Two former contenders for the Sandy Springs City Council District 4 seat say they may run again this fall, as incumbent Gabriel Sterling leaves office.
Tochie Blad, who unsuccessfully challenged Sterling in 2013, said she’s undecided about running again. And Dennis “Denny” Williams, who was one of three candidates in the 2011 race that Sterling eventually won, said he is “seriously considering another run.”
Sterling has announced he will leave the council seat behind to run for chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners.
Blad, who is well known for her work with the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods and other community organizations, said earlier this month that she not yet decided whether to run for the council seat.
Williams, a businessman best known as owner of Brookhaven’s Pink Pony adult dancing club, said he’s “exploring [a candidacy] right now and consulting with some individuals that run campaigns.”
“I love this vibrant city and [am] very enthusiastic about the residential and commercial growth in the 4th District,” Williams said. “Along with this growth does come many hurdles, but [I] have witnessed the motivation and results by our current governing body and its departmental services to always, with diligence, overcome these hurdles with positive results. I wish to maintain this course [and] focus and contribute to it.”
Williams has a number of real estate and sports-related business interests, but acknowledged he is best known for the Pink Pony and that the issue could make him an “underdog.”
The city of Brookhaven engaged in a prolonged legal battle attempting to shut down the Pink Pony, located on Buford Highway. The situation ultimately was resolved by a settlement agreement. The city of Brookhaven was advised by the same Tennessee attorney who helped Sandy Springs create laws cracking down on strip clubs and other adult businesses, which have led to federal lawsuits continuing most of the city’s decade-long existence.
Williams said that if he joined the Sandy Springs council, he would have a “very conservative, if not removed” approach to the adult-business disputes, but added that his experience could be valuable.
“If anything, I could apply this [experience] objectively to contribute to a solution and possibly end an ongoing, 10-year, costly legal battle,” he said.