Concern for schools pulled Eric Tumperi into City Commission race
Eric Tumperi said he’s been contemplating running for City Commission for a long time.
He said he became concerned about the city’s ability to match the school system’s growth through his work with the high school PTA. He sat in on annexation meetings for the city of Decatur and became concerned about the relationship between the School Board and City Commission.
“There wasn’t really a good collaboration going on between the two groups,” Tumperi said. “I’ve got friends in both groups. It seemed like there wasn’t a solid working continuous relationship. The planning around annexation isn’t being done in a way that would allow for a holistic decision for all parties impacted by such a move.”
Tumperi is squaring off against incumbent City Commissioner Scott Drake in for the District 1 Post B seat on the City Commission. There is also another opponent in the race, Valencia Monique Breedlove.
“The time came for the election cycle to roll around. I saw a couple of openings,” Tumperi said. “Friends were saying, ‘You need to run or the north side spot.’ When I was talking to friends about the possibility I got a lot of encouragement.”
Tumperi has an IT background, working 14 years at IBM before starting his own internet service company in 1996. He says he was one of the first companies to run software and store data for clients online.
“We were one of the biggest if not the biggest employers during the late 90’s in Decatur,” he said. “We were all over downtown Decatur a lot of folks who live in Decatur came to Decatur because they worked for us.”
He now runs a company called Correct Tech, which he describes as “a software solution for automating anything to do with a residential corrections facility.” He says the company gives “tools to the staff to help improve lives of offenders.”
He lives in Decatur with his wife, Linda. They have four children: Lindsey 24, Marshall, 21, Nathan 17, and Owen, 16.
Tumperi said, “The way we make decisions I think should be enhanced to be more strategic, longer-term view.” He said he has a “lot of concerns about one-off decisions.”
“There’s variance, and variances and approvals on variances,” he said. “Why do we have standards then we make decisions that feel more like one-off deals?”
He said Decatur needs to plan further ahead, envisioning what the city will look like 10 and 20 years down the road.
“Decatur has done some great things in a 25 year period,” Tupmeri said. “I don’t think we need to play from behind any more. We need to play from a front position, and change our attitude toward developers.”
Editor’s note: Decaturish is contacting every candidate running in the Nov. 3 municipal elections in Decatur and Avondale Estates. Candidates can send their biographical information and photo to firstname.lastname@example.org.