LaVista Hills Alliance joins chorus calling for DeKalb CEO’s resignation
The LaVista Hill Alliance, a group pushing for new cities in DeKalb County, have joined their anti-cityhood foes in calling for the resignation of DeKalb County CEO Lee May.
Both organizations concur with the findings in a report released by former attorney general Mike Bowers that accused May of borrowing money from a subordinate, Morris Williams, in violation of the county organizational act. It also says May tried to hinder and shut-down Bowers’ investigation after hiring him to help root out corruption in county government.
May called the report “laughable,” according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
DeKalb Strong, which is leading the opposition to cityhood, released its statement calling for May to resign on Oct. 2. The LaVista Hills Alliance issued it statement on Saturday, Oct. 3.
“There is no doubt those who run DeKalb County – starting at the top with Interim CEO Lee May – have a blatant disregard for other people’s money,” Mary Kay Woodworth, chair of the LaVista Hills Alliance, said in a press release. “We are demanding that May step down for the good of our citizens and ask the other commissioners named in the report to consider the same.”
LaVista Hills is on the ballot Nov. 3. If approved by voters, LaVista Hills would have a population of more than 65,000 people. It would be bordered on the north and west sides by I-85 and bisected by I-285.
Here is the full press release from the LaVista Hills Alliance:
LaVista Hills Alliance Calls for Resignation of DeKalb CEO
ATLANTA (Oct. 3, 2015) — LaVista Hills Alliance, a grassroots advocacy group, called for the resignation of DeKalb County acting CEO Lee May today in light of a scathing report issued this week by the former Attorney General Mike Bowers that alleges blatant disregard for the expenditure of taxpayer funds
“There is no doubt those who run DeKalb County — starting at the top with Interim CEO Lee May — have a blatant disregard for other people’s money,” said Mary Kay Woodworth, chairman of the LaVista Hills Alliance. “We are demanding that May step down for the good of our citizens and ask the other commissioners named in the report to consider the same.”
Bowers’ report suggested May broke the law in borrowing funds from a county employee and the county doled out more than $500,000 in questionable expenses including spa services and a movie while May was on a trip to Hawaii. Bowers wrote: “While the CEO has the duty to enforce … the budget of each department, there is no evidence that he has done so. This lack of control is the origin of much of the fraud, waste and abuse we found.”
Four other commissioners were found to have questionable expenses ranging from floral services to gift cards, legal bills and charitable donations expensed to the county, according to the Bowers report.
“This report confirms why our citizens have had enough and want local control with a new city,” Woodworth said. “With local control we will be able to hold our city council members more accountable than officials who don’t live in our community and obviously don’t care about our needs. DeKalb County government needs a complete overhaul, and legislative reform measures alone cannot fix the culture of corruption that is permeates this institution.”
Citizens in the LaVista Hills footprint will vote on Nov. 3 for incorporation of the community. Its borders would extend from the Embry Hills area to the north, south along Interstate 285 to include Northlake Mall then down U.S. 29 to North Druid Hills Road and the North DeKalb Mall area west to Briarcliff Road then north on Briarcliff to Interstate 85. It would include Mercer University and the Toco Hills shopping center.
Citizen interest in incorporation has been escalating as turnout at the last two community forums held by the LaVista Hills Alliance has been strong with standing room only crowds.
“People work hard for their money and they expect adequate police protection, paved roads and other services; they do not tolerate elected officials and government employees using their tax dollars at their personal discretion,” Woodworth said.
A study released by analysts at the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government found the proposed city was financially feasible with current revenues and could be formed without a tax increase.
LaVista Hills Alliance is organizing and coordinating volunteers to support passage of the incorporation referendum on Nov. 3. It is recruiting neighborhood volunteers and leaders to serve as advocates within their own subdivisions and local neighborhoods.
LaVista Hills Alliance is a political action committee. Contributions to it are not tax-deductible. To volunteer, contribute or find out more go to www.lavistahills.com