Home > commission, Government, Politics, South DeKalb > Breakfast with Stan Watson and Friends

Breakfast with Stan Watson and Friends

April 6, 2011

An update to this post. After some bouncing around, I found a story about a bill that would have granted a charter to a new City of Brookhaven. House Bill 636 was sponsored by Mike Jacobs and Tom Taylor who represent the North DeKalb area. The bill was dropped by Jacobs, but his HB 428 is still alive.

 

This past weekend I attended one of the many breakfast sessions that DeKalb Commissioner Stan Watson holds on a regular basis. I went to the meeting because the line-up was a who’s who of South DeKalb democratic politicians. Alongside Stan, was fellow commissioner Lee May, Several state legislators including Rahn Mayo, Howard Mosby, and Pam Stephenson. Also in attendance, John Evans from the NAACP and Jesse Cunningham, who was there as a replacement for Superintendent Ramona Tyson who could not make it. There were members of the DeKalb Police command as well as the newly appointed fire chief. There were several state senators, representatives and business interests whose names I could not get. The turnout was probably 90 percent of the capacity at the Chapel Hill MS cafeteria. The main focus of these sessions is to provide information and updates about what our representatives in state and local positions are doing. I commend commissioner Watson on his efforts. He not only brought in elected officials, but also in attendance were county employees who discussed an overhaul to the county’s personal care home ordinance. There was also a representative from the Department of Watershed Management who explained why we should not be pouring grease or grease containing foods down our drains. A representative from Autism Speaks was in attendance as well, and she provided info on the upcoming walk for autism.  For me the highlight of the program was when a young kid diagnosed with Autism took to the microphone to present a painting of his to Watson. All was not peaches and cream though. I came away from the session a bit more informed about some issues, but was less than enthusiastic about the representatives we put into office. My very first impression was that this was some sort of fraternity of politicians where, if you were not a member,  your concerns took a backseat to the handshakes and pats on the back by members of the fraternity and their friends. A quick chat with Lee May about crime along the River Road corridor yielded an answer about development planning along Bouldercrest to River Road. Not to be downplaying any plan for redevelopment, but I was more concerned about the quality of life crimes that are so prevalent along River, Panthersville, and Flatshoals Pkwy. I told Mr. May that if the county allows those subdivisions to fall, it would be like pushing over dominoes. Once one falls the others will surely follow. Even a talk with one state representative (I cannot name him since I got in a question without identifying myself and my intentions) about HB 428, yielded a shrug of the shoulders and a reply of I don’t know. HB 428 is an annexation and incorporation bill for North DeKalb and Brookhaven area. I for one believe that the many wounds that afflict parts of South DeKalb are self-inflicted, but I would expect our leadership to have our best interest at heart when they decide to run for political office. Given the turnout  for this session, I think there are plenty of folks in South DeKalb trying to keep the area from total disaster. I wonder if the politicians we elected have the same desire.

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  1. Just Watch
    April 10, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    The size of the board was increased. It hasn’t worked. Getting the size reduced is a critical first step in improving our school system.

    It isn’t about any one individual board member rather about the unwieldiness of a board with 9 members.

  2. EBrown
    April 6, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Good summary! Commissioner Watson’s meetings are a GREAT place to go for information along with the opportunity to network with elected officials and engaged citizens.

    Another piece of legislation we should be concerned about is SB79. In short, it reduces the size of the school board to 7 members and will be done as general, statewide legislation. There was HB22, filed by Mary Margaret Oliver. It would have provided a referendum for citizens to have say whether they wanted to reduce the size of the school board. I’m sorry to say that none of the ‘South DeKalb’ legislators supported this bill nor kept citizens informed in general regarding this power play by the legislature. They will have some ‘splaining to do if SB79 passes.

    • April 7, 2011 at 5:24 pm

      I am going to try to attend more of them. I forgot to add that one Senator did mention SB79. I have no solid opinion on the legislation itself, but my gut tells me it is a round about way of removing certain board members via legislative action instead of voters doing it.

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