.

Five Questions With Ben Podgor, District 3 Candidate

Patch interviews the candidates for Brookhaven mayor and city council.


Editor's Note: will take place on Nov. 6, 2012, with runoffs set for for Dec. 4, 2012.

Patch has contacted every candidate for mayor and city council, asking them to participate in our popular 'Five Questions With ...' series. We will publish their answers, unedited, in the order their responses are received, from those who choose to participate.

And now, Five Questions With , candidate for city council district 3.

1. In this day and age of intense scrutiny, and especially considering the recent, hotly contested debate and vote over Brookhaven municipalization, why are you running for city council?

Podgor: My background education and experience compels me to make myself available as a candidate.

2. What do you think separates your candidacy from the other contenders?

Podgor: I am both an New York attorney and certified public accountant, "Knighted by the French Government", see: http://ben.benjaminpodgor.com  

You can find out everything in my background by putting my name into Google.  Do this as "ben podgor" and "benjaminpodgor" make sure it is in quotes, otherwise you will get about 25,000 things about my daughter, a professor of law at Stetson University. You will only get about 2,000 things about me. There will be no mistake about who you search. I am the only Ben Podgor in the United States.

3. With a newly incorporated municipality, is one responsibility (i.e., police, zoning, etc.) more pressing than some of the others?

Podgor: Safety would appear to stand out.  That is why police, fire and municipal court should immediately go into service.

4. Moving forward, what do you envision Brookhaven's relationship with DeKalb County to be?

Podgor: It must remain a good working relationship with both representatives of DeKalb and Brookhaven fully recognizing the duties that each has to perform.  It is obvious that Brookhaven will gain and that in a sense DeKalb will lose.  Brookhaven has been paying many expenses that should have been paid by the people that are not within Brookhaven. 

5. Candidates make promises when running for public office all the time. Can you make just one promise that, with absolute certainty, you will keep?

Podgor: Yes. I will not engage in any transaction that would create a conflict of interest. Let me add, that I will aim to make our effort a success.

HamBurger September 05, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Mr. Ben, respectfully, here is question #3 from the article above followed by my question: 3. With a newly incorporated municipality, is one responsibility (i.e., police, zoning, etc.) more pressing than some of the others? Podgor: Safety would appear to stand out. That is why police, fire and municipal court should immediately go into service. HamBurger 8:37 am on Tuesday, September 4, 2012 Mr. Ben, with regard to your response to question #3, how quickly to you expect to integrate the fire department as a Brookhaven service? Special hamburger and a Cheerwine?
Bill Lowe September 05, 2012 at 07:55 PM
I always wonder about third person speaking....I do it sometimes when I speak of myself as "we", but that is just for laughs. Which third person are you Ben?
don Gabacho September 05, 2012 at 09:14 PM
"I apologize to you, Senor, if you don't approve of my asking Mr. Podgor, a man asking for my vote as a District 3 resident, to answer simple questions asked of him..."---Shawn Keefe Will the BYessers ever bring their stupid contest to an end---too? Obviously, I don't object to asking questions. I object to "flagrant hypocrisy."
Ben Podgor September 06, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Shawm Keefe: You are correct, I did say that all three will go into effect. Did not ever suggest that we operate the fire department, but that is just an excuse. My statement was not worded the way it could have been. Maybe, to excuse myself, we should realize that in reality there will be no interruption in service at any time. I personally look upon the police department as having the same people, doing the same job, but wearing the upper part of the uniform with the words: City of Brookhaven. Will we add additional police? That remains to be seen. Will we ever run the Fire Department. I will not say never. There will be a Municipal Court. But I doubt that any action will occur on day 1. So, yes, all three will be in operation, but the Fire Department will be part of DeKalb. Ben Podgor
Ben Podgor September 06, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Shawn Keefe: When I used the First Person it was because that is what came to mind at that moment. Authors sometimes use First Person, Third Person, or even switch within the same chapter. So far, as an author, I have only written one novelette. This will also make an interesting story, the fact that I had no intention of writting it. Tried to convince an author of more than a dozen excellent novels to write this novel. When I mentioned the word taxes, this author suggested that I start it. Wrote chapter 1, waited, wrote chapter 2, waited, about the time I wrote chapter 3, this author told me that I was telling the story too fast. That you are supposed to dish it out slowly. It ended up as a novelette, not a novel. How many readers are interested in reading a novel or novelette about taxes? Yet, there was a compelling need to tell this story. A person got a year in jail, that should not have occurred. My novelette puts the main character in the same position but shows how the case could have been won. Read "Ode to the Revenue Code, A Novellette, By Ben Podgor" Barnes & Noble and Amazon both have it available for sale. What has this got to do with the City of Brookhaven. It shows that one of the candidates believes that "Justice" is important. Please see: http://ode.benjaminpodgor.com the letter written by the gal that went to prison and also by her secretary. Ben Podgor
Brookhaven Maven September 06, 2012 at 02:12 AM
The above exchange is one of the weirdest ones I've seen on this forum. I am very glad I don't live in District 3. Even so, I am interested in the qualifications of every candidate for every seat. Therefore, I pose the following: To Mr. Podgor - I didn't google you, but I DID do a deep web search through other means, and I have found a 1998 article from the Massapequan Observer (http://www.antonnews.com/massapequanobserver/1998/11/06/news/) which reports that you were 80 years old at that time. Let's see ... 80 + 2 + 12 = 94. Are you REALLY 94 years old??? The city charter calls for the initial District 3 councilperson to be in office until November, 2015. That will put you somewhere close to 97 at the end of your first term in office. Does this sound correct to you, sir? - The Maven
Ben Podgor September 06, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Before anyone gets to "pick on me" that I may think of myself as better than the other candidates, let me say this, clearly. I think that every one of the 25 candidates has something of value to offer. No, I do not consider myself better. That will be your choice. In fact, I have a hard time trying to deside who I will vote for, for mayor. I will not have any problem with who I vote for in district 3. Yes, I will vote for Ben Podgor, not because he is better, but becuase there his competative spirit will act without reason. Ben Podgor
Brookhaven Maven September 06, 2012 at 02:16 AM
To Mr. Podgor at 10:13p -- In case you overlooked my post above ... To Mr. Podgor - I didn't google you, but I DID do a deep web search through other means, and I have found a 1998 article from the Massapequan Observer (http://www.antonnews.com/massapequanobserver/1998/11/06/news/) which reports that you were 80 years old at that time. Let's see ... 80 + 2 + 12 = 94. Are you REALLY 94 years old??? The city charter calls for the initial District 3 councilperson to be in office until November, 2015. That will put you somewhere close to 97 at the end of your first term in office. Does this sound correct to you, sir? - The Maven
Ben Podgor September 06, 2012 at 02:22 AM
That question was brought up by Mr. Hamburger and answered. Your research should be able to find it. Just remember that the bible gives one time to 120 years of age. One friend suggested that when Ben does reach that 120 th year, he file for an extension. Since be did a lot of work in taxation, he does know how to file for extentions. Ben Podgor
Brookhaven Maven September 06, 2012 at 02:50 AM
To Mr. Ben Podgor at 10:22pm -- Your answer, sir, is a non-answer. I note that you have replied to others about other topics in a similar fashion. I don't live in District 3, but if I did, you certainly would not get MY vote, on the basis of your reticence in providing a direct answer to a direct question. I will be sure to inform my District 3 acquaintances of your very baffling behavior, and will encourage them to look to other candidates for councilperson. -- The Maven
Jack of Kings September 06, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Very impressive due diligence, Brookhaven Maven. I applaud Mr. Podgor's life long resiliency. However, full disclosure of qualifications and background, including age, are necessary for a voter's consideration.
HamBurger September 06, 2012 at 11:42 AM
Mr. Ben, respectfully, I have never asked you about your age. Please pass the yellow mustard!
Ben Podgor September 06, 2012 at 04:10 PM
I may be wrong that it was Hamburger that asked the question. But someone did and I answered it. However, I will answer it again. Please assume that I am 117 years old. The bible gives me to 120. That is only three years. Since the term of office is only three years. I may make it. One of my friends suggested that when I am about to reach 120, that I file for an extention. Much of my work involved taxes. So I do know how to file for extention. Please do not tell me that you will not vote for me. I never suggested that anyone vote for me. All I ever said: I am compelled to make myself available. Note that none of the 25 candidates say anything negative about the people they are running against. All they are telling you about their qualifications. I personally think that every one of them brings something to the front. Hope they continue to stay active, no matter how they do in the election. Vote, for whoever you think will do the job best. Ben Podgor
don Gabacho September 08, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Ben, Given, the U.S. Constitution obviously never having empowered any foreign government to involve itself in our elections and referendums plus the U.S. Constitution binding all public office holders to---first and foremost---protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, what are you going to do about both: 1) bringing the MxGov to task for its incorporation in DeKalb County, GA by successive Secretaries of the SOS of GA as its "Instituto de Mexico" and its being provided, having and using our voter registration forms and 2) not only protecting the right to seek (and obtain) redress of grievance but also those who seek the redress? Note: I'll be asking all appointed to the non-elected commission and candidates for office also.
Ben Podgor September 08, 2012 at 11:02 PM
don Gabacho: I suggest you direct your question to those who are members of the Georgia Bar. Even though I am admitted to practice before the U. S. Supreme Court, and even though I would be eligible for appointment as a Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court, I am not admitted to the Georgia Bar. If the time ever came that I was presented with your question I would have to get a member of the Georgia Bar to give a legal opinion for what is appropriate action. The charter for the City of Brookhaven very clearly requires that only a member of the Georgia Bar is to handle, the courts, etc. But maybe we should not look to find fault with any organization or enterprise that will briing business and employment opportunities to the City of Brookhaven. Ben Podgor
don Gabacho September 08, 2012 at 11:26 PM
"If the time ever came that I was presented with your question I would have to get a member of the Georgia Bar to give a legal opinion for what is appropriate action."---Ben Actually you can get the opinion and appropriate action from the Attorney General of Georgia. It is what the office is for. With being a member of the bar or not irrelevant. Would you do that?
don Gabacho September 08, 2012 at 11:41 PM
P.S.: Keep in mind that dollars and cents hardly trumps the sovereignty---and thus validity---of our own elections and referendums past and present while it would be your obligation as a holder of a public office to take the issue to the AG of GA's office or, if you prefer, the AG of the US. While keeping in mind also that there can always be a new referendum for a City of Brookhaven.
Political Gadfly September 09, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Congratulations don G, you have constructed the longest sentence in the history of the BrookhavenPatch. I think you deserve a special hambuger with extra mustard and a Cheerwine from your fellow whiny poster as a reward for your sentence about the U.S. Constitution. Note: The non-elected commission and candidates for office won't care a whit about answering questions from a poster who delights in seeing his/her name in print.
don Gabacho September 09, 2012 at 05:15 AM
PG, Not much of a "political gadfly." Are you?
Tilly-the-Teller September 09, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Thank goodness for Brookhaven. Brookhavens' incorporation offers so many political surprises, curious new discussions, and a look into the fascinating dichotomy between rational and obscure thought processes. Brookhaven: "We make Atlanta laugh."
Tilly-the-Teller September 09, 2012 at 02:22 PM
BTW, I'm betting on Mr. Podgor making those next three years! You GO, sir!
Ben Podgor September 15, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Since I might be told that I failed to disclose all qualifications I find it necessary to add one more. When I lived in Massapequa Park ( that is in New York State), they had an auxiliary police formed by residents of Massapequa Park. The entire area was under their ovservation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This group did not have the power to do anything but call the regular police, if they saw anything that might be wrong. Ben Podgor was not a member, But Ben Podgor was called into service for less than an hour weekly, to man the Radio Equipment owned by Massapequa Park. Ben is licensed by the F. C. C. The various cities, towns, villages, etc. had a communications net where we held regular drills to cover an emergency. I tell this to show that Safety is a high priority in my thinking. Ben Podgor
Grieg Ericsson September 15, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Phil, Please refrain.
Grieg Ericsson September 15, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Tilly, How many aliases do you have J Max?
AshfordObserver September 15, 2012 at 11:56 PM
This "ben" who speaks in the 3rd person is pulling my leg (and others) right?
Jane September 16, 2012 at 03:29 AM
If you were half as smart as you think you are, you'd be doing something useful, Grieg, and not wild-a$$ guessing who's who on Patch. I am a well respected proctologist and am used to looking at a$$holes all day long.
HamBurger September 16, 2012 at 04:19 AM
Ms. Jane, I bet you don’t need a mirror, do you! Please pass the yellow mustard!
Political Gadfly September 16, 2012 at 10:16 AM
Jane, I hope your protologist practice is very successful for many years to come. Cheers !
Jane September 16, 2012 at 11:17 AM
Ham, My casual observation lead me to conclude you suffer symptoms of acute Recto-cranial Inversion (RCI). RCI is a horrible condition whose cure is limited to immediate cessation of the underlying cause, which is either rabid and constant blogging or yellow mustard. Applying hot compresses to the affected area provides limited temporary relief. Though not contagious, suffers often make those around them wish they were deceased. Y
Jane September 16, 2012 at 11:19 AM
Thank you, my business is booming, this is an election year and I have seen more a$$holes than usual.

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