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Clayton election: Chairman, Board of Commissioners

Candidates for county Commission seats were asked about the Commission’s relationship with Clayton County’s cities because the municipalities are preparing to file a lawsuit against the county over the stalled service delivery strategy negotiations. They were also asked about transparency and public input because of repeated requests from citizens to move public comment to the beginning of Commission meetings. They were then asked about the budget that was recently approved by the Commission.

Eldrin Bell (I)

Eldrin Bell, 75, has been the commission chairman since 2005. He said he is running for re-election because “I would like to finish the vision for the stabilization of Clayton County and I believe that ‘Nobody cares more.’”

What do you think the Clayton County Board of Commissioners should do to improve its relationship with the city governments?

“I had hoped that we could all sit down at the table of brotherhood and sisterhood and do what is fair for the people of Clayton County. I would be highly disappointed if it comes to a lawsuit. I am proud of the relationship that I have maintained with the leaders of our seven cities throughout my tenure in office.”

How do you feel the county government can be more transparent and inclusive with the public?

“I would be personally supportive of the citizens being placed on the agenda at the beginning of the meeting. In Clayton County our meetings are open to the press and the public, our budgets may be reviewed by anyone, and our laws and decisions are open to discussion, it is seen as transparent, I would like it to be beyond transparent, to be crystal clear!”

Do you feel there is wasteful spending in the county's budget (And please explain where you feel the waste is)?

“No, because it’s vitally important that we maintain the level of service to the citizens that we serve. We have taken pain-staking measures as we developed this year’s budget and I have personally contacted the Carl Vinson Institute to examine our reorganization effects for next year.”

Roberta Abdul-Salaam*

State Rep. Roberta Abdul Salaam (D-Riverdale), 56, has represented parts of Clayton and Fayette counties in the state House of Representatives since 2005. She recently said she is running for commission chairman because “I believe I can bring leadership to this community, bring all partners of this community together and make sure that we have strong leadership that puts the citizens of this community first.”

*Rep. Abdul-Salaam’s daughter died July 2 and the candidate has been unavailable for comment since then. In light of this, the Clayton News Daily is using answers she has given to similar questions at a recent clergy-hosted candidate forum.

Working with the cities on the service delivery strategy negotiations and other issues?

“I would continue doing what I always do. As chair of the [Clayton County] legislative delegation, and even as a member of the legislative delegation [under former State Rep. Mike Glanton’s leadership], the legislative delegation works with all of the cities. We have that pleasure. I had the honor of continuing that relationship. What I would do in order to bring about resolution and resolve the dissension between the cities and the county is just do what I said earlier: Put the people first. I mean you can’t have dissension if your primary goal and objective is to benefit your citizens. And, you can’t resolve it if you don’t talk to each other. I would absolutely continue the relationships I currently have with municipal officials and develop relationships with some of the new ones that have just gotten elected.”

Spending in the county's budget?

“One of the things I noticed during the budget process was that this year’s budget was down about $22 million and so there is nothing in it that I would have objected to approving as it is. But, I would have added the transportation money so that we could restore public transit to Clayton County.”

Jeff Turner

Jeff Turner, 48, served as chief of the Clayton County Police Department from 2006 until 2009 and now serves as an educator at ITT-Technical Institute. He said he is running for chairman “for the citizens of Clayton County, who deserve to be served with dignity and respect.”

What do you think the Clayton County Board of Commissioners should do to improve its relationship with the city governments?

“I believe that the board of commissioners should sit down at the table with the city officials and work out a compromise that's in the best interest of all the citizens of Clayton County. Not being able to work with our counterparts at the municipal level not only hurts our citizens but stifles our growth as a county.”

How do you feel the county government can be more transparent and inclusive with the public?

“I agree with many of our citizens, by having public comments at the beginning of the meetings will give the citizens an opportunity to voice their issues and concerns on matters that directly affect them before a vote is cast. Someone may provide some insight on an issue which could cause a commissioner to change his/her vote.”

Do you feel there is wasteful spending in the county's budget (And please explain where you feel the waste is)?

“I personally feel that there’s not any waste in the county’s 2012 budget. The state requires that the county pass a balanced budget, which we have, however, with that being said the one area that I would have increased funding for would have been for our courts and public safety departments. I feel that we need to strengthen our law enforcement efforts to ensure that our citizens are safe and feel safe where they live, work and play.”

Comments

OscarKnight 1 year, 9 months ago

....Quote : .*Rep. Abdul-Salaam’s daughter died July 2 and the candidate has been unavailable for comment since then. In light of this, the Clayton News Daily is using answers she has given to similar questions at a recent clergy-hosted candidate forum."

,,,,I agree, and I offer my sympathies to Roberta's Family.

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OscarKnight 1 year, 9 months ago

...Ask Jeff Turner why he couldn't run for Clayton County Sheriff's Office ?

Quote : "Calling it a "miscalculation," Turner said he did not realize he would have to live in Clayton for at least two years to qualify as a candidate for sheriff. The residency requirement for a commission seat is one year."

..... "Miscalculations" is some times referred to Mistakes or Errors of Judgment. It is my opinion that Turner should seek another gravy train to dip his biscuit in.

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MD 1 year, 9 months ago

Roberta Abdul-Salaam

Leadership? What a joke! She can't even pay her taxes on time!

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OscarKnight 1 year, 9 months ago

...Roberta has a fan base, just like Victor Hill.........This riddle has been puzzling me.

...Time for a Riddle :

...Multiple Choice Quiz :

.......Riddle : Why is it Hard to find good candidates in Clayton County ?

(A)...Is good help that hard to find in this county ?

(B)....80 % percent of the registered voters, in Clayton County, are ignorant ?

(C)....80 % percent of the Voters are followers of Flam Flim Artists ?

(D)....80 % percent of the Voters relies on the amount of yard sign counts

(E)....The Voters only Vote because they are told to Vote, by certain candidates.

(F)....None of the above

(G)....All of the above

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