Former councilwoman seeks mayor's position

By Ed Brock

Former Forest Park City Councilwoman Corine Deyton will make it at least a three-person contest in that city's mayoral race in November.

Although qualification for the race isn't until September, incumbent Mayor Chuck Hall has also announced his intention to run for reelection and former candidate Darnell Moorer plans to challenge him as well.

Deyton was on the city council for more than eight years before losing her seat to current councilman David Halcome, Sr. in 2003. Prior to that election Deyton, along with Councilwoman Debbie Youmans and Councilman Donald Judson, formed a voting bloc against several initiatives led by Hall.

"I don't like what's going on in Forest Park and I've had so many people ask me to run everywhere I go," Deyton said.

A resident of Forest Park for 45 years, 68-year-old Deyton is the widow of former Forest Park Councilman Jack Deyton.

Deyton said she lost faith in the city's leadership under Hall years ago, but since leaving the council she became actively involved in speaking out against the city's decision to privatize its sanitation services.

She attended three public meetings on the subject and during the first meeting observed a straw vote among the citizens in attendance regarding the option of increasing fees to pull the city's sanitation department out of debt.

"I'm saying 99 percent of the people voted for it," Deyton said. "Chuck Hall said at that meeting 'Well, the people have spoken."

Still, the city council voted to privatize the service. Moorer has also made that an issue in his campaign.

Hall said the change was necessary to be more cost effective and has gotten positive feedback from the community.

"You're going to get criticism for changes any time you have it," he said.

Like Moorer, Deyton said she wants to honor the will of the people.

"This election is not about Chuck Hall. It's not about Corine Deyton. It's about the citizens of Forest Park," Deyton said. "It's about what they want, this is their home."

Deyton is also concerned about the impact of the fifth runway for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport that will be finished some time next year and the possible closing of Army Garrison Fort Gillem that is in the city.

"I'm just hoping and praying that doesn't happen," Deyton said on the latter issue. "But if it does go we're going to have to do something and it's going to take money."

Deyton also wants to see a revitalization of Main Street with more small shops on the city's main drag. She said she looks to Smyrna as a model for the kind of revitalization she wants to see.

Hall, who has been mayor for 12 years, said previously that his re-election is important to the ongoing work on the city's revitalization plans including revamping the State Farmer's Market and the downtown area.

A 52-year-old widower with three sons and two daughters, Moorer has lived in Forest Park since 1991. He ran against Hall in 2001 and lost, coming in second in a field of three candidates.

Moorer said the slogan of his campaign is "Returning the city to the citizens."