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 Larry Danese. candidate for Brookhaven mayor.
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 mayor?
Danese: Sadly, intense scrutiny is not really the issue, it is the loss of legitimacy in that scrutiny that pains.
I have the qualifications, experience, background and work ethic necessary to make our city successful. I am a qualified choice for the office. I know the issues. I know the path forward. I have support cityhood from the beginning, starting with the Township plan and I want to help see this through.
2. What do you think separates your candidacy from the other contenders?
Danese: I have a 15 year history of service to the community, serving on numerous boards and committees. I have worked with county and city governments on watershed management, planning and zoning, code enforcement, and with state officials on transportation issues and animal related legislation.
I hold MBA and engineering degrees, I am a retired registered engineer, and a business owner. I have managed very large projects for a Florida public utility and large transportation projects for the federal government. I have the experience and skills necessary to make our city work.
3. With a newly incorporated municipality, is one responsibility (i.e., police, zoning, etc.) more pressing than some of the others?
Danese: “Pressing” may not be the right word. Based on recommendations from the Governor’s Commission, it may be possible to start some contracted for services fairly quickly – and, if the council is in agreement, those that can be started should be. Startup of the police force can be expected to take longer. It is capital equipment intensive, requires the hiring of individuals and requires the dispatch, 911 and recorders court infrastructure to properly function.
Some early important responsibilities, in no particular order, are the agreements for the continuation of services with the county, the hiring of city staff and leasing of office space, the establishment of the funding mechanisms for city operations and the adoption of policies, procedures, codes and ordinances.
4. Moving forward, what do you envision Brookhaven's relationship with DeKalb County to be?
Danese: The other cities in the county have set a tone for their individual and collective relationship with the county, which we should match. I expect our relationship to be cordial, cooperative and constructive. Since I personally know many of those in our county government, I expect to be able to help resolve contentious issues that do arise, quickly.
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?
Danese: No one will work harder than me to make this city successful.
Here is an additional free promise: Where District representation is appropriate, I will only appoint members of Boards, Commissions and Authorities who are recommended by their respective council member.