Candidate forums planned in Decatur, Avondale Estates

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt September 30, 2015
File Photo provided by Dena Mellick

File Photo provided by Dena Mellick

Update: The forum planned by John Ridley has been scrapped and will be rescheduled. For more details, click here

People wondering who to vote for in the Nov. 3 elections will have plenty of opportunities to hear the candidates speak.

Decatur has several forums planned, including an unusual forum organized by one of the candidates: John Ridley.

Ridley is running for the at-large seat on the commission being vacated by Mayor Jim Baskett. He is running on the premise that Decatur should have an elected mayor. Currently, the mayor is chosen by fellow commissioners.


He has tentatively set an Oct. 11 date at his forum, which will be held at Decatur High School. Ridley has loaned his campaign $100,000 and is paying for the facility rental to hold the forum. Initially, his idea met with resistance because it conflicted with an Oct. 12 forum planned by the Downtown Decatur Neighbors. Ridley agreed to pick a different day.

If the forum goes forward it will be held Oct. 11, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Decatur High School auditorium, located at 310 N McDonough St, Decatur, GA.

Ridley says his forum will provide all candidates, including himself, an equal opportunity to weigh in on the issues.

“Rules should apply to all fairly and equally,” Ridley said via email. “I have asked Commissioner Bill Bolling to serve as moderator since he is a well known member of the community, has facilitated candidate forums in the past, and is not a candidate for office.”

Other candidate forums planned in Decatur include …

– Downtown Decatur Neighbors Forum, Monday, Oct. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Decatur Library Auditorium, 215 Sycamore Street, Decatur, GA 30030

Winnona Park Neighborhood Forum, Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. at Winnona Park Elementary School, 510 Avery St, Decatur, GA 30030

Oakhurst Presbyterian Forum, Sunday, Oct. 18, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Oakhurst Presbyterian, located at 118 Second Ave NE, Decatur, GA 30030

Decatur Heights Neighborhood Association Forum, tentatively planned for Oct. 25. Details will be announced at a later time.

There are at least two forums planned in Avondale Estates.

– The city will host a forum on Tuesday, Oct. 13, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Avondale Estates City Hall, located at 21 North Avondale Plaza, Avondale Estates.

– A group called “Second Century Avondale” will also be hosting a candidates forum on Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. at the Avondale Estates Community Club, located at 59 Lakeshore Dr, Avondale Estates.

Did we leave a forum out? Please let us know by emailing us:

Editor’s note: Decaturish will make an effort to cover all of the forums listed. Our paid subscribers, who contribute $6 a month, help us to provide coverage of community forums and other events. Additionally, readers can assist us by making a one-time contribution. To become a subscriber, click here. To make a one-time contribution, click here

Candidates who wish to purchase advertising on may contact our ad sales director, Jeff Cochran, at Decaturish will not be making any endorsements in the Nov. 3 elections. 

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

View all posts by Dan Whisenhunt

  • Marty

    Have there been any recent votes by the Decatur commissioners that did not result in unanimity? What are issues that did not result in a 5-0 vote?

    Also, regarding city planning, what is the model for Decatur? Are are there negative aspects of a livable, walkable city?

  • James Johnson

    “Ridley has loaned his campaign $100,000 and is paying for the facility rental to hold the forum.” I hope this is a typographical error involving the use of two extraneous zeroes.

    • No. Ridley told me that’s what he loaned himself and said it would be reflected on the campaign finance forms.

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