Brookhaven, GA, January 26, 2015 – by The Post – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) has been looking into goings on in several new cities in the metropolitan Atlanta area – from Johns Creek to Brookhaven, Dunwoody to Sandy Springs. The report focuses on questionable actions of city officials, skirting city policy and controversial decisions being made by local municipalities.
In their investigation, the AJC says that try as they may, city governments have their own problems, just as the county governments they sought to separate themselves from. And the local politicians are no different than their county, state or federal cohorts who all make lofty promises on the campaign trail that are perhaps impossible to keep – the most notable: full transparency, impeccable ethics and right-sized government.
In Dunwoody and Sandy Springs their local governments have been accused of “mission creep”. They both have controversial big dollar projects they’re invested in, such as the $100 million gateway city center project in Sandy Springs that is said to be way more than the city needs and costs way too much. The 35-acre Project Renaissance in Dunwoody resulted in the city going into debt to buy the property who will then pay citizens back in installments.
In Brookhaven, the AJC says they found that a legal assistant from Mayor J Max Davis’ law firm was hired to work in City Hall on city business while still under his employ and a contract was given to the Mayor’s father-in-law for part of the initial renovations of Police Headquarters.
The report calls into question campaign contributions to City Councilman Joe Gebbia from a local car wash that later received city business. Councilman Bates Mattison is said to have conducted private business at City Hall and the law firm Coleman Talley who later received the city’s day-to-day legal contract also contributed to Brookhaven’s elected officials campaigns.
In Johns Creek, the AJC says Mayor Mike Bodker received a free vacation from a campaign contributor then voted favorably on his zoning request.
However, none of the Johns Creek or Brookhaven officials have been the recipients of any formal ethics complaints, the AJC report explains.
WSB also ran a piece on Friday afternoon about Gebbia’s car wash campaign contribution.
For the full AJC Story on their premium subscriber page, MyAJC.com, site go here.