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Mayoral Campaign Update from Joseph Geierman

Please Vote in this Critical Election!
 

In the last mayoral election, just 835 people participated - so every vote matters (including yours)! The mayor we choose will have a lasting effect on Doraville's future growth and prosperity.

If you cannot make it to the polls on November 5th, you can still make sure your voice is heard by applying to the DeKalb County registrar for an absentee ballot.

The form to request an absentee ballot can be downloaded here. You can mail a signed copy of this form to 4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 300, Decatur, GA  30032-1239. If you have a scanner, you could also send a scanned copy with your signature to absenteeballot@dekalbcountyga.gov.

Timeline of the Doraville Kmart - Lots of Promises; Little Action

 

2011 - Doraville's Kmart closes in November 2011; also in November 2011, Donna Pittman is elected to her first full term.

2015 – In the Summer of 2015, a new project is announced for the site of Doraville’s empty Kmart: Nexus. That Fall, Donna Pittman is re-elected in a landslide.

2018 – Mayor Pittman promises in the state of the city address that Kmart will be demolished and Nexus will be built “soon”. The backstory is that the developer had a hard time getting bankers to finance the project, as it was considered very ambitious.

May, 2019 – At the State of the City address, Mayor Pittman announces that the site of the Kmart has new owners, and that it will be torn down “soon.”

October, 2019 – On her personal Facebook Page, Mayor Pittman announces that the new owners of the Kmart site are developing a mixed-use project that will feature retail, a food-hall, offices, hotel and multi-family housing (very similar to what was pitched for Nexus).

Commentary: I hope this new developer is able to do everything Mayor Pittman is promising. She didn’t post any details about the players involved, nor did she link to an official press release. The timing seems geared to coincide with her re-election efforts. Based on my own canvassing, I’m sure she has gotten an earful about the state of the Kmart site.

Time will tell whether or not these new promises pan out, but the end of the day, what this points out to me is that we have 8 years of promises that have not been fulfilled . It is time for change and time for us to elect a proactive leader who has a vision for our city.

Why Run for Mayor? 

I’ve been asked a few times why I would give up a voting seat on the council so I could run for the (mostly) non-voting mayor role.

I can sum it up in three words:  Doraville needs leadership.

There are very few organizations that can function without a leader - including city councils. Other cities have mayors who are leaders with vision and who have moved their cities forward quite a bit over the last decade. Unfortunately, this has not been the case in Doraville.

Over the last eight years, we have seen a leadership style that is mainly reactive. When someone comes to the city with a project or request, the council deals with it. When it comes to thinking ahead or being proactive, however, the story has not been so good. Here are some examples:

  • Doraville's downtown redevelopment; as I’ve pointed out before, the city owns 10 acres of land across from the MARTA station, which could easily be re-developed. It has made lots of plans over the years, but taken no action towards making this happen.
  • Budgeting; Mayor Pittman believes “We have to trust staff” about whatever budget and pay plan they put before us. She doesn't understand that mayor and council have an obligation to give the staff direction on what should be prioritized in that budget. 
  • Communication; City Hall does an awful job of communicating or soliciting feedback from residents. This results in projects with poor buy-in and poor results. I believe that more communication would also result in the mayor and council doing a better job of responding to residents' concerns. 

I came to realize that the city was desperately short of leadership and will continue to drift for another 4 years if we don't make a change. I have the education and experience to provide the necessary leadership, which is why I decided I needed to join the race to be Doraville’s next mayor.  

Candidate Forums - Mayoral and Council

Susan and Ben Crawford are organizing two candidate forums for the city of Doraville.

On Tuesday, October 15th, they will be hosting the candidates for council and inviting them to answer questions from members of the public.

On Thursday, October 17th, they will be hosting a similar forum for the mayoral candidates. Hope to see you there!
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