DeKalb ethics referendum: Town hall reveals lack of consensus among legislators

Advance voting is now under way. Check early voting sites and times. By Jonathan Grant @Brambleman On Nov. 5, DeKalb County voters will decide one countywide issue: “Shall the Act be approved which revises the Board of Ethics for DeKalb County?” It’s the exact same question they were asked in November 2015. But it’s not the same issue at all. In 2015, DeKalb County voters decided to police corruption more effectively by setting up an independent Board of Ethics with investigatory powers over DeKalb County government officials. Think of it as voting to buy a shiny new police car. Now, they’re being asked to strip off the tires and siphon the gas from the tank, many people are saying. Legislators divided Many…

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Update on DeKalb town halls in Brookhave and Decatur: The’re back on

DeKalb legislators at Tucker Town Hall; Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver speaking UPDATE: Rep. Matthew Wilson and Sen. Elena Parent have stepped up to host the town halls on the SB7 and the ethics referendum that had been pulled from the calendar by DeKalb legislative leadership following last week’s Tucker town hall (to see why that happened, read below). They will proceed as scheduled: October 15, 2019, 6:30-8 PM, Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur October 21, 2019, 6:30-8 PM, Brookhaven City Hall, 4362 Peachtree Rd NE, Brookhaven Important clarification. The townhalls dates and locations will remain the same: Oct. 15, 6:30pm, Manuel J. Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur. Oct. 21, 6:30–8pm., Brookhaven City Hall, 4362 Peachtree Road NE, Brookhaven. We thank…

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Did Tucker’s horrible town hall cause DeKalb delegation leaders to nix ethics referendum talks?

DeKalb legislators at Tucker Town Hall; Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver speaking By Jonathan Grant @Brambleman I went to Tuesday night’s legislative town hall in Tucker with the intent of covering Senate Bill 7 and the upcoming DeKalb County referendum it calls for. The meeting went poorly. One participant called it “a horror show.” When I started to put this post together, I intended to briefly mention the meeting, noting its horribleness, then move on to write about the referendum. But then I learned that something strange had happened–something inexcusable and outrageous. So … We need to talk about the town hall About 40 DeKalb County residents showed up for the town hall at Tucker Library. Many came expecting a discussion of November’s…

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Did Tucker’s horrible town hall cause DeKalb delegation leaders to nix ethics referendum talks?

DeKalb legislators at Tucker Town Hall; Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver speaking By Jonathan Grant @Brambleman I went to Tuesday night’s legislative town hall in Tucker with the intent of covering Senate Bill 7 and the upcoming DeKalb County referendum it calls for. The meeting went poorly. One participant called it “a horror show.” When I started to put this post together, I intended to briefly mention the meeting, noting its horribleness, then move on to write about the referendum. But then I learned that something strange had happened–something inexcusable and outrageous. So … We need to talk about the town hall About 40 DeKalb County residents showed up for the town hall at Tucker Library. Many came expecting a discussion of November’s…

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DeKalb Board of Elections: What if they held a meeting and everybody came?

Cindy Thomas (center, in orange) prepares to fight challenge to her candidacy Update: Voting rights groups are challenging the Board of Election’s policy on cancelling registrations of voters with temporary addresses. Read more.  The actions taken by the board regarding the Decatur voter purges were two 5-0 votes to reconsider the purges, but the board did not reverse them—during discussion, the issue was rendered moot because voters in question had changed their registration. By Jonathan Grant @Brambleman Thursday’s DeKalb Board of Elections meeting was epic, and not only because it lasted nearly two hours. In addition to normal business, the session featured a political soap opera, a dramatic exit by an outraged bureaucrat, and a reversal of a botched voter purge at…

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DeKalb Board of Elections plays hide-the-ball from its members

QUICK UPDATE: Today’s meeting was epic; 45 citizens attended the two-hour meeting–the longest I’ve ever seen. On this issue, Board member Dele Smith’s motion to reconsider and reverse last month’s purges of Decatur residents passed unanimously. One GOP Board member admitted the “bad optics.” Chairman Samuel Tillman complained about bloggers. I think he meant me. Sad!  I’ll write more later in a new post. By Jonathan Grant @Brambleman The DeKalb Board of Registration and Election’s agenda for today’s meeting is fuller than usual. In addition to the more typical list of voter challenges, there’s the case of Jacinda “Cindy” Thomas, running for mayor of Lithonia. But it may be Unfinished Business that proves to be the most intriguing—and I mean that in…

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