By: Tiffany Chung, Reporter for Georgia Weekly Post
▲ Gregory Adams - The winner Rashad Rickey Randal Mangha
Photo by Tiffany Chung staff reporter of Georgia Weekly Post.
The Candidate Forum for DeKalb County Commission Super District-7 was held in North DeKalb for the First Time
" Dating back 20 years or perhaps longer, the commission has always been run by South DeKalb. 4 votes from the South were voting against the 3 votes in the North, which created corruption gridlock but the South is now ready for a change.' said a political observer. He is a former candidate for state senate who attended the event and spoke to Georgia Weekly Post.
"After former DeKalb County Commissioner, Stan Watson, resigned from his seat, to run for DeKalb tax commissioner, the votes were tied. With the seat in the South now open, it created a spot that may be even more powerful than the County's CEO depending on which side it will sway the votes. Whoever wins this election will break the tie, which will either bring power back to the North or it will remain in the South." he added.
The State of Georgia comprises of 14 Congressional Districts. District 7 encompasses Doraville, Tucker, Stone Mountain, Lithonia, Pine Lake, and Unincorporated areas. District 7 is split in half between the East and the West which are known as Super District 7 and Super District 6.
Super District 6 is operated by Kathie Gannon, who is in charge of the West side of District 7. Super District 7 is the Eastern half of the county which makes up about 350,000 of the population. Super District 7 was formerly run by Stan Watson.
▲ " Dating back 20 years or perhaps longer, the commission has always been run by South DeKalb. 4 votes from the South were voting against the 3 votes in the North, which created corruption gridlock but the South is now ready for a change.' said a political observer. He is a former candidate for state senate who attended the event and spoke to Georgia Weekly Post.
The DeKalb Commission Super District 7 seat has been vacant since March. Nine candidates ran for the office - The nine original candidates were Gregory Adams, Diane Daniels Adoma, George Chidi, Faye Coffield, Jerome Edmondson, Randal Mangham, Edward Patton, Rita Robinzine, and John Tolbert Jr.
All were qualified for the election but the candidates were narrowed down to Gregory Adams and Randal Mangham. Because neither candidate received more than half of the votes, a run-off will be held on December 6, 2016.
To further educate the public about each candidate, the Candidate Forum for DeKalb County Commission was held in North DeKalb for the first time. Rashad Richey of radio station, V-103, was the moderator for this event.
Gregory Adams, a father of 6, has worked for DeKalb County for more than 16 years. He is an army veteran and is currently working with the Emory Police Department. Prior to the Emory Police Department, he worked in the DeKalb County Police Department but left due to conflict of interest when he was running for CEO against Burrell Ellis. Adams is a business man and is the Chief Operating Officer of Project Three Sixty, a nonprofit organization. He is also the presiding pastor and bishop of Restoration Ministries International overssing 18 churches.
Randal Mangham, a father of 2, is an attorney and has served in the Georgia General Assembly for 10 years. He is partnered with the Law Firm Kendall, Mangham, Kendall and Hurst. He is an ordained minister and a business owner. He acquired his Bachelors and M. Div from Howard University of Law.
The event began with Rashad Richey explaining the rules which allowed both candidates 3 minutes to introduce themselves, 2 minutes to respond to Rickey’s questions, and 2 minutes for the audience to ask questions.
Both were in agreement. In order to combat corruption, the first item on Adam’s and Mangham’s agenda’s would be for transparency in the government, and audit to show where all the spending’s were going towards, and holding government officials accountable with open records. Mangham mentioned holding flexible meetings to enhance attendances and Adam’s mentioned working closer with the commission and the CEO to address issues in DeKalb.
Both candidates refused the idea of transforming the government. Neither agreed to the elimination of the office of the CEO . "problems such as watershed can also be addressed through the CEO." they said.
Adam’s offered to work with the county government, currently installed because he believes the CEO oversees the county’s functions while the commission - making sure - is providing and overseeing accountability, transparency, and integrity. While Mangham is open to other options, he offered to educate the voters about the government "so they can understand the process." he said.
Rickey addressed the divide between North and South DeKalb and asked what the candidates had in mind to address this issue. Adam’s did not believe there was a divide and proposed that everyone in the community needs to work together and care in order to continue moving forward.
Mangham offered professionalism and in order to bridge that divide, he will be focusing on what the commission agrees on rather than the differences in opinions.
Neither candidate came forward as to what side they would be leaning towards - in voting - but Adam made it very clear he was no puppet and regardless of who was endorsing him or regardless of what people were saying about him, he was there for the people.
Adams and Mangham - stated - will be moving forward into the commission with a clear mind set. Focusing on team work and finding mutual agreement while bringing forth their three main principles of integrity, accountability, and transparency to help better the community and use their voices to fight for what the residents want regardless of who takes the seat.
▲ The State of Georgia comprises of 14 Congressional Districts. District 7 encompasses Doraville, Tucker, Stone Mountain, Lithonia, Pine Lake, and Unincorporated areas. District 7 is split in half between the East and the West which are known as Super District 7 and Super District 6.