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Lithonia election indanger of do-over
by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.comThe city of Lithonia may have to redoits recent election.To comply with the Voting Rights Act,all elections in Georgia must be precleared by the federal Justice Department—an ac-tion still pending for Lithonia’s election.And missing recordings of city councilmeetings may play a part in sparing thecity a do-over.The Justice Department has asked for more information about the special elec-tion to ll the vacant council seats, CityAttorney
said. Thedepartment wants to see a resolution fromthe council showing that it voted to holdthe Nov. 8 election.The city had the option to hold theelection on Nov. 8 or in March 2012, butdecided to hold it this month to ll theseats vacated by
, whoran for and won the mayoral position, and
, who sought unsuccessfully tokeep his seat.Since there was already an election thismonth about school taxes, Lithonia councilmembers decided to hold a special electionthis month to avoid using taxpayer moneyfor another one in March.“It wasn’t fair to the citizens to have anelection in November and another electionthat they were going to have to pay for out of tax money in March,”
said.Although the city council did not adoptsuch a resolution, council members saidthey came to a consensus that would bereﬂected in the council’s minutes, if somewere available.“There wasn’t a vote taken,” De Cocqsaid. “There was a discussion.” Now the city is trying to locate the min-utes or tapes of meetings held from May toAugust.“I don’t even know what to say,” saidcouncil member
. “I don’tknow why we don’t have the tapes. I don’tunderstand why we don’t have the minutes.“We have no control over these tapesonce they leave the council meeting,”Carter said. “When we had a city clerk,the city clerk had the tapes. But during this particular time we didn’t have a city clerk.The mayor is the one with possession of the tapes.”City administrator
hiredan Atlanta company to transcribe the tapeswhich have yet to be returned to the city.
International Festival revives oldGM plant in Doraville for weekend
by Daniel Beauregarddaniel@dekalbchamp.com
he old General Motors fac-tory in Doraville that has beenvacant for nearly three yearssaw a ﬂeeting breath of life thisweekend as hundreds attended therst DeKalb International Food andMusic Festival.The festival, which was held Nov. 12, featured food vendors fromall over DeKalb County, and worldmusic performances throughout theafternoon and evening.“Thank you for coming outtoday, for having a good time, for being a face that everybody doesn’tget to see. The true face of Americalies right here in DeKalb County sogive yourselves a round of applauseand have a good time,” DeKalbCounty CEO
told thecrowd.The food included reasonably priced dishes from Ethiopian, Ja-maican, Korean and Caribbean ven-dors and attendees were encouragedto walk around and enjoy the music.There were also covered eating ar-eas.“This is a wonderful day inDeKalb County because it is oneof the most diverse counties in our nation,” DeKalb County Commis-sioner
Sharon Barnes Sutton
, the DeKalbCounty commissioner instrumentalin putting the festival together, saidthe support was overwhelming andall his expectations were met.“They told me that a little over 1,000 people showed up, which isimpressive for the rst year. I think the music was also the most diversething I’ve seen in DeKalb County,”Watson said.Throughout the evening, musicalgroups performed traditional musicfrom places including Romania, theCaribbean, Korea and China.“I had a great time; I stayed thereall day until they closed the gate. Ithought about this a year ago and Isaw my idea come to fruition andI think that next year we’ll have aneven bigger festival,” Watson said.
Residents crowded into the parking lot of the old General Motors plant in Doraville for the ﬁrst DeKalb InternationalFood and Music Festival. Photos by Daniel BeauregardDeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis, Doraville Mayor Donna Pittman, County Commissioners Stan Watson and SharonBarnes Sutton, and former CEO Liane Levitan welcomed attendees and vendors to the ﬁrst DeKalb International Foodand Music Festival held on Nov. 12.