Candidate Q&A – Ed Williams, candidate for DeKalb County Commission District 7Ed Williams
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In advance of the May 22 primary election, Decaturish is publishing Q&As with the candidates. To see your sample ballot, click here.
Ed Williams, candidate for DeKalb County Commission Super District 7
Why are you running for this position?
I am seeking to become the next Commissioner of District 7 to provide honest, open, compassionate, accountable leadership and excellent customer service to my constituents. I believe the central mission of government is to protect its citizens, to protect citizen’s natural rights and to provide good and efficient central services. I want to give the government back to citizens. I will work to establish and maintain legislative reform, independent oversight, accountability and ethics to the county.
As a dedicated community activist and a believer of government for and by the people, I have worked for several years to improve quality of life issues at the local, county and state levels. I have actively spoke out about the DeKalb water bill issues; Flat Shoals bridge construction delays; crime, police and fire and rescue pay; education issues; lack of economic development; ethics and accountability issues; lack of oversite at the county leadership level; and social injustice. I led a four-year effort for responsible cityhood.
My passion, dedication and efforts to inform, educate, and actively involve citizens in the government process has led me to write several recommendations for state and local government reform and several journal articles on education and planning. I am a frequent speaker/presenter at BOC meetings, community forums and the state capital. I have contributed several op-eds to local newspapers including On Common Ground, Crossroads News, Decaturish, DeKalb Free Press, The Champion, Atlanta Daily World, Rolling Out, and AJC.Because of my work, I have appeared in several news stories including CBS News, and several local news stations and radio program including WABE and V-103.
What are your qualifications for this office?
I am a 20 year resident of DeKalb County. I have worked in Fulton county government as a manager where I had to work with various agencies and departments. I have a Bachelor and Masters in Computer Science and Doctorate in Educational Leadership. In addition, I am a Project Management Professional.
What kind of work do you do?
Professional. I am a university professor. I teach research methodology, education leadership, and computer technology courses. In addition, I am a technology consultant and Project Management Professional. I have written various papers that have been presented in various conferences. In addition to my professional work I participate in my community as an activist and I also write various articles and Op-Ed pieces.
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What are two or three things you’d like to do if you’re elected?
My top priorities include (1) providing efficient and effective core services to citizens, (2) to ensure honest, ethical, transparent and accountable leadership to DeKalb residents, thereby restoring trust and dignity to the office and (3) attract and retain small and large quality, profitable businesses to provide long-term jobs, training, desired products and services.
My first priority is to provide efficient and effective core services, including public safety which includes increasing pay for police and fire and rescue, adding more police on the street, training and accountability; advocating for legislation to reform code enforcement to be more responsive and effective; public transportation including advocating to fill DeKalb Marta board seats to assist in bringing better and more MARTA options to DeKalb County, especially to South DeKalb; to reform the county charter to add a residents bill of rights, and to create an independent inspector general office to protect rights of residents; advocate for a strong, independent Ethics Board; advocate for stronger oversight of Watershed Management; institute more credible and more reliable procedures to address the water meter problems and billing issues; and advocate for more Health inspections of food service businesses.
Secondly, I will work to further streamline the business license and permit process to make DeKalb more business friendly. I will work with the Economic Development Department to revisit strategies for attracting and retaining quality, profitable businesses to provide long-term jobs, training, services, and products.
I believe implementing the actions above will put DeKalb on the path to making our county a place where people are proud to live, attend school and church, work, shop, play and stay, and attract both large and small businesses that want to relocate and remain in DeKalb.
Why should voters choose you over your opponent?
I have been working on various community issues for several years and have a breath of knowledge that will allow me to hit the ground running. Everything from government reform, cityhood and county services, budget, tax structure, county pension, Marta, Grady, economic development and the county charter. In addition, I have worked as a manager in the district attorney office in Fulton county where I gained a great deal of knowledge in regards to the law, public safety and the criminal justice system. My knowledge and experience in regards to planning, management, and leadership will definitely add value to the commission and its operations. Furthermore, my extensive computer technology background should help with oversight technology automation and to facilitate making all the commission documents available to the public
If elected, do you promise to conduct yourself in an ethical and transparent manner?
I will be ethical, transparent and professional. I will uphold the oath of office. I will respond to constituents’ emails, phone calls and concerns and make sure my office follows the State Open Records and Meetings Sunshine Laws. I will advocate for an annual independent audit and work to ensure the county budget is transparent, giving citizens the ability to link and trace all revenues and expenditures.
My plan is to provide efficient and effective core services, including increasing pay for police and fire and rescue, advocating for legislation to reform code enforcement and bringing better service and more public transportation options to the county, especially in South DeKalb. I will work to protect citizens’ rights, advocate for an independent Ethics Board, stronger oversite of Watershed Management, and reliable procedures to address water billing issues.
I will advocate to further streamline the business license and permit process to make DeKalb more business friendly. I will revisit strategies for attracting and retaining desirable businesses.
Implementing the actions above will put DeKalb on the path to making our county a place where people are again proud to live, attend school and church, work, shop, play and stay, and attract both large and small businesses that want to locate and remain in DeKalb.
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