George Chidi wrote a four part series this week on the problems of an ungovernable DeKalb County. Today in another form he’s launched the fifth. George has announced he will seek the open seat vacated by Stan Watson on the DeKalb County Commission. This will require George to resign as a city councilman for the town of Pine Lake. It is also after he and those in the Reform DeKalb coalition couldn’t find a viable alternative candidate.
I’ve now known George for a couple of years. While he and I come from different sides of the ideological spectrum I’m convinced his goals are to get government working the best it can. One that helps the most people along the way. And he doesn’t have the time or patience for those that will use the system for their personal benefit at the expense of their constituents.
DeKalb County is an important part of the Atlanta region and the State of Georgia. It is, in modern parlance, “too big to fail”. George has a vision to return DeKalb to success. I wish him the best on this new chapter in his journey.
His announcement via Facebook is below the fold:
#gapol I will stand for election to the DeKalb County Commission in November, in the super-district seat vacated by Stan Watson last month.
Serving as a city councilman for Pine Lake has been the privilege of my life. I am, however, required by law to resign my post to run for another office. I regret that. I rejected a run for higher office earlier this year, and planned to serve out my term, happily.
As I told folks at the council meeting Monday, I took the job as a city councilman with an understanding that Pine Lake is part of a larger community around it. I’ve kept this community visible to Pine Lake, knowing that what affects DeKalb County affects us.
And as I’ve kept it visible, I’ve become visible to it.
Watson’s resignation threw everyone’s plans into an uproar, because the political reform community in DeKalb had no candidate prepared. We’ve spent the last month casting about for someone with a commitment to honest government who also has a high-enough profile to compete effectively in a special election. And, it seems, I’m the best available.
I’ve weighed the cost to Pine Lake of finding someone to take my place on the council. I’ve weighed the risk to my neighbors of the continuation of poor leadership at the county level. And the cost is worth averting further disaster.
My life has been filled with strange turns, and this would be one of the strangest. I have a deep aversion to being someone content to complain without rolling up my sleeves to do the work and take the hits.
We plan a robust campaign centered on returning a culture of ethical, competent government to DeKalb, based on transparency, open communication, and accountability. We will listen intensely to neighborhood concerns. We will seek equity.
This campaign — and my service in office — will be deliberately and visibly antiracist.
There’s a lot of work ahead: building a campaign apparatus, filing paperwork, launching a website, coordinating volunteers. Consider this the soft launch.