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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Doraville, City Council, District 2

The councilmember proposes bills, holds votes, and passes laws to help govern the city.
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    Joseph Geierman Director of Real Estate and Facilities for Troutman Sanders (a large law firm)

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    Tim Snyder TV Producer

  • Peaches Toppin

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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?

Campaign Phone (770) 216-5395
At my job, I manage a portfolio of 16 offices with an operating budget of over $50 million. I’m responsible for all renovations and new build-outs. To do this well, I must work collaboratively with people from different backgrounds and roles.

I was a member of the Design Doraville Comprehensive Plan committee and serve on the city’s Planning Commission. I’ve led several volunteer organizations - including as the International Facility Management Association’s Atlanta chapter president and its Legal Industry Council president. In 2016 and 2017, I was president of the Northwoods Area Neighborhood Association. In these roles, I’ve demonstrated an ability and willingness to serve my community.

I’m passionate about Doraville as a great place to live. To unlock the city’s full potential, we need leaders who have a positive vision for the city’s future, who understand business, and who can work well with each other. I’m running because I know I can serve our city this way.
There are many infrastructure improvements that are highlighted in the comprehensive plan, but the city does not have adequate funding for most of them.

We need to prioritize projects that will bring businesses and developers to Doraville. These projects will be an investment in our future, and should help to generate more of the revenue we need for things like street paving and sidewalks.
The city needs to be serious about its code of ethics and make sure that all council members and city employees follow it closely. I think that all candidate contribution forms should be posted online, so that citizens can easily see what business interests are supporting individual candidates.

Also, the city should be doing a better job, overall, of communicating. There was a project to install traffic calming on Oakcliff Road that caught a number of residents by surprise. In the future, there should be more public outreach about these types of projects - whether via mail, through an improved website, or through some other means.
The city needs to take a hard look at its zoning and codes and check to see whether they are in line with those of the other municipalities that surround us. Doraville has a reputation for being a hard place to do business in, which has probably kept some companies and entrepreneurs from locating here. We should have strong standards, but also need to make sure that they are competitive with those of our neighbors.
I think the first thing the city should do is make it easier for homeowners to make improvements to their homes. I tried to install solar panels for nearly a year before giving up, because the city’s process was so difficult. The solar panel installers said they had never dealt with a municipality that was as hard to work with as Doraville. We should be making it as easy as possible for people to improve their homes - not putting barriers in place. This is especially true if those improvements could lead to cleaner air and a better environment for our community.
Seventeen years of civic activism has kept me in touch with the needs of homeowners and business people in our community and makes me uniquely qualified to represent these constituents. I believe the Council must return to serving the residents and businesses that have invested in our city and insist that speculative developers wanting to do business in Doraville have shovel-ready plans and financing before they approach the city asking for tax breaks and wide-open zoning. As a long time resident and taxpayer, I am motivated to keep Doraville's budget balanced while allowing for positive changes and growth in the future.
Doraville's biggest budget issue now is the lack of reserves and questionable spending. The city must be willing to cut unnecessary items from the budget and attempt to operate within the constraints of our available funds. The current administration has removed a huge portion of Doraville's business tax base, that used to serve the entire city, and placed these businesses into a TAD district. Tax monies from these businesses will now only serve the TAD area and a developer that has no shovel ready clients or prospects. And because of this, the current Council majority raised the city's ad valorem tax forcing residents to shoulder the burden of their ill-advised decision. I would propose letting private enterprise handle the majority of the burden for their profit-making enterprises and suggest that the city looks after the thousands of citizens that live here and have invested in the community. Our neighborhoods and our location are the real reason this town is so desirable.
Doraville's charter established an ethics committee to handle questions of ethical behavior in government. The current mayor and council majority have curiously disbanded this important committee. I would lobby to have the committee reestablished. I would lobby to have all Council meetings and work sessions streamed live and recorded for future playback. I would also lobby to have open records request processed in the timeframe established by the state of Georgia. Elected officials and staff should remain above reproach at all times.
I will uphold Doraville's laws and ordinances so that every individual and business in the city has the same opportunities to contribute, grow, and prosper.
I will aggressively lobby the Council to reinstate the LEED certification program that the current Council-majority abolished. Doraville must take responsibility for our environment and set a standard for other communities to emulate. We can no longer allow aging and harmful technologies to be used by developers as a cost-cutting measure. Mandating environment-friendly water, electric, and passive solar products for all city buildings and future developments in Doraville will offer immediate environmental improvements and in the long run reduce operating budgets. I also believe that by establishing tighter restrictions on environmental concerns, Dorville will attract more progressive and cleaner industries to our city and send a message to our current and future residents that we care.
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