City residents will go to the polls Nov. 7 to vote for two City Council seats, but only one race is competitive this year.
Councilmember John Park, with no opponent, should sail to an easy re-election representing District 2, which includes the Ashford Park area, Skyland Park and Parkside Park.
Park, who was born in South Korea and moved to the U.S. with his family when he was six, has lived in Brookhaven since 2007. He is a contractor for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an IT systems engineer with Northrop Grumman.
This year, Park spearheaded the movement to bring a controversial “comfort women” memorial to the city after the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta rejected the statue. The memorial honors the sex-trafficking victims of the Japanese military during World War II and, according to city officials, shines a light on the issue of human trafficking in contemporary society.
Boone vs. Gebbia
Councilmember Joe Gebbia, who has represented District 4 on the council since the city was founded five years ago, does face a challenger in Dale Boone. The district covers the southern portion of the city, including Buford Highway and the I-85/North Druid Hills Road area where Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is building an enormous medical center and Emory University and the Atlanta Hawks are developing new facilities.
Gebbia runs a health food wholesale business. Boone is a TV producer in India and a U.S. professional competitive eater.
Gebbia caters to the healthy crowd as the owner of Health Matters Inc., an online natural goods wholesale business.
He has two children: a daughter, Kim Chappell, head of communications at Weebly and a former news anchor in Indiana; and a son, Joe, who is a founder of the famously successful short-term rental company Airbnb.
Gebbia said he is not an investor in the company estimated in value at some $31 billion last year, according to CNBC. He said he did make a loan to his son to help start Airbnb, and the loan was paid back. The elder Gebbia also touts Airbnb, saying he regularly uses Airbnb himself when traveling and chastises friends who do not.
But he stresses the successes of his daughter who has won a national Edward R. Murrow award and was a two-time Emmy winning evening anchor and investigative reporter at WBND, an ABC affiliate. She’s also a new mother of Gebbia’s first grandchild.
“I have two very successful children and I am proud of what they are doing with their success,” he said.
Boone is not new to the city’s political scene. He was a vocal supporter of the city’s 2012 incorporation and lost to John Ernst in a bid for mayor in 2015.
He is involved TV production in India. After graduating from the Georgia Institute of Technology, he worked in Comcast’s Asia division, which gave him the opportunity to go to graduate school in India and where he created a variety show called “My India TV.”
Asked what he does for a living, Boone said he is an “entertainer.” His nearly 20-year career in competitive eating includes a championship from the World League of Competitive Eating.