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Avondale Estates hosting city commissioners candidate forum on Oct. 20

Avondale Estates campaign coverage Trending

Avondale Estates hosting city commissioners candidate forum on Oct. 20

Left to right: Lisa Shortell (Incumbent); Lionel Laratte (Incumbent); Ricardo Israel Korn

Avondale Estates, GA — Two seats on the Avondale Estates City Commission are up for election this year and the city is hosting a forum with the three candidates on Wednesday, Oct. 20, at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 21 N. Avondale Plaza.

The forum will also be available via Zoom. To join through Zoom, click here. To join via phone, dial US: +1 646 558 8656  or +1 301 715 8592  or +1 312 626 6799  or +1 669 900 9128  or +1 253 215 8782  or +1 346 248 7799. Use webinar ID: 811 2342 0853.

Incumbent Commissioners Lionel Laratte and Lisa Shortell are running for reelection. Ricardo “Israel” Korn is also running for the seat. The commissioners are all elected at-large, not for specific districts. The election will be held on Nov. 2.

Sam Whitehead, Avondale Estates resident and WABE reporter, will moderate the forum. The forum is solely put on by the city and WABE is not affiliated with the event in any manner.

Attendance at City Hall will be limited to 50 people, and masks will be required for those attending in person. However, candidates may choose to remove their masks when speaking.

Shortell and Laratte previously participated in the Decaturish Twitch show and discussed issues such as the Avondale Estates Police Department’s accreditation process, hiring a consultant to review the police department, residential issues and traffic-calming measures.

To view the full coverage of the Twitch show, click here.

Korn has previously said he is running for the City Commission with hopes to put unity back into the community and help citizen’ voices be heard in government. His three areas of focus are community, beautification and city services.

“With the coronavirus and everything, people have more time on their hand. I started looking and investigating a little more what was going on in the city because I really started hearing a lot and I started to understand how my voice matters in government. People around the city were saying that they didn’t trust … City Hall,” Korn previously told Decaturish. “I was just trying to improve the communication that’s going on from City Hall to the citizens.”

Laratte has served on the City Commission since 2018 and is the board liaison to the Welcoming Avondale Committee. He is focusing on diversity and inclusion, residential infrastructure and continuing resident participation.

“I am running for reelection because, as these projects are in process and come to fruition, I will be shifting my focus to residents and neighbors: the people part of Avondale Estates,” Laratte said in a statement on Facebook.

Laratte hopes to focus more on the people of Avondale Estates if elected for another four-year term. He’d also like to focus on police reform in the city.

“I don’t want people to put the negative connotation like defund the police. That’s not what I’m talking about at all,” Laratte previously said. “People think of police and people think force and guns and all of that good stuff. I think that in the 21st century, you have to think about it in a slightly different manner.”

Shortell has served on the City Commission since 2018 and is also a member of the Downtown Development Authority. Shortell decided to run for reelection because she wants to continue serving the community, she previously said.

“I am committed to smart growth and policies that reflect and value the community input incorporated into our Comprehensive and Downtown Master Plans. Over the last few years, there has been much accomplished. But progress that follows community visioning does not happen by accident,” Shortell said in a statement on Facebook.

“Turning those visions into reality involves foundational planning and preparation, prioritization, financial considerations, public input, board decisions, and execution,” she added. “There are many steps to reach each goal and it takes time, patience, collaboration, compromise, and hard work. These are qualities I believe I have exhibited and practiced with success during my time on the Avondale Estates Board of Mayor and Commissioners.”

More information about voting in the Nov. 2 election: 

Editor’s note: Decaturish and the Tucker Observer have published an Elections Guide, a 76-page e-edition featuring Q&As with nearly every candidate running in our communities. To see it, click here. This special e-edition features candidates running for public office in Decatur, Avondale Estates, Atlanta City Council District 5, Clarkston Tucker and Stone Mountain.  There is a PDF version of this, which you can see by clicking here, but due to the format of this e-edition, we strongly encourage you to use the e-reader version.

All election coverage can be found at Decaturishvotes.com and Tuckerobservervotes.com.  

Election Day is Nov. 2. Early voting will begin on Oct. 12 and will end on Oct. 29. The voter registration deadline is Oct. 4. To register to vote, click here.

To see a list of important dates in the 2021 election year, click here.

Voters in DeKalb County are eligible to apply for an absentee ballot as of Aug. 16. 

To apply for an absentee ballot:

— Visit the Georgia Secretary of State website.

—  Complete the absentee ballot application using the state’s official paper form. Use black or blue ink only.

Applications can be mailed to the county elections office at this address: DeKalb County Election office, 4380 Memorial Drive, Decatur, GA 30032-1239.

Applications can also be submitted by fax, 404-298-4038, or email, [email protected]

Voters may send an absentee ballot request for multiple people who live in the same household in the same envelope or email.

If an absentee ballot is not mailed to you, call DeKalb Elections office, 404-298-4020. You may still vote in person, either early or on Election Day.

An absentee ballot application must be received by Oct. 22.

In accordance with SB202, a new voting bill signed by Gov. Brian Kemp in March, a copy of a voter’s ID is required to apply for an absentee ballot. A Georgia driver’s license, Georgia state ID, Georgia voter card, U.S. Passport, U.S. military ID, employee ID issued by any branch of the federal or state government, tribal ID, or a document verifying a voter’s name and address – including a paycheck, utility bill, or bank statement – are accepted forms of ID.

Early voting begins Oct. 12 and ends Oct. 29. The hours for early voting are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will also be weekend early voting on Oct. 16, 17, 23 and 24.

Beginning Oct. 12, you can participate in early voting at the following locations: 

– Bessie Branham Recreation Center (2051 Delano Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30317)

– Lynwood Recreation Center (3360 Osborne Road NE, Brookhaven, GA 30319)

– Berean Christian Church – Family Life Center (2197 Young Road, Stone Mountain, GA 30088)

– DeKalb Voter Registration & Elections Office (4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 300, Decatur, GA 30032)

– Tucker-Reid H. Cofer Library (5234 LaVista Road, Tucker, GA 30084)

– Stonecrest Library (3123 Klondike Road, Stonecrest, GA 30038)

– County Line-Ellenwood Library (4331 River Road, Ellenwood, GA 30294)

– Dunwoody Library (5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road., Dunwoody, GA 30338)

For the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding early voting times and locations, visit Decaturishvotes.com and Tuckerobservervotes.com or call 404-298-4020.