Thursday, October 29, 2015

Lavista Hills donors FINALLY revealed


We will never know who donated most of the money to start the cityhood movement. The group raised eyebrows back in August by holding a $500 'suggested minimum donation' event, where they actively solicited money from vendors who do businesses with cities.

Cityhood supporters dodged questions about the attendee list for weeks. But LaVista Hills is required by law to disclose who has been paying for all the robocalls and mailers as they have waged this campaign. The list of donors went public yesterday, one week past the deadline for disclosures.

So who has been 'investing' in creating a new city? Many businesses who contract with and/or benefit from development in cities. These businesses are not only located outside of the LaVista Hills area, but many are not even located in DeKalb County.

Who are these donors?

The Council for Quality Growth. This group, which was involved in the push to build the Braves stadium in Cobb County, "formulates policy and legislation critical to the development industry."

Lowe Engineers. Jon Drysdale with Lowe Engineers, based in Dunwoody, gave $1000 to LaVista Hills. Lowe Engineers gave more than $2000 to Brookhaven Yes and were promptly named the manager of the city's public works department.

Clark Patterson Lee. Kevin McComber of Suwanee, with the firm of Clark Patterson Lee, gave a $1000 to LaVista Hills. He also gave $1000 to the Brookhaven effort, and was named head of their Community Development Department.

The Collaborative. The Collaborative, based out of Boston, is a for-profit corporation that manages planning and zoning, building inspection, and code enforcement for the city of Sandy Springs.

Moreland Altobelli Associates. A resident of Duluth who if the Chief Financial Officer for this firm gave $500. Moreland Altobelli is an engineering firm founded by former GDOT chief Tom Moreland. Their client list includes a large number of municipalities  that contracts with many cities. They have been involved in several high-profile road-widening projects.

Riley McClendon Law Firm. Bill Riley of Marietta gave $1000 to the LaVista Hills Alliance. He has set up the municipal courts for the cities of Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, and Brookhaven, John's Creek, and Chattahoochee Hills. He may be best known for sending a sanitation worker to jail for starting work too early.

Charles Abbott Associates. A Dunwoody resident who is an CEO of California-based Charles Abbott and Associates donated $1000. This is a for-profit company that runs city departments, including Brookhaven's code enforcement department.

Coleman Talley. Thompson Kurrie, former Brookhaven City attorney, left the city after it was found that he had violated state Open Records Act and transparency laws. The Valdosta-based law firm provides city attorneys to many small municipalities in Georgia. Kurrie has given $750 in cash and in-kind legal services to the Alliance.

InterDev. Alpharetta-based InterDev provides services to municipalities seeking to outsource their entire IT departments. Their CEO donated $250 in cash, and the company provided mapping services to LaVista Hills.

When corporations help to create new cities that promptly hire them, often at a greatly inflated cost from what just hiring government employees would cost, taxpyers are stuck footing the bills.

Time is short before the election. Please post and share and let your neighbors know who is behind this effort to to create a new layer of government, and who stands to benefit


Anonymous said...

See i live in what would be the new lavista city and i hate corruption its obvious that this new city is on its way like Brookhaven did....look at the mayor there. I was in favor of city hood but im voting NO. I dont want a new city based on corruption and pay more taxes to boot.

Anonymous said...

When you hold a fund-raiser, you don't do it to turn money down. You list at least three companies that do essentially the same thing. Does that mean they will get the work in the new city? No. It only means they contributed to the campaign. Thousands of individual citizens tired of the corruption in the BOC and the CEO's offices have contributed. How many times are you guys griping about the same thing on this very blog? About how demoralizing it is to work for crooks, to have a figurehead chief who is second in command to an idiot like Alexander? Do you think we like living near the hell-hole intersection at Briarcliff and Clairmont with all those business that stay open after hours and litter the neighborhood? Do you think we like having roads on a 50 year paving schedule? The paving surface on my street is now weeds growing in increasingly large cracks. We are sick of DeKalb and the fact that all we represent to anyone in the Maloof building is a stable residential tax base. It also does not help that police response times are so slow, that 911 is staffed by morons, and that you virtually have to capture the defendant to get you guys to come out. But then that's because you only have about seven (7) officers to cover the entire area of what will be LaVista Hills. Vote YES on Nov. 3, and then you guys can come apply for a job in a place that will appreciate you.

Anonymous said...

The DeKalb Srong people are all for the status quo. Most of their donors live outside the area that will be LaVista Hills. Former BOC Waldorff and former CEO Levetan are among their ardent supporters. Waldorff lives in Druid Hills. Who can forget the heady days when those two were fighting like un-neutered cats every Tuesday at BOC meetings. Levetan has also bragged that she was instrumental in creating the CEO form of government. What a moron. The CEO form of government has proven to be the worst way to run DeKalb. Levetan is also in the DeKalb Strong camp because she's afraid that she's be pulled from her seat on the ARC if she supports cityhood, and lord knows, old politicians can never age gracefully or out of the public eye. DeKalb Strong is DEKALB WRONG.

Anonymous said...

kk jones is running for sheriff lol , that's one of the dirtiest cops i ever worked with , great job dekalb , and good luck with it. Its so sad that citizens in Dekalb are left with such piss poor leadership.

Anonymous said...

Odd how this story has flown under the radar....

Anonymous said...

Anyone know why someone would repost this piece from an anti city blogger? Seems sort of strange.

Putting together an ORR for any county employee emails about cityhood to see if the rumors are true about the county coordinating with the anti city campaign. Anyone have any insights?

Anonymous said...

It's obvious that whomever runs this blog is opposed to the new cities. But do you realize how foolish you look when you post articles by the leader of the opposition to LaVista Hills: Marjorie Hall Snook? Maybe not as foolish as the command staff who shows up to the debates where Marjorie pretends to support your department, but you still look like chumps. Just two short years ago this woman wrote derogatory comments about DeKalb Police on the online site Reddit under her username RiotLibrarian. She uses the same name on many other social media sites. You can still find these remarks on the Reddit site. It’s amazing how her opinion about the police department seemingly shifted when it suits her anti-cityhood argument to be in support of the county police department.

Here's what Marjorie really thinks about you:

1. “Unfortunately, based on a lifetime of experience with law enforcement, some are heroes, many are power-hungry, lazy jerks who are not very much help to people in trouble.”

2. “Although in DeKalb, you’re more likely to see cops in Waffle House than a Dunkin Donuts. ATL cops go to Krispy Kreme. None of them respond to crimes if they can avoid it.”

3. “No, we didn’t get a few hundred bucks of protection. We got nothing, which is approximately the maximum that DeKalb County seems able to provide.

How about gas leaks near schools? Are they also a low priority for DeKalb’s finest? I’m guessing somewhere between eating donuts and harassing jaywalkers?”

4. “DeKalb cops are useless, unless you have a burning desire to see people get punished for rolling through stop signs.”

Save Tucker! said...

If you don't like the content, insult the source. That's pretty much the motto of the new cities so far so why should we be surprised at the comments above. Just ridiculous. Facts are what they are.

Anonymous said...

Who cares

Anonymous said...

KK Jones running for sheriff? didn't he get caught up in stuff at PD? Wasn't he involved in corrupt stuff with Cato, and badges and then he went to Marta and was dui in a marta car and totaled it? Then he came to the sheriff's department and screwed up there too? got whooped up on by an inmate because he didn't follow proper practice then aligned himself with VJ even though Thomas Brown was the only one willing to give him a shot? You have to be kidding me?

Anonymous said...

@ Save Tucker!

And your motto must be "If you don't like the facts, just ignore them.

Ignore the fact that two well-known anti-LaVista Hills advocates are Liane Levetan and Gale Walldorfd -- who are former County CEO and commissioner -- and they receive retirement funds related to such employment.

Ignore that half of the DeKalb Strong board members and half of the advisory panel don't even live in the proposed city of LaVista Hills. And when that's pointed out, you, like Marjorie, claim that's an attack and act insulted when the truth is made known.

Then you ignore that Marjorie is the one who insulted the DeKalb County Police Department. But apparently that doesn't bother you. Just like it doesn't bother you to harrangue other people to support their local public schools, while you send your kids to private school.

Save Tucker! said...

An "anti-Lavista Hills advocate?" What exactly is that?

Save Tucker! said...

What facts are being ignored? The facts show that the city did not pass. So, nothing changes. Except Tucker residents will now have to pay more money for their utilities and face the potential of higher taxes, fees, fines, etc. Tucker business owners will face higher taxes, longer permit times, more expensive permits and licenses with a process that has yet to be determined. We'll have Smoke Rise leaders telling us what we can or cannot do on our own properties and construction will beat up our roads which will now have to be fixed by our own tax dollars instead of being a part of the county's infrastructure and repaving costs. That's great since we just finished paying for Lavista Hills to have all of its roads repaved on the county taxpayer's dime. We didn't win anything. We were forced into an incorporation to protect our known boundaries from our neighbors who, as it turns out, didn't even really want to form their own city in the first place. And then when Tucker residents were still not sure there was a benefit to cityhood for them, Smoke Rise got involved and changed the borders of Tucker to suit them, not us. The people who started this should really be ashamed of themselves for what they have done to DeKalb County. Just at the time when the North and South were working together to protect and save the schools and weed out the corruption causing our downfall, these city folks decided to force everyone to pick sides in a no win situation. Just reverting back to their old high school days of bullying others and claiming to be better ... but they didn't realize how most people have grown up since high school and don't want to be dragged into their little battle to "win" at all costs.

Save Tucker! said...

And you, Anonymous November 1, 2015 at 5:54 PM, ignore the facts that many of the Lavista Hills leaders got their start in the county school system, contributing to the past "decade of decline," as described by SACS. In fact, they are closely tied to the "Leadership DeKalb" program that trains up and coming leaders in our county. That should be a cause of concern, not what the opponents may have said at some point in the past. They are not asking for control of your money. They aren't asking to rezone your property or increase your taxes. And, it makes perfect sense that not everyone opposed to the city would live inside the proposed boundaries. The city would have brought harm to those outside its lines as well as inside them.