstitutional. A proposal approved by voters Nov. 3 will dissolve the current board Dec. 31. New board members will take their positions Jan. 1, 2021. Under the new rules, three members will be chosen by the county delegation in the state House of...

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Sandy Springs Mayor Paul is undecided on seeking a third term in 2021

Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul says he is undecided about seeking a third term in next year’s city election — a step back from previous comments that he is likely to retire from political life. “I will make a decision in Q1 [the first quarter of] 2021,” Paul said in an email when asked whether he intends to run for re-election. Paul is the second mayor to serve in the young city and first won the office in 2013. He was re-elected in 2017 unopposed after a challenger dropped out. The election itself was canceled, allowing Paul and unchallenged...

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Atlanta mayor announces ‘top-to-bottom’ review of police department; discusses crime, COVID-19

The Atlanta Police Department will undergo an 18-month, “top-to-bottom” review for possible reforms, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced in a Nov. 18 press conference, where she also discussed crime, Thanksgiving COVID-19 safety and other issues. In some other hot topics, Bottoms partly blamed shootings in the city on Gov. Brian Kemp’s pandemic business reopening policies, and indicated she is open to considering a position in President-elect Joe Biden’s administration but has not received an offer. The review of APD’s policies, procedures and training will be conducted by the Police Executive Research Forum, an advisory organization based in Washington, D.C.,...

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Atlanta City Council asks lawmakers to OK seizure of street-racing vehicles

The Atlanta City Council is urging state lawmakers to legalize the seizure or forfeiture of vehicles used in street racing. The councilmembers are essentially asking the General Assembly to legalize an ordinance they passed earlier this year despite knowing a car-impounding provision was unlawful and unenforceable. In a resolution approved Nov. 16, the council asks lawmakers to empower city governments to temporarily seize vehicles of accused street-racers, and to legalize permanent forfeiture of vehicles in cases where the driver has a prior conviction “for certain serious offenses such as reckless driving.” Street racing and stunt driving have plagued cities...

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Democratic challenger declared winner of House District 52 race; Republican incumbent won’t concede

Democratic challenger Shea Roberts has ousted Republican incumbent state Rep. Deborah Silcox from the Georgia House District 52 seat, according to official election results certified Nov. 13 by Fulton County. But Silcox has not issued a concession statement and declined comment on a possible challenge to her 377-vote loss. The official results show Roberts won the seat, which represents parts of Buckhead and Sandy Springs, in the Nov. 3 election with 17,069 votes (50.56%) to Silcox’s 16,692 (49.44%). Roberts’ victory completes a Democratic flipping of local state House districts that began in the “blue wave” of 2018. In a...

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Democratic challenger preps as new House District 52 rep. while Republican incumbent hasn’t conceded

A whisker-close election with a Republican incumbent refusing to concede and a Democratic challenger moving ahead with the transition is not only the story of the U.S. presidency. It’s also happening in the local Georgia House District 52, where Shea Roberts leads state Rep. Deborah Silcox by fewer than 400 votes ahead of a certification expected on Nov. 13. The latest numbers posted on the afternoon of Nov. 11 by the Georgia Secretary of State for the District 52 seat, which represents parts of Buckhead and Sandy Springs, showed Roberts leading by 377 votes — 17,069 (50.56%) to Silcox’s...

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Early voting begins for 5th Congressional District special election runoff

Although Nikema Williams is the representative-elect after winning the Nov. 3 race for Georgia’s 5th Congressional District seat, there’s still the question of the late John Lewis’ unfinished term. Voters — including some in southern parts of Brookhaven and Buckhead —  will head back to the polls Dec. 1 to decide if former Atlanta City Councilmember Kwanza Hall or former Morehouse College President Robert Franklin will fill the seat for about six weeks until Williams is sworn in. Lewis died in July in the midst of a re-election campaign. Early voting kicked off Monday, Nov. 9, in both Fulton...

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Locals react to Biden’s presidential win with spirit of unity, questions about suburban impacts

Democrat Joe Biden’s projected presidential election victory over Republican incumbent Donald Trump is being greeted with different emotions among some local political observers — but also with common hopes of Georgia and America moving forward in a spirit of unity. It remains to be seen whether such a spirit can emerge from Nov. 7, the day major media organizations projected Biden as the Electoral College voter winner. Georgia’s ballot-counting was still crawling along late that day with a neatly divided electorate giving a 9,200-vote margin to Biden. And activists in both parties were bracing for two momentous runoff elections...

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Commentary: No matter election’s outcome, Brookhaven is united

Change is something all of us have been facing on a daily basis in these difficult and interesting times. Today, there may be some in Brookhaven who are disappointed or frustrated with the outcome of the election, while others are elated with the results. And others who are indifferent. One thing I can tell you, no matter the election outcome, we are all still in it together. While we may disagree politically, it is our differing opinions and viewpoints that make us stronger. They allow us to understand different perspectives and allow us to make better, more inclusive decisions....

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Voters approve reform of DeKalb County Board of Ethics

A ballot question proposing a reform of the DeKalb County Board of Ethics easily won approval with over 87% of the vote, according to unofficial Nov. 3 election results. The board has been inactive since the Supreme Court of Georgia in 2018 ruled that its current board member appointment method is unconstitutional. The proposal approved by voters will dissolve the board as of Dec. 31 and appoint a new one, with three members chosen by the county delegation in the state House of Representatives, three by the county delegation in the state Senate, and one by the county tax...

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Brookhaven voters reject removal of mayoral term limit

Brookhaven voters have rejected a ballot question that would have removed the term limit for the mayor. Assuming the unofficial results from the Nov. 3 election hold, the decision means that incumbent Mayor John Ernst must leave office at the end of his current, second term, which began this year. The ballot question had 14,552 votes against, or 55.24%, and 11,789 votes in favor, or 44.76%. Under the existing city charter, mayors are limited to two consecutive four-year terms. The city government drew controversy with an attempt last year to raise the term limit solely by state legislation. Some...

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Silcox and Roberts in tight battle for House seat; incumbents win other Sandy Springs races

Incumbents appear to have won most Nov. 3 races local to Sandy Springs, but a battle continued Nov. 6 for a state House seat for a razor-thin margin of votes. The results remain unofficial. In House District 52, Republican incumbent Rep. Deborah Silcox was trailing Democratic challenger Shea Roberts by fewer than 350 votes — 16,808 to 16,460 — on the afternoon of Nov. 6. Roberts expressed confidence in a win with her 50.52% lead, while Silcox was not conceding. “I have been advised to not concede at this time pending further information,” Silcox said in a Nov. 6...

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