Dear Decaturish – In support of Mayor Pro Tem Tony Powers, Decatur City Commission At-large
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About this series: As part of our ongoing election coverage, we invited each candidate to submit up to three letters of support. Here are the letters in support of Mayor Pro Tem Tony Powers, who is running for reelection to the Decatur City Commission At-large seat.
I write this letter in support of Tony Powers for Commissioner-at-Large for the City of Decatur.
My confidence in Tony stems from his experience as a long time resident of Decatur. He has been a student, a parent, a homeowner and a long-term business owner in our community, and has the ability to communicate from all of these perspectives. He has observed the City of Decatur transform numerous times, and has been hearing the voices of Decatur citizens his entire life.
It is my nature to carry my political voice quietly, but I am happy to share my confidence that Tony Powers will navigate our city through current challenges and opportunities with experience, knowledge, and a consciousness of our citizen’s voices.
In the five short years that I have lived in Decatur with my husband and two school aged daughters, this city has become not just a place to live, but a home.
I have lived in various parts of the country, from Seattle to the midwest, but have never experienced such a unique community; neighbors, families, schools, businesses thriving in a diverse and welcoming four square miles. Decatur is my home where I enjoy living and experiencing all the City has to offer; a revolving door of neighborhood children alongside cherished retired and single neighbors.
I have been able to get to know Tony in a variety of ways over the last five years. Our early interactions were related to my ambitious DIY mentality with our lovely “new” 1940’s home and Tony’s presence at Intown ACE Hardware. It is with my beloved interactions to the hardware store down the street that I witnessed Tony’s positive influence and leadership. A culture of excellence has been curated by Tony and co-owner Dave Jones that is evident in their outstanding and loyal staff. One can walk through the doors at ACE with certainty that they will experience superior customer service. Tony’s profession and personality allow him to keep his fingers on Decatur’s pulse.
As I became more involved in the Decatur City Schools, Tony’s engagement and willingness to help with school-based community activities was evident. This willingness to influence and improve a core component of our city allowed me greater insight into the breadth of his commitment to our city. I have never seen him shy away from the asks of his neighbors for the benefit of our children, teachers and school staff. His awareness of each individual school throughout the district is cherished.
Graduating from Decatur 101, running a fledgling PTA board for two years, in addition to other volunteer opportunities I have learned enough to be overwhelmed by the complexity of managing our city. That is why I trust Tony- a lifetime community member, parent, and business owner to represent all of our voices as City Commissioner.
I have known Tony Powers for many years, long enough to see how his devotion to his hometown of Decatur is of utmost importance to him and his family. He is the only At-Large Commissioner to have lived in both Districts 1 and 2, having grown up on 3rd Ave in the house where his mother still lives in Oakhurst. He worked his way through UGA at Intown Ace Hardware on Scott Blvd. After graduating with a degree in business he eventually became co-owner and turned it into the “Coolest Ace on the Planet”. He and his wife, Leisa, also Decatur High graduate, started their family while living in Oakhurst where he served as President of the Oakhurst Elementary PTA. He, Leisa and their two daughters eventually settled in the Great Lakes neighborhood from where Tony continues to spend so much of his free time serving this city.
Tony Powers is committed to public service helping to create the Decatur Education Foundation, serving on the Infill Task Force, the Planning Commission, even cooking his famous BBQ every year at Homecoming to raise money for the Decatur High School Band Boosters. He was the “voice” of the High School Band for several years while his girls were in the band. Through his Ace Hardware he has donated Big Green Eggs to the DEF Supper & Sips Auction, sponsored fundraisers for Children’s Healthcare and the Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence and is always welcoming a Girl or Boy Scout troop selling cookies or popcorn to raise money at the store.
Tony Powers is a trustworthy, more than hard-working, caring, and honorable man who believes in doing what’s best for all of Decatur. There are times when, as an elected official, he has to make hard decisions but those decisions are never made without weighing what is best for as many residents as possible. I know I will be voting to re-elect Tony Powers for the City of Decatur’s At-Large Commission seat and I hope you will too.
Election Day is Nov. 5th. Please Vote.
– Paula Collins
Tony Powers has been my neighbor for 26 years, and I would like to share my reasons for supporting him for Decatur Commissioner-At-Large. Tony has lived in Decatur since he was 13 years old, starting in a house in Oakhurst that his mother won when Decatur had a lottery to sell over 100 abandoned homes in Oakhurst for $1.00. She was determined to make a great life for her only son. She succeeded. He met his wife of 26 years, Leisa, at Decatur High, and their two daughters share a commitment to this town. Tony worked his way through UGA working at the Ace Hardware store on Scott Boulevard on weekends and school breaks, eventually becoming co-owner. If you have shopped there; you will likely have noticed the commitment to excellence, the diversity in abilities and backgrounds of the staff, and the high standards of working hard, caring, and going the extra-mile. His dedication and leadership inspire others to become involved in community service.
Those standards apply to his work for the City of Decatur. Tony is all about service to Decatur, and his actions speak louder than any words. As a senior, I asked him what his top priorities for seniors are. He said advocating for Decatur’s most vulnerable citizens: the young and our seniors is of utmost importance. In 2016 Tony lobbied our Georgia legislators to get Senate Bill 342 passed and on Decatur’s ballot, giving seniors 62+ with incomes below $50,000/year an additional $15,000 in homestead tax exemptions. That same year Tony was instrumental in lobbying the Georgia Legislature to pass the Decatur School Board’s requested exemption for all homeowners 65+ to be relieved of all school taxes allowing the voters here to vote to pass this ballot initiative overwhelmingly. While that tax relief issue is back on the School Board’s table, due to a 5-year sunset clause in the bill, Tony said he will advocate for the School Board’s decision hoping the tax relief will remain in place for vulnerable senior homeowners in Decatur. His mother is one of those seniors.
Safety is another priority of Tony’s. He worked to get $2 million approved for sidewalk repairs in the past year so that our older and handicapped citizens can be safely mobile. He continues to push for programming and activities for the young, old, and in-between. I know him to be a strong advocate for affordable housing supporting creative ideas such as the Cottage Court project on Commerce Dr. which after a delay is back on track
Whether Tony is organizing a block party, pulling out his grill for a “Ladies Night” at Ace to benefit Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence, hosting fundraisers for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, cooking for the high school homecoming to benefit the Decatur High School Band Boosters, or just taking the time to chat and get to know his neighbors, Tony has been giving back to Decatur most of his life; never expecting anything in return. I believe that he has earned our vote on November 5th.
– Peg Geronomo
Learn more about voting in the Nov. 5 election:
Early voting in the Nov. 5 municipal elections in DeKalb County began on Monday, Oct. 14.
Numerous DeKalb County cities are holding elections, including Decatur, Avondale Estates and Tucker.
The closest early voting site for these residents will be at the Voter Registration & Elections Office on 4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 300 Decatur, GA 30032.
Early voting times are Monday through Friday, Oct. 14 through Nov. 1, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. There will be no Saturday and Sunday voting in the municipal elections.
If you need to see a sample ballot, visit the Georgia Secretary of State’s My Voter page by clicking here. You can also find your polling place if you choose to vote on Nov. 5 instead of voting early.
You have to be 18 to vote. You will also need to bring one of the following forms of ID, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office:
– Any valid state or federal government issued photo ID, including a free ID Card issued by your county registrar’s office or the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS)
– A Georgia Driver’s License, even if expired
– Valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S. Government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority or other entity of this state
– Valid U.S. passport ID
– Valid U.S. military photo ID
– Valid tribal photo ID