The city of Doraville is holding a special election on March 6 to fill a District One city council seat vacated by Mayor Donna Pittman last year.
Councilwoman Pam Fleming currently holds one of the two seats and vying for the other are Stuart Anderson and Robert Patrick. John Noonan was also in the running but recently dropped out.
Patrick said he first got interested in running for the Doraville City Council when his property value declined last year.
“With the recent county tax increase, my property value went down from approximately $160,000 to around $80,000. At that point, I thought that was good enough reason to get involved in the race,” Patrick said.
In November 2011, residents passed a referendum that will change the city’s government to one with a part-time mayor and a full-time city manager, making it one of the last cities in DeKalb County to convert to such a form of government.
“I think a fairly strong city manager is a good idea. The City Council should really be focused on policy and big business issues rather than daily hiring and firing concerns,” Patrick said.
In 1981, Doraville went from a city manager to a full-time mayor form of government by referendum, which is why it chose the same route to go back. Patrick said another area he is concerned with is the “big chunk” of Buford Highway located in unincorporated DeKalb.
“Some annexations might be appropriate to fill out our borders along Buford highway—an overlay district would be an option,” Patrick said. If elected, Patrick said one of his goals will be to beautify the area.
Anderson said one of his goals was working to annex the Buford Highway corridor.
“It’s extremely desirable for the city to do that,” Anderson said. Anderson, who has been chairman of the city’s planning commission, said Doraville had a lot of zoning issues it needed to work out. He also said one of his goals would be re-establishing the city’s tax base.
Although he agreed a city manager form of government is a good one, Anderson said he thought the referendum was “disingenuously proposed.”
“As far as the issue itself, I think it’s a very good system. But, in any government, it’s not the form of government but who’s in the government that matters,” Anderson said.
Additionally, the Republican presidential primary will be held the same day and DeKalb County residents will decide whether to allow Sunday retail alcohol sales between the hours of 12:30-11:30 p.m. in unincorporated DeKalb.
Other cities in the county voted on the referendum last year during municipal elections. However, DeKalb County spokesman Burke Brennan said since there are no county-wide elections officials decided to hold the referendum during the Republican presidential primary rather than pay to hold a special election.