Tell Tucker Observer – In support of Tucker Mayor Frank Auman

Frank Auman gives the 2018 State of the City speech. Image obtained via the city of Tucker.

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The Tucker Observer invited all candidates running in the Nov. 2 municipal election to submit up to three letters on their behalf. One of the letters could be written by the candidate. Here are the letters in support of Tucker Mayor Frank Auman, who is running for reelection. 

Dear Tucker Observer,

I’m a lifelong Democrat. I voted for Hillary, Obama and Biden – my very first vote at age 18 was for Mondale.  I’ve been a DeKalb resident for more than 20 years.  But what I see the Dekalb Democrats doing to the City of Tucker is despicable. They’ve taken a page straight out of the GOP partisan playbook in targeting Mayor Frank Auman and pushing a candidate they recruited along party lines.

I worked shoulder to shoulder with Frank Auman when the City of Tucker was threatened with being torn apart by another outside group.  He invested days and nights along with members of the Tucker community of all backgrounds.  There was no distinction of political party – only that we all shared a love of Tucker.  In community meeting after community meeting we heard from folks that they wanted Tucker preserved because of its character, diversity and inclusivity.  It’s a place where you know your neighbors.

I don’t know the gentleman the Dekalb Democrats hand selected to run for office.  I do know Frank Auman.  I’ve seen firsthand the time he spent at the state capitol advocating for the City to be formed, even when it came at great personal expense because the party in power supported the group threatening to divide our community. For those new to Tucker it was a dark time with huge swaths of the community being drawn into a faux city inside the perimeter based on voting patterns meant to solidify partisan power (sound familiar?).

Since he was first elected I’ve seen the relationships Frank has formed with state agencies and community leaders – relationships that are vital to a young city like Tucker.  I’ve seen the fruits of his labor in paved roads, new parks, community events, and more.  And I’ve seen his heart – he is not the one-dimensional caricature that Dekalb Democrats would have you believe based on single issues.

Aren’t we all tired of partisan politics?  Don’t we wish we could see each other with the full range of depth instead of making a snap judgement determination based on a label?  Ironically that kind of acceptance is what has always informed my leaning toward identifying as a Democrat.  When Tucker citizens head to the polls in November I’m confident they’ll once again demonstrate that they’re smart enough to see through outside groups trying to take advantage of what we hold so dear and fight to preserve.  We need leadership like Mayor Auman has delivered.  He has my vote.

– Ms. Terry Cole

Dear Tucker Observer,

We have had the opportunity to work closely with Frank Auman for the past eight years – the last five-plus years with him as our Mayor. We will both cast our vote to re-elect him on November 2nd with complete confidence that he is the most qualified person to lead Tucker for the next four years.  Like you, we can see the proven results of his leadership and dedication in the improvements being made throughout our City.  His service on the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority board, as chairman of the DeKalb Municipal Association policy committee, on the Clark Atlanta University Board of Visitors, with the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse and other organizations has built strong relationships for Tucker locally and across the State.

We first worked together, along with the community, to keep Tucker intact as other cityhood movements sought to tear us apart. Tucker was successful because we worked as a team. Next, the work to build a city that Tucker residents could be proud of began in earnest. We believed that Frank should lead us as Tucker’s first Mayor, and he has not let us down. Not only have we come to appreciate his leadership style but also that he has a true heart for serving others.  He is gracious and patient while bringing people together and building consensus to get to the essence of anything we are trying to accomplish. Being Mayor requires countless hours but is a true labor of love for Frank.

Mayor and Council work together to fulfill the promises of cityhood that we talked about in living rooms and at gatherings across Tucker what seems like ages ago. We knew then that cityhood was not a panacea. It wouldn’t be easy, but our love for Tucker would see us through to do our best for the entire community we fought so hard, with so many of you, to keep together.

We remember people asking, what’s the risk of cityhood? And our answer remains the same as it did back then – who you elect.

Frank has guided our path in building a strong foundation, forged trusted relationships with our staff and has shown caring leadership within our council and the entire community. Good things are happening, and Tucker is often complimented state-wide on our positive trajectory. But even more important is the positive reinforcement that we receive from you, our constituents.  Frank is a major part of that success, and we need him to continue as Mayor.

Some candidates want to be instant city leaders or worse, they were asked to run by people living outside of Tucker seeking to influence our city without even knowing our community.

There is a rush, just now, to learn about our city government and join volunteer organizations for the sake of possibly winning an election, instead of investing the time and putting in the work and sweat equity Tucker deserves and what’s required to truly be a community leader, elected or not.

Folks in Tucker have always been about rolling up their sleeves and getting to work. We worry about the details not the surface level talking points. It’s what Tucker was built on, the true commitment of many individuals and organizations that have for generations nurtured Tucker. Time and time again, we share that our greatest assets in Tucker are our community members and volunteers, and we hope the tradition of community service continues to grow as new people move here because they like feeling a part of something special.

This is the first time in our short city history that individuals from outside of Tucker seek to direct our election and harkens back to those prior cityhood movements. They are spreading damaging misinformation.  Tucker has never been a place that’s about the PR and click-bait headlines. We have always resisted those who sought to divide us.  When you cast your vote for mayor, please focus on the things you know for sure.  That Frank has been a solid leader as our inaugural Mayor; he works to serve each and every citizen of Tucker; and he works day-in and day-out with tremendous results because he loves Tucker!  It’s no coincidence Frank Auman’s yard signs say Mayor “for” Tucker and he has proven that time and time again.

It has been our pleasure to serve as Tucker City Council Members and we thank you for your support and trust. We are asking you to trust us once again in choosing the candidate with proven experience and a thorough knowledge of what it takes to run this city. Please vote to re-elect Mayor Frank Auman to keep all of us moving forward, together.

Yours in service,

Michelle Penkava and Anne Lerner, Tucker City Council Members with 35-plus years of combined volunteer leadership in Tucker

Dear Tucker Observer,

I’m writing to support Mayor Frank Auman for re-election.

In a few short years, Tucker has come a long way.  Though we have a long history as a community, we’re still youngsters in terms of having our own government.

Already we’ve added new parks and substantially improved existing ones.  We’ve renovated the Rec Center, and the city approved a $1.2 million contract with NETWorks Cooperative Ministries to assist folks in need of housing assistance.  Dozens of streets have been repaved and new sidewalks have been installed.  Exciting plans for reinvigorating downtown Tucker are well underway.  We’ve begun a public art program.  We’re reclaiming the historic alleys for public use, and we’re working on a fantastic network of multiuse trails throughout the city.  Just this past week the City voted to acquire property that is critical to making our exciting downtown master plan a reality.  Can you imagine movies, concerts and gatherings on our new town green?

Our planning process is vastly improved over what existed before we became incorporated.  The city’s communication program has won awards for being best in class and all public meetings are now live streamed over the web.  Contracts are put out for open bidding and the city operates on a balanced budget, in an open and efficient manner.

In any community there are always competing interests.  That’s especially true when a city reaches the size of Tucker.  We’re over 38,000 strong and not slowing down.  Not only that, we’re part of a huge metro that affects us as well.  At times it can be challenging to find the right balance among the many divergent interests in a city.  As mayor, you’ve got to be captain of the ship, but you have to do so in the context of finding consensus.

Now I don’t agree with the mayor on everything.  For example, I have lobbied for a nondiscrimination ordinance and will continue to do so.  In my opinion that is good for our residents and good for business.  However, such an ordinance will have to be studied to make sure it is fair and in compliance with state and federal law.  In my opinion, this will happen in due course and there is no doubt in my mind that Mayor Auman endorses fair and respectful treatment for everyone in Tucker.

Personally I’m delighted that many good candidates have thrown their hat in the ring for this round of municipal elections.  This is great for the city and hopefully this will hold true for future elections as well.

When it comes to the office of Mayor, Frank Auman stands out.  He has five years of in-the-trenches experience on the job.  He has attended countless meetings and has worked extremely hard to move our city forward.  He has detailed knowledge of the many plans that have been developed for our future.  Perhaps most importantly, he knows the people.  He is honored and respected by other mayors in metro Atlanta and by the decision makers in state and regional agencies.  Mayor Auman has been named to the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority.  He works regularly and effectively with our two Community Improvement Districts to help with transportation projects.

Mayor Frank Auman has proven that he knows how to make things happen.  He deserves to be reelected and to have the opportunity to finish the good work that has been started.

Respectfully,

Andrea Bennett

More information about voting in the Nov. 2 election: 

Editor’s note: Decaturish and the Tucker Observer have published an Elections Guide, a 76-page e-edition featuring Q&As with nearly every candidate running in our communities. To see it, click here. This special e-edition features candidates running for public office in Decatur, Avondale Estates, Atlanta City Council District 5, Clarkston Tucker and Stone Mountain.  There is a PDF version of this, which you can see by clicking here, but due to the format of this e-edition, we strongly encourage you to use the e-reader version.

All elections coverage can be found at Decaturishvotes.com and Tuckerobservervotes.com.  

Election Day is Nov. 2. Early voting will begin on Oct. 12 and will end on Oct. 29. The voter registration deadline is Oct. 4. To register to vote, click here.

To see a list of important dates in the 2021 election year, click here.

Voters in DeKalb County are eligible to apply for an absentee ballot as of Aug. 16. 

To apply for an absentee ballot:

— Visit the Georgia Secretary of State website.

—  Complete the absentee ballot application using the state’s official paper form. Use black or blue ink only.

Applications can be mailed to the county elections office at this address: DeKalb County Election office, 4380 Memorial Drive, Decatur, GA 30032-1239.

Applications can also be submitted by fax, 404-298-4038, or email, [email protected]

Voters may send an absentee ballot request for multiple people who live in the same household in the same envelope or email.

If an absentee ballot is not mailed to you, call DeKalb Elections office, 404-298-4020. You may still vote in person, either early or on Election Day.

An absentee ballot application must be received by Oct. 22.

In accordance with SB202, a new voting bill signed by Gov. Brian Kemp in March, a copy of a voter’s ID is required to apply for an absentee ballot. A Georgia driver’s license, Georgia state ID, Georgia voter card, U.S. Passport, U.S. military ID, employee ID issued by any branch of the federal or state government, tribal ID, or a document verifying a voter’s name and address – including a paycheck, utility bill, or bank statement – are accepted forms of ID.

Early voting begins Oct. 12 and ends Oct. 29. The hours for early voting are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will also be weekend early voting on Oct. 16, 17, 23 and 24. Call your elections office for hours.

Beginning Oct. 12, you can participate in early voting at the following locations: 

– Bessie Branham Recreation Center (2051 Delano Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30317)

– Lynwood Recreation Center (3360 Osborne Road NE, Brookhaven, GA 30319)

– Berean Christian Church – Family Life Center (2197 Young Road, Stone Mountain, GA 30088)

– DeKalb Voter Registration & Elections Office (4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 300, Decatur, GA 30032)

– Tucker-Reid H. Cofer Library (5234 LaVista Road, Tucker, GA 30084)

– Stonecrest Library (3123 Klondike Road, Stonecrest, GA 30038)

– County Line-Ellenwood Library (4331 River Road, Ellenwood, GA 30294)

– Dunwoody Library (5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road., Dunwoody, GA 30338)

For the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding early voting times and locations, visit Decaturishvotes.com and Tuckerobservervotes.com or call 404-298-4020.  

The Tucker Observer is a new community news website owned by Decaturish.comWe provide locally sourced news about Tucker, Clarkston and Stone Mountain.

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