Brookhaven Mayoral Candidate Thom Shepard Withdraws

The candidate's withdrawal was announced at the beginning of Wednesday's mayoral candidate forum held at Ashford Park Elementary.

Erica Mymudes, the treasurer of the Ashford Park Civic Association, announced that mayoral candidate Thom Shepard has decided to drop out of the mayoral race.

The announcement came at the start of a mayoral candidates forum, hosted by the APCA and Drew Valley Civic Association, is taking place at the Ashford Park Elementary School from 7 to 9 p.m. today.

Details have not been announced, but Brookhaven Patch will post updates as soon as they are available.

Eddie E. October 04, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Kestrel, I share your concerns. Didn't Georgia defeat a Constitutional Amendment that would have allowed 'private cities' a few years back? Larry's point should also be carefully considered. Much of the BYES sales pitch has been about the earth shattering things the new city would do, while the reality is there really isn't much a city can or will do differently than the County. It's just that the funds will go into for-profit coffers rather than supporting the structures we already own.
"E Pluribus Unum" October 04, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Eddie E, exactly. Even someone who voted for the city should be able to acknowledge this. You are only making a statement of fact. Unfortunately many folks get awfully defensive about this point.
"E Pluribus Unum" October 04, 2012 at 01:00 PM
I have a general observation to make and folks can consider it meaningful or not. It made an impression with me because it was a first impression of the remaining candidates for mayor that I personally had. I attended the first governor's commission meeting to hear first hand how they planned to move forward. In walking up to the assembly room and waiting in the lobby for the activities to began, I was separately greeted by both Larry and Sandy. I observed them naturally connecting with folks in a very gracious, warm manner. In observing several of the commissioners, they appeared stand-offish. They spoke with very few and the individuals they did speak with were individuals they knew. This behavior didn't make a good first impression. J. Max hit me as knowing a lot of people but somewhat stuck on himself. He only stayed with folks he knew and didn't reach out to others that he didn't know. In short, the behavior of Larry and Sandy interacting with community folks hit me as very genuine.
Allison S. October 04, 2012 at 01:05 PM
J.Max really impressed me. He looked and sounded more like a mayor than the others. I have to admit I had heard differently about him from one of my friends who voted against the city ( I was against the city but only slightly). Larry Danese seemed pretty knowledgeable but his presentation and ability to communicate clearly were not too good. Sandy presented better than Larry but she was the least knowledgeable. All 3 seemed like good people and there really wasn't any nastiness which was refreshing. Davis (who is probably going to win from what I see and hear) is probably the most prepared to start off the city and seemed passionate about the city. My 2 cents.
Kestrel Larson October 04, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Allison, J Max has already been speaking on yours and all of our behalf(s) without us knowing about it and without us having any input. His apparent lack of character and transparency in this regard is a huge concern for me. We already experienced a closed door cityhood movement. We do not need more of this type of closed door "leadership".
"E Pluribus Unum" October 04, 2012 at 04:30 PM
I would like to modify my earlier remark regarding J. Max after reading both Allison and Kestral's comments. A better way to describe my impression of J. Max is having an air of self importantance. In fairness, this is more reflective of my impression of him. With that said, this modified description is double edge. There are good aspects in emoting an image of self importance...until it crosses a line and becomes perceived as negative. This is what happen with me while sitting back observing folks. Finally, even though Allison has a bent in favor of J. Max, it seems Larry and Sandy have skills and are more than capable to be mayor.
Belinda October 04, 2012 at 04:43 PM
I agree with Allison. J.Max is clearly the best candidate from what I saw last night. I had heard his name before but didn't know the others names until I saw the notice for the debate. I don't know where the self importance and it turning negative thing comes from. It seems like some people on this thread have had their minds made up for along time and maybe don't like what he said about having led the city hood effort or something . If you just don't like him because his politics are different from yours just say that. Just don't let your biases mold what you think he has to be because you disagree with him.
Greg Trinkle October 04, 2012 at 05:04 PM
First off, I liked this debate a little better than the District 2. The district 2 candidates, the questions seemed to be designed to refight the incorporation battle. I thought a lot of very irrelevant questions. Tom Hogan should be credited with keeping the audience question on point. The flip side, on some of the tougher questions, the follow up questions at least showed that the candidate actually ducked answering the question directly.
Greg Trinkle October 04, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Larry Danese did not seem real comfortable with public speaking, and paled in this ability compared to the other two candidates. However, the first two years or such, by far the biggest need is going to be setting up the city services. And I believe have no doubt he would be a real asset when evaluating RFPs. While privatization can be a very good thing, signing a bad/wrong contract can be way worse than what Dekalb offers. For example, anyone that hired the wrong/bad contractor for work on their home knows that repairing the damage by this contractor might end up costing more then what the original work required. But down the road, the Mayor duties (Such as a Chamber of Commerce) will be the cheerleader/marketing/sale rep type of skills to help promote businesses to locate in our city.
Greg Trinkle October 04, 2012 at 05:06 PM
While J Max did duck the questions I was most concerned with, I did like some of his answers to some of the 2nd tier questions that peaked my interest. Maybe the questions could have been asked better, but I don’t think it would have made a difference. But I will not vote for him. It is a matter of trust.
Greg Trinkle October 04, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Sandy, while some might have found as a negative, I like her honesty when she answered she did not know (The feel good question on codes that negatively affect business). Now this again could have been a question that was asked better. I would not expect any candidate (Short of a city inspector) to know all details of Dekalb code. Honestly, with the short time frame between the election and city hood, we are going to have to adopt Dekalb Code book. Setting up the city services has to take priority and scrubbing the code will need to be more long range (Although Larry did make a good point that your District Council Member will have more influence on this than the Mayor).
Troy Milliken October 04, 2012 at 05:10 PM
@E Plu,etc. I was holding my crystals, which have been bathed in sea and rain water, and feel your vibe, like, so much. I have learned to get in touch and listen to my inner feelings, my own voice, and really appreciate that you are sensitive to your own subjectivity. Thank you for sharing, anyone else? Bueller, Bueller?
"E Pluribus Unum" October 04, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Belinda, as clarification, before the commission meeting mentioned, I had never met any of the govenor commissioners or candidates. The encounters described are my observations and experience. It has nothing to do with anyone's qualifications. It has to do with first impressions, Larry and Sandy made a much more positive impression with me than all the others mentioned. Finally, I didn't just fall off the turnip truck yesterday. I have extensive experience and work with a wide range of people. I have relationships with local and national corporate and political leaders. As such, I always enter relationships giving the other person the benefit of the doubt. And I am a pretty good judge of people and interactions. So again, I've only shared my personal observation and experience. It's not your place to minimize my experience. Why so defensive?
Eddie E. October 04, 2012 at 05:18 PM
I feel it is sufficient to disagree with him. And to have deep questions about the degree to which anyone has been spending the last few months 'attending to the business' of an entity that did not yet exist and is not the personal property of any given individual. The whole idea of Public Property and Public Trust is difficult for some folks to get their head around.
"E Pluribus Unum" October 04, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Troy Milliken...well played.
Troy Milliken October 04, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Nonetheless, your impressions are valuable expressions and ought to be fleshed out a bit. Did you speak to any of these folks? Ask them questions that would provide insight on your impressions? Just curious, I am glad you went to see firsthand.
Kiri Walton (Editor) October 04, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Thom Shepard responded via text message to Patch's request for more info about his withdrawal: "No comment at this time. Press release to follow."
"E Pluribus Unum" October 04, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Troy Milliken, yes. I should have made that point a little more clearer. Regarding Larry's communication style, he was very engaging, pleasant in our one on one conversation. I personally wouldn't be overly concerned about his public speaking skills. I am more interested and impressed with the type and scope of work he did with the ultility he worked for. Being involved with any aspect of nuclear power says an awful lot about his capabilities. As far as Sandy responding she didn't know to a question, that says a lot for me. I am more inclined to trust someone that confident with themself to be honest to say "don't know" in public. From our brief discussion, she also was engaging. I would say whatever it is she is not sure about she is more than capable to learn and come up to speed on very quickly.
Belinda October 04, 2012 at 09:03 PM
J.Max did a good job. The other 2 did ok and if you put them together you might be able to say they were his equal. I have watched some of the replay today and didn't see and don't recall J.Max "ducking" any questions. Since I don't plan on watching all 3 clips from the debate please let me know questions he ducked. They all 3 refused to post a proposed budget in the next 3 weeks so if that is the "duck" then they all ducked it.
Jack of Kings October 04, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Brookhaven Reporter Plans Public Meetings with Candidates The Brookhaven Reporter will host a pair of public gatherings at which voters will be able to meet candidates for office in the new city of Brookhaven. The first forum is scheduled for Oct. 15 at Oglethorpe University. Candidates for mayor will speak and answer questions. It starts at 7 p.m. A “meet-the-candidates” session for City Council will be held Oct.30 at the Briarwood Park recreation center at 7 p.m. http://www.reporternewspapers.net/2012/10/04/brookhavens-first-city-campaign-under-way/
HamBurger October 05, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Mr. Phil, thank you for the information. A few questions: 1 – Will Brookhaven Reporter have a time clock? 2 – Will Brookhaven Reporter have a bell? 3 – Will Brookhaven reporter have an orderly way to allow the audience to answer questions? Or, will the Brookhaven Reporter select questioners as they please? 4 – Did Brookhaven Reporter check scheduling for other related Brookhaven Commission related committee and sub-committee meetings? Just curious, do you know? The last thing we need is for the fiasco that Brookhaven Reporter gave us last time they were capable of hosting a forum. Have they finally learned how to host a forum/debate? Or, are they doing it AJC style? Please pass the yellow mustard!
Jack of Kings October 05, 2012 at 01:45 AM
HamBurger--- I did not do any research beyond cut and pasting part of the article from Brookhaven Reporter. Perhaps you could call them up and ask them those questions and you could inform us here. Funny thing, HanBurger--I remember you had plenty of time to present and answer questions at that Oglethorpe University forum hosted by the Brookhaven Reporter. Don't worry, there are alot of council member candidates. But you will get your time.
Eddie E. October 05, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Mr. Burger, I think we know the 'news outlet' you reference has chosen their approve candidate. Just like they chose to put their BYES advertiser over the unrepresented majority of Citizens.
Eddie E. October 05, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Phil, I didn't see you at the APS debate last night. I wanted to say hello. Maybe at Oglethorpe.
Jack of Kings October 05, 2012 at 01:59 AM
That is weird, Eddie. I was there.
HamBurger October 05, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Mr. Phil, no, you were not. However, you were missed. Yellow mustard on your J. Max chili?
HamBurger October 05, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Mr. Phil, you think Brookhaven Reporter is capable of getting it right this time? Additionally, you are mistaken; I was only an observer in the audience at Oglethorpe, not a participant. Your continued confusion is delusional. So what do you say? Yellow mustard on your J. Max chili?
Booyah October 05, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Hammy, did Jim Lehrer have a clock? Did Jim Lehrer have a bell? Did Jim Lehrer have a way for the audience to ask questions? Did the networks check for other calendar events? If you don't think the Reporter will do a job that meets your standards, then don't attend. Oh that's right, you won't attend anyway because your Mommy & Daddy won't let you out of the basement.
Brookhaven Maven October 05, 2012 at 03:35 AM
To Belinda and Allison and others who have said they only met the candidates in person at this AP debate for the first time -- I've known all three mayoral candidates for years, and only one is competent to be the first mayor of the city. That's Larry Danese. He's the only one who has had practical project management experience. He's the only one who has dealt with governmental RFPs and other contracts. He's the only one who has a friendly working relationship with DeKalb government. He's the only one who has managed a budget as large as the one proposed. He's the only one who has the thoughtful and considered personality needed to be a successful first mayor. J has none of the above. He is a cheerleader for cityhood and Mike Jacobs' puppet. Sandy was anti-cityhood and has said on more than one occasion that she is running for mayor only to make sure the Yes faction doesn't control everything. She is decidedly unqualified to be any kind of government "official." The first mayor needs to be able to devote a tremendous amount of time to reading and reviewing and making decisions on all kinds of documents for hiring, purchases, and God knows what else. Larry is retired and can put in the necessary hours. J has several small children living at home AND a law firm in which he is the sole attorney. How can he possibly spend the needed time doing city stuff? Sandy's judgement is circumspect. I don't trust her to make good decisions, period. -- The Maven
HamBurger October 05, 2012 at 03:54 AM
Ms. A Resident, this is a local debate with ongoing meetings for development of your new city. Are you saying that Brookhaven Yes is unable to do a scheduling check before they release their media outlet to proceed with event scheduling? What? They are still overseeing this madness, right? By the way, Mr. Jim caught a lot of heat in the media for last night, but that seems to come with the territory. However, he did have a clock and a bell. At least he didn’t grunt . . . Or, did he? Please pass the yellow mustard!


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