This past Monday Tyrone Candidates attended a forum at the Legacy Theatre to discuss and answer questions. Here are the results:
1st part: candidates speak statements:
Don Rehwaldt – spoke first
• 2/3rds of people want to maintain small town environment & green space
• Growth will not stop but will evaluate and seek planning commission and town council help….
• Keep website up to date
• Necessary infrastructure – emergency plan
• Golf cart paths
Mike Smola - spoke second
• 14 year resident, 3 kids
• Fiscal conservative
• Increased police force to help protect infrastructure
• Need growing infrastructure with no long term debt to taxpayers – someone laughed
• Widening Palmetto & Senoia Road
• Eminent domain, not on my watch – unless it is a matter of urgent public safety
2. Council post 1
a) Ken Matthews:
• Served on planning commission
• Can not make, not good at….speeches.
• Expect all staff members to perform duties at above normal standard
b) Tracy Young
• Trustworthiness of town government
• Need new leadership with accountability
• Restore accountability
• Maintain low density
• Open government
• Codify town ordinances
• Propose amendment to 454
• Records in electronic format and on website
• Sewer maintenance
3. Council post 2
a) Eric Dial
• Why he’s running? Children are being raised in Tyrone and have an effect on this being a good place to live. Been living here 7 years.
• Growth challenges in future – appealing to homebuyer and business owners
• To make sure any development is handled responsibly
• Lot size issues – 1 acre lots
• Adhere to comprehensive Plan
• Adverse decisions on citizens – will not let it happen
• From Florida
• Small town appeal of Tyrone
• We are growing but does not want to lose small town appeal but wants to be part of growth and ensure legacy
• Vision – manage the congestion, the economic development, taxes low, golf paths
• In growth we have great neighborhoods
• Drug task force
• Knowledgeable decision making
• Main issue – density – more sewer – or less – supports low density and does not support more sewer
• New leadership – have to change way town business is done and protect property values and citizens
• Keep current character of town
• Pledges – effective positive leader to balance growth in positive manner and work closely with other governments.
• Look for equitable solutions
• Good government practices.
• Joint ventures with adjoining cities.
2nd part: Citizen asks questions:
TO Mayoral Candidates only –– paint a verbal picture of downtown Tyrone in 5-10 years?
Smola: In 10 years he does not see more than 9000 people. Denser core in downtown with business, residences, and attractions. Develop the downtown as moderate density with shops, restaurants, senior citizens need homes in downtown Tyrone.
Wants to see cows and horses but wants to develop core areas to move commercial pressure to middle of downtown.
Rehwaldt: Development is stifled w/o sewer – can’t continue w/o sewer. The downtown is looking better.
QUESTIONS POSED TO All candidates: would you vote to repeal ordinance # 454 which took away business land uses? If not, why?
• Matthews – reviewed ordinance – there are a lot of permitted uses and it depends on the zoning categories and may look into revising it.
• Young – yes, will vote to repeal ordinance #454, passed without proper notification…only one who said he would repeal ordinance #454 except Shenkle who pretty much agrees with Young [see below].
• Dial – eminent domain – taking of private property – inverse condemnation – over-regulation – 454 goes too far w/ private property rights – he objects to that. Won’t say he will repeal or not.
• Nacsiaceno – lack of leadership = engage citizens – revisit 454 and discuss.
• Shenkle – seriously examined in a rewrite all ordinances in town – the public needs to know what the ordinances are and publishing them would help a lot – if there have been instances where business uses have been taken away then it needs to be repealed – so yes to repealing #454 because it has taken away business uses.
• Rehwaldt – supports review of all ordinances, especially #454 and would require-rewriting.
• Smola – denies any intent to disenfranchise (looked liked it killed him to say it)– lawsuit – if not resolved then will look at 454 – so in other words to Mr. Shelley, if you win your lawsuit then maybe I will revisit an ordinance that “deleted uses in their entirety” otherwise, no.
MAYORAL CANDIDATES: Will you follow GA law and see that property owners are given notice and given opportunity to sign a petition (not the petition to hire new mgmt, but to voice their concerns about proposed zoning & land use changes)?
• Rehwaldt – yes
• Smola – if petition is valid and registered voters and citizens of Tyrone –look at and consider – so basically no. [Slap in face to all of those citizens who have signed the petition]
ALL CANDIDATES: would you support beer and wine sales on Sunday?
• Dial – he would have to be convinced that it is necessary to survival to the businesses – so coupled with Dial’s essay online, he wants to balance what is good for us people (in his mind) with the will of the people. We don’t want you supervising us!!
• Nascaisceno – wants to help growth –would entertain the question to pass
• Smola: no
• Rehwaldt: yes
• Shenkle: yes
• Young: yes
• Matthews: could not understand
TO MAYORAL CANDIDATES: Do you think all affected property owners should be part of the development process –
• Smola – Mumbled a lot – something about a cid – downtown overlay tax district – must be voted on by all affected business owners.
• Rehwaldt – There is a difference between business overlay district and business area – needs to be defined and then business owners should vote.
ALL CANDIDATES: How would you contribute to making Tyrone a better place to be/live rather than a place to travel through to get to better places?
• Young – revitalize Shamrock park; county gave $18k for repairs to shamrock park; businesses need to be involved as well
• Matthews – same as Young – no master plan, need one to be adopted.
• Dial – agrees on shamrock park; does not want to step on property rights; businesses are hesitant b/c of lack of sewer……be careful manage and balance and not raise taxes….
• Nascieno – quality of life – wants to discuss and involve everyone.
• Shenkle – opposed to more sewer - would like to see downtown be showplace it can be
• Rehwaldt – ordinance # 454 made businesses leave; w/o sewer on 1 acre lot it will be hard.
• SMOLA: I think what got me started on downtown development – Dollar General – saw metal building – no more metal buildings – created a downtown overlay district and extends to palmetto rd and to southern part of town – architectural standards – Whistle blow station is what he likes – wants good looking buildings – had a master plan, some did not like it. [Dollar General was built after the new architectural standards were passes – not consistent with his statement]
ALL: when the Tyrone government proposes an ordinance itself would you propose a law that all affected property owners should be notified?
• Nacieno – yes, I thought they did post signs.
• Shenkle –yes
• Dial - would support and notify those who might be affected in the future….notify then ahead of time.
• Young – yes – accountability to those people who elect us and the businesses in the town
• Matthews – agrees – 75% of more don’t see ads in paper and signs in front of town hall not enough…….find a way to notify public
• Rehwaldt – yes and would like website upgraded to show land use or ordinance changes & sign posted
• SMOLA: never been the intent of town to disenfranchise – open and prepared to change.
ALL CANDIDATES: in the past there was an e-mail service town crier – stopped it – would any restore it?
• SMOLA: open and honest communication – supports
• Rehwaldt – agrees that town crier could be a vehicle to get info to people
• Matthew agrees
• Young – wants to restore town crier – does not know about it but he is a technical specialist and he could give added support.
• Dial - agrees
• Nasicanceno – agrees
• Shenkle – Absolutely agrees –
Tyrone officials often talk about the 313 responses to town survey being representative- would you consider a petition with 300 names to remove existing town management?
• Young – due process, yes, citizens have spoken
• Dial – would look at it and make decisions later
• Nasasceno - not fair representation of town; multi layered signatures
• Shenkle – with sheer # of signatures it indicates the will of the people; he would assess signatures for validity. Intent of survey denies town leadership due process; need assessment of jobs like town manager. If there are cases that can be documented where people have been mistreated by employee of town, then yes he would consider it.
• Rehwaldt – petition will be considered; will look at job descriptions and job reviews of all employees
• SMOLA: told some stupid story – about getting rid of city mgr – feels town mgr is a thankless job…..would never get rid of Barry Amos or Valerie Fowler-Caldwell because he though he or she was not doing job…..He thinks the town running the way it is supposed to…
Tyrone Ordinance #467A (2004) adopted an occupational tax on businesses, which states that this tax is for revenue purposes only and not for regulatory purposes. If elected, would you stop the town management from refusing to issue occupational tax certificate as a regulatory measure of land uses?
• Shenkle – yes
• Nasciaseno – discussed and reviewed
• Dial – agrees w/ Shenkle
• Young – agrees
• Matthews – doesn’t know
• Rehwaldt – there is a difference between business licenses and occupation tax, so yes.
• Smola – if it requires just a change in verbiage but maintains that all businesses be licensed – [but at last night’s town council meeting, the council had an item on agenda that was regarding someone’s application for occupational tax certificate and the council is using a tax to regulate right now which is illegal]
ALL CANDIDATES: Tyrone currently has an ordinance that requires signs to be posted on affected properties when any zoning ordinance or amendment will be considered at Council or Planning hearings. No signs were posted on affected properties for hearing on ordinances #341 and #454. Both these ordinances deleted land uses. If elected, will you enforce this law, (Ordinance #348)?
• Smola said this is part of a lawsuit.
• Rehwaldt - yes
• Matthews – signs aren’t being posted???
• Young – accountability and responsibility, yes he would;
• Dial – we want more accountability and follow through;
• Nasciasceno – if it needs to be corrected then it needs to be corrected, I thought they did post signs on affected property;
• Shenkel – information sharing and accountability, open government….includes informing people when their property will be affected.
TO ALL CANDIDATES: In February 2007, Town manager Barry Amos issued to Council a statement of purposes for the downtown area. One of the purposes was "to eliminate incompatible uses and structures". Do you support this purpose? Why or Why Not?
• Matthews: has not viewed purpose so can’t answer
• Young does not know because he does not know what the uses are, but would consider property rights and owner and their tenants and their property values.
• Dial – need some standards of use- agrees with Young
• Nas – involve everybody
• Shenkle – need standards but you can’t make standards that take away what people are already doing on their property; communicate better; conduct business openly and notify people……
• Rehwaldt: would look at it
• SMOLA: – says council never took any action like this.
TO ALL CANDIDATES: Salaries of town manager - A 2007 regional survey of the 10 County Metro Atlanta area showed that the maximum yearly salaries for City and County Managers were $115,000 for large Cities and Counties, $85,000 for medium sized, and $75,000 for small towns. Only Fulton & Dekalb County paid the maximum for large Counties/Cities. Tyrone is classified as a small town. Barry Amos makes almost $100,000. This salary qualifies for a large City. Should Mr. Amos salary be reduced to the maximum of $75,000 for small towns? Particularly, since he no longer has the engineer duties. If not, why should tax payers pay for a large city manager?
• Dial – take into consideration how long the town manager has been in office; not comfortable saying he would cut the salary.
• Nasascenio – maybe the work is there….we have a dedicated town mgr who works more than 40 hours a week & goes above & beyond what anyone would expect a town manager to do.
• Shenkle – will not favor cutting salary but will look at job duties and job reviews/performance.
• Young – salary is based on job description – this issue has been discussed – accountability – review job descriptions and what they have done.
• Matthews – agrees it is a personnel issue, may need to be reviewed – if citizens don’t think town mgmt is accountable or acting right then maybe he would support.
• Rehwaldt – town salaries need to be looked at and re-evaluated.
• Smola: I look at town manager job as running the day to day operations of the town and feels Amos does a good job; an important consideration is what is the infrastructure….
LAST QUESTION: Tyrone uses the Fayette news for legal ads. These ads are published only on Wednesdays and sent only to 300 paid subscribers in Tyrone. By contrast, The Citizens Newspaper delivers free papers to all Tyrone homes on Wednesdays and Saturdays. If elected, would you propose and vote to change Tyrone's legal advertising to the Citizens Newspaper for better notification of the Town's zoning activities?
• SMOLA – newspaper bids on who gets to run the ads…..who ever bids the lowest gets job of legal advertisement.
• Matthews – Fayette daily news is the legal organ for Tyrone; needs to state more about agenda.
• Young – sees theme of accountability and communication as issue.
• Dial – if Mike is right about the paper bidding then Dial agrees Fayette Daily News should be the one.
• Shenkle – get biggest bang for the buck; would support changing.
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