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the DeKalb

FRiDAY, JUnE 3, 2016 • VoL. 19, no. 8 • FREE

Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.

• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •

Curtain keeps
rising at Porter
Sanford Center
Producer/director big
fan of Decatur venue
See Story on Page 5A

CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER

CHAMPIONNEWS

CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER

CHAMPIONNEWS

local

June 3, 2016 • Page 2A

Tucker finds temporary city
hall, approves new seal
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Tucker city officials have found
a temporary home for city staff and
have begun negotiations to finalize
a lease.
Tucker City Council voted at its
May 23 special call meeting to start
negotiations with the owners of 4119
Adrian Street for a short-term lease for
the temporary city hall space.
The council also unanimously approved that Councilman Bill
Rosenfeld, along with city staff, will start negotiations with the
owners of 4228 First Avenue for a long term “solution” for city hall.
The city council also approved the city’s official seal.
The navy blue and gold seal features the historic Browning
Courthouse with a train rolling by. During the Civil War, Union
soldiers camped at the Browning Courthouse before fighting in
the Battle of Atlanta.
According to the Tucker Historical Society, Georgia, Carolina
and Northern Railway built the railroad in 1892 through the center
of what is now called Tucker. The Tucker area had been known
as Browning’s District until 1907 when the Seaboard Line Railway
acquired the railroad, surveyed the unincorporated town and
named the town after an officer of the company, Capt. Tucker.
The seal says Tucker was established in 1892 and
incorporated in 2016.

NOTICE OF PROPERTY TAX
INCREASE
The City of Brookhaven has tentatively
adopted a millage rate for the General
Fund which will require an increase in
property taxes by 13.64 percent over
the Rollback Millage rate. This increase
is due solely to the revaluation of
real property tax assessments. All
concerned citizens are invited to the
public hearings on this tax increase
to be held at Brookhaven City Hall at
4362 Peachtree Road, Brookhaven,
GA 30319. The first public hearing
will be held at 7:00 p.m. on June 7,
2016. The second public hearing will
be at special called meeting on June
21, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. and 6:01 p.m.
After the final public hearing, the
millage rate will be formally adopted.
The tentative increase will result in a
millage rate of 2.74 mills, a millage
rate equivalent increase of .329 mills.
Without this tentative tax increase,
the millage rate will be no more than
2.411 mills. The proposed tax increase
for a home with a fair market value of
$410,915 is approximately $44.20 and
the proposed tax increase for nonhomestead property with a fair market
value of $1,097,088 is approximately
$144.38.

The Champion recognized
for advertising excellence
In the annual Georgia Press Association advertising contest, The Champion won a
total of 12 awards recognizing excellence in design by staff members Kemesha Hunt,
Travis Hudgons and John Hewitt
First-place awards were given in the categories of:
• Home Furnishings: Finders Keepers
• Online Banner Ad: Can Hunger food drive sponsored by The Champion, DeKalb
County Sheriff’s Department, Junior League of DeKalb County and Sauers
Communications
• Miscellaneous: DeKalb County School District
• Signature Page: DeKalb Parks Photo Contest sponsored by DeKalb County Parks,
Recreation and Cultural Affairs, Southern Airways Express, and Discover DeKalb
Convention and Visitors Bureau
• Full Color Advertising: DeKalb Parks Photo Contest
• Classified Advertising
Second-place awards were given in the categories of:
• Institutional Advertising: DeKalb Chamber of Commerce
• Newspaper Promotion: International DeKalb
• Small Space Ad: DeKalb County School District
• Home Furnishings: Finders Keepers
• Online Advertising: DeKalb Parks Photo Contest
• Advertising Campaign: Pet of the Week/DeKalb County Animal Services
Carolyn Glenn, publisher of The Champion, said she is proud of her staff and
their abilities to create results-producing, award-wining advertising messages for the
businesses of DeKalb County.

NOTICE OF PROPERTY TAX INCREASE
The Mayor and City Council of the City of Lithonia has tentatively
adopted a millage rate which will require an increase in property
taxes by 4.64%. The increase will enable the City to improve the
level of services provided to residents.
All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this tax
increase to be held at City Hall, 6920 Main Street on Monday,
June 6, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. A third public hearing
will be held at City Hall, 6920 Main Street on Monday, June 20,
2016 at 6:30 p.m.
This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 16.500, an
increase of 0.732 mills. Without this tentative tax increase, the
millage rate will be no more than 15.768 mills.
This proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value
of $44,202 is approximately $13.00. The proposed increase on
non-homestead property with a fair market value of $76,926 is
approximately $23.00.

local

June 3, 2016 • Page 3A

GDOT, Brookhaven
partner on Buford
Hwy lighting project
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
The Brookhaven section
of Buford Highway will soon
have new lighting along
sidewalks.
The Brookhaven city
council approved May 24
an agreement between
the Georgia Department of
Transportation and the city
for a sidewalk lighting project.
Lights will be installed along
Buford Highway as part of the
next phase of the sidewalk/
streetscape project currently
under design by Georgia
DOT, according to the city.
GDOT will construct
sidewalks on both sides of
Buford Highway from Afton
Lane to Shallowford Terrace
in Chamblee, according to the

agreement.
Sidewalks will be on both
sides of Buford Highway
through the city limits of
Brookhaven.
According to the
agreement, the city will be
responsible for the power
and maintenance of the lights
inside the city limits. The
city will enter into a separate
agreement with Georgia
Power and/or a private
contractor for the costs of the
power and maintenance.
The detail design of
the lighting has not been
completed, but the plan is
to install the same type of
lighting as was installed in
the first phase of the sidewalk
project, according to the city.
Construction is expected
to be completed in 2019.

NOTICE

The City of Lithonia does hereby announce that the millage rate will be set at a meeting to be held at the Lithonia City Hall,
6920 Main Street on Monday, June 20, 2016 at 7:00 PM and pursuant to the requirements of O.C.G.A. Section
48-5-32 does hereby publish the following presentation of the current year's tax digest and levy, along with the history of the tax
digest and levy for the past five years.

CURRENT 2016 TAX DIGEST AND 5 YEAR HISTORY OF LEVY

INCORPORATED

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Real & Personal

$

20,765,829 $

19,375,805 $

17,690,700 $

20,095,784 $

22,214,312 $

26,633,658

Motor Vehicles

$

1,615,590 $

1,690,000 $

1,853,380 $

1,554,440 $

981,640 $

794,580

Mobile Homes

$

176,149 $

117,094 $

117,094 $

93,990 $

93,990 $

93,990

Gross Digest

$

22,557,568 $

21,182,899 $

19,661,174 $

21,744,214 $

23,289,942 $

27,522,228

Less M& O Exemptions

$

545,059 $

562,008 $

552,462 $

526,915 $

536,850 $

550,863

Net M & O Digest
$
State Forest Land Assistance
Grant Value

22,012,509 $

20,620,891 $

19,108,712 $

21,217,299 $

22,753,092 $

26,971,365

Adjusted Net M&O Digest

22,012,509 $

19,108,712 $

21,217,299 $

22,753,092 $

26,971,365

Timber - 100%
Heavy Duty Equipment

$

$

20,620,891 $

Gross M&O Millage

15.205

16.552

17.869

Net M&O Millage

15.205

16.552

17.869

334,700 $

341,317 $

341,454 $

379,132 $

386,803 $

445,028

#VALUE!
$
#VALUE!

6,617 $
1.98%

137 $
0.04%

37,678 $
9.94%

7,671 $
1.98%

58,225
13.08%

Total City Taxes Levied
Net Taxes $ Increase
Net Taxes % Increase

$

17.869
17.869

17.000

16.500

17.000

16.500

local

June 3, 2016 • Page 4A

Brookhaven new city manager sworn in
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Christian Sigman is
officially Brookhaven’s new
city manager.
During its May 24 regular
meeting, the Brookhaven
City Council unanimously
approved Mayor John
Ernst’s recommendation of
Sigman as the city’s second
city manager.
“I have the distinct honor
and pleasure to put forth a
motion that will take this city
to the next level and we’re
extremely excited about this
opportunity,” Councilman
Joe Gebbia said before
making the motion to approve
Sigman’s appointment.
Signman was sworn in by
Ernst after the vote.
“We did a national search
for this position,” Ernst said.
“It’s the most important
position of this city and
we’re honored that he has
accepted.”
Sigman will succeed
Marie Garrett, who
resigned the city manager
position in January and

Christian Sigman was sworn in
as Brookhaven’s city manager.

reached a settlement with
the city. Sigman, who has
worked in local government
administration for more than
20 years, will be responsible
for the day-to-day operation
of the city and the
management and direction of
its 150 employees.
Sigman said in a
statement that he is “very
excited” to serve as the next
city manager for Brookhaven.
“Brookhaven enjoys
a high quality of life and I
look forward to embracing

the vision for Brookhaven
as a premier community in
the Atlanta metro region,”
he said. “I am particularly
interested in executing the
city’s high-quality planning
efforts related to expanding
and protecting park space
as well as managing
development activities to
mitigate traffic congestion.
I look forward to being an
active participant in the
community.”
Ernst also thanked
police chief and interim city
manager Gary Yandura for
his service.
“[Thank you] for stepping
in and handling this interim
position with the class and
the expertise that is required,”
Ernst said. “I’m so glad that
we were able to move this
transition in a very smooth
way. In fact I don’t feel like we
missed too many beats. We
seemingly actually got more
things done during this time.”
Later in the meeting,
the city council approved
Sigman’s agreement, which
includes a base salary of
$180,000.

NOTICE
The City of Brookhaven City Council does hereby announce that the millage rate will be set at a meeting to be
held at the Brookhaven City Hall on on June 21, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. and pursuant to the requirements of O.C.G.A. Section
48-5-32 does hereby publish the following presentation of the current year's tax digest and levy, along with the history of the tax
digest and levy for the past five years.

CURRENT 2016 TAX DIGEST AND 5 YEAR HISTORY OF LEVY
Brookhaven City

2011

2012

2013

Real & Personal

2014

2,261,071,691

2015

2016

2,691,060,034

3,163,935,872

3,494,756,627

82,633,320

67,891,300

47,578,450

2,261,071,691

2,773,693,354

3,231,827,172

3,542,335,077

254,997,596

437,879,638

646,602,506

668,938,974

Motor Vehicles
Mobile Homes
Timber - 100%
Heavy Duty Equipment
Gross Digest

0

0

Less M& O Exemptions
Net M & O Digest
State Forest Land Assistance
Grant Value

0

0

2,006,074,095

2,335,813,716

2,585,224,666

2,873,396,103

Adjusted Net M&O Digest

0

0

2,006,074,095

2,335,813,716

2,585,224,666

2,873,396,103

2.850

2.850

2.795

2.740

0.055

0.055

0.000

Gross M&O Millage
Less Rollbacks
Net M&O Millage

0.000

0.000

2.850

2.795

2.740

2.740

Net Taxes Levied

$0

$0

$5,717,311

$6,528,599

$7,083,516

$7,873,105

$811,288.00

$554,916.00

$789,590.00

14.19%

8.50%

11.15%

Net Taxes $ Increase
Net Taxes % Increase

#REF!

#REF!
#REF!

#REF!

The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, June 3, 2016

LoCAL

Page 5A

Three of the actors starring in Show-nTell at Porter Sanford III Performing Arts
and Community Center.

Curtain keeps rising at Porter Sanford Center
Producer/director big fan of Decatur venue

by Gale Horton Gay
Stepp Stewart’s passion for live theater
is undeniable. Just get him talking about any
aspect of it and not only does his face light up
but his body becomes energized, animated, on
fire.
Stewart’s theatrical talents lie in dance, song,
writing and birthing an idea and shepherding
it into a fully realized theatrical production.
He’s been on Broadway, Off Broadway and on
stages across the country, but one of his favorite
places to stage a play is the Porter Sanford
III Performing Arts and Community Center in
Decatur.
The producer, director, writer and
choreographer has put on five shows in
six years at the center including A Soulful
Christmas, Cindy the Musical and Red Hot
Broadway in 2015 and 2016.
Stewart, who calls the Porter Sanford “a
gem,” said he’s enamored with many aspects of
the center, including the 500-seat theater and
a stage that “has everything I need.” He also
gives kudos to the facility’s crew, whom he said
“understands me” and “go above and beyond.”
Stewart added that he wants to see the
Porter Sanford center get the attention and
respect it deserves.
“We have to treat this theater like others
treat the Fox [Theatre in Atlanta]. We don’t have
Fox prices. We don’t have Fox parking,” said
Stewart.
Stewart uses Porter Sanford as a proving
ground for some of his shows before taking
them on the road. A Soulful Christmas is now
headed to Dallas, Texas, and Cindy is going to
an Off Broadway stage, according to Stewart.
An Emmy-nominated songwriter, Stewart
appears regularly on The Dr. Oz Show as a
dance and fitness instructor. He is the founder
and CEO of Dynamite Productions and also
is involved in talent competitions and dance
conventions. He has appeared in CATS,
Jelly’s Last Jam, Hot Mikado, Dream Girls,

Stepp Stewart is a Emmy-nominated songwriter who also
acts, dances, writes and directs.

Sophisticated Ladies, Applause, and Bubbling
Brown Sugar.
Stewart’s newest show Show-n-Tell is a
musical about a young girl who is poor and
thinks she doesn’t have anything to present
at show and tell at school. She discovers that
her voice is what she possesses and is unlike

anything that anyone else has.
Though it is a musical with 26 musical
numbers and a myriad of dance numbers, the
play also deals with bullying, economics, social
acceptance and self-esteem. The message,
Stewart said is “You don’t need material things
to be who you are, to be accepted.”
Stewart speaks proudly of the diverse
characters he created in the show, including one
who is in a wheelchair.
And he’s relying on his Broadway
connections to help with a few key elements
of the Show-n-Tell. Stewart’s nephew Seth
Stewart, who is currently in the cast of the hot
Broadway hit Hamilton, is co-producer of Shown-Tell. The production also will features wigs
designed by Karen Dickerson who’s done
work for Phantom of the Opera, Hairspray and
Madame Secretary.
He said the show is directed at children in
elementary and middle school as well as senior
citizens.
Show-n-Tell runs June 8-10. Tickets for the
10 a.m. show are $10. Call (407) 917-7685 or go
to www.steppstewart.com for more information.
Stewart also is planning to hold a camp this
summer at the center. Scheduled for July 5-22,
Camp Spotlight, for ages 7 to 17, is described as
“a professional introduction to the world of show
business” and will focus on acting, dancing,
singing and costumes.
“I get to share the knowledge with the kids,”
said Stewart.
For more information on the camp, send an
email to campspotlight@gmail.com.

On the Cover:
Stepp Stewart is such a big fan of the Porter
Sanford III Performing Arts and Community
Center that he’s staged five theatrical productions in six years at the venue. Photo by
Gale Horton Gay

The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, June 3, 2016

opinion

Page 6A

Familiar face reveals all to help others
Falls from grace are
difficult to watch.
Family, friends, coworkers who stumble due
to poor judgment, addiction
and criminal activity, for
example, ruin lives and
leave others wondering
why they’ve descended
down such a dark path.
Individuals in the public
eye who fall from grace
have the added burden
of having their actions
watched, reported on,
discussed, criticized and
analyzed by those they
know and a vast sea of
strangers. Speculation and
gossip about what’s “really”
going on with them runs
rampant.

Gale Horton Gay
gale@dekalbchamp.com

Lifestyle Editor
That’s why I applaud
the actions of TV anchor
Amanda Davis. She
recently made a series
of appearances on
CBS affiliate WGLC-

TV speaking about her
alcoholism. Davis, who
had been involved in a
head-on collision and was
arrested for driving under
the influence, provided
a revealing and detailed
account of feelings of
unhappiness, loneliness,
lack of self-worth and
depression that resulted
in her drinking too much.
She talked about a broken
engagement and feeling
rejected. She shared that
she felt her career was
coming to an end because
the TV news industry isn’t
kind to aging women. It
was raw and painful to
watch and listen to but also
insightful and educational.

FREEPRESS
the DeKalb

Let Us Know What You Think!
SEnD LETTERS To EDiToR,
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS encourages opinions
The DeKalb Free Press,
from its readers. Please write to us and express your
P. O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30031-1347;
Send email to Johnh@dekalbchamp.com
views. Letters should be brief, typewritten and contain
FAX To: (404) 370-3903; Phone: (404) 373-7779.
the writer’s name, address and telephone number for
Deadline for news releases and advertising:
verification. All letters will be considered for publication.
Thursday, one week prior to publication date.
EDiToR’S noTE: The opinions written by columnists and contributing editors do not necessarily reflect the opinions
of the editor or publishers. The Publisher reserves the right to reject or cancel any advertisement at any time. The
Publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts.

I believe Davis
connected with viewers
when she talked about
thinking alcoholics were
people who drank from
morning to night and
were down and out on
the streets; therefore, she
wasn’t one. She said she
thought of herself as a
social drinker except that
once she had one drink she
couldn’t stop.
She didn’t try to
sugarcoat her behavior
and said getting behind the
wheel after drinking was
inexcusable.
“I am responsible for
what happened to me and
I offer no excuses,” said
Davis in the broadcast.

Publisher:
John Hewitt

Photographer:
Travis Hudgons

Chief Financial Officer:
Dr. Earl D. Glenn

Staff Reporters:
Carla parker
R. Scott Belzer

Production Manager:
Kemesha Hunt

The Champion Free Press is published each Friday
by ACE III Communications, Inc.,
114 New Street, Suite E, Decatur, GA. 30030
Phone (404) 373-7779.
www.championnewspaper.com
DISPLAY ADVERTISING (404) 373-7779 x 110

The road to recovery,
she said, is long and hard
but one can find hope and
brighter days along the
way.
She said she decided
to speak out about her
situation to help others.
No doubt Davis made
many viewers think
differently about their own
feelings, self-perception,
drinking habits and whether
they might be headed down
the same path. The way
in which Amanda Davis
laid bare her life and flaws
is the best kind of public
service announcement. I
applaud her for it and wish
her well.

STATEMENT FROM THE
PUBLISHER
We sincerely appreciate the
discussion surrounding this and any
issue of interest to DeKalb County.
The Champion was founded in 1991
expressly to provide a forum for
discourse for all community residents
on all sides of an issue. We have no
desire to make the news only to
report news and opinions to effect
a more educated citizenry that will
ultimately move our community
forward. We are happy to present
ideas for discussion; however,
we make every effort to avoid
printing information submitted to
us that is known to be false and/or
assumptions penned as fact.

The Champion FREE PRESS, Friday, June 3, 2016

opinion

Page 7A

One Man’s Opinion

The difference between boon and boondoggle
Though the Georgia
Primary elections are just
past, and fall 2016 General Election looms just
ahead; you can already
see tent stakes going up
for the Georgia governor’s race of 2018. 
Among the likeliest
candidates is Georgia’s
now three-term Lieutenant Governor Casey
Cagle. Cagle has been
heard to sound particularly progressive on the
need for expansion of
transportation and transit
options and even uttered
kind words toward MARTA, regarding the potential for eventual and regular state funding support
tied to a reconfiguration
or tweaking of MARTA’s
governance structure.
Though MARTA’s GM
Keith Parker continues
to work wonders with
the long-troubled transit
agency, and has been
building relationships under the Gold Dome, he
understands that there
is no free lunch. MARTA
may likely see regular
state contributions one
day, as our alternate
transportation options
expand across the
state. But as we move
forward and make these
transit mode selections,
it is critically important to
draw distinction between
smart choices and the
grandiose and potential
economic boon from

Bill Crane
bill.csicrane@gmail.com

Columnist

boondoggle.
Atlanta’s Beltline is repurposing a 22-mile loop
of abandoned rail bed
once run by three different railroads and encircling our capital city. But,
the Beltline (boon) has
done something very
basic that all transportation planners and elected
officials should keep in
mind—it connects people
who want to get somewhere with places they
already want to go, and
give them a very convenient way to get there.
Contrast that with the
beautiful, modern, sleek
and often empty Atlanta
streetcars, gliding along
a 2.7 mile loop from the
Sweet Auburn neighborhood and King Center,
to Centennial Olympic
Park. Critics were quick
to point out that with reduced frequency–only
two trains in operation and multiple stops
along the route–most

folks walking at a steady
clip can easily outpace
the streetcar. The most
regular riders are often
Atlanta’s homeless enjoying the air conditioning and view. Ridership
has dropped significantly
since a fare was implemented in January. Revenue is far from covering
operating costs, much
less recovering capital
outlays exceeding $100
million.
Yet talk is again floating of high-speed rail,
connecting Atlanta to
Chattanooga and beyond
to Charlotte. I’m a huge
fan of passenger rail and
Amtrak and travel that
way whenever I have the
time. 
During the 1860’s and
against the backdrop
of the Civil War, three
private rail companies
completed work on North
America’s first transcontinental railroad. That
rail line, laid primarily by
hand labor (admittedly
with thousands of slaves
and indentured laborers)
completed 1,907 miles of
continuous track in just
over six years, tunneling through mountains
and constructing some
breath-taking wooden rail
bridges (including one
with a span of 700 feet).
Boon.
Meanwhile, back at
the boondoggle ranch,
among the first stimulus

package projects announced by the Obama
Administration was the
California Bullet Train,
high-speed rail with an
initial leg of 119 miles of
track connecting Madera,
Calif., (population 63,105)
with Shafter, Calif., a
small town north of Bakersfield. The original
plan was to connect San
Diego to San Francisco
by 2018.
As of now, that first leg
running primarily through
desert will be completed
by 2025. The California
High Speed Rail Authority
has not yet laid a single
line of track, though this
project and stretch were
deemed among the most
“shovel ready” projects
in the nation back in
2008. Current cost estimates due to delays and
challenges with right-ofway acquisition and cost
overruns exceed $400
million on the first 29
miles. The original plan
called for 800 miles of
high-speed rail, operational by 2020.
Current cost estimates
put the California Bullet
Train’s completion in the
neighborhood of $64 billion, during a time when
even most California tourism enthusiasts note that
travel frequency from San
Diego to San Francisco
or Los Angeles to Sacramento or northern California, in-state, is generally

dropping.
Without question,
Georgia needs to continue to make investments
in its transportation infrastructure, but resources
and land will never be
unlimited. Choices need
to be studied, and input
should be sought from
prospective riders and
audiences for the projects
being considered. Restoring passenger rail
service between Athens
and Atlanta, the “brain
train,” seems a low-cost
option for ferrying thousands of Dawg fans and
UGA students to and fro
(boon)...but a massive
tunnel underneath downtown Atlanta to reroute
car traffic, a la Boston’s
Big Dig sounds more like
a “doggle.” 
Listen and learn to
tell the difference, as the
talkin’ and squawkin’ to
get your attention will be
starting even sooner than
you think.
 
Bill Crane also serves
as a political analyst and
commentator for Channel
2’s Action News, WSB-AM
News/Talk 750 and now
95.5 FM, as well as a columnist for The Champion,
Champion Free Press and
Georgia Trend. Crane is
a DeKalb native and business owner, living in Scottdale. You can reach him or
comment on a column at
bill.csicrane@gmail.com. 

local

June 3, 2016 • Page 8A

aroundDEKALB
aVondale estates

cHaMblee

Girl Scouts Troop 3647 will hold a meeting June 12 from 2 to 4 p.m.
The meeting will be held at Avondale Pattillo United Methodist Church
located at 3260 Covington Highway. For more information or to join the
troop, call Bonny Wilder at (770) 469-9032.

One of Doraville’s neighboring cities voiced its support in
establishing a tax allocation district (TAD) on May 17.
Chamblee mayor Eric Clarkson and city council members John
Mesa, Leslie Robson, Thomas Hogan, Brian Mock and Darron
Kusman passed a resolution supporting the Doraville TAD and urging
the DeKalb County School District’s favorable consideration.”
According to the resolution, Chamblee officials cite Doraville’s legal
authority, support from Doraville’s council and DeKalb County as well as
Chamblee’s belief “[the TAD] is in the best interest of the two cities and
the region,” as reasons to adopt the resolution.
The document also stated Doraville’s use of a TAD was the
recommended option following “numerous Doraville studies for the
former General Motors site in addition to the DeKalb County Strategic
Economic Development Plan.”
The resolution was originally drafted by councilman Mock on May 13.

Girl Scouts troop to hold meeting

City voices support for Doraville TAD

brooKHaVen

stone Mountain
City to host garden event

City to host dog event
Brookhaven’s second annual “Bark in the Park” will be held June 4,
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Brookhaven Park. The event will feature music, dog
trick demonstrations, dog-related vendors, pet adoptions, food trucks
and beverages. All dogs will receive a gift. All dogs must be on a leash.
Admission is free. The park is located at 4158 Peachtree Road. Call
(404) 637-0518 for more information.

Stone Mountain will host Community Garden Work Day June 11, from
8 to 11 a.m. Master Gardener Talk at 9:30 will be by Juliamma Pierre on
berries. For more information, email Columbus Brown at columbushb@
me.com.

NOTICE
The City of Brookhaven City Council does hereby announce that the millage rate will be set at a meeting to be
held at the Brookhaven City Hall on on June 21, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. and pursuant to the requirements of O.C.G.A. Section
48-5-32 does hereby publish the following presentation of the current year's tax digest and levy, along with the history of the tax
digest and levy for the past five years.

CURRENT 2016 TAX DIGEST AND 5 YEAR HISTORY OF LEVY
Spec Tax Dist #1

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Real & Personal

2016

59,127,532

68,176,991

Motor Vehicles
Mobile Homes
Timber - 100%
Heavy Duty Equipment
Gross Digest

0

0

0

0

59,127,532

68,176,991

Net M & O Digest
State Forest Land Assistance
Grant Value

0

0

0

0

59,127,532

68,176,991

Adjusted Net M&O Digest

0

0

0

0

59,127,532

68,176,991

1.500

6.450

Less M& O Exemptions

Gross M&O Millage
Less Rollbacks
Net M&O Millage
Total County Taxes Levied
Net Taxes $ Increase
Net Taxes % Increase

0.000
0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

1.500

6.450

$0

$0

$0

$0

$88,691

$439,742

$0

$0

$0

$88,691

$351,050

#DIV/0!

#DIV/0!

#DIV/0!

#DIV/0!

395.81%

local

Paving
the way
Dunwoody to spend $2.9
million on road repairs,
enter agreement with
Sandy Springs
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com

N

o matter what time
of day, commuters
traveling in and
around Dunwoody
are sure to see miles of
brake lights, frequent stops
and gridlock. While I-285
offers higher speeds and
local streets offer potential
shortcuts, the sheer density
of Dunwoody guarantees a
slower commute.
On May 23, city officials
made a $2.9 million
investment to ensure road
quality does not slow down
commuters more as Mayor
Denis Shortal and the city
council approved a bid for
asphalt resurfacing and
sealing on 32 roads.
The resurfacing will
take place over a five-year
period and include such
heavily traveled roads as
Dunwoody Club Drive,
North Shallowford Road,
North Peachtree Road, Tilly
Mill Road and Perimeter
Center North. Repairs on 16
miles of Dunwoody streets,
include reconstruction of six

speed humps, 102 manhole
levelings, 32 repaved roads,
and nine “crack sealed”
roads.
Public Works Director
Michael Smith presented
the item to council for
clarification on May 23.
The director said work on
Dunwoody streets could
begin as early as May 31.
Dunwoody resident and
self-proclaimed cyclist Bill
Black commended the city’s
initiative in helping nontraditional commuters.
“I ride my bike all over
this town,” Black said.
“There is certainly room for
improvement.”
Black said Dunwoody
has done a “great job” in
accommodating bicycles
and setting space aside for
dedicated bike lanes on
heavily traveled roads. He
recommended the same
consideration be given
when moving forward with
Dunwoody Club Drive.
Black said that making
the city a better place
in which to ride would
ultimately make it a better
place in which to live.

DEKALB COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
1st PUBLIC
MILLAGE RATE HEARING
Monday, June 6, 2016

TIME
6:15 p.m.

LOCATION
J. David Williamson Board Room
Administrative & Instructional Complex
1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd.
Stone Mountain, GA 30083

Citizens interested in reviewing a detailed copy of the program
based budget may do so by visiting the DeKalb County School
District website at www.dekalb.k12.ga.us.
FOR INFORMATION, CALL THE OFFICE OF THE
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER AT 678-676-0069.

June 3, 2016 • Page 9A

Dunwoody recently approved a five-year initiative ridding Dunwoody streets of cracks and
unsatisfactory paving. Photo by R. Scott Belzer

“When going on that
uphill [near Mount Vernon]
there are turnouts and
driveways,” Black said. “At
my size, I do not zoom up
hills. It would be very helpful
to have a dedicated bike
lane; if the road width does
not accommodate that, I’d at
least like to see a climbing
side bike lane.”
Smith said the large
hill approaching Mount
Vernon Road referenced by
Black offers the city a lot of
pavement to work with. He
said Sandy Springs would
have to ultimately approve
of the proposed bike lane
as it is on that city’s side of
Dunwoody Club Drive.
“There’s an opportunity
there,” Smith said. “We
could easily put in a climbing

lane for bicycles going in
that direction.”
Councilman Tom
Heneghan showed concern
that more crack sealing
is not taking place on
residential roads throughout
the city.
Crack sealing involves
scanning already paved
roads for cracks and filling
them with tar to prevent
water damage. The process
is not only faster and less
costly than resurfacing, but
allows a road to get more
use before being repaved.
“We’ve paved a lot of
streets. Is there a reason
we’re not crack sealing
more?” Heneghan asked.
Smith said neighborhood
streets have not been crack
sealed in city limits because

of negative responses from
residents.
“The concern there is
that it looks like a spider web
on the street,” Smith said.
“Some people don’t like the
aesthetics. It’s something we
could look at but I think we’d
have to educate residents.”
At the same meeting,
Dunwoody officials signed
an intergovernmental
agreement with Sandy
Springs for paving repairs
and stormwater repairs
along Dunwoody Club Drive.
The street serves as
a border between the two
cities, which makes logistics
behind road repairs tricky.
Smith said the agreement
would not be official until
approved by Sandy Spring’s
mayor and city council.

Notice of Property Tax Increase
The Governing Authority of the City of Avondale
Estates has tentatively adopted a millage rate which
will require an increase in property taxes by 16.26
percent. All concerned citizens are invited to the public
hearings on this tax increase to be held at City Hall, 21
North Avondale Plaza, Avondale Estates, GA 30002
on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, at 5:30 P.M., Monday,
June 20, 2016, at 7:30 P.M., and Wednesday, June 29,
2016, at 6:00 P.M. This tentative increase will result
in a millage rate of 10.957 mills, an increase of 1.572
mills. Without this tentative tax increase, the millage
rate will be no more than 9.385 mills. This proposed
tax increase for a home with a fair market value of
$275,000 is approximately $173. The proposed tax
increase for a non-homestead property with a fair
market value of $225,000 is approximately $141.

local

June 3, 2016 • Page 10A

Food on-the-go in Doraville
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com

“It’s just a little bit
outside of normal; it has a
bit of a bite to it.”
“This is for the residents
so they can see what the
city has to offer.”
“I grew up here right
across the street; this feels
like coming home.”
These were a few of
many positive statements
regarding Doraville’s
second Food Truck Rally
of the summer season on
the evening of May 26.
Held every second and
fourth Thursday from May
through October, the Food
Truck Rally offers a wide
variety of food, music, kids’
entertainment and other
activities.
While Doraville is
known for Buford Highway’s
food scene, it has yet to
emerge as a city offering its
own food-oriented event.
The Food Truck Rally on
Thursday is an effort to
change that perception.
“We have a lot of great
food here, a lot of citizens
and non-citizens; it’s a great
way to bring the community
together,” said Mayor
Donna Pittman. “We’ve
wanted to have more
activities and this is a great
way to bring people out–
everyone likes to eat. Our
city is a very cultural city
and we have a lot of diverse
food trucks.”
Pittman said other cities
in the Atlanta area have
food truck events and it was
Doraville’s time to join the
fun last year.
Brandy Blaylock,
an eight-year Doraville
resident, said the rally was
a great way for members
of the community to get
out and get to know one
another while enjoying
some great food.
“We know each other in
our neighborhoods and this
is a nice way for us to get
together [because] it brings
everyone in,” Blaylock said.
“We’ve tried different trucks
last year. It’s interesting.
The pies are always good,
the desserts are always
good, but it’s trying the
‘outside the box’ trucks that
has been fun.”
Blaylock said her
favorite food truck of the
night was Meatballerz,
which offers meatballs
prepared in the “old

world method” in a
variety of ways, including
sandwiches. On May 26,
Blaylock was enjoying the
Meatballerz “Pompeii,”
which is an Italian sausage
chuck mix.
“It’s just a little bit
outside normal,” Blaylock
said. “It’s not a burger and it
has a bit of a bite to it.”
Blaylock said she
enjoys how the city is
moving forward in hosting
Doraville Food Truck Rally offered half a dozen vendors and food trucks on May 26 and will
events such as the Doraville The
continue to do so every second and fourth Thursday until October. Photos by R. Scott Belzer
Food Truck Rally. She said
Doraville offers the charms
of living inside the Atlanta
perimeter without losing a
small-town feel.
Rick Dalton and Tina
Pisaniello, who make up
the rock band Rockin’ Rick
and Sweet “T”, said playing
in Doraville is always
going to be an enjoyable
experience. While Pisaniello
is a New York transplant,
she’s called the area home
for the past 20 years. For
Dalton, playing in Doraville
was a homecoming.
“We play all around
Atlanta, but I love playing
Doraville because it’s like
coming home,” Dalton said.
“I grew up across the street
and went to Sequoyah
Middle School.”
The duo said they love
playing for families, even
to the extent of cleaning
up certain rock-n-roll lyrics, Doraville resident Brandy Blaylock said she loves food trucks that offer “outside the box” cuisine.
and that Doraville serves
as an excellent example
of hosting family-friendly
events.
Event organizer Jim
Schumake with Atlanta
Creative Events has hosted
food truck events in places
such as Buckhead, Athens,
Macon, Grant Park and
Candler Park. He said
Doraville’s growth as a city
shows it is ready to host a
food truck gathering and
offer a food truck market.
“People from outside
Doraville will come to
Doraville for Buford
Highway, but there haven’t
really been any food events
CASH, CREDIT, AND SNAP/EBT CARDS ACCEPTED
showing what the city has
Tuesdays
9AM-11AM Exchange Recreation Center, 2771 Columbia Dr., Decatur
to offer; it has a place in


12PM-2PM South DeKalb YMCA, 2565 Snapfinger Rd., Decatur
5PM-7PM Mainstreet Community Assoc., 5001 Mainstreet Park Dr., Stone Mountain
my heart,” Schumake said.
“It’s great to see so many
Wednesdays 9AM-11AM Clifton Springs Health Center, 3110 Clifton Springs Rd., Decatur
millennials in Doraville


12PM-2PM Austin Drive Community at Bethesda Cathedral, 1989 Austin Dr., Decatur


5PM-7PM Tadda’s Fitness Center, 2615 Park Central Blvd., Decatur
and making their way to
Doraville. It really is taking
Thursdays
9AM-11AM Spring Chase II Apartments, 4947 Memorial Dr., Stone Mountain
off.”


12PM-2PM Lou Walker Senior Center, 2538 Panola Rd., Lithonia


5PM-7PM New Life Community Ministries, 3592 Flat Shoals Rd., Decatur
For more information
on the Doraville Food Truck
Fridays
11AM-1PM DeKalb County Extension, 4380 Memorial Dr., Ste 200, Decatur
Rally, visit www.doravillega.


2PM-4PM June 17 & Aug. 19 only @ Candler Library, 1917 Candler Rd., Decatur


July 15 & Sept. 16 only @ Clarkston Library, 951 N. Indian Creek Dr., Clarkston
us.
DEKALB COUNTY

2016 Mobile Market Stops

Call (404) 298-4080 for more information

local

WeeKinPICTURES

Crosses bearing the names of veterans and several American flags
lined the streets of downtown Doraville in observance of Memorial
Day. The crosses named those who have served in the armed
forces as well as the war in which they served. Photos by R. Scott
Belzer

The DeKalb County Board of Health, in partnership with the
University of Georgia Extension Office, will host a mobile
Farmer’s Market on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and
Fridays now through Oct. 23. For specific times and locations,
visit www.dekalbmobilemarket.com.

June 3, 2016 • Page 11A

DeKalb County firefighters respond to fire at an automotive repair shop on E Ponce De Leon Avenue
near North Decatur Road. Photo by Travis Hudgons

Ted Meinhardt with the DeKalb County Board of Health sets out fresh fruits and vegetables at the
DeKalb Mobile Farmer’s Market held May 26. Photos by R. Scott Belzer

PHOTOS BROUGHT TO YOU BY DCTV

DeKalb County implements changes to garbage and recycling container requirements and collection
procedures April 18, 2016.
Only county-provided garbage and recycling containers are approved for sanitation collection service.
For more info, call or visit:

(404) 294-2900
www.rollingforwardtoone.com

local

June 3, 2016 • Page 12A

DeKalb Symphony Orchestra presents guitarist Rene Izquierdo at free community concert
The DeKalb Symphony
Orchestra will present their annual
free community concert at 8 p.m.
on June 7 at First Baptist Church
of Decatur. The concert will
feature guitarist Rene Izquierdo
performing Rodrigo’s Concierto
de Aranjuez. The program also
includes Mendelssohn’s The
Hebrides Overture and selections
from Bizet’s L’Arlesienne.
Izquierdo, a native of Cuba,
graduated from the Guillermo
Tomas, Amadeo Roldan

Conservatory and Superior
Institute of Art in Havana. He also
holds a master of music and an
artist diploma from Yale University
School of Music. He has appeared
as a guest soloist and in chamber
music concerts throughout
the United States, Cuba and
Europe. Izquierdo is currently a
professor of classical guitar at
the Wisconsin State University
and an active solo performer and
chamber musician.
The concert is presented as

Public Meeting Notice
You are invited to attend an informational
meeting and presentation about a new
workforce housing development being
considered for funding in your area. Abbington
Perimeter Apartments would consist of 72
market-rate and below-market apartments
(affordable to working families at 60% to 50%
of area median incomes) to be located at
approximately 3250 Panthersville Road, Decatur,
Georgia 30034.
The informational meeting will be held on
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 6:30 PM at New
Life Church, Building 3 (3592 Flat Shoals
Road, Decatur, GA 30034). If you have any
questions, feel free to contact Sean Brady, VP
of Development at Rea Ventures Group, at
seanbrady@reaventures.com or
(404) 250-4093, ext. 704.

a gift to the community through
the Decatur Tourism Bureau,
Clairmont Oaks, Inc., Personal
Care, Inc., other friends of
Decatur sponsors and First
Baptist Church Decatur. The
Champion Newspaper is media
sponsor and no tickets are
required for admission.
First Baptist of Decatur
is located at 308 Clairemont
Avenue, Decatur. For additional
information call (678) 891-3565 or
visit www.dekalbsymphony.org.

CITY OF DORAVILLE
PUBLIC NOTICE
Fiscal Year 2017 Budget
Notice is hereby given that the proposed budget for the City of Doraville shall be available for public inspection beginning June 3, 2016, in the City Clerk’s office from 8:30 to
4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at City Hall, 3725 Park Avenue, Doraville, GA.
A Public Hearing shall be held on the 13th day of June at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 3725
Park Avenue, Doraville, GA before the Mayor and Council of the City of Doraville at
which time public comment pertaining to the Fiscal Year 2017 (July 1, 2016 through
June 30, 2017) budget shall be sounded. All citizens of Doraville are invited to attend.
A Public Hearing shall be held on the 20th day of June at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 3725
Park Avenue, Doraville, GA before the Mayor and Council of the City of Doraville at
which time public comment pertaining to the Fiscal Year 2017 (July 1, 2016 through
June 30, 2017) budget shall be sounded. All citizens of Doraville are invited to attend.
A Regular Meeting shall be held on the 20th day of June at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 3725
Park Avenue, Doraville, GA before the Mayor and Council of the City of Doraville at
which time the Fiscal Year 2017 (July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017) budget shall be
approved and the budget ordinance adopted in accordance with O.C.G.A. 36-81-5. All
citizens of Doraville are invited to attend.

The DeKalb County Board of Education does hereby announce that the millage rate will be set at a meeting to be held at the
DeKalb County School District Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain, Georgia
on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 at 7:00 p.m., and pursuant to the requirements of O.C.G.A. 48-5-32, does hereby publish
the following presentation of the current year's tax digest and levy, along with the history of the tax digest and levy
for the past five years.

CURRENT 2016 TAX DIGEST AND 5 YEAR HISTORY OF LEVY
DEKALB COUNTY SCHOOL
Real & Personal

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

19,310,211,337

17,578,034,324

17,512,942,085

18,945,661,424

21,114,929,747

22,804,313,854

Motor Vehicles

1,225,978,410

1,265,293,750

1,359,311,440

1,135,212,830

781,124,040

568,562,240

Mobile Homes

510,171

440,056

396,572

355,333

358,733

769,100

Timber - 100%

0

0

82,712

77,829

34,308

20,536,782,630

18,843,845,959

2,913,503,127

2,847,239,428

Net M & O Digest
State Forest Land Assistance
Grant Value

17,623,279,503

15,996,606,531

0

0

0

0

0

0

Adjusted Net M&O Digest

17,623,279,503

15,996,606,531

16,046,429,853

17,158,109,014

18,752,105,468

20,166,778,338

Heavy Duty Equipment
Gross Digest
Less M& O Exemptions

Gross M&O Millage
Less Rollbacks
Net M&O Millage

0

0

0

57,864

2,208

76,000

18,872,684,405

20,081,287,451

21,896,414,728

23,373,721,194

2,826,254,552

2,923,178,437

3,144,309,260

3,206,942,856

16,046,429,853

17,158,109,014

18,752,105,468

20,166,778,338

22.98

23.98

23.98

23.98

23.98

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

-0.25

0.00

22.98

23.98

23.98

23.98

23.73

23.73

Total School Taxes Levied

$404,982,963

$383,598,625

Net Taxes $ Increase

($63,803,371)

($21,384,338)

-13.61%

-5.28%

Net Taxes % Increase

0

23.73

$384,793,388

$411,451,454

$444,987,463

$478,557,650

$1,194,763

$26,658,066

$33,536,009

$33,570,187

0.31%

6.93%

8.15%

7.54%

NOTES:
1. THE NET LEVY DOES NOT REFLECT ACTUAL REVENUE RECEIVED OR AVAILABLE DUE TO VALUE ADJUSTMENTS RESULTING FROM APPEALS, DELINQUENT TAXES,
COLLECTIONS FROM PRIOR YEARS, AND A FEE OF 1.25% PAID TO THE COUNTY FOR BILLING AND COLLECTIONS.
2. THE 2016 MILLAGE RATE IS THE PROPOSED RATE. THE PROPOSED SCHOOL OPERATIONS MILLAGE IS 23.73 MILLS.
3. 2016 DIGEST FIGURES ARE AN ESTIMATE.

local

June 3, 2016 • Page 13A
DID YOU KNOW...
Parents and grandparents
are often the first to
notice a child has
difficulties with learning and
developing like
other children?
Children with learning
difficulties benefit most
from early detection of
problems?

CHILD FIND

New senior residences open in Stone Mountain
The Housing Authority of DeKalb
County and the Housing Development
Corporation of DeKalb (HDC) celebrated
the grand opening of The View on June
1. An 80-unit new construction mixedincome senior community, The View was
completed in the fall of 2015 as one of
the first Rental Assistance Demonstration
(RAD) new construction projects in the
country.
The project utilized the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban
Development’s (HUD) RAD program
which is designed to preserve federally
subsidized affordable housing for seniors.
The DeKalb Housing Authority has
raised more than $50 million to convert
public housing units to RAD units in seven
developments, including The View and
portions of The Village at Mills Creek
on the former Tobie Grant Manor public
housing site in Scottdale.
The View is a three-story, mixedincome development located on 10.2 acres
of land that was the former location of The
DeKalb County Children’s Shelter. The

More boys than girls
are diagnosed wiht
learning disabilities?

Do you know a child who
resides in DeKalb County who
may have a developmental
delay or other disabilities such
as problems with learning,
communication, vision, hearing,
or other physical or health
impairments? Do you suspect
this child may need special
education services?

apartment complex has 50 voucher units,
25 RAD units and five market rate units for
a total of 80 apartments.
Designed for independent seniors,
The View has four different floor plans of
one-bedroom, one-bath and two-bedroom,
two-bath apartments ranging from 778 to
1,046 square feet in size. Units feature 9
foot ceilings, fully equipped kitchens with
pantries and walk-in closets. Community
amenities include a computer/business
center, exercise and fitness center, covered
drop-off area, community room, community
garden, picnic area and walking path,
theater room, arts and crafts/activity room,
and covered outdoor terraces.
Speaking about HADC’s development
efforts, HADC’s President and CEO, E.P.
“Pete” Walker, said, “Development of The
View was made possible through support
from HUD, DeKalb County, and the City
of Stone Mountain–all of which played a
major role in the success.”
For additional information
about the community, visit www.
housingdevelopmentcorp.org/the-view.

The DeKalb County School
District offers comprehensive
special education services to
eligible students ages three
through 21 years. Contact
678-676-1800 for more
information or visit our website
at www.dekalb.k12.ga.us

The DeKalb County
School District offers a
full continuum of
services for eligible
students with
disabilities?

SPECIAL EDUCATION
DEPARTMENT
5839 Memorial Drive
Stone Mountain, GA
30038

678-676-1800

PUBLIC NOTICE
Notice is hereby given, pursuant to O.C.G.A.
§ 36-35-4(a)(3), that the Board of Mayor and
Commissioners of the City of Avondale Estates is
considering an ordinance to provide compensation to
the members of said municipal governing authority.
The ordinance under consideration would provide a
stipend of $600 per month for the Mayor and $400
per month for Commissioners. Such ordinance may
be adopted by the BOMC at its regular meeting to be
held Monday, June 20th, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. at City
Hall, 21 N. Avondale Plaza, Avondale Estates, GA
30002.

Current 2016 Tax Digest and 5-Year History of Levy

The Governing Authority of the City of Avondale Estates does hereby announce that the milage rate will be set at a meeting to be held at City Hall, 21 North Avondale
Plaza, Avondale Estates, GA 30002 on Wednesday, June 29, 2016, at 6:00 P.M. There will be public hearings on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, at 5:30 P.M., Monday, June
20, 2016, at 7:30 P.M., and Wednesday, June 29, 2016, at 6:00 P.M.

City of Avondale Estates
Real & Personal
Motor Vehicles

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

158,471,976

133,021,745

141,146,248

148,072,403

178,050,508

189,773,876

7,854,350

8,014,980

8,451,460

7,456,190

5,564,760

4,306,900

166,326,326

141,036,725

149,597,708

155,528,593

183,615,268

194,080,776

102,456

231,089

138,061

268,311

371,490

488,920

166,223,870

140,805,636

149,459,647

155,260,282

183,243,778

193,591,856

166,223,870

140,805,636

149,459,647

155,260,282

183,243,778

193,591,856

10.957

10.957

10.957

10.957

9.957

10.957

10.957

10.957

10.957

10.957

9.957

10.957

$1,821,315

$1,542,807

$1,637,629

$1,701,187

$1,824,558

$2,121,186

-$278,508

$94,822

$63,535

$123,371

$296,628

-15.29%

6.15%

3.88%

7.25%

16.26%

Mobile Homes
Timber - 100%
Heavy Duty Equipment
Gross Digest
Less M&O Exemptions
Net M&O Digest
State Forest Land Assistance Grant Value
Adjusted Net M&O Digest
Gross M&O Millage
Less Rollbacks
Net M&O Millage
Total City Taxes Levied
Net Taxes $ Increase
Net Taxes % Increase

education

June 3, 2016 • Page 14A

A group of concerned parents, known as Parent Councils United (PCU), unites parents from
throughout the DeKalb County School District to advocate, inform and discuss schoolrelated issues on behalf of the public.

Superintendent Stephen Green engaged with Parents Councils
United in the 2016 State of the District Address in April and the
district has recently published a written account of the event.

Parents’ concerns published by school district
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com

R

edistricting, online
middle school
courses, literacy.
teacher pay,
school improvements,
bilingual students, the
Doraville tax allocation
district–these were just
a few topics discussed
among a group of parents
and DeKalb County
School District (DCSD)
superintendent Stephen
Green on April 26 at
Clarkston High School
The group of parents,
Parent Councils United
of DeKalb (PCU), has
held similar events in
prior school years to
keep parents informed

about the school district’s
goals. The exchange
has become known as
the State of the District
Address.
The State of the
District falls in line with
other communication
efforts being put forth
by Green and his team.
Throughout the 20152016 school year, Green
held forum-like Q&As
titled “On the Scene with
Dr. Green” at campuses
throughout the district to
open discussions with the
public.
The April 26 event was
no different.
While the State of
the District took place
more than a month ago,
DCSD did not publish

DEKALB COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
2nd PUBLIC BUDGET HEARING
FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2017
Monday, June 6, 2016
TIME

5:45 p.m.

LOCATION

J. David Williamson Board Room
Administrative & Instructional Complex
1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd.
Stone Mountain, GA 30083

The DeKalb County Board of Education will hold a public budget
hearing to solicit feedback from the public regarding the 20162017 school system’s budget.
FOR INFORMATION, CALL THE OFFICE OF THE
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER AT 678-676-0069.

a written version of the
conversation until recently.
Specifics involving
Clarkston High School’s
facilities, online courses
district wide and outside
programs from universities
were discussed but
conversations involving
school funds, political
stances and classroom
overcrowding took center
stage.
One of the more
controversial questions
involved the Doraville

tax allocation district
(TAD), which has been
a battle of words, claims
and editorials between
Doraville and DCSD
leadership for months.
DCSD’s reluctance in
supporting the initiative
to redevelop a former
General Motors plant
site, now known as The
Assembly, has divided
residents throughout the
region.
“I’m disappointed our
district is not supporting

The Assembly,” reads the
beginning of the question
submitted by a member
of PCU. “I understand
your wariness, seeing
the trouble Atlanta Public
Schools has had with the
Beltline development.
However, I see opportunity
with The Assembly. Please
reconsider? Perhaps
renegotiate?”
Green answered by
referencing a recent

See PCU on Page 15A

NOTICE OF PROPERTY TAX INCREASE
The DeKalb County School District has tentatively adopted a millage rate which
will require an increase in property taxes by 8.71 percent.
All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this tax increase
to be held at 6:15 p.m. June 6, 2016, DeKalb County School District J. David
Williamson Board Room, 1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd., Stone Mountain,
Georgia
Times and places of additional public hearings on this tax increase are at:
11:30 a.m. June 21, 2016, DeKalb County School District J. David
Williamson Board Room, 1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd., Stone
Mountain, Georgia
6:15 p.m. June 21, 2016, DeKalb County School District J. David
Williamson Board Room, 1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd., Stone
Mountain, Georgia
This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 23.73 mills, an increase
of 1.901 mills. Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be
no more than 21.829 mills. The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair
market value of $200,000 is approximately $128.32 and the proposed tax
increase for non-homestead property with a fair market value of $325,000 is
approximately $247.13.

education

June 3, 2016 • Page 15A

pcu

Continued From Page 14A
editorial titled “The
little engine that does”
in addition to stating
“[DCSD’s] position on
the Doraville TAD results
from the determination
that TAD support does not
advance the educational
policies of the district.”
Another potentially
controversial question
involved funding going
toward schools affected
by the Cross Keys
cluster’s redistricting plan,
which will move more than
1,700 students to new
schools. The question
was asked to address how
schools would be “able
to adequately serve the
needs of extra students.”
“Qualified staff from
our Department of
Allotments has met with
all schools involved in
the Cross Keys cluster
initiative,” responded
Green. “Our team gave
a detailed description of
allotted resources each
school will be receiving to
support any changes in
enrollments and required
services.”
Green also addressed
maintaining his leadership
role for longer than the
national average of three
to five years to move the
district forward. He said
DCSD has reached a
point of stability following
allegations of corruption,
the district’s near loss
of accreditation and the
district’s financial stability
following the recession.
“Stability and
continuity in leadership
matter very much in any
organization as complex
and complicated as a
school district,” Green
said. “It has taken three
years just to get back
to this point. To sue a
health metaphor, we are
at full strength again after
years of illness. The hard
work really starts now,
in the classroom where
instruction and learning
takes place.”
PCU is made up of
board members from the
Dunwoody-Chamblee
Parent Council, the Emory
LaVista Parent Council,
the South DeKalb Parent
Council, the Cross Keys
Cluster Parent Council
and the Charter Schools
Parent Council.
The group states
their mission is to inform,

discuss and advocate
on behalf of schools,
students and their
respective communities.
PCU members said
they were pleased to

have the conversation
with Green as well as see
it published.
“Thank you to
superintendent Green for
answering our questions

twice–once in person and
now in writing,” it said.
To view the State of
the District Address in its
entirety, visit
http://www.dekalb.

k12.ga.us/www/newsand-events/wp-content/
uploads/sites/6/2016/05/
PCU.-State-of-DsrtClarkston-HS.-5.13.16FINAL.pdf

City of Decatur Georgia Ad Valorem Tax Digest History
Decatur - Digest

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016 (est)

Assessment Ratio

50%

50%

50%

50%

50%

50%

Real Property
Personal Property
Public Utilities
Motor Vehicle

$ 1,149,844,600
$
21,146,700
$
18,933,750
$
46,119,000

$ 1,137,427,809
$
22,174,136
$
14,297,200
$
49,311,000

$ 1,168,516,500
$
23,211,680
$
14,639,953
$
52,979,900

$ 1,326,596,200
$
22,248,300
$
15,152,700
$
47,331,600

$ 1,594,612,800
$
22,322,600
$
17,209,600
$
35,521,587

$ 1,701,465,200
$
22,192,600
$
15,658,700
$
26,623,700

$1,236,044,050

$1,223,210,145

$1,259,348,033

$1,411,328,800

$1,669,666,587

$1,765,940,200

Total Digest
City Operations
General Fund Exemptions
Net City Operations Digest
City Operations Millage
City Operations Levy
Percent Change
Dollar Amount Change

$

125,075,000

$1,110,969,050
11.595
$12,881,686
-0.20
($25,488)

$

126,914,000

$1,096,296,145
11.680
$12,804,739
-0.60
($76,947)

$

126,332,000

$1,133,016,033
11.580

$

125,393,000

$1,285,935,800
11.580

$

130,639,000

$1,539,027,587
11.080

$

128,646,080

$1,637,294,120
10.680

$13,120,326

$14,891,137

$17,052,426

$17,486,301

2.46
$315,587

13.50
$1,770,811

14.51
$2,161,289

2.54
$433,876

The Decatur City Commission announces that the 2016 tentative millage rate was adopted at their meeting on Monday, May 16, 2016. Hearings on
the budget and millage rate will be held on:
Monday, June 6, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Monday, June 13, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.
Monday, June 20, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
The hearings will be held at Decatur City Hall, 509 N. McDonough Street, Decatur, GA. Final adoption of the 2016 millage rate and fiscal year 20162017 budget is scheduled for consideration at the Decatur City Commission meeting on Monday, June 20, 2016. The above table is presented
pursuant to O.C.G.A. 48-5-32 showing the estimated current year's digest and proposed millage rates along with a five-year history of the tax digest

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June 3, 2016 • Page 16A

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business

June 3, 2016 • Page 17A

Robert Blazer, founder and owner of Your DeKalb Farmers Market.

Farmers market owner: It’s as much about people as food
by Kathy Mitchell

A

ttendees to the
DeKalb Chamber
of Commerce 2016
Apex Business
Awards and Luncheon
Ceremony on May 25 at
the Marriott Century Center
heard from the owner of a
business that for many is as
much a DeKalb County icon
as the carving on Stone
Mountain.
Robert Blazer,
founder and owner of Your
DeKalb Farmers Market,
said he is proud of the
business he has operated
since 1977, starting with
a 7,500-square-foot
greenhouse on Decatur’s
Medlock Road.
“We bring the best food
from all over the world to
the market. We are known
all over the world,” said
Blazer, who added that
he is prouder still of the
relationships Your DeKalb
Farmers Market, now on a
more than 140,000-squarefoot site on East Ponce
de Leon, has built in the
neighborhood. Employees
at the market represent
more than 50 countries.
Many are from Clarkston’s
refugee community.
“When we set out
to put a farmers market
in Decatur, there was
some opposition. The
one commissioner who
supported us from the
beginning was Manuel
Maloof. He was a business
owner himself and his father
had owned a market. He
knew what a business like
that means to a community.
Commissioner Maloof said,
‘You need to give the kid a
chance,’” Blazer recalled.
Within two years the

farmers market received
a level of support from the
community that astonished
even Blazer. “There was an
ice storm in 1979. We lost a
building. It was completely
destroyed. Then we learned
that our insurance didn’t
cover ice storms. People
from the neighborhood—
many of them people I
didn’t even know—stepped
up to help us rebuild,” he
said. “Customers gave
us money and we gave
them coupons that they
could use once we were
operating again. With the
help of our neighbors we
were able to keep going.”
Balzer said helping
people learn to live and
work together is his
personal mission in life. “I
believe that human beings
are designed to work well
together. When they don’t it
means something is wrong.
It’s like an airplane—it’s
designed to fly but it will
fly only if you know how to
operate it.”
While working in his
father’s store in Rhode
Island as a young man,
Blazer decided he wanted
his own business one day.
“I liked the idea of operating
a market because I was
attracted to the relationship
between fresh food and the
wellbeing of people. I felt I
wanted to work with people,
to make their lives better
in some way. I wanted to
support others in business
instead of competing with
them. I could not find a
business school where that
was the focus,” he said,
explaining that he had
to work out much of his
approach on his own.
Blazer, who said that
time did not allow him to

explain his philosophy fully,
said he and his wife host
periodic discussion groups.
He also has written a book,
Our World Market: The
Generational Distinction,
which he said “provides
a new understanding of
ourselves, our families and
the world we live in.”
The chamber event
included the presentation
of six Apex Awards.
The Emerging Business
Award went to Doravillebased PawStand, which
provides products and
services for cats and
dogs, including fitness and
rehabilitation. The Business
Advocacy Award went to the
University of Georgia Small

Business Development
Center, which, according to
its website “provides tools,
training and resources to
help small businesses grow
and succeed.”
The Community
Workforce Award, which
recognizes a business
that hires under-employed
and unemployed members
of the workforce, has
increased training for underemployed individuals and
offers such candidates
a salary range above
minimum wage, was
presented to Goodwill of
North Georgia.
Three Business of the
Year awards were given
in size categories. The

award in the $1 million to
$5 million annual revenues
category went to Interprint
Communications, a
Decatur-based marketing
and communications
company. Reliable
Restoration LLC, a disaster
recovery company, was
the winner of the award in
the $5 million to $10 million
annual revenues category.
The award in the $10
million to $20 million annual
revenues category went to
CATMEDIA, a Tucker-based
company that specializes
in creative services/media
production, program
management, training
and human resource
management.

NOTICE OF PROPERTY TAX INCREASE
The Decatur City Commission has tentatively adopted a combined millage rate
of 10.68 mills for maintenance and operations which will require an increase
in property taxes of 1.61% for fiscal year 2016-2017. This is a reduction from
the millage rate of 11.08 mills that was adopted for the current fiscal year
2015-2016 which generates revenue necessary to fund the City of Decatur’s
general operations, downtown development authority and capital improvements.
All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this tax increase
to be held at the City Commission Meeting Room, Decatur City Hall, 509 N.
McDonough Street, Decatur, on Monday, June 13, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. Time
and place of an additional public hearing on this tax increase is at Decatur
City Hall on June 20, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. This tentative increase will result in a
millage rate of 10.68 mills, an increase of 0.169 mills over the rollback millage rate. Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be no more
than 10.511 mills. The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market
value of $400,000 is approximately $30.42 and the proposed tax increase for a
nonhomestead property with a fair market value of $475,000 is approximately
$40.14.

sports

June 3, 2016 • Page 18A

Tucker’s Autumn Carter, left, runs up field as Druid Hills’ Alison Rugel defends.

Druid Hills’ Luke Narker, left, passes the ball as Miller Grove’s Okevious Hawkins
defends. Photos by Mark Brock

ITP sweeps DeKalb all-star soccer classics
by Mark Brock
The Inside the Perimeter (ITP)
All-Stars cruised to a sweep over
the Outside the Perimeter (OTP)
All-Stars in the All-Star Soccer
Classics at Avondale Stadium on
May 19.
The boys’ game was a 5-0
shutout and the girls’ game ended
with a 4-1 score.
The ITP girls’ continued their
mastery of the OTP improving
their series lead to 5-0-1 to remain
undefeated in the six years of the
contest. The only tie was a 2-2
decision in the 2013 classic.
Druid Hills senior striker Alison
Rugel got the ITP squad on the
board as she hit a shot from the
left side just over the goalie’s
reach and into the right corner of
the net with 25:19 left in the first
half.
The score remained 1-0 until
the 7:57 mark when Rugel struck
again, this time on a penalty kick
off the foot of Towers forward Mia
Carradine to make it 2-0.
The OTP answered just more
than a minute later (6:46 left in the
half) as DeKalb County leading

scorer Jasmine Mathis of Martin
Luther King put a rebound off a
goalie save into the net to cut the
lead to 2-1 at the half.
The two teams battled with
the lead holding at 2-1 for the ITP
early in the second half.
The OTP got an opportunity
with 18:50 to play, but a shot on
goal was just wide right to keep the
score at 2-1.
Chamblee junior striker
Kamilah Mustafa widened the
lead to 3-1 with 12:50 to play and
Druid Hills’ junior midfielder Indigo
Childs got free down the middle
for a game-clinching fourth goal
with 11:30 remaining.
Rugel was named the ITP Most
Valuable Player with her two goals
and leadership on the field.
Mathis earned the OTP MVP
award by her play, including
scoring the team’s only goal.
Boys’ game
The OTP won the past two
games in the series in penalty
kicks by sending the game into
overtime, but the ITP made sure
there would be no overtime this
year with a 5-0 shutout.

The victory gave the ITP a
3-2-1 lead in the series, which had
been highly contested each of the
previous five years.
Lakeside senior Sean
McDaniel gave ITP an early 1-0
lead as he put a penalty kick just
under the bar 6:23 into the game.
Four minutes later Druid Hills
junior Luke Narker lofted a pass to
Clarkston junior Lionel Touroudo,
who went into the air and nudged
the ball into the goal to make it 2-0
in favor of the ITP.
The clock was ticking down
less than 19 minutes remaining
in the half when Lakeside’s Max
Wieder found an open Oyenga
Abdufatai of Cedar Grove, who
scored to give the ITP a 3-0 lead.
Trailing 3-0, OTP’s Okevious
Hawkins of Miller Grove got a
free kick following an offsides
call on the ITP. Hawkins lofted
the ball to the goal and in for an
apparent goal to cut the lead to
3-1. The goal was disallowed as a
direct kick that was not touched by
another player.
The ITP took the 3-0 lead into
the half.
The OTP came out with

pressure to open the second half
and an opportunity to trim the lead
to 3-1 bounced off the right goal
post and back into play.
The two teams would go the
next 17 minutes without many
opportunities until McDaniel found
Wieder on a give and go to make it
4-0 with 21:13 to play in the game.
A breakaway by Towers’
Kanghi Bavon with 14:50 was the
icing for the ITP to make the final
of 5-0.
McDaniel who had a goal and
an assist in the game as well as
some nice passes for scoring
opportunities by his teammates
was named the ITP MVP.
Hawkins, who had a goal
disallowed and played most of the
game with an injured (hand/wrist),
was named the OTP MVP for his
defensive play and courage.
The win sent Lakeside coach
Ben Smith out on a winning note
in his final game as the head
coach. The Vikings finished 20-1-0
this season under Smith losing 1-0
in the Class AAAAAA quarterfinal
game to Milton after running off 20
consecutive wins.

sports

June 3, 2016 • Page 19A

Carla’s Corner:

Winning has become more important than doing the right thing

Baylor president Kenneth Starr was demoted to chancellor

For years, baseball has
been known as America’s
pastime.
In some parts of the
nation it still is, but in other
parts, particularly the south,
football has surpassed
baseball as the sport of
choice. One may say for
many that football is second
behind God for those who
live in the Bible belt states.
Football is an enjoyable
sport to watch. Despite the
legal violence displayed on
a football field, fans will drop
everything they’re doing to
watch their favorite team
win, and that has become
beneficial for NFL owners,
colleges and universities,
and grade-level schools that
have football programs.
The more fans who pay
to watch football, the more
money goes in the pockets
of team owners, coaches,
athletic directors, etc.
Winning equals money
in sports, especially college
football. Some athletic
departments depend on the
football team to bring in the
top dollars. The more wins a
football team accumulates,
the more money the athletic
department takes in.
During 2014-15, 28
athletic departments listed
at least $100 million in
revenue, according to a
CBS Sports analysis of
released figures reported

Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com

Sports Editor

@CarlaChampNews

to the U.S. Department
of Education’s Office of
Postsecondary Education.
The top five athletic
departments on that list
are Texas ($179.6 million),
Ohio State ($170.9 million),
Alabama ($150.6 million),
LSU ($138.9 million) and
Oklahoma ($135.7 million).
Alabama won the national
championship in January,
and Ohio State won the title
in 2015.
LSU, Oklahoma and
Texas are traditionally
winning programs, although
Texas has struggled to
win at least nine games
a season since winning
the national title in 2009.
But it’s Texas, where
football reigns, and football
programs in Texas and
across the nation will do
anything to win.
Sometimes,

unfortunately, that includes
ignoring the safety of
human beings to protect the
football program.
On May 26, Baylor
University announced that
football coach Art Briles
has been suspended with
the intent to terminate
following an independent
report revealing the
improper handling of sexual
assault allegations made
against several football
players.
Baylor president
Kenneth Starr was
demoted to chancellor and
athletic director Ian McCaw
was reprimanded.
“We were horrified by
the extent of these acts
of sexual violence on our
campus,” Baylor Board of
Regents chairman Richard
Willis said in a statement.
“This investigation revealed
the University’s mishandling
of reports in what should
have been a supportive,
responsive and caring
environment for students.
The depth to which these
acts occurred shocked and
outraged us.”
According to the report
from Pepper Hamilton, an
outside law firm hired by
Baylor last fall, Hamilton
found the school “failed to
take appropriate action to
respond to reports of sexual
assault and dating violence

reportedly committed
by football players.
The choices made by
football staff and athletics
leadership, in some
instances, posed a risk
to campus safety and the
integrity of the University.”
The report also found
members of the Baylor
football staff repeatedly and
actively refused to report
sexual assault allegations
to the proper administrators.
In some cases, football
staff members met directly
with accusers or parents of
the accusers, and still did
not report the allegations.
Football staff members
conducted their own
improper investigations
into sexual assault reports,
according to the report.
The report also found
university administrators
discouraged complainants
from reporting or
participating in the student
conduct process.
Briles came under fire
after two players in the
program were convicted of
sexual assault and another
was under investigation. In
2014, defensive end Tevin
Elliott was sentenced to
20 years in prison for two
counts of sexual assault
against a former Baylor
student in 2012. Defensive
end Sam Ukwuachu
was convicted of sexually

assaulting a woman last
year. Defensive end Shawn
Oakman is currently under
investigation for allegedly
sexually assaulting a
woman earlier this year.
Baylor has gone 50-15
during the past five seasons
under Briles, winning two
of Big 12 Conference
championships on its way to
becoming a powerhouse in
college football. The Baylor
athletic department accrued
$106.1 million in revenue in
2014-15.
However, all of this took
place at the expense of
women and other students’
safety.
I enjoy watching college
football as much as any
other fan and I want to
see my favorite team win.
But I will not accept some
of the routes that college
programs take—such as
what Baylor did—to win
football games, and other
fans should not as well.
Baylor and any other
programs (cough, cough
Tennessee) that sweeps
sexual assault allegations
or any other crimes under
the rug should receive the
death penalty from the
NCAA.
This is bigger than
players receiving money
and gifts from boosters, and
should be treated as such
by the NCAA.

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Decatur Arts Festival

June 3, 2016 • Page 20A

Photos by Travis Hudgons