Voting appeared light but steady today as citizens in Brookhaven and Dunwoody chose mayors and City Council members and helped to decide a DeKalb County ethics reform proposal.
Brookhaven voters will choose Dale Boone or John Ernst as the city’s new mayor. In the District 1 City Council race, incumbent Linley Jones faces challenger Eve Erdogan. District 3 City Councilman Bates Mattison is running unopposed.
In Dunwoody, incumbent Mayor Mike Davis faces three challengers: Stephen Chipka, Chris Grivakis and Denis Shortal. Incumbent Councilman Terry Nall faces challenger Becky Springer for the Post 4 at-large seat. Two other at-large council members are unopposed: Lynn Deutsch (Post 5) and John Heneghan (Post 6).
By early afternoon, poll managers at two Brookhaven polls were reporting a light but steady turnout of voters. At Ashford Parkside, poll manager Bill Roberts said 254 voters had cast ballots by about 2:30 p.m. About 2,400 voters are registered in the precinct, he said. At Montgomery Elementary School, where 1,886 voters are registered, about 260 had cast ballots by early afternoon, poll manager Kaye Harvey said.
Roberts said the turnout had “been steady all day,” about what he had expected. City elections draw voters because they know the names on the ballot, he said. “It’s local people,” Roberts said. “A lot of us know the people that are running.”
Outside Montgomery Elementary, supporters of the two mayoral candidates waved signs at the stream of cars passing by on Ashford-Dunwoody Road. Anna Cannon held her Dale Boone sign at one end of the block while Kathryn Gable and Katherine Coy waved John Ernst signs at the other end.
“I’ve been out here all day,” Gable said. “A lot of people drive by who we know are for John because they blow their horns or wave.”
“It seems like an upbeat election,” Coy said.
Voters in both cities will join other DeKalb citizens in deciding a ballot question about reforming the county’s Board of Ethics. The board’s would no longer be able to remove county officials from office, but would have broader jurisdiction and the ability to levy fines for ethics violations. A new full-time ethics officer would train officials in the law and process complaints.
In addition, the board would no longer be appointed by county officials. Instead, appoints would be made by a new group of local representatives, including state legislators; judges; representatives of the DeKalb Bar Association, the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce and Leadership DeKalb; and a group of colleges and universities in the county, including Brookhaven’s Oglethorpe University. The ethics reform question was authorized earlier this year by House Bill 597, which contains the full text of the proposed changes.
Turnout was light but steady this morning at one local polling place, Dunwoody’s Chesnut Elementary Charter School. Polls will be open until 7 p.m. For voting information, see the DeKalb County elections website.