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the DeKalb

FRiDaY, JUnE 17, 2016 • Vol. 19, no. 10 • 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 •

Decatur experiencing residential building surge
by Horace Holloman
horace@dekalbchamp.com

F

or those looking for
a place to live in the
Decatur area, chances
are an apartment or
condominium won’t be hard to
find within city limits.
In the last few years, a condo
and apartment development
surge has dramatically increased
the number of opportunities for
those looking to reside within
Decatur city limits.
During a five-year span from
2005 to 2010, 113 multi-housing
units were built in Decatur. Since
2013, that number has increased
to 625.
City of Decatur Downtown
Development Manager
Catherine Lee said the focus
in recent years has been on
pedestrians looking to live within
the city.
“So far what we found is
that there’s a big mix of young
professionals and empty
nesters,” Lee said. “A big part
is people want that walkability
and a city feel without living in
midtown Atlanta. Our focus is
much more on pedestrians and
the cyclists than it is on cars.
One of the things is building
more residential property
downtown so people can live
here and walk to run errands.”
Some of the newer condo
developments in Decatur include
Artisan, 335 W. Ponce de Leon
Lofts and Decatur Renaissance.
The square mileage for the
city of Decatur is 4.7 miles,
which means there’s nowhere
to go but up for residential
complexes—literally.
“(Decatur) is pretty much built
out,” Lee said. “That’s another
reason why we want to enter
downtown and build up. We
don’t have room to build out.
A lot of people get the sense

Photo by Travis Hudgons

that there’s this overcrowding
because there is more density
(in Decatur) building these
apartments and condos, but we
actually have [fewer] people in
the city than there was in 1960.”
According to the U.S. Census
Bureau, the population in 2013
for the city of Decatur was
20,148. In 1960 the population
was 22,026, a decline of 8.5
percent.
Lee said locations such
as East Decatur Station have
potential for growth.
City of Decatur Assistant City
Manager Lyn Menne watched
the growth of Decatur for the last
33 years.
“For me, having been
here this long, it has been
slow and steady growth. It’s
all based on a very clear
vision that our community has
had. Development is driven
by the market,” Menne said.
“Particularly now there seems to

CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER

CHAMPIONNEWS

Photo by Horace Holloman

be a lot of development, but we
have to remember that almost
nothing got built from 2007 to
2013.”

CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER

Menne said the lack of
new residential developments
during 2007 to 2013, due to a

See Decatur on Page 5

CHAMPIONNEWS

local

Play on, Clarkston

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, June 17, 2016 • Page 2

Clarkston amends city ordinance for coin-operated amusement
machines following March Supreme Court decision
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com

A

coin is inserted and a button
is pushed.
Pixelated lights flash on a
screen while accompanying sound
plays. Pictures resembling playing
cards or a slot machine move about
the screen, flashing and radiating
with color, a process that lasts for
approximately three minutes.
A coin is inserted and a button
is pushed again, and again, and
again…
These are coin-operated
amusement machines (COAMs),
and they’ve become something of a
nuisance for Clarkston government.
On June 7, Clarkston’s city
council amended an ordinance
prohibiting COAMs in stores where
alcohol is served by the package.
The amendment removed the
prohibition from the ordinance
following a Georgia Supreme Court
ruling in March.
The ruling preempted
Clarkston’s ordinance on the
grounds that “[Georgia] statutes
generally “have” control over local
ordinances on the same subject,”
citing 35 pages in the Georgia State
Code already dealing with COAMs.
The ordinance still prohibits
“slot machines or mechanical music
boxes or pinball machines or any
form of electronic or mechanical
game machine or coin-operated
device which might be used for
entertainment or amusement
purposes,” in beer, wine and liquor
retail outlets but does not apply to
machines defined as “Class A,” or
“Class B” by the Code of Georgia.
According to the Georgia Code,
a “Class A” machine is defined
as one that only rewards players
with more playing time or noncash
merchandise. A “Class B” machine
is defined similarly but allows
players to carry over points from
previous plays.
“I drew [the ordinance] up so
that it would only allow ‘Class A’
and ‘Class B’ machines,” said city
attorney Stephen Quinn. “Those
are the video poker-type games we
have often discussed here. Within
state law, they give a definition for
COAMs, including everything like
jukeboxes, pool tables, etc. The
Supreme Court case was only
about COAMs dealing with quasigambling games.”
Quinn said because the
Supreme Court has never
addressed COAMs’ broad
definition, he wrote the ordinance
to only allow poker-type games, as

that’s what the Supreme Court case
ruling called for.
“An easier way to say it would
be the ordinance allows ‘Class A’
and ‘Class B’ COAM machines,”
Quinn said.
Clarkston City Manager Keith
Barker said past city businesses
housing COAMs were guilty of
abuses including cash payoffs and
money-related suicides, a claim
backed by refugee resettlement
agencies. Quinn characterized such
businesses as “unlicensed bars
and lounges” that caused strain on
law enforcement, while councilman
Dean Moore said such places were
essentially loansharking to losing
players.
Barker also said the ordinance
was responsible for those
businesses moving on and staving
further violations.
“This case has served to bring
attention to a very important issue
in our community and in other
communities across Georgia,”
Barker said in March. “The
remaining businesses that operate
COAMs know and understand
that this is a point of emphasis for
the administration and that only
strict adherence to the law will be
acceptable.”
Clarkston officials estimate
approximately 60 COAM machines
exist in 10 area businesses.
Moore said the council initially

File photo

heard complaints from the public
involving alcohol consumption at
places housing COAMs where
no alcohol license was present.
Moore speculated creating harsher
penalties for such a violation may
prevent further complaints.
“I’m looking for some way
to increase the punishment to
discourage retail owners from
allowing consumption on his or her
premises,” Moore said.
Councilwoman Beverly Burks
and Vice Mayor Robert Hogan
called for a holistic approach in
dealing with retail owners violating
any alcohol ordinance within city
limits, while councilman Mario
Williams said the city should

consider regulating alcohol
“differently” by developing a plan
requiring alcohol businesses to be a
certain distance from one another.
A vote was called on for
the amended ordinance, where
councilman Awet Eyasu cast a nay
vote while Williams reluctantly went
from abstaining to affirmative. Burks
called the amendment a “cocktail
for distaster,” but eventually cast an
affirmative vote to comply with the
Supreme Court.
“This is basically the crackcocaine of electronic machines,”
Burks said. “We have to abide by
the rules and those are the tough
decisions we have to make.”

Notice of Property Tax Increase
The City of Stone Mountain has tentatively adopted a millage
rate which will require an increase in property taxes by 8.84
percent. All concerned citizens are invited to public hearings
on this tax increase to be held at City Hall, 875 Main Street,
Stone Mountain, GA 30083 on Monday, June 27, 2016 at
11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Times and places of additional public hearings on this tax
increase are at City Hall, 875 Main Street, Stone Mountain,
GA 30083 on Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.
The tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 22.270
mills, an increase of 1.809 mills. Without this tentative tax
increase, the millage rate will be no more than 20.461 mils.
The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value
of $50,000 is approximately $36.18 and the proposed tax
increase for non-homestead property with a fair market value
of $150,000 is approximately $108.54.

local

aRoUNDDEKALB

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, June 17, 2016 • Page 3

coUNTYWIDE

cHaMBlEE

The E-SPLOST Advisory Committee will meet publicly on June 23
to address how to better use state funds to address capital problems in
the DeKalb County School District.
Since June 2012, the 12-member committee has volunteered time
and experience in areas such as accounting, architecture, auditing,
construction, engineering, finance, education, law, planning, project
management and real estate. The combined effort is to influence how
the DeKalb County School District is spending funds garnered by the
education-specific special local option sales tax (E-SPLOST), which
brings hundreds of millions for capital projects to DeKalb County.
The Advisory Committee will meet at 1780 Montreal Road in Tucker
from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on June 23. For more information, visit http://www.
dekalb.k12.ga.us/splost-iv/advisory-committee. Briarcliff Community
Sports to host reunion

Chamblee’s city council and the Chamblee Downtown
Development Authority (CDDA) have teamed up for the purpose of
purchasing property in downtown Chamblee.
On May 17 and May 24 respectively, Chamblee’s city council and
the CDDA agreed on a intergovernmental agreement for the purpose of
purchasing property located at 5442 Peachtree Road.
Attractions near the downtown property include the Ice House
Chamblee, the Frosty Caboose, Chamblee City Hall and new luxury
housing.
The city council appropriated of $32,900 and $12,000 for debt
payments and due diligence expenses prior to closing on the property.
The funds will be appropriated from Chamblee’s homestead option
sales tax (HOST) funds.
According to the agreement, the purchase price of the property
is $1,899,000. Monthly mortgage payments are likely to be between
$5,500 and $6,000.
Under Georgia Law, a city council is allowed to “support the DDA
financially for up to 3 mills per year (approximately $3 million)” and
currently covers $60,000 on another property. However, due to that
property’s positive cash flow, no Chamblee funds have been used to
cover its monthly payments.

Advisory committee to discuss E-SPLOST

aTlaNTa

Briarcliff Community Sports to host reunion
Former players and coaches of Briarcliff Community Sports will
gather June 18 for the fifth annual Briarcliff Community Sports Reunion
at Mason Park. All former Briarcliff Community Sports participants in
baseball, football, softball and cheerleading can attend and catch up
with old friends to talk about old times. For more information, call Chris
Chilton at (404) 886-3418

City enters agreement with development authority

DUNWooDY

aVoNDalE ESTaTES

Avondale Estates Men’s Club to hold meeting
Debra Brady, auditor for the state of Georgia, will speak at the
Avondale Estates Men’s Club meeting June 29 at noon. The meeting
will be held at American Legion Post 66, located at 30 Covington Hwy.
All men are invited to join the club for the meeting, lunch follows the
speaker’s presentation. For more information, call (404) 284-1142.

BRooKHaVEN
Nature center to host backyard campout
Those looking for an excuse to hit the great outdoors and camp
under the stars may want to be at Dunwoody Nature Center on June 18
and 19.
For $20 (members) and $25 (non-members), participants will
receive a campsite as well as education on camping. Usual camp fare
such as campfires, s’mores, games, a night hike and songs will also
take place at the overnight event.
Wondering how to set up a tent? What about breaking it down?
Do you know the proper procedure for putting out a fire? Nature
center officials will be available at the family focused event to answer
questions.
For more information, visit www.dunwoodynature.org. For
information about renting camping equipment, call Nature Center
partner REI Perimeter at (770) 901-9200 and ask for Becky.
Photo by Travis Hudgons

City to hold Touch a Truck event
Brookhaven police and fire departments will be on hand to provide
a day of free fun and learning for the families at the Touch a Truck
event on June 25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Blackburn Park. Kids will
be able to hop up in a fire truck, get behind the wheel of some heavy
maintenance equipment, check out various police vehicles and get
some safety tips. Blackburn Park is located at 3493 Ashford Dunwoody
Road. For more information, visit www.brookhavenga.gov.

SToNE MoUNTaIN
City to host music event

Jason Kenney Trio will perform June 24 at Stone Mountain’s Tunes
By The Tracks event in the Municipal Parking Lot, next to the Gazebo.
Attendees can bring their lawn chairs. The two-hour concert begins at 7
p.m. For more information, visit www.stonemountaincity.org.

local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, June 17, 2016 • Page 4

Here’s
your sign
Doraville alters sign ordinance
despite public outcry
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com
An incoming film studio
was granted permission for
four 370-square-foot signs following a contested public hearing at Doraville’s June 6 city
council meeting.
Council approved amending Doraville’s sign ordinance
for a district housing Third
Rail Studios, the first tenant
of the former General Motors
plant now known as Assembly.
The Assembly site exists in
Doraville’s only special (SD-1)
district, encompassing approximately 165 acres, and the
code was amended to accommodate such districts in the
city.
Before the amendment,
the ordinance required businesses within the district to not
have signage covering more
than 10 percent of outside
wall space or 250 square feet.
The percentage was raised to
32 percent for buildings with
100,000 square feet and one
tenant.
The amended ordinance
states signage cannot be
higher than 55 feet. Third Rail’s
architectural renderings show
signage may reach of 54 feet
and cover 370 square feet of
wall space.
According to the ordinance
and agenda memorandum, the
amendment was made to “address unique signage needs
for the mixed-use development
that will include a mixture of
multi-family residential, commercial, office, television and
film studios, and institutional
uses.”
In addition, the documents
state “the scale, mass, and
creative adaptive reuse of historic buildings as well as new
buildings to be constructed,
create a unique opportunity for
redevelopment and repositioning of the former General Motors Plant so that its redevelopment will be successful as an
economic venture and be an
asset to Downtown Doraville
and the surrounding neighborhoods, and city as a whole.”
City officials state another purpose in passing the
amended ordinance is to set a
standard for signage for future
businesses at the site.
Before the hearing be-

gan, members of the public
addressed the council urging
them to reconsider.
“To have signs over there
to accommodate one business
and say ‘Hey, let’s change the
ordinance,’ I don’t think is a
good thing,” said Ben Crawford of the Oakcliff Estates
subdivision. “It means everyone can come in and do the
same thing.”
Former Doraville councilman Tom Hart voiced potential
expansion concerns to council,
stating the 20-acre site could
set precedents for the rest of
the city.
“Twenty-two acres becomes 165 acres and the history of this city will tell us what
will happen in the future,” Hart
said. “It’s going to spread to
250 acres with 55 foot signs.
Doraville can’t control itself
when it starts a zoning or-

dinance. It’s how we ended
up with 10-story buildings in
[commercial districts] behind
people’s houses.”
Hart went on to say the city
has redefined what a sign is
based on Third Rail’s proposed
signage which covers the
building’s entire wall.
Eric Pinckney with The
Integral Group, who’s developing the Assembly site, said
Third Rail Studios is setting the
standard for the site’s development. He spoke in favor of the
ordinance, stating it would not
require future amendments to
be made each time a business
signs on to the site.
Steve Mensch with Third
Rail Studios said the company
hopes its building will resemble
iconic Hollywood studios such
as Warner Brothers, Universal
and Paramount. He said not
passing the ordinance would

push the studio back four
months in construction, as the
signage must be attached before the roof is completed, thus
forcing them to delay occupancy and miss the “Hollywood
cycle.”
“It fits in with the model
and style of Hollywood,”
Mensch said. “When people
come in from Hollywood, it’ll
feel like home.”
Councilwoman Dawn
O’Connor said there was general agreement the Third Rail
Studio sign design was “very
tasteful” but relayed constituents’ concerns about future
business signage in the district.
City attorney Cecil
McLendon and community
development director Enrique
Bascunana said the ordinance
is worded and constructed to
allow the city to dictate signage
form, not content.

“We cannot tell [businesses] what signs should look like,
but we can define something
that would say this is the type
of property that should be able
to have distinctive signage,”
McLendon said. “A huge sign
with a single occupant is going
to define that area. Another
property like that should have
similar characteristics.”
Planning commission
representative Thom Abbott
spoke in favor of the ordinance, stating the ordinance’s
language protects the area by
limiting large signage to big
investors occupying buildings
of at least 100,000 square feet
and being the sole tenant.
The ordinance was
amended with a vote of 4 to
1, with councilwoman Sharon
Spangler voting no and councilwoman Shannon Hillard
absent.

CURRENT PROPOSED 2016 TAX DIGEST AND 5 YEAR HISTORY OF LEVY
AND NOTICE TO SET MILLAGE RATE
All concerned citizens are invited to the Public Hearings on this tax increase to be held June 29 at 3:00pm, City Hall
Council Rm, 3921 Church Street, Clarkston, GA 30021.A second Public Hearing will be held on July 5 at 10:00AM at the
City Hall Annex Conference Rm, 1055 Rowland Street, Clarkston, GA 30021.
A final Public Hearing will be held on July 5 at 7:30PM at the City Hall Council Rm, 3921 Church Street, Clarkston, GA
30021. The City Council will adopt the 2016 Millage rate at the July 5, 2016 meeting following the conclusion of the
Public Hearing
This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 17.110 mils, an increase of 3.892 mills. Without this tentative tax
increase, the millage rate will be no more than 13.218. The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of
$ 100,000 is approximately $ 155.68. The proposed increase on non-homestead property with a fair market value of $
375,000 is approximately $ 583.80.
City Tax

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Real & Personal

72,710,992

64,816,123

58,592,799

64,881,851

107,610,419

146,214,537

Motor Vehicles

5,088,980

5,462,080

6,244,650

5,266,300

3,300,880

2,257,250

Mobile Homes

0

0

0

0

0

0

Timber - 100%

0

0

0

0

0

0

Heavy Duty Equipment
Gross Digest

0

0

0

0

0

0

77,799,972

70,278,203

64,837,449

70,148,151

110,911,299

148,471,787

Less M & O Exemptions

1,595,543

1,618,667

1,683,228

1,798,483

1,945,711

1,991,501

Net M & O Digest

76,204,429

68,659,536

63,154,221

68,349,668

108,965,588

146,480,286

Gross M & O Millage

11.313

14.000

17.950

17.950

17.110

17.110

Less Rollbacks

2.687

3.950

0.000

3.200

0.000

0.000

Net M & O Millage

14.000

17.950

17.950

21.150

17.110

17.110

$1,066,862

$1,232,439

$1,133,618

$1,445,595

$1,864,401

$2,506,278

Net Taxes $ Increase

$35,851

$165,577

-$98,820

$311,977

$418,806

$641,876

Net Taxes % Increase

3.48%

15.52%

-8.02%

27.52%

28.97%

34.43%

Total County Taxes Levied

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, June 17, 2016

local

Page 5

Children, ranging from grades Pre K to 11th, enjoy activities at Hillcrest Church of Christ’s vacation bible school.

Summer bible school big hit at Hillcrest
by Horace Holloman
Horace@dekalbchamp.com
Elizabeth Spencer is a
typical teenager. She spends
time on the computer, likes to
reblog on the internet and has
even decided to play basketball
this summer.
Nonetheless, how Spencer,
17, spends some of her summer
is more academic and spiritual.
While some of Spencer’s
classmates may head to the
beach or to their favorite
vacation spots for part of the
summer, Spencer, along with
122 other young adults and
children will spend time at
Hillcrest Church of Christ (HCC).
From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for
one week in June, HCC holds a
vacation Bible school to teach
young adults and children about
Jesus in a fun, classroom-like
environment.  
Spencer, who has attended
vacation Bible school at HCC
since pre-k, said she loves
coming back every year.

“I really enjoy it. I like how
they incorporate everyday life
with the Bible,” Spencer said.
“It just makes it engaging for
everybody.”
Summer Bible school has
been held at HCC for nearly two
decades, said Deacon Michael
Baker.
During the first few years,
HCC had just 60 children sign
up. Now, that number has more
than doubled.
“When we started, we only
had one building here and it
was only for half a day,” Baker
said. “We had 123 register this
year. It’s fun and it’s rewarding.
We want to be involved in the
community.”
Initially, the vacation Bible
school only registered children at
the preschool level. Now grades
range from pre-k to 11th grade.
Bible school participants
generally start the day with
devotional reading, followed
by individual classes such as
science labs, drama or dance
class. The school also offers a

recess period and lunch.
“The kids keep me going. As
you get older, being around so
many kids keeps you young,”
Baker said, smiling. “Kids come
up and hug you and tell you ‘I
had a great time.’ Like I said, it
has its rewards. It’s tiring, but
rewarding.”
HCC’s vacation Bible school
has become somewhat of a
family affair for some over the
years. Co-youth director at HCC,
Tammy Anderson, along with
her husband and five children,
has been a part of the school for
years.
Anderson said her eldest
son, Gerald Anderson II, will
be entering his last year at the
school.
HCC offers a “line of defense”
class for their teen participants.
The class teaches young adults
how to defend themselves
against everyday struggles they
may be going through.
Anderson said the growth of
her children and other teens at
the school is amazing to watch.

“It’s incredible. We grew up
being a family that’s involved in
the church. As a parent, to see
them wanting to be involved in
the right thing and to praise God,
it’s beautiful,” Anderson said.
“The teens that we have here
are amazing. It’s one of those
things that you have to see. You
can’t really put it into words.”
HCC has more than 100
volunteers of various ages. The
school has grown throughout the
years, but Baker foresees more
expansion in the future.
The school’s deacon said he
hopes to see the school grow
into a full summer camp, lasting
eight weeks. Within the next
two years, he foresees it being
realized.
“If I wasn’t here, I don’t know
what else I’d be doing for the
summer. I love it,” Spencer said.
“They make the Bible easier to
understand.”

Decatur Continued From Page 1A
recession, created the high demand for
condos and apartments today.
“Normally, we would have had a
building going up about every two
years. There was a lot of pent-up
demand once the recession ended, so
we’re seeing a bubble now. The market
will take care of it and it will flatten out
again and we’ll go through another
development cycle. That’s just the way
it seems to work,” Menne said.
The new residential infrastructures
could also give taxpayers in Decatur
a break. Currently, 85 percent of
tax digest for the city comes from
residential, with 15 percent from
commercial property, Lee said.
Although the downtown multi-family

units, condos and apartments are for
residential use, the properties will go
toward the commercial side of the tax
digest.
“The numbers are really out of
whack. Ideally you’d want it at 5050. The burden right now is on the
residential and people feel that,” Lee
said. “A multi-family housing unit
gives a lot more back taxwise to the
community than a single-family home
that gets built up. That’s a big push.
In order for Decatur to be sustainable,
it needs to have a better balance of
the tax digest. We need to continue to
grow our revenue and one major way of
doing that is to continue to build up the
commercial district.”

Photo by Horace Holloman

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, June 17, 2016

opinion

Page 6

See something, say something applies to all
It’s a dilemma we all
face—when to speak
up, interject ourselves in
the affairs of strangers,
when to step outside of
our personal lives into
the lives of those we
don’t know to deliver a
caution, offer advice or
attempt to de-escalate a
situation.
A few unrelated
incidents in the last week
have prompted me to
address this subject.
1. In a recent news report, three women
talked about witnessing a man dropping
something in his date’s
drink at a restaurant.
They alerted her, police were called and
the man was arrested
2. At a local park, pass-

a closer eye on their
children.

Gale Horton Gay
gale@dekalbchamp.com

Lifestyle Editor

ersby tell four rambunctious boys to stay
away from the moving
wheel of a grist mill
but they ignore the
warnings. One man,
my husband, advises
the parents that the
children are playing in
a potentially dangerous area and the parents move in to keep

Both of these cases
had positive outcomes.
The individuals at the
center of each incident
were not harmed, and
those who interceded
weren’t cussed out,
assaulted or disbelieved.
Daily situations arise
in which we witness
things happening or
have the potential of
happening that could
have dire effects. Do
we say something? Are
we reading the situation
right? Will our buttingin be appreciated?
Should we mind our own
business? Do we know
what we’re talking about?
It’s almost always
a tough call. However,

despite the worries,
misgivings and
uncertainty, it’s worth
taking a chance to
prevent an awful
outcome.
There’s been a
tremendous amount
of vitriol over the May
shooting and killing of a
gorilla at the Cincinnati
Zoo after a 4-year-old fell
into the gorilla enclosure
and the animal grabbed
the child, dragged him
around and tousled him
about. Some critics have
blasted the mom for
being irresponsible, for
not keeping watch more
intensely over the boy.
I wonder if there
were others nearby who
observed what the boy
was doing before he fell
who could have warned

the mother, admonished
the child to stay away
or even snatched
him before he was in
harm’s way. I wonder
if there are folks now
thinking “I should have
said something, done
something.”
It’s easy to place
blame but as any parent
knows it’s impossible to
keep one’s eyes on a
child every second.
We live in perilous
times that can be a little
less perilous if we look
out for one another
and speak up and buttin when we perceive
that something awful
might happen. Saying
something when we see
something could make
all the difference.

opinion

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, June 17, 2016

Page 7

ONE MAN’S OPINION

Terrorism, guns and hate in the happiest place on Earth
“The end.” Twin Tweets
on the Twitter feed of 27year old Kevin James
Loibl, accused murderer of
singer Christina Gimme,
22, in Orlando, Fla. on the
evening of June 10. Loibl
posted the cryptic message
on his Twitter feed, and an
identical post appeared on
Gimme’s feed, though it has
since been removed.
We are yet a week from
summer, and the sounds
of illogical and heavy
gunfire still echo from
Orlando, often referred to
as the “World’s Happiest
Place.” On the evening
of June 10, 27-year old
Loibl traveled from St.
Petersburg to Orlando, and
according to authorities,
for the expressed purpose
of ending the life of rising
pop singer Christina
Gimme of The Voice,
though the two had never
met.
Gimme was signing
autographs for fans not
long after completing her
concert at Orlando Live; a
performing concert venue
which does not allow
concealed weapons. Loibl
approached Gimme and
several fans with his
weapons concealed and
opened fire. Loibl was
armed with two loaded
handguns, extra magazines
and a large hunting
knife. The talented singer
died soon after. Loibl is in
custody.
In the wee hours
of June 12 that same
weekend, 29-year old Omar
Matteen, entered an
Orlando nightclub, The
Pulse, well-known to
Orlando’s gay community,
and opened fire wounding
and killing dozens before
holding dozens more

Bill Crane
bill.csicrane@gmail.com

Columnist
hostage in restrooms.
Hate crime or terrorist
attack; the pain, grieving
and loss of sense of safety
and peace of mind for many
involved in both tragedies,
as well the families of the
survivors and victims will be
real and lasting.
There have been 20
reported mass shootings
during the Obama
administration. Most were
perpetrated by young White
males, most also loners,
isolated, socially alienated
or all but purged from
normal society. Though
occasionally employed,
most are introverts who kept
to themselves.
Many of these murderers
would later offer or confess
to being ‘numb to the
world’—in some measure
because of a heavy regimen
of prescription medications
they were on that helped
keep them that way. Most
obtained their weapons and
firearms legally, or from
a family member in legal
possession.
ISIS members and
their kind across the
world ostensibly hate all
Americans as well as
many of their fellow Arabic
neighbors and Israel.
Though their faith may cast
additional aspersions on

infidelity, homosexuality
or even a woman walking
in public without wearing
approved headgear, the
action of murder and the
resulting loss is the same.
This nation long ago
made a choice, to move
away from institutionalizing
the mentally ill. Georgia
has just over a handful of
remaining patients on the
grounds of Central State
Hospital in Milledgeville,
which once housed more
than 15,000.
The bulk of our severely
mentally ill now reside in
our jails, some in prison and
thousands more live on the
streets. And the next largest
group exist on the periphery
of our society, fed in part by
the voyeurism of the world
somewhat encouraged by
the Internet. Layer on top
of that video gaming and
other amusements that
glorify and take the pain out
of violence and killing and
you have a toxic brew being

FREEPreSS
the DeKalb

let Us Know What You Think!
SEnD lETTERS To EDiToR,
The DeKalb Free Press,
P. O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30031-1347;
Send email to Johnh@dekalbchamp.com
FAX To: (404) 370-3903; Phone: (404) 373-7779.
Deadline for news releases and advertising:
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from its readers. Please write to us and express your
views. Letters should be brief, typewritten and contain
the writer’s name, address and telephone number for
verification. All letters will be considered for publication.

EDiToR’S noTE: The opinions written by columnists and contributing editors do not necessarily reflect the opinions
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Publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts.

spoon-fed each day and
night to thousands we may
already suspect just aren’t
quite right. Just ignoring
a problem does not make
it go away—it typically
becomes worse.
As we note that in
almost all of these tragic
shootings, the killers were
young White men, within a
decade of each other’s age,
with checkered histories
and multiple recollections
of isolation and similar
troubled youths; we need
to be focusing on the
right problems, and not
simply lobbing the usual
and politically popular
bullet points out into the
respective crowds who
appreciate them.
Taking away semiautomatic weapons from
every American overnight
will not prevent another
attack. Our 9/11 attackers
carried only stainless steel
box-cutters. Ending hatred
of America, or of people for

Publisher:
John Hewitt

Photographer:
Travis Hudgons

Chief Financial Officer:
Dr. Earl D. Glenn

Staff Reporters:
carla parker
R. Scott Belzer
Horace Holloman

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

their faith, ethnicity, race or
sexual preference is also
impossible to implement
by law, but we can identify
ways to identify those
troubled and struggling and
to enact early intervention
strategies to focus those
energies in more productive
directions. We can if we
want to—or we can just
complain, cancel travel
plans for a few weeks,
blame ISIS, guns or
ignorance—and wait for the
next shooting.
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.

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.

local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, June 17, 2016 • Page 8

Notice of Property Tax Increase

Decatur supports
Doraville TAD
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com

Doraville can now count
Decatur’s city commission
among its allies in the
creation of a tax allocation
district (TAD).
On June 6, Decatur
passed a resolution
supporting the creation of a
TAD at the former General
Motors assembly plant, now
known as the Assembly.
According to Decatur
Mayor Patti Garrett, the
city commission was asked
to consider the resolution
as part of its membership
in DeKalb Municipal
Association.
“[The association] has
reached out to all cities in
DeKalb County and asked
for support of the TAD and
urging the school district’s
favorable consideration,”
Garrett said.
In addition, Garrett said
that Doraville Mayor Donna
Pittman, via the DeKalb
Municipal Association,
asked cities throughout
DeKalb County “to consider
passing a resolution in
support of the TAD for the
old GM site now known as
Assembly.”
Garrett also said the
overarching reason for
supporting the TAD is “the
potential benefit to the entire
county,” and referred to
the resolution itself, which
states “establishing a [TAD
is] central to numerous
Doraville studies for the
former General Motors
Site and in the DeKalb
County Strategic Economic
Development Plan,” and

“the city of Decatur supports
Doraville’s due diligence and
planning efforts and finds
that a [TAD], with DeKalb
County School District
participation, is in the best
interest of the region.”
No discussion took
place among Garrett and
Commissioners Fred
Boykin, Scott Drake, Brian
Smith, and Tony Powers,
the latter of which made the
motion to support Doraville’s
proposition. A copy of the
resolution was distributed to
each member before the city
commissioner meeting.
Commissioners did not
voice their own opinions
on the resolution, instead
deferring to Garrett.
The request for TAD
designation has poised
DeKalb County School
District (DCSD) against
Doraville’s city council,
DeKalb County board
of commissioners and
DeKalb County Chamber
of Commerce due to the
school district’s reluctance to
support the TAD’s creation.
A TAD would freeze
the former General Motors
plant’s tax revenue for the
three governments for 25
years and facilitate the
revenue’s growth directly
into the development.
For the TAD to be
official, DCSD must support
the measure with Doraville’s
city council and DeKalb
County. School board
officials have stated a TAD
designation would filter tax
revenue away from learning
while supporters say the
TAD would fast-track county
growth.

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.
NOTICE OF MEETING OF THE ATLANTA CITY COUNCIL TO ADOPT
ATLANTA’S FISCAL YEAR 2017 BUDGET
Notice is hereby given that the Atlanta City Council will meet on Monday, June 20,
2016 to consider and adopt the City of Atlanta’s fiscal year 2017 budget (16-O-1147).
The meeting will be held at the Atlanta City Hall Complex, 55 Trinity Avenue, Atlanta,
Georgia in the City Council Chambers located on the second floor beginning at 1:00
p.m. All concerned citizens are invited to attend. A copy of the proposed budget
legislation (16-O-1147) is on file in the Office of the Municipal Clerk, Suite 2700, City
Hall 55 Trinity Avenue, S.W. Atlanta, Ga. 30303 for public inspection. This document is
also available online for public inspection at http://www.atlantaga.gov (the file can be
found under the Department Finance: Office of Budget & Fiscal Policy documents).

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 additional
public hearings on this tax increase to be held at City
Hall, 6920 Main Street on Tuesday, July 5, 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

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, June 17, 2016 • Page 9

No time, no excuse to not vote
Clarkston
considers
making election
day official city
holiday
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com
Scheduling time before and
after work to vote are worries
Clarkston city employees and
resident voters may not have in
the near future.
Clarkston’s city council is
considering a resolution making
election days city wide holidays.
Sponsored by councilmen Awet
Eyasu and Mario Williams, the
resolution would allow all nonpublic safety employees and
participating business owners
within city limits a full or half day
off on each Presidential and
Gubernatorial General Election
Day.
Williams said the resolution
would increase the likelihood
of voter turnout in Clarkston
by creating more voting
opportunities.
“Everyone has a desire to
increase the opportunity for
people to vote,” Williams said.
“We’re dealing with a situation
where early voting days are
being significantly reduced, not
only in this state but across the
country. We’re dealing with a

situation where obstacles are
being placed in front of people to
make it difficult to vote.”
According to the resolution,
“failure to provide ample time
for democratic participation
on election day effectively
precludes those who are
constrained by work or school.”
The document also states
election days hamper those in
lower-income communities due
to a reluctance to take time off
work.
The resolution cites a U.S.
Census Survey in 2014 where
28 percent of those registered
but did not vote said they
were “too busy” to vote. The
resolution also lists a similar
2014 Pew Research study that
found younger, racially diverse,
less educated and financially
unable populations make up the
Mayor Ted Terry spoke on a recent proposition to make election day a citywide holiday in
majority of nonvoters.
Clarkston. Photos by R. Scott Belzer
Councilwoman Beverly
Burks said registering and
educating Clarkston residents
about the voting process would
be the first step in increasing
voter turnout.
“When you look at Clarkston,
we have 1,391 people who are
unregistered in our city alone,”
she said. “Before you even get
to the point of talking about
voting on Election Day, you have
to get people registered to vote.”
Burks said early voting
should be a high priority as it
could potentially force politicians
to get their messages out sooner

See Clarkston on Page 13A

PUBLIC NOTICE
MAGNET RECOGNITION PROGRAM® —
SITE VISIT
•Emory University Orthopedics and Spine HospitalEUOSH has applied to the American Nurses
Credentialing Center (ANCC) for the prestigious
designation of Magnet. Magnet designation
recognizes excellence in nursing services.
•Patients, family members, staff, and interested
parties who would like to provide comments are
encouraged to do so. Anyone may send comments
via e-mail, and direct mail. All comments received by
phone must be followed up in writing to the Magnet
Program Office.
NOTE: All comments are CONFIDENTIAL
and are not shared with the health care
organization. Comments may be anonymous,
but they must be sent in writing to the Magnet
Program Office.
•Your comments must be received by July 17, 2016.
Address: AMERICAN NURSES CREDENTIALING
CENTER (ANCC)
MAGNET RECOGNITION PROGRAM OFFICE
8515 Georgia Ave., Suite 400
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3492
E-Mail: magnet@ana.org
Phone: 866-588-3301 (toll free)
All comments received by phone must be followed up
in writing to the Magnet Program Office.

Clarkston councilmen Awet Eyasu, left, and Mario Williams, middle, are developing a
resolution deeming election day as a citywide holiday.

Notice of Public Hearing for Clarkston Millage Rate

Notice is hereby given that the Governing Authority of the City of
Clarkston has tentatively adopted a 2016 millage rate which will
require an increase in the property taxes of 29.44 percent.
All concerned citizens are invited to the Public Hearings on this tax
increase to be held June 29 at 3:00pm, City Hall Council Rm, 3921
Church Street, Clarkston, GA 30021.
A second Public Hearing will be held on July 5 at 10:00AM at the
City Hall Annex Conference Rm, 1055 Rowland Street, Clarkston,
GA 30021.
A final Public Hearing will be held on July 5 at 7:00PM at the City
Hall Council Rm, 3921 Church Street, Clarkston, GA 30021. The
City Council will adopt the 2016 Millage rate at the July 5, 2016
meeting following the conclusion of the Public Hearing.
This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 17.110 mils,
an increase of 3.892 mills. Without this tentative tax increase,
the millage rate will be no more than 13.218. The proposed
tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $100,000 is
approximately $155.68. The proposed increase on non-homestead
property with a fair market value of $375,000 is approximately
$583.80.

local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, June 17, 2016 • Page 10

Senior center
celebrates
10 years
by Horace Holloman
horace@dekalbchamp.com
There’s no doubt Lou
Walker Senior Center
(LWSC) is full of active
seniors, as hundreds above
the age of 54 dancing and
enjoying the center’s 10
year anniversary.
In honor of a decade of
service to the community,
LWSC held a week-long
celebration ending June 11.
LWSC, which opened
January 2006, serves close
to 600 members daily.
DeKalb Interim CEO
Lee May said “This
has been a great place
for seniors. This is a
time of celebration and
acknowledgment. Hundreds
of seniors have taken
advantage of the center
and programs.”
Festivities began
Friday, June 3, as
guests participated in an
anniversary parade.
LWSC also unveiled
portraits of its 10-year
trailblazers. The trailblazers
include 33 LWSC members.
Many of the trailblazer
recipients started programs
and clubs at the center.
The week of celebration
culminated in a red carpet
reception, silent auction
benefiting the center
and a Broadway-style
production acknowledging
the contributions of founder
Lou Walker.
“It’s really rewarding,
but I can’t take credit.
This center is named after
former commissioner
Lou Walker and from
everything I’ve heard, he’s

had one of the biggest
impacts,” May said. “What
I pride myself in doing is
continuing our commitment
and investment (in senior
centers) and to make
sure we have adequate
programing.”
Walker served as
District 7 commissioner in
DeKalb County.
He was also an actor
appearing in more than
65 feature films including,
“Fighting Temptation,” and
“Remember the Titans.”
LWSC is a $10 million,
40,000 square-foot facility
located at 2538 Panola
Road, Lithonia.
Bettye Davis, director
of LWSC, said seniors were
a big part of the planning
process for the anniversary
celebration.
“We’re always busy
over here. It’s an exciting
time, especially for people
who have been here since
the beginning,” Davis said.
The impact Walker
had on the community
and seniors is undeniable,
Davis said.
Davis said she plans
on acknowledging more
influential members of
LWSC in September to
coincide with national
senior center month.
“It’s important for the
citizens of DeKalb County
to come by and see what
we’re doing. This is your tax
dollars at work. We have
so many active seniors.
You don’t see this across
the country,” Davis said.
“This is what Lou Walker
envisioned.”

Seniors march with DeKalb Interim CEO Lee May in Lou Walker Senior Center’s anniversary parade.

A wall of fame featuring LWSC trailblazers was unveiled. Photos provided

DEKALB COUNTY

Tuesdays

2016
Mobile Market Stops
CASH, CREDIT, AND SNAP/EBT CARDS ACCEPTED
9AM-11AM Exchange Recreation Center, 2771 Columbia Dr., Decatur
12PM-2PM South DeKalb YMCA, 2565 Snapfinger Rd., Decatur
5PM-7PM Mainstreet Community Assoc., 5001 Mainstreet Park Dr., Stone Mountain

Wednesdays 9AM-11AM Clifton Springs Health Center, 3110 Clifton Springs Rd., Decatur


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


5PM-7PM Tadda’s Fitness Center, 2615 Park Central Blvd., Decatur
Thursdays



9AM-11AM Spring Chase II Apartments, 4947 Memorial Dr., Stone Mountain
12PM-2PM Lou Walker Senior Center, 2538 Panola Rd., Lithonia
5PM-7PM New Life Community Ministries, 3592 Flat Shoals Rd., Decatur

Fridays



11AM-1PM DeKalb County Extension, 4380 Memorial Dr., Ste 200, Decatur
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
Call (404) 298-4080 for more information

local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, June 17, 2016 • Page 11

WEEKinPICTURES

Marvin Billups Jr., deputy director of DeKalb County Parks and Recreation, was
presented with an appreciation award from Netball America for his continuous
service and dedication to the development of netball in DeKalb County, the state
of Georgia and the Go-Girls-Go Program of DeKalb County. Presenting on behalf
of Netball America were Hyacinth Douglas, Sandra Atkinson-Graham and Jo Ann
Ramsey, members of Gem’s Netball Club and Crusaders Netball Club.

Emaya Lewis of Doraville took first place in the Dunwoody/Northeast Georgia Soap
Box Derby held June 4. Lewis represented the Doraville Police Department where
her mother, Bethany, is an employee. Lewis will compete in the World Championship Race in Akron, Ohio on July 16.

Senior Connections
‘Senior Prom’ raises
more than $100K
Atlanta-based non-profit Senior
Connections raised more than
$100 thousand from its annual
Senior Prom event held recently
at the Thalia N. Carlos Hellenic
Center in Atlanta. This year’s
guests of honor were Dr. Donald
and Mary Ellen Harp of Peachtree
Road United Methodist Church,
who received Senior Connections’
2016 Community Connections
award, recognizing them for their
contributions as community
leaders. The evening included
dinner and dancing with a live
band, a silent and live auction,
and entertainment from the
Beulah Boys. WSB television
reporter Audrey Washington
served as emcee. All proceeds
raised provided funding for Senior
Connections’ programs supporting
Atlanta’s senior community,
including Meals on Wheels. Shown
above are attendees enjoying a line
dance with members of the Beulah
Boys. Photo by Kristine Janovitz

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

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, June 17, 2016 • Page 12

Avondale Estates commission, community still divided on compensation
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Avondale Estates commissioners and residents are still voicing their opinions on whether the
mayor and commissioners should
be paid for their services.
The board of mayor and commissioners had its second reading
of the compensation ordinance at
the commissions meeting on May
25. According to the ordinance,
if it is approved by the board, the
mayor would receive $600 per
month—$7,200 annually—and the
commissioners would receive $400
per month—$4,800 annually.
Some commissioners support
the ordinance while others are
against it. Commissioner Randy
Beebe suggested amending the
ordinance.
“Maybe we ought to make
this a four-year out plan because
I do have a little issue with the
sitting commission voting itself a
raise,” Beebe said. “I’m not sure
that shouldn’t be done for future
representatives as opposed to the
representatives sitting there. I was
thinking that if I was out there looking at us I would think that I’m not
sure you should vote yourself a
raise even though it’s a hard job,
and we’ve gotten a lot of support
from you guys and we appreciate
that.”
Some residents agreed with
Beebe’s suggestion, including Joe
Anziano who has been a proponent of the ordinance.
“I think the only part that ever
bothered me about it was that you
sit and you vote for getting a salary,” Anziano said. “You’re voting
yourself a raise and I would rather
see the proposition be amended to
not begin until your current terms
are over. [That] doesn’t mean
that you can’t get paid after that
because some of you will run for
re-election for the next term. That’s
when the compensation should
begin.”
Resident Betty Jones said she
disagrees with the board asking for
a raise.
“I know you all work hard,”
Jones said. “I had a son who was
a commissioner and at that time
it was a lot of busy stuff going
on and y’all have a lot of stuff to
do, but I don’t see us paying you.
Maybe other [city councils] get
more money but they have more
people.”
One resident asked to have the
ordinance on a ballot for a public
vote. City Manager Clai Brown
said he will look into adding it to
the upcoming November election.
The board also will have a work
session to discuss the option of
adding it to the ballot.
Commissioner Adela Yelton
said the compensation would help

attract a diverse group of people to
run for commission and mayor.
“We do want to attract diverse
candidates,” Yelton said. “It’s nice
that folks that are retirees have the
time to be able to contribute, but for
families with young children there is
childcare cost. That’s something that
we need to consider for folks that—
for whatever reason—if that small
amount is keeping them from volunteering or becoming a candidate
for commissioner we want to attract
those folks too.”
If there is a third reading for the
ordinance, the board will then vote
on it.

Avondale Estates residents and commissioners are still voicing their opinions on
whether the mayor and commissioners should be compensated. Photo by Carla
Parker

Pain in the glass

Glass recycling to
be more costly for
Decatur residents
by Horace Holloman
horace@dekalbchamp.com

Decatur residents can
expect an increase in residential
collection fees thanks to the
ongoing issue related to the cost
of recycling glass.
According to assistant
City Manager David Junger,
the city will increase yearly
collection fees from $250 to
$275 to counterbalance the
cost associated with handling
glass and transporting it to a
“secondary processor.”
Currently, the city has a
contract with Latham Home
Sanitation (LHS) for residential
recycling services for the 20162017 fiscal year in the amount
of $140 per ton, according to a
memo sent by the city’s public
works office.
LHS provides collection of
paper, plastic and metal, but
requires a separate bin for glass.

Glass collected by the city
will be transported to Strategic
Materials, Inc. located in College
Park.
Increasing yearly residential
collection fees by $25 was
decided in a June 6 city
commission meeting.
Junger said a survey
showed many residents in
Decatur supported the need to
recycle glass, despite the yearly
monetary increase.
“Decatur has been
environmentally conscious for
a long time now. We as a city,
it doesn’t surprise me. So far,
they’re willing to pay the extra
$25,” Junger said.
In an open City Hall survey on
glass recycling, conducted April 7
through April 30, 2016, 90 percent
of those surveyed said they would
like the city to continue to recycle
glass despite paying an extra $25
a year.
“We’re working on rolling out
an education campaign that lets
people know they must separate
their glass. Residents providing
their own bin were also part of the
survey. Most people have their
own bin anyways,” Junder said.
Out of 348 residents
surveyed, 78 percent said they

would be willing to provide their
own recycling bin if it reduces
their annual solid waste fee.
Glass recycling bins can be
no larger than 18 gallons in size.
Currently, the city does not
provide a separate bin for glass.
Decatur resident Tom
Keating said he wouldn’t mind
separating his glass material, but
still remained skeptical.
“I’m going to talk with my
wife and my daughter tonight,
and we are going to use one of
our three containers for glass,”
Keating said. “But I do have my
reservations.”
Keating, founder and
coordinator of Project CLEANCitizens, Learners and Educators
Against Neglect, said recycling is
sometimes a complicated issue.
For more than two decades
Keating has also advocated
improving conditions of school
restrooms.
“It’s all recycling. Like so
many other processes, it can
get complicated. I liked the
way our system worked. I need
more time to know if this is an
example of a service that was
not thought through and could
have unintended consequences,”
Keating said.

local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, June 17, 2016 • Page 13

CLARKSTON Continued From Page 9A
and garner more education
about issues.
According to councilman
Dean Moore, Clarkston
recorded between 200 to
300 voters in the last local
election. He suggested
using unconventional
methods to increase voter
turnout in Clarkston.
“It was brought to our
attention that there are
cities that allow residents
of the city to vote even
though they may not be
citizens or 18 years of
age,” Moore said. “Tacoma
Park, Md., allows 16 yearolds and older to vote if
they’re a local resident and
have proper identification.
They also have felons who
have satisfied their debt
to society who are either
allowed to vote or apply to
vote.”
Moore said Tacoma
Park is also able to register
voters on election day.
Mayor Ted Terry
said the United States
ranks lower than most
industrialized nations in
voter turnout. He referenced
a Nepal-based news article
stating the Nepalese
population has been

granted three days for local
elections in the past.
Wording in Clarkston’s
resolution also addresses
this issue.
“Between 1980 and
2015, voter participation
in South Korea, Australia,
Turkey, Denmark, Belgium,
and Sweden was 80
percent or better, and
participation in Israel,
Germany and Greece
was 70 percent or better,”
reads the resolution. “Over
the same period, voter
participation in the United
States averaged just over
50 percent.”
Williams said the
resolution is being amended
for additions and wording
before being formally
presented for the public.
“Maybe this will come
in the form of election day
as a holiday, maybe it will
come in the form of a public
employer allowing a city
employee to leave without
penalty and come back,”
Williams said. “We’re not
sure in what form it will
pass, but we’re seriously
considering this type of
resolution.”

DEKALB COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
2nd and 3rd PUBLIC
MILLAGE RATE HEARINGS
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

TIME

11:30 a.m.

LOCATION

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

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

TIME

6:15 p.m.

LOCATION

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

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.

CITY OF DORAVILLE
NOTICE OF PROPERTY TAX INCREASE
The City of Doraville has tentatively adopted a millage rate
of 8.5 which will require an increase in property taxes by
3.14 percent. The proposed millage rate is the same as the
prior year millage rate of 8.5 mills.
All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on
this tax increase to be held at the Doraville City Hall located
at 3725 Park Avenue, Doraville, GA 30340 on June 20, 2016
at 6:30pm.
Times and places of additional public hearings on this tax
increase are at the Doraville City Hall on June 30, 2016 at
11:00am and on June 30, 2016 at 6:00pm.
This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 8.50
mills, an increase of 3.14 percent over the rollback rate.
Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be
no more than 8.241 mills. The proposed tax increase for a
home with a fair market value of $150,000 is approximately
$9.65 and the tax increase for a non-homestead property
with a fair market value of $600,000 is approximately
$62.16.
NOTICE OF FIVE YEAR HISTORY
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. All
citizens of Doraville are invited to attend.

CURRENT 2016 TAX DIGEST AND FIVE YEAR LEVY
Real & Personal

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

361,679,814

395,990,311

416,515,498

582,014,025

586,820,583

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.

Motor Vehicle

15,848,630

15,906,220

14,025,040

9,332,050

7,001,920

Mobile Homes

0

0

0

0

0

FOR INFORMATION, CALL THE OFFICE OF THE
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER AT 678-676-0069.

Timber 100%

0

0

0

0

0

4,530

4,530

0

0

2,222

377,532,974

411,901,061

430,540,538

591,346,075

593,824,725

35,478,708

35,478,708

37,551,588

64,281,530

62,253,978

342,054,266

376,422,353

392,988,950

527,064,545

531,570,747

9.00

9.00

8.75

8.50

8.50

3,078,488

3,387,801

3,438,653

4,480,049

4,518,351

144,285

309,313

50,852

1,041,395

38,303

4.92%

10.05%

1.50%

30.28%

0.85%

Heavy Duty Equipment
Gross Tax Digest

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.

Exemptions
Net Tax Digest
Net Millage
Net Tax Levy 100%
Net Increase/(Decrease)
Net Levy %
Increase/(Decrease)

All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this tax increase to be held at the Doraville City Hall
located at 3725 Park Avenue, Doraville, GA 30340 on June 20, 2016 at 6:30pm.
Times and places of additional public hearings on this tax increase are at the Doraville City Hall on June 30,
2016 at 11:00am and on June 30, 2016 at 6:00pm.

local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, June 17, 2016 • Page 14

Lithonia in the red
City experiencing
a shortfall in the
summer months
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Since 2014, each year
Lithonia has experienced
a shortfall in revenue in
the months of June and
September, which will result in
a deficit of $87,470 by the end
of September 2016.
City accountant Craig
Lymburner presented the
city’s cash flow comparison
during the June 6 city council
meeting. Lymburner, who
only had information dating
back to 2014, said the city’s
main source of income comes
in during September and
December.
“However, our expenses
are marched along every
month and therefore [in]
the months of June, July,
August and part of September
there is a lack of funds to
carry through for all of the
payments,” Lymburner said.
“In 2014, the city went out and
obtained a [tax anticipation
note] TAN note in March,
and I think the amount was
$150,000. Over that summer,
by the end of September we
were $79,133 short.”
The city was short
$8,775 in 2015 during the
same period due to the city
borrowing $20,000 from the
stormwater fund in June.
“Last year, in July, we
obtained a TAN loan of
$100,000 and it was just
enough to get us through,”
Lymburner said. “We were
still about $8,700 short when
the money started coming in
from the taxes in September.
This year for the projection I’m
working directly from what we
budgeted, what we expected
to come in for June, July and
August and we’re looking at a
short fall of $87,000.”
Lymburner said the city
will again need to consider at
a TAN of $100,000 to pay the
bills From June to September
of 2016.
“I know we [have] some
activity there in regards to
some real estate that’s on
the market,” he said. “From
my point of view I’m not a
borrower; that’s not my forte,
but I do realize that sometimes
you need to borrow to get
through.
“We had a shortfall
that will not be rectified
until September when we
start getting some property
taxes coming into the city,”

Lymburner added. “We still
have to pay the bills and [the]
majority of the bills—of our
outflow—is payroll. I don’t
think we’re going to ask
people to wait three months
for the payroll. The budget
is balanced, but we’re not
receiving those monies until
later on in the year.”
Mayor Deborah Jackson
said the slow cash flow during
the summer months has been
an issue every year.
“We don’t have a reserve
that’s set up to have money
available,” Jackson said. “In
the past, other than the TAN,
the city was using a line of
credit to basically cover—
from June to September—it’s
usually a slow period because
there is no new revenue
coming in other than the
court.”
Lymburner said all of
the cash comes in mostly
from Sept. 15 to the end of
February the following year.
“You have property taxes
at the end of September.
You have life insurance in
October; in November you get
the other half of your property
tax; in December it is public
utilities; and in February you
get the franchise tax from
Georgia Power,” Lymburner
said. “The budget only looks
at what we’ve allocated for
the whole year. I think in the
past what they’ve done is put
in one lump number at the
beginning of the year and as
it accumulates during the year
it tries to catch up to whatever
number your budget is or
exceeds it. What I’m trying to
do is match your revenue to
the time period that [money
is] received and that’s why we
have to look at some sort of
financing during this period of
time.”
Former Lithonia city
council member and state
representative Doreen Carter
(D-92) said the reason for the
cash shortfall is increased city
expenses.
“When we left the city
council we did not borrow
money because we cut our
expenses,” Carter said. “Over
the last few years, you have
this [city hall] building alone,
that is costing you $42,000
that was not in the budget
prior. So what is happening
is you’ve increased your
expenses over your revenue.
If you know you’re going to run
out of money in June then you
have to budget prior to that.”
The city council met June
10 to review the budget and
will create a finance committee
to observe the budget and
how the money is spent.

Free summer meals
at DeKalb schools

The Georgia Department of Education
and DeKalb County School District are
making an effort to ensure children in the
communities they serve do not go hungry
during summer break.
On June 1, DeKalb’s School Nutrition
Services began operating Seamless Summer,
in which local schools provide breakfast
and lunch free of charge to children 18 and
younger, Monday through Thursday, until June
30.
In Region 1, Cary Reynolds, Chamblee
Middle, Cross Keys High, Dunwoody
Elementary, Hightower Elementary, the
International Center, Montclair Elementary,
Pleasantdale Elementary, Sequoyah Middle
and Woodward Elementary schools are
providing meals. For more information
on serving times, contact the schools or
Jacqueline Bailey at (678) 984-1876.
In Region 2, Briar Vista Elementary,
Druid Hills High, Henderson Mill Elementary,
Idlewood Elementary, Livsey Elementary,
McLendon Elementary, Tucker High, Tucker
Middle, and Midvale Elementary are providing
meals. For more information, contact the
schools or Margo Allen at (678) 758-9110.
In Region 3, Clarkston High, EL Miller
Elementary, Fairington Elementary, Freedom
Middle, Indian Creek Elementary, Jolly

Elementary, Redan High, Rock Chapel
Elementary, Shadow Rock Elementary,
Stephenson Middle, Stephenson High, Stone
Mountain Middle, Stone Mountain High, and
Wynbrooke Elementary schools are serving
meals. For more information, contact the
schools or Dannet Charles at (404) 5574637.
In Region 4, Bob Mathis Elementary,
Browns Mill Elementary, Chapel Hill
Elementary, EL Bouie Elementary, Flat Rock
Elementary, Lithonia High, Lithonia Middle,
Marbut Elementary, Miller Grove Middle, Miller
Grove High, MLK High, Murphey Candler
Elementary, Narvie Harris Elementary, Panola
Way Elementary, Salem Middle, Southwest
DeKalb High, Stoneview Elementary, and
Woodridge Elementary are providing meals.
For more information, contact the schools or
Janet Stone at (404) 386-5576.
In Region 5, Cedar Grove Elementary,
Cedar Grove High, Columbia Elementary,
Columbia High, Columbia Middle, Flat Shoals
Elementary, McNair Elementary, McNair High,
McNair Middle, Meadowview Elementary,
Oakview Elementary, Snapfinger Elementary,
Toney Elementary and Towers High will all be
serving meals. For more information, contact
the schools or Maureen Pickett at (404) 5573997.

PET OF THE WEEK

Cali (ID# 30535179) is happy, happy, happy! This
cheerful ten-month-old girl loves everyone she meets and
is good with kids and other dogs. She is the kind of dog
who will make you smile when you’re down and brighten
up your life every day. She dreams of going for hikes,
visiting the lake, and being your best friend. You can make
Cali’s dreams come true. Meet Cali today at DeKalb Animal
Services.
This happy girl qualifies for our June “Make Waves”
promotion. Adoption fee is Waived for dogs over 25 lbs. and
for all cats! Adoption includes spay/neuter, vaccinations,
microchip and more! If you would like more information
about Cali please email adoption@dekalbanimalservices.
com or call (404) 294-2165. All potential adopters will be
screened to ensure Cali goes to a good home.

EDUcaTIoN

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, June 17, 2016 • Page 15

‘Inhumane overcrowding of our children’

School called
unsafe,
unhealthy

by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com
According to former and
current parents, teachers
and staff, maintenance and
overcrowding issues have
become downright dangerous
at Cary Reynolds Elementary.
Head injuries, broken
bones, illnesses and lung
issues–words used in
association with the DeKalb
school by more than 600
petitioners.
The petition, titled “Cary
Reynolds Elementary School
Must Be Rebuilt,” came to
Change.org on June 1 from
a group calling itself Cross
Keys Cluster Parents and
Community Stakeholders.
The group mentions all
Region 1 elementary schools
as experiencing tremendous
growth, with Cary Reynolds
proving that to the point of
hampering safety.
“After years of
overcrowded, unsafe conditions
at Cary Reynolds Elementary
School, we would like to
petition the DeKalb County
School Board of Educaton
to demolish Cary Reynolds
and rebuild a new 900-seat
elementary school,” reads
the petition. “We currently
do not have enough seats,
and projections show that the
overcrowding and unhealthy
conditions are only going to get
worse.”
The petition continues by
stating community members
are “paying attention” to “data
from the DeKalb County School
District (DCSD) demonstrating
the inhumane overcrowding
of our children.” Specifics also
include stories of children being
held in trailer classrooms to the
point of wetting themselves,
buckets filled with water to
catch rain in classrooms,
mildew, mold and a lack of
heating and air conditioning.
“Student overcrowding has
definitely impacted everyone at
[Cary Reynolds],” said Patricia
Domin, Cary Reynolds
Elementary school nurse who
wrote in the petition’s support.
“I have seen a spike in head
injuries, broken bones and
communicable diseases simply
because adequate personal
space is not an option. This is

an unhealthy environment for
these students to grow and
learn.”
Domin said she
documented all student and
employee injuries in case a
parent or employee decides to
take legal action.
Sarah Olejnik, a former
Cary Reynolds employee of 16
years, wrote she “would have
stayed forever had [she] not
gotten so ill in the building.”
“While I certainly cannot
prove that Cary Reynolds was
the cause of my lung issues,
I will say, I haven’t so much
as had a cold since I left,” she
said.
Another former teacher,
Catherine Spencer, wrote
that the building is one of
the primary reasons for her
leaving.
“The air quality is
horrendous; I was constantly
sick with upper-respiratory
Originally built in 1961, Cary Reynolds Elementary has become the subject of an online petition
infections,” she said.
urging the DeKalb County School District to rebuild its campus. Photos by R. Scott Belzer
DeKalb County School
District (DCSD) officials began
seeking bids to perform Cary
Reynolds improvements in
early March. The winning
company, Lithonia-based
Construction Works Inc., is set
to begin repairs in July for an
estimated $865,000 following
board approval June 6.
According to Joshua
Williams, chief division of
operations officer for DCSD,
repairs will include grease
trap replacement, backflow
prevention, installment of a
20-ton HVAC unit for Cary
Reynolds’ gymnasium,
upgrades to lighting throughout
the school and other electrical
upgrades.
All improvements will come
via E-SPLOST IV.
“[This] will help provide
a safe and healthy learning
environment through capital
renewal and code requirement
upgrades to Cary Reynolds
Elementary,” Williams said.
While the news of capital
improvements taking place is
likely welcomed by Cross Keys
Cluster stakeholders, DeKalb
resident Kirk Lunde said
the board needs to set aside
more money in its budget for
maintenance.
“Schools are in disrepair, a
great many number of them,”
Lunde said. “There should be
at least $75 million dedicated
to maintenance.”
According to DCSD’s
tentative budget for the period
of July 1, 2016 through June
30, 2017, approximately $95
million will be set aside for
maintenance and operations
expenditures.

claSSIFIED

The

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, June 17, 2016 • Page 16

CHAMPION

CLASSIFIEDS

The Champion is not responsible for any damages resulting from advertisements. All sales final.

aNNoUNcEMENTS

Motor and Gear Engineering is looking for
qualified LSBE Contractors to partner with
Contract for Drive Shaft Maintenance and
Repair. All interested contractors should contact
Charlie Sciara at 770-454-9001
Motor and Gear Engineering is bidding on a
bid for DeKalb County and seeks LSBE/MBE/
WBE participation from interested DeKalb firms
which meet the criteria for LSBE/MBE/WBE
and are registered with DeKalb County or need
assistance in registering with DeKalb County as
such. Bid # 16-100709 titled (Repair of Electric
Motors and Emergency Work) can be viewed
on DeKalb County web site and downloaded.
interested firms should contact Charlie Sciara
at Charlie@motorgearengineer.com or phone
(770) 454-9001(770) 454-9001.

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bona-fide job offers. All real estate advertisements are subject to the fair housing act and we do not accept advertising that is in violation of the law. The law prohibits discrimination based on color,
religion, sex, national origin, handicap or familial status.

BUSINESS

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, June 17, 2016 • Page 17

Dunwoody Hampton Inn ‘uniquely urban’ rendering of brand
by Kathy Mitchell
Those who enter the new
Hampton Inn & Suites Atlanta
Perimeter Dunwoody on Ashford
might for a second wonder whether
they accidently walked through the
wrong door. The furnishings and
décor are closer to what one might
expect to see at a more upscale
chain.
The facility is part of a
high-end mixed-use project on
Ashford Dunwoody Road that
also includes restaurants and
retail developments. Dunwoodybased Hotel Equities, a joint
venture partner with Hotel
Development Partners and owner
of the hotel, describes the lodging
as “a uniquely urban version of the
Hampton Inn & Suites Hotel.”
“I don’t think there’s anything
like it among Hampton Inns in
the metropolitan Atlanta area,”
commented General Manager
Jason Caughron. “Of course
going high end is pretty much a
prerequisite in this area,” he said
of the commercial area near the
Ashford-Dunwoody exit of I-285.
Allen O’Brien, CEO of Hotel
Development Partners, called
the development “a distinctive
addition to Atlanta’s most active
and dynamic office, retail, hotel and
residential market.”
Built on what had been the 3.6acre parking field at the Sterling

Allen O’Brien, CEO of Hotel
Development Partners

Pointe office complex, the 132room hotel is located in one of north
Atlanta’s prime office-retail markets,
according to Caughron.
According to a report released
by Collier International/Atlanta,
the Central Perimeter area has
the third highest business rental
rate in the metropolitan Atlanta
area, exceeded only by Buckhead
and Midtown. “We’re only a short
distance from several Fortune 500
companies,” Caughron pointed out.
He said other factors that
make the location desirable are
its nearness to Perimeter Mall and
premium dining spots. “There have
to be more than 100 restaurants
within two miles of here—just
about any type of food or dining

experience you could want,”
Caughron said. “Because we’re
right by I-285 and within walking
distance of a MARTA station,
our guests can get to the airport,
downtown, midtown and a number
of other destinations quickly and
easily.”
Caughron said the new hotel
has a shuttle to take guests to
the mall, to restaurants and other
nearly places.
Hampton Inn is a midscale
brand under the Hilton Worldwide
umbrella, a company with more
than a dozen brands created to
serve different market segments,
including DoubleTree, Embassy
Suites, Homewood Suites, Waldorf
Astoria and others.
“For this Hampton, we
upgraded to the bedding standard
of some of Hilton’s more upscale
hotels,” Caughron explained. “Also,
instead of replicating the prototype
Hampton interior design, we hired a
local interior decorator. The artwork,
the furnishings, the color choices
aren’t like those at any other
Hampton.” He added that even the
landscaping around the building
is created to fit in with the area’s
upscale look and feel.
Caughron said the hotel is
equipped to serve business and
leisure travelers. According to a
recent survey by the Convention
& Visitors Bureau of Dunwoody,
58 percent of Dunwoody’s lodging

is made up of business travelers.
On weekends, 70 percent of those
renting hotel and motel rooms in
Dunwoody are leisure travelers.
The area where the new
Hampton’s signature free breakfast
is served has abundant outlets so
guests can plug in their computers
and other electronics. “Many people
these days like to work or explore
the internet while they eat and we
designed this area to accommodate
that.”
He said the hotel also has a
larger fitness center than is usual
and its indoor swimming pool is
unusual for hotels in the chain.
Caughron said businesses
moving into the area tend to build
the best versions of their brand.
“The Corner Bakery next to us
that opened this spring is part of
this same project and is one of the
nicest ones you’ll see anywhere.”
It is the first of two restaurants that
are to be part of the development.
“In addition to the fact that
we’re in one of the Atlanta area’s
most upmarket areas, we’re right
up the street from Hotel Equities’
headquarters, so we naturally
wanted a facility that shows us at
our best. I’m really proud to have
been chosen to manage this hotel,”
said Caughron, who worked in
other capacities at Hotel Equities
before being named general
manager of the new Hampton Inn.

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

SPoRTS

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, June 17, 2016 • Page 18

College coach tabbed as new
Tucker girls basketball coach
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com

my philosophy is in building
student athletes characterwise, academics-wise and
James Oliver, who has a
athletics-wise. So I thought it
history of winning, hopes to
was perfect marriage for me.”
continue the winning tradition
Oliver graduated from
at the Tucker High School girls’ Alabama State University in
basketball program.
2002. After graduation he was
Oliver was hired as the girls’ offered the girls’ basketball
basketball coach to replace
head coach job at Greenville
former head coach Robin
High School in Greenville, Ala.
Potter, who left the program
He was there for a year before
to be the new head coach
returning to his alma mater to
at Grayson High School in
be an assistant coach for the
Gwinnett County.
women’s basketball program
Oliver, who last coached
for four years.
at Bluefield State College in
He then went on to be
Bluefield, W.V., said a friend
the first assistant coach at
made him aware of the Tucker
St. Augustine University in
job opening.
Raleigh, N.C., in 2007. In 2010,
“I was immediately very
he was named head coach
interested,” Oliver said.
of the Bluefield State College
Oliver, a Montgomery, Ala.,
women’s basketball program.
native, moved to the Atlanta
At each of his coaching
area last August. He taught in
stops, he helped turn a
Alabama last school year while struggling program into a
his family stayed in Atlanta
winning program. He now
before he was hired by Tucker. wants to continue the winning
“I thought [Tucker] was
tradition at Tucker.
the right fit because I’m very
“I’m proud to say that every
familiar with the rich history,
program that I’ve been a part
have recruited players from
of has won a championship,”
here while I was at Alabama
he said. “Every program that
State University back in the
I have been a part of has
early 2000s, and I really
always been the barometer
thought the infrastructure was
for success on the academic
here to be successful,” he
side as well as the athletic
said. “I really felt that there
side. Those are the types of
was great support from the
things that we’re trying to bring
administration and I thought it
to Tucker and provide these
was a great academic school. I kids with the opportunity to be
thought that merit fit with what
prepared to go on to the next

Former college coach James Oliver was hired to be the new head coach of the
Tucker High School girls’ basketball program.

level.”
James has met with the
returning Tucker players and
their parents, has begun
workouts and is participating
in basketball camps and
tournaments around Atlanta.
“It’s been kind of quick,”
Oliver said of the transition.
Oliver told the players
that his goal is to build upon
the foundation that Potter set
during her tenure and take it to
another level.
“I feel like I have the ability
and the knowledge to provide
them with the knowledge that
they need to be able to be
successful on the next level
and to have those opportunities
on the next level,” Oliver said.
“I have the connections to
connect them with unlimited
opportunities to be able to
display what their abilities
are and communicate with
a nationwide network of

collegiate coaches.
“We want to create a
family environment,” Oliver
added. “We want to create an
environment where we care
about them as people and care
about building them as overall
young ladies and taking them
into womanhood—equipping
them with the things they need
academically, athletically as
well as socially.”
He also said he wants the
players to understand that
winning a championship will be
a process.
“And taking that process
day by day and putting
everything into that day and
getting better every day is what
it’s going to take,” he said.
“We have a saying that we
always have an expectation of
excellence. That’s the mantra
of our program. In everything
we do in every phase we have
an expectation of excellence.”

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 Tuesday, July 5, 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

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

$

334,700

$

#VALUE!
$
#VALUE!

341,317

$

6,617 $
1.98%

341,454

17.869
17.869
$

137 $
0.04%

379,132

$

37,678 $
9.94%

17.000

16.500

17.000

16.500

386,803

$

7,671 $
1.98%

445,028
58,225
13.08%

SPoRTS

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, June 17, 2016 • Page 19

Adams, Godfrey and Hallford stadiums were renovated. Photo by Carla Parker

Three down, two to go
Stadium projects
near completion
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Lush green artificial turf and a
leveled track surface now grace
the fields at Adams and Godfrey
stadiums and Hallford Stadium

upgrades are being planned.
Three of the five DeKalb
County high school stadiums
received much-needed renovations
in the last two months. The
stadiums received new field turf,
track surface, lights and more. The
DeKalb County Board of Education
approved the renovation projects
for the three stadiums at its Dec. 7,
2015 board meeting.
According to the renovation
proposals, Adams Stadium
received $1.6 million for

renovations, Godfrey was awarded
$1.7 million and Hallford received
$1.9 million. The funds were
allocated under the voter-approved
E-SPLOST IV.
At Adams Stadium, which
was built in 1962, stadium and
parking lot lights were replaced,
and an artificial field turf and a new
polyurethane track surface were
installed.
Godfrey Stadium, built in 1968,
received the same renovations
as Adams. All stadiums will

receive new fencing. A detailed
engineering survey of each
stadium facility will also be done.
Sports Turf Company, Inc.
is currently working on Hallford
Stadium, which was built in 1968.
Hallford will also receive new
stadium and parking lot lights,
fencing, artificial field turf and a
polyurethane track surface.
Locker rooms, stadium
bathrooms and concession areas
will not be renovated.

DeKalb alums drafted in MLB
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com

Two former DeKalb County
baseball players received the call
of their dreams during the 2016
Major League Baseball draft.
Redan alum James Nelson
was selected by the Miami Marlins
in the 15th round out of Cisco
College and Chamblee alum
Brent Burgess was drafted by the
Texas Rangers in the 40th round
out of Spartanburg Methodist
College.
Nelson, who graduated from
Redan in 2015, was drafted by
the Boston Red Sox out of high
school, but went on to play at
Cisco College in Abilene, Texas.

The short stop had a .405 batting
average off of 30 hits during his
senior year at Redan. He had 18
runs, 16 RBIs, 13 doubles and one
home run.
As a sophomore, Nelson had
a .308 batting average during
Redan’s championship season in
2013.
Burgess, who was drafted as a
catcher, graduated from Chamblee
in 2015. His career stats at
Chamblee included a .305 batting
average, 65 RBIs, 22 doubles and
five home runs.
He had a .280 batting average
during his one year at Spartanburg
Methodist College. He had 45
runs, 32 RBIs and nine home
runs.

Chamblee alum Brent Burgess
was drafted by the Texas
Rangers in the 40th round.

Redan alum James Nelson was
drafted by the Miami Marlins in
the 15th round.

local

DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, June 17, 2016 • Page 20

Sterk
takes
Emory
helm
by R. Scott Belzer
sbelzer@dekalbchamp.com

She has been characterized
as a confident leader, an
accomplished academic, a
capable administrator and a
respected researcher.
She has served as a provost,
a vice president of academic
affairs and a faculty member in
four disciplines.
Community-based
intervention, mental health,
addiction and HIV/AIDS are
among her top interests in

Claire Sterk. Photo courtesy of
Emory University.

research.
Her name is Claire Sterk and
she’s the first woman to serve as
president of Emory University.
Sterk was announced as
president on June 2 by the Emory

University Board of Trustees.
Her duties will begin with the fall
semester in September. Sterk’s
appointment comes after more
than 20 years of experience at
Emory, 11 of which have been at
the administrative level.
Originally from the
Netherlands, Sterk earned a
Ph.D. in sociology from Erasmus
University in Rotterdam in
addition to a “doctorandus”
degree from the University of
Utrecht.
Sterk was chosen following a
national and international search.
“I am deeply grateful to the
trustees for this extraordinary
opportunity to serve as Emory’s
president,” Sterk said in a
released statement. “Emory
has earned its place among the
world’s premier comprehensive
research universities, and is well
known for its undergraduate,
graduate, and professional
education; its leadership in
research and scholarship
across all disciplines; and
an unsurpassed culture of
innovation and collaboration.
I look forward to engaging
with all members of the Emory
community to develop a shared

vision for future success.”
Sterk takes over the
presidency from James Wagner,
who announced his retirement in
September 2015.
Sterk said she plans to extend
the university’s influence from the
campus courtyard to the streets
of metro Atlanta.
“We must galvanize our
intellectual and moral influence
for the betterment of our city and
region, state and country, and
the world,” Sterk said. “ … In
that way we will work together
on achieving a common good
that goes beyond our individual
ability to tap into innovation, and
to lead.”
John Morgan, chair of
the Emory University Board of
Trustees, said the appointment
could not have been granted to a
more accomplished individual.
“Claire Sterk is a confident
leader, an accomplished
academic administrator, and
a respected researcher,” he
said. “She has a sophisticated
knowledge and understanding of
Emory and is passionate about
leveraging Emory’s considerable
strengths and assets to enhance
its global reputation and reach.”