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Closing Comments from the 5/11/21 BOC Meeting

Good Afternoon Everyone:

I will begin today by thanking my good friend Patrick Medley for presenting me with the thoughtful collection of photos on behalf of the Central DeKalb Volunteer Community Clean Up Crew. I really appreciate the gesture and that now holds a place of prominence in my office.

I also want to congratulate Patrick on recently joining the staff at Side by Side Brain Injury Clubhouse. This wonderful organization advances the long-term well-being of people with brain related injuries and their families. And we are so proud to have that organization in District 4.

On May 1st, I was happy to participate in the Bike Month Kick Off that was hosted by my good friend Clarkston Mayor Beverly Burks. This was a great event the brought together the mayors in District 4 whose cities border the Path, including Avondale Estates Mayor Jonathan Elmore, Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett, and Stone Mountain Mayor Pat Wheeler. The City of Tucker was represented by Councilmembers Matt Robbins and Noelle Monferdini. I want to thank and commend Mayor Burks for making this happen. This event induced me to shake the dust off of my bike that had been gathering in my basement and make the ride from my house to downtown Clarkston for the event. Granted it was not all that far distance wise, but this an accomplished for me. Now, I have to admit that I was a little concerned about being able to make it back home. But, I am happy to report Commissioner Terry, that I did make it back without doing any damage to my bike or myself. Once again, it was a great event.

Later that day, I was pleased to attend the Water Park Opening at the Wade Walker Park Family YMCA. It was great to so many people enjoying this wonderful facility. I want to commend center Director Lorna Loh for the great job that she is doing running the facility and thank my friend Jacqui Steele for the invitation to attend.

On May 4th, I was happy to join my colleagues Commissioners Jeff Rader and Ted Terry for the Laurel Ridge Shamrock Civic Association meeting via zoom. Laurel Ridge is a great community and it was great to engage in a very candid dialogue with the residents on a number of important issues. I want to thank LRSCA board members Paul Friederich and Marylee Putnam and the entire community for the invitation. I look forward to returning in the future, hopefully in person next time.

It was great to visit the construction site for the Tobie Grant Intergenerational Center in District 4 on May 6th. I want to thank Commissioner Robert Patrick for joining as well. This is a project that was started long before I took office. I know that our friend and former colleague Commissioner Kathie Gannon put a lot of effort into this project. Upon taking office, I did contribute $250,000 to assist with the financing of this project. Once completed, it will be a welcome addition to that wonderful community. I would like to commend and thank our Community Development Department led by Allen Mitchell for their persistence and creativity in keeping this project on track. It is going to be a really wonderful facility. Hopefully, we will be able to host a ribbon cutting ceremony later this year or early next year.

Finally, I want to offer a great word of thanks to our research assistant Adedotun Seyingbo for his service to our District 4 office. He is an outstanding young man with a bright future who has added a lot to our deliberations on a number of projects over the past several months. Dotun has recently completed his studies for a Master’s in Public Policy degree from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, which happens to be where I received my graduate degree and where I taught as an Adjunct Professor. Dotun is now returning to his native country of Nigeria with the immense gratitude of a certain DeKalb County Commissioner. Candidly, I would not be surprised if Dotun becomes President of Nigeria one day. When that happens, I will simply ask that he does not forget us little people here in DeKalb County, GA. I wish him nothing but the best.

l will close today by once again thanking the citizens of District 4 for affording me this opportunity to serve. It is indeed an honor.

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