I was a strong advocate for the establishment of the city of Stonecrest, and worked hard with other proponents to get the new city approved by the voters. I thought a new city in South DeKalb would give black residents an opportunity to have local control of government, the same way white residents of North DeKalb had established a local government that reflected the population of their communities.
I thought that we would become a model to show other communities that we could handle our business just as effectively as they handle theirs.
I am concerned that the experiment in self-governance that is Stonecrest has gone off track.
So far it looks like the leaders we elected have let us down. Apparently those leaders believe that we have to bring in people who don’t look like us to handle our government and our money for us.
Our mayor and four of the five council members believe that the ice on the north side is colder than south side ice.
When you look at the pictures of those who have been appointed to key positions in Stonecrest government, about all that you see are the faces of those who don’t look like us.
Nine white men plus two black men with no females reminds me of the Trump administration.
The mayor and the council have voted to pay a private white firm $16.7 million of our money to run our city over the next five years.
That firm agreed to hire the mayor’s friends and political cronies in return for the contract.
It is not right to hire political cronies into important and high paying jobs that they aren’t qualified to fill.
Some others whose appointments were approved by the City Council have conflicts of interest with the city or with the mayor.
This is alarming!
I will call out waste, fraud and abuse wherever I see it, and I won’t give up on Stonecrest.
We can and must do better. If these leaders won’t do right, we will elect some who will.
If things don’t change quickly we may need a quick recall election.
John Evans is the founder and CEO of the civil rights organization Operation LEAD, and former DeKalb NAACP president.