As of June 12, at least three people had submitted applications to fill the interim DeKalb County Board of Commissioner’s District 5 seat. The deadline to apply is Thursday, July 3.
“We’ve put out the advertisement in local media sources and now we are waiting for more people to respond,” said Interim CEO May, who held the seat from 2006 to 2013, when Gov. Nathan Deal appointed him to the position of CEO on July 16.
May says whoever is tapped to be the interim commissioner to replace him will be called upon to make an immediate impact on the county.
“Whoever is selected for the position will need to have a great deal of knowledge when it comes to zoning and budgeting. The person filling the seat will be called on to make critical decisions from their first day on the job,” said May.
As commissioner, May had served as presiding officer, former chairman of the budget and finance committee and a former member on the board’s public safety and general safety committee.
May says he will soon be enlist a three-member panel to narrow the field to two qualified candidates. May says he will then submit one of those names to the Board of Commissioners for the appointment.
Any resident in Lithonia, Decatur and Stone Mountain who lives in DeKalb Commission District 5 can apply for the seat. The selected person will represent a district with 145,000 residents.
Community activist Faye Coffield, who has started a “Why Faye Coffield Should be DeKalb 5th District Commissioner” Facebook group, made an appeal for the seat at the board’s June 10 meeting.
“The fifth district seat appointment should go to someone who is going to serve the community, bring economic development to the district and show that they are concerned about the people of District 5. From my work in the community, I have shown over the years that I meet all of those requirements,” said Coffield, who lives in Lithonia. “We have a lot of problems and corrupt officials here and we need someone who will work hand in hand with law enforcement to address these problems and other issues.”
The appointee will serve until CEO Burrell Ellis’ suspension is terminated or the term for the interim commissioner ends, whichever is earlier.
Ellis’ trial is scheduled to start Sept. 8. If he is exonerated, he will return to the CEO’s office and May will return to the District 5 seat.
While serving, the interim commissioner will receive a $38,374-a-year salary.
Presiding officer Larry Johnson says the appointed commissioner should be someone who is vested in the community and is willing to be a team player.
“The appointment should go to someone who really understands the needs of the people. They have to be stern and determined yet understanding and willing to work with fellow commissioners to get larger goals accomplished for the people of DeKalb County,” said Johnson, District 3 commissioner.