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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Austell Council , At Large, Post 1

The councilmember proposes bills, holds votes, and passes laws to help govern the city.
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  • Candidate picture

    Ollie B. Clemons Jr. Retired

  • Melanie Maria Elder

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Biographical Information

What experience do you bring to the job to set policy for your city and what is your motivation to serve?

What, in your opinion, is the biggest budget issue facing your city and how, if elected would you propose to address it?

How should your city address the issues of lobbyist gifts, ethical behavior, and transparency in government?

Legal Permanent Residents and naturalized citizens contribute over a billion dollars in state and local taxes each year. How will you help ensure your city is a welcoming place for foreign born entrepreneurs and their families?

Cities across the country are embracing aggressive goals to reduce carbon pollution. What do you believe your municipality should do to support cleaner air?

My experience of more than 33 years in Federal Government in Human Resources, Labor Relations and as Senior Sales Executive has given me a strong foundation for setting policy for our city. Also my last four years serving on the council and as Mayor Pro Tem along with more than 120 hours of municipal training has built on the foundation with a more specific policy and regulation focus. Those two and my willingness to listen to the community I serve and involve key stakeholders and staff in the decision-making process to see our city be the best it can be give me motivation to serve.
One of our recent budget issues has been having a competitive salary with the neighboring municipalities for our public safety and all employees. I worked with the Mayor and our finance department to find the much-needed resources to hire and retain good employees. I will continue to seek new avenues of resources to address and sustain the city's needs for now and the future to come.
We have an ethics ordinance that we are governed by and addresses those issues. I was responsible for having the necessary adjustments made to our ordinance to be sure it met every requirement to become a Certified City of Ethics with the Georgia Municipal Association.
Austell is already a welcoming place for foreign born and those born in America who desire to live and do business in our city. As our city continues to grow we take pride in our diversity.
I believe our municipality should stay abreast of all federal and local clean air policies especially as it pertains to every industry in and near our city. We should be intentional about monitoring every industry in and around our municipality as it pertains to clean air. Also establish and maintain relationships with our local industry partners to keep them aware of our concern for our citizens and ensure compliance.
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