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Five Questions with Kevin Fitzpatrick, District 1 City Council Candidate

Fitzpatrick says, "Brookhaven's City Charter is not act of seccession from Dekalb County."

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

Fitzpatrick: I am willing to face any unwanted scrutiny that I might endure during the course of a political campaign to make sure that the new City of Brookhaven becomes the best it can be. We have the opportunity to have the best public safety, the best parks, the best connectivity between parks and neighborhoods, the best public involvement in strategic planning and the highest level of transparency and accountability. I along with countless other citizens are working hard to ensure that we are doing the best we can for Brookhaven.


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

Fitzpatrick: Having lived in Brookhaven for 27 years, I have had many opportunites to be of service to the community. I was educated in Brookhaven, having graduated from Oglethorpe in 1978. I have served on the OLA Parish Council and was instrumental in the overcoming the challenges to build the new church and parish center. I have served on the Board of Trustees at Oglethorpe University for the past eight years, and have worked together with the other members of the Board, the faculty and administration to correct defthe university's financial course of events. I have served on the Board's Executive and Audit committees, among others. Working together, we have made the difficult decisions that have balanced the university's budget, produced clean and unqualified audits and have postion Oglethorpe for the largest capital campaign in her history. I have provided pro bono legal services to the Gainsborough Pool. I worked with others in the community to achieve traffic calming improvements, resulting in a dramatic decrease in cut-through traffic.  I have coached softball with the Murphey Candler Girls Softball Association.  I am a past president of the Saint Thomas More Society. I am a coach for the Marist High School Mock Trial Team. Finally, this weekend, I completed a 170-mile two-day bike ride to raise funds for the Gerogia Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.


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

Fitzpatrick: Having accepted the responsibility to provide public safety, we must carefully review the various models for police departments and select a model and a police chief that will bring the best to Brookhaven. I would advocate for a community based police force, where residents would know the officers on the beart and vice versa, and where the City provides the officers with the resources they need to do the job.


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

Fitzpatrick: Brookhaven's City Charter is not act of seccession from Dekalb County. As our new city rests completely within the County, it is critical that we maintain a heatlhy working relationship with the County. We will have to coordinate with the County on a number of issues, including the transition of public safety responsibilities and the transfer of ownership of Broookhaven's parks to Brookhaven. This begins with clear and concise communications relating to expectations on both sides.


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?

Fitzpatrick: I promise to always serve the residents of the City of Brookhaven with pride, humilty and a great respect for getting the greatest return on their tax-dollar investment. I will be prudent and cautious in all budgetary matters and operate under the strictest code of ethics.
 
 

Grieg Ericsson September 19, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Good answers. I have a couple of questions for you. It is no secret that there have been some extremely lofty promises made by J Max Davis and his entourage while on the campaign for city hood trail. One of those lofty promises is a better - more responsive police force. The Carl Vinson Institute based it's police force numbers (53 officers) on 49,188 (1 office / 924 people) people which came from the 2010 census. In addition to the 49,188 people, there are over 50,000 undocumented people to add to the count - pushing it over 100K residents. This changes the ratio to 1 officer / 1,871 people at minimum. No one is talking about this aside from "we'll just run those folks out of Brookhaven, etc. etc.". As your reach will be limited to District 1 - how will you be able to influence the other councilpersons and the Mayor to staff our police force accordingly - to ensure ALL of those in the city are protected? And will you be willing to "shout from the mountaintop" to advocate for all of those in the city - not just district 1? And if need be, are you willing to scratch any park improvements in lieu of an effective police force?
B T September 19, 2012 at 05:15 PM
John Edwards, really?! http://www.campaignmoney.com/political/contributions/kevin-fitzpatrick.asp?cycle=08
Eric H September 19, 2012 at 07:12 PM
The Census counts undocumented people. The 49,188 number includes that population. True some say that people living in apartments sometimes get under counted, but not to the level you are thinking of. 50,000? Where is that number from?
Ben Podgor September 19, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Grieg Ericsson: "As your reach will be limited to District 1" is not a correct statement of the candidates reach, if elected. He will be acting for the entire City of Brookhaven. Ben Podgor
Jack of Kings September 19, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Eric, I think that you may be overlooking that Grieg does not believe his own posts. Those numbers he just made up. He is a gadfly that makes up his own reality and mixes it with just enough fact every so often to try to keep some semblance of credibility. Other than that, he has been very constructive here with helpful comments and cogent thoughts.
Grieg Ericsson September 19, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Eric, The number does not account for the "undocumenteds" in whole. Only 37.35%. The numbers come from calling the US Census estimations. The area around Buford Hwy and Buford Hwy are among the hardest in the State to count. On a scale of 1 (easiest to count) to 100 (hardest to count), over 44% of our City has a difficulty rating from 70 to 90. This means that the area is very hard to accurately count. Spend some time on the phone with the Latin American Association and the Census Bureau and you will see. You are correct that some of the respondents to the census are included, but a large number are not.
Grieg Ericsson September 19, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Phil, Please refrain. You'll be glad you did.
Grieg Ericsson September 19, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Phil, Did 75% of the Districts in Brookhaven vote NO?
Eric H September 19, 2012 at 10:18 PM
I hear you, though I have to think the biggest the bump could be would be maybe 10k uncounted. Of the 3 reasons given, only point 3 is really relevant since in urban areas like ours they aren't migrant workers or living in hotels or shacks [Point 2's "many" is questionable]. An undercount shortchanges DeKalb and Bhaven from its share of federal and State funding. The city should do a campaign to give assurances to them to respond. http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/censusandstatistics/a/undercountcost.htm 1 A Transient Population: In states like California and Texas, a large percentage of illegal immigrants are farm workers who enter the country illegally from Mexico to follow the crops and the seasons across the state, never establishing a fixed place of residence...... 2 Non-Traditional Residency: According to the Census Bureau, very few illegal immigrants manage or choose to live in traditional single-family homes or apartments. Instead, most live in-and-out of hotels or motels, boarding houses, even storage rooms and other spaces illegally used as living quarters. 3 Fear and Distrust: Clearly, fear of arrest and deportation remains the main factor contributing the Census Bureau's difficulty in counting illegal immigrants. In spite of assurances that their census responses will remain confidential and never shared with law enforcement, illegal immigrants continue to assume that census takers are actually trying to catch them.
Enuff Govt Already September 20, 2012 at 01:34 AM
The county pd reported the a 27% drop in violent crime and a 16% drop in property crime for the unincorporated areas of north precinct. Their yr end report said they made over 6,600 arrest, 33K tickets and worked about 165K calls for service. Sandy Springs PD, which has 20% more manpower than the north precinct reported in 2010 making 4400 arrest, 5618 speeding tickets and 96K calls for service. Smyrna PD which has about the same number of officers as the north precinct reported for 2011 making only 3300 arrest and writing 21K tickets. Dunwoody's chief stated, said "with a force of just 46 sworn officers, it is growing increasingly difficult to maintain adequate visibility and reduce crime" as he was asking for $2M more for his budget that's already at $6M. The best plan put forward by B-Yes only equals the basic police service currently provided for the precinct. The proposed plan does NOT include the needed enhanced police services. The most important thing govt provides is police service and for some reason the we are bent on tossing out a the best trained, experienced, well equipped and cost effective service for a start up. If it's about "branding" the new city then buy some police cars with Brookhaven on it and let the county officers drive them. Get creative not expensive.
TomMiller September 23, 2012 at 01:33 AM
It's an absurdity to write- as Greg has- that the City of Brookhaven has more 100% more illegals than residents. He obviously cannot be taken seriously, and surely he is throwing out nonsense to see if he can get a rise of people. Nice try, not gonna work. Let's spend 30% more on police. potholes can wait.
Grieg Ericsson September 23, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Ton, Please refrain from Deans FUD.
Kevin Fitzpatrick October 17, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Grieg: I have a little bit of an advantage because one of my law partners is General Counsel the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police. This has given me the opportunity to talk to a number of Georgia chiefs over the years. Based on those conversatBefore we talk about the number of officers we will need, we should first commission a professional study of all the service calls by the DeKalb North Precinct over the past several years. Law enforcement experts tell me that the next step is to decide the level of service that we want to apply to the problem. Let's take this one step at a time. Neither the number in the Vinson study, nor the 2 per 1000 number that I have heard bandied about are helpful. There is no law enforcement standard relating the number of police officers to population. What there are , are averages. In the Southeast, there is an average of 2.4 officers per 1000 residents in cities with populations of 10,000 or more.
Kevin Fitzpatrick October 17, 2012 at 11:40 PM
B T Not one of my better decisions.
don Gabacho November 07, 2012 at 06:36 PM
"I would advocate for a community based police force, where residents would know the officers on the beart and vice versa..."---Kevin Fitzpatrick Finally a candidate who will allow citizens to know who police them. So far so good.
don Gabacho November 07, 2012 at 06:57 PM
"This means that the area is very hard to accurately count. Spend some time on the phone with the Latin American Association and the Census Bureau and you will see..." Actually the Mexican Consulate and respective Latino governments' consulates know far better than the Census Bureau. Fat chance though that they, and the MxGov dominated Latin American Association, will ever tell.
don Gabacho November 27, 2012 at 07:50 PM
"I have a little bit of an advantage..."Kevin Fitzpatrick How? How can the mere potential for conflict of interest (between the interests of the police and who they police [the Public]) be "an advantange"? "...because one of my law partners is General Counsel the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police."---Kevin Fitzpatrick Is he General Counsel then for police with dual citizenships---sought or conferred? In a conflict, for example, between a US citizen and a a Police Chief of dual citizenship, where a potential of the Police Chief for representing the interests of his native government can be perceived, would your partner reppresent the interests of the citizen or the police chief? Would your partner or yourself expect American citizens to be subject in any way to any authority of a public office holder conflicted by dual or mulitple citizenship?
Kevin Fitzpatrick November 28, 2012 at 02:07 AM
don Gabacho, I am not sure I understand. What police chief has dual citizenship?
don Gabacho December 03, 2012 at 06:55 PM
"I am not sure I understand. What police chief has dual citizenship?"---Kevin Hint: 1998 - Following the signing of NAFTA, the Mexican Government reverses its own laws to recognize “Mexicans Abroad” (in the U.S.A.) who, having achieved U.S. Citizenships as long instructed in Mexico, and, thus, voter rights in U.S. elections, to be Mexican citizens. (Also their children born in the U.S.A..) Previously regarded as “traitors” by the Mexican Government, they have henceforth been regaled by Mexico's Presidents'' since as “heroes.” 2004 - "We are Mexicans that live in our territories and we are Mexicans that live in other territories. In reality, we are 120 million people that live together and are working together to construct a nation." -- Vicente Fox, President of Mexico in Chicago

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