Saturday, September 25, 2010

Report on the eduKAB forum from S DeKalb blog

Candidate forum was informative

Below are a few excerpts from S. DeKalb blog post - Click here to link to the entire post.

I had the opportunity to attend a forum for candidates running for open board of education seats. The first of three forums was held at the Delta Sigma Theta/Kappa Alpha Psi Community Action Center in South DeKalb, and sponsored by EduKALB. Here are some things I took away from the get together. 

First, only one incumbent showed up; Jay Cunningham from district 5.  . . . When asked his top priority for fixing the system, his reply was to work with the present members to fix the system then find a new superintendent. 

His opponents, Dr. Kirk Nooks and Jaques Hall did well though Hall’s inexperience showed. Hall made one comment that struck me as odd considering he is running for the school board. In his intro he commented that he was thankful he did not have any kids in the school system. . . .

All of the other candidates were impressive. Corey Wilson running in district 3 seemed passionate about being on the school board, and has young children attending DeKalb schools in his district. . . . 
The two most impressive candidates were Nancy Jester and Donna Edler. Both were passionate and very well informed. Edler wants to see more in depth reviews of policies such as ethics and nepotism. Jester wants to see the board and the system justify dollars spent every few years in an attempt to maintain better control of the systems budget. I had an opportunity to speak with Jester afterwards, and she is full of ideas, some of which should be put in place whether she wins or not. . . . She calls public schools a social gift and sees it as the one tool that can arrest the transmission of poverty. I do not know Jim Redovian, but if Jester gets enough exposure and her message reaches enough people she could make some noise. . . .

There are two more of these forums in the next few weeks. One is at Dunwoody city hall and the other is at DeKalb Medical’s auditorium on North Decatur Road.

Thanks so much for reporting on this event, South DeKalb!

UPDATE: We have learned that Ella Smith was also in attendance, however the blogger who wrote the report must have missed her portion.


Candidate Forums

All candidate forums will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and are open to all 15 announced candidates and incumbents seeking election to DeKalb School Board District Seats 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9.

The forums are as follows:

Thursday, September 23 (past)
Location – Delta Sigma Theta/Kappa Alpha Psi Community Action Center, 4522 Flat Shoals Parkway, Decatur, GA
Co-sponsors – Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Alumnae and Kappa Alpha Psi Alumnae and eduKALB

Tuesday, September 28

Location – Dunwoody City Hall, City Council Chambers, 41 Perimeter Center East, Dunwoody, GA 30346

Sponsor – eduKALB

Thursday, October 7

Location – DeKalb Medical Center, Central Campus, 2701 North Decatur Road, Decatur, GA 30033, Hospital Theatre, Ground Floor, Main Building

Co-sponsors – DeKalb County League of Women Voters, The Champion & Free Press and eduKALB


Anonymous said...

As a member of Delta Sigma Theta/Kappa Alpha Psi I would also acknowledge how disappointed the community was that Dr. Walker did not bother to show up.

I also thought Ms. Smith had a great deal of knowledge about educational issues with her background in education and her degree in Administration and Leadership. However, nothing was mentioned about this in this article.

Ms. Smith did go first and maybe the writer of this article was not present for her part of the forum.

Just the point that the present school board members did not have the respect to show up to this forum shows how assured they fill that they will be re-elected again and that they have nothing to worry about as candidates. This is sad in itself.

Anonymous said...

I have heard Donna Edler speak at community meetings about her candidacy. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), passionate about public education and has long been active in her children's schools.

She is head and shoulders above Zephora Roberts. If you are in her district, please make a point to meet Donna Edler.

Anonymous said...

If you subtract the candidates, the sponsor groups and the families of the candidates, there may have been at most a dozen citizens. I think that was due in part because of the lack of advertising. I doubt many know that these forums are being held. Heck out doubt if many even care.

This was also in the original blog.

Sad. Very sad.

Anonymous said...

Womack, my BOE member is not up for re-election. However, I made a donation to Nancy Jester, one of Jim Redovian's competitors. His district is right next to my district and he needs to go as much as the rest of them. I've also volunteered to work for Nancy going door to door if necessary. Even though our BOE members have districts, the votes they cast affect students all over DCSS. Jim Redovian has negatively affected just as many children in my Northlake neighborhood as Paul Womack.

Every vote Zepora Roberts, Jim Redovian, Jay Cunningham, Sarah Copelin-Wood, and Eugene Walker cast to prop up Crawford Lewis and now the current administration has been detrimental to students all over DeKalb County.

Pick a BOE member you want to unseat and donate to and/or volunteer for him/her. Everyone of them affect every child in DCSS.

Anonymous said...

However, as a member of Delta Sigma Theta/Kappa Alpha Psi it should be noted the forum was taped by EduDekalb and will probable be available for all to see on their website so all citizens of Dekalb who do care can view this forum and the other two forums to see who they what to vote for themselves. EduDeKalb is doing a wonderful service working with other community leaders to get the word out and they will be providing recommendations to the public. I think, EduDekalb, and the Chamber of Commerce has been overlooked and in fact been treated disrespectfully by some of the current school board members. The current school board members feel secure in their jobs. They feel the taxpayers of DeKalb do not care enough to do anything about the problem and think that they will just be put back in office without much of a fight.

If this happens you will see some changes coming from state officials. They are not going to put up with the imcompetence anymore. There will be changes in the number of school board members that DeKalb County School Board currently has. Things cannot continue the way they are for the children of DeKalb or the students in DeKalb County. Our officials from all government agencies must work together. If this cannot happen then things need to change to ensure our students are protected and our taxpayers are protected. Besides we have too many school board members in order to work sufficiently together in the first place. Other leaders in DeKalb must also learn to work with our school board members and other county agencies or changes need to be made in these positions as well.

Anonymous said...

Womack is a part of the problem also. He feels so mighty and works his connections also on the school board. He is used to doing things the old way also which currently has got the school system in a great deal of problems. District 4 made a horrible mistakes by electing Womack. It is sad this decision was made in a run-off as voters do not come back to vote in a run-off. On the other hand several school board races went to a run-off which makes the candidates appreciate their seat much more. This is a positive thing.

Anonymous said...

Womack wanted this seat bad. So bad he spent almost $50,000 of his own money to get himself elected.

Anonymous said...

Womack should do the honorable thing and resign - along with all the other BOE members.

Anonymous said...

H. Paul Womack is a part of the malfeasance and mismanagement of DCSS. That is his legacy. Any positive contributions to DCSS by Womack have been completely eclipsed by his collusion with other BOE members to rob our children of their education.

Word on the street is that Womack wanted this BOE job so much that he paid $50,000 of his own money to win the board seat. Why?

As a BOE member Womack oversees the mismanagement of our tax dollars, but none of his tax dollars are at risk. Womack pays no school tax -- which makes up the majority of our property taxes. Take a look for yourself. Go to: Then type in his name, "Womack, H Paul Jr."

Anonymous said...

Here are what the rest of the board pays in property taxes:

Name/Annual Taxes 2010/Exemption/Tax Exempt Amount

Zepora Roberts/$308.56/H4F Senior School Exemption/$1,277.11

Sarah Copelin-Wood/$1,066.98/H1F-Basic + Freeze/$640.30

Jay Cunningham/$1,990.12/H1F-Basic /$875.39

Paul Womack/$2,160.63/H4F Senior School Exemption/$7,171.14

Tom Bowen/$2,246.48/H1F-Basic + Freeze/$955.45

Gene Walker/$3,584.00/H1S/$1,355.37

Pam Speaks/$4,762.02/H1F-Basic + Freeze/$1,616.85

Don McChesney/$5,472.60/H1F-Basic + Freeze/$1,812.75

Jim Redovian/$5,902.72/H1F-Basic + Freeze/$2,018.23

Anonymous said...

I'd be curious to know if any of the candidates felt "ammm-bushed" by questions from the public. Were any of the candidates prompted by such question to declare "I'm gonna slug you!"?

Anonymous said...

I thought the questions were appropriate at the forum.

However, I asked a question specifically that I wanted answered by the current school board member which was not asked to the person in the group the question was aimed at but was asked to another group or person which was not my intention. This was not a question intended for the person who had to address it at all.

I hope at this forum the questions will be addressed toward the individuals who the person wante the answer to the quesitons from.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 10:14

This is shocking! You are correct. I went to:
..and although my house is worth 68% of what Paul Womack's house is worth, I pay 120% more taxes (and we are over 65 years old).

Our house is worth 79% of what Jim Redovian's house is worth, I pay 61% more than Jim Redovian.

I've printed this out and I'm going to have my husband go to Dekalb County to see why they are paying so little in taxes for houses in the half million and up range while we're paying so much more.

What gives with Zepora Roberts paying $300+ dollars in property taxes (although Womack takes the cake)?

Candidates running against these incumbents - please go to this website - print out these property tax rates (60% of these taxes go for schools) and show these to your neighbors, friends and church members. Let them compare their property tax rates to these BOE members. Please show this to the senior citizens (I'm one and I'm very upset) in your neighborhood. Not one of them even approaches my property taxes.

Anonymous said...

I will say that one of the most important people in my child's school experience was the school psychologist. He was terrific and really helped us make and stick to plans that made a huge difference in my child's life.