Chamblee City Council Election

The next Chamblee City Council election is Tuesday, November 3rd. Three of the five council seats are up for election in 2015:

  • District Two (currently held by Leslie Robson)
  • District Three (currently held by Tom Hogan)
  • Member At-Large (currently held by Dan Zanger)

As a Huntley Hills resident, you are represented by the City Council Member for District Two and the two At-Large City Council Members. A map of the voting districts can be found here. However, you are eligible to vote for all Chamblee City Council representatives.

To give you a quick overview of the candidates, we invited each of them to submit a 300 word statement about their campaign for City Council tailored to the Huntley Hills audience. Specifically, we asked them: what would you like residents of Huntley Hills to know about you? Their responses are below. Scroll to the very bottom for more opportunities to learn about and meet the candidates.

The Huntley Hills Neighborhood Association does not endorse or hold an official position on any of the candidates.

District Two Candidates:

Incumbent Challenger
Leslie Robson

Leslie Robson
Verle Van Hoozen

 

Verle Van Hoozen

leslierobson.com verlevanhoozen.com
What would you like residents of Huntley Hills to know about you?

 

First, I am running for Chamblee City Council because I love Chamblee, I care about Chamblee. Chamblee is my home now and where I will live after I retire. I love Chamblee for it’s quality of life, for it’s history, for it’s location within the greater Atlanta region, for it’s potential and most importantly because of it’s people, it’s residents, my neighbors.

City planning may be the most important issue faced by the Council over the next four years. Chamblee is once again desirable to developers who see our location as a great place to build and turn a profit. However developers don’t always have the most altruistic motivations. As a councilwoman I will make sure YOUR voice is heard. Responsible planning and use will be necessary to cultivate the city we want to start a business in, to raise a family in, to live and put down roots in. I will work to balance planning with resources available. The protection of resources for future generations is high on my list of priorities.

Local businesses and entrepreneurs are vital to building a strong local economy. For our current local businesses we need to ensure the city seeks policies that allow our businesses to grow and expand. We need to develop new business centers where new entrepreneurs can open up shop. I supported the move to update and streamline our Unified Code of Ordinances (UCO) in order to facilitate easier business start-up, and the expansion of existing businesses. I supported the resolution to welcome the arts to Chamblee. I will support adding to the Parks and Recreation budget in order to, with citizen input, upgrade and grow our parks. I have been very involved in the pending development of a true town center that will set the tone for development that follows, including the redevelopment of Chamblee Plaza, and will help bridge the divide between Huntley Hills and the other side of Peachtree Blvd. I support the City’s investment in long overdue projects such as pothole paving, and sidewalks, and improved bike-ability.

In closing I promise to continue to work hard to keep Chamblee safe, green, beautiful and vibrant, a place that will attract sustainable new development and businesses while preserving our small town sense of community, a place you want to call home now and when you are ready to retire.

What would you like residents of Huntley Hills to know about you?

 

I’m Verle Van Hoozen and I’m running for District 2 of the Chamblee city council. My wife, Kathy, and I moved to Atlanta for career opportunities and quickly found Chamblee to be a small, welcoming community with a lot of potential.

As the son of a public servant who instilled a strong sense of community and service in our family, I quickly became involved, serving as the Gramercy Park HOA President for the last five years, a member of the city’s Recreational Advisory Committee (RAC) for the last two and a half years, a graduate of Chamblee 101, and a consistent volunteer.

As Chamblee has grown and our community continues to evolve, our role in the region has changed dramatically. I’m running for city council because I believe Chamblee must continue to evolve.

I believe in a vibrant destination downtown that is filled with shopping, dining and entertaining options–one that is uniquely Chamblee.

I believe our city can be more business friendly, as well as make better, intelligent data-driven decisions in a consistent, transparent manner.

I believe a Parks Master Plan and a codified RAC will help us connect all of our neighborhoods, make our city more walkable, and provide green space and recreation options for our residents now and into the future. I believe a robust parks system with transparent plans and citizen input will help create an attractive parks system for all residents.

Most importantly, I believe that we have a significant responsibility to our newly annexed neighborhoods and the entire Buford Highway community to create ONE Chamblee that addresses the needs of all residents. We are a diverse community with many needs and much to offer. We should connect our communities across Chamblee both physically and culturally. We should celebrate everything that makes Chamblee special.

District Three Candidates:

Incumbent Challenger
Thomas S. Hogan II

Tom Hogan
Clara Azcunes de Ojeda

 

Clara Azcunes de Ojeda

facebook.com/ThomasHogan ChambleeCityCouncil facebook.com/Clara-for-Our-Amazing-Chamblee
What would you like residents of Huntley Hills to know about you?

 

The issue that matters most to me is that the City deliver its core services in a citizen-minded manner, and that those services be performed and paid for efficiently. I can’t imagine anything more important to Huntley Hills than the redevelopment of Chamblee Plaza, and I think it is important that residents of Huntley Hills know that Chamblee Plaza is one of the most important matters to the rest of Chamblee, as well.

I support the recent investment the City has made in ‘quality of life’ services, such as the investment in community communications, the concert series, and helping save the Taste of Chamblee.

I support efforts to expand our parks, install sidewalks, fill potholes and repave roads, and complete streetscapes that bind development projects together.

The matter of greatest concern for me now is the financial planning strategy of the City. It is my desire that we begin a new era where tool such as bonds, TADs, and hopefully a CID can be deployed to enable us to make the necessary scalable investment in our infrastructure in a more prudent manner than our current strategy of paying cash.

I have brought much energy and many ideas to the organizations around the City in my time of service. An idea I am still working on is the creation of a new position at the City called a County Services Advocate. The CSA would be charged with helping Chamblee seniors and some others navigate the County government to find the services they need for a higher quality of life.

I have a proven track record over the past 8 years of constantly working with citizens and our staff to come up with ‘make sense’ solutions. I want to continue my work, and I ask for your vote.

What would you like residents of Huntley Hills to know about you?

 

I am Clara Azcunes de Ojeda, candidate to the Chamblee City Council for District 3.

I am an Architect and Chamblee business owner who chose Chamblee as her home in 1992, immediately initiating an active relationship with our city as I: became a member of the Task Force for Community Improvements in 1993, volunteered as general coordinator for the 1993 Chamblee Festival Celebrating Diversity, provided pro-bono services as the architect and project coordinator of the Keswick Park Community Building, and served as a member of the Architectural Review Board from 1995 through 1999, when I was elected to the Chamblee City Council in a special election, serving until the end of my second term in 2003.

During my tenure our city became a leader through innovative initiatives that brought to Chamblee one of the first LCI grants that implemented zoning and infrastructure improvements. These initiatives brought about 37.4 M of development to both sides of MARTA, improvements to sidewalks and parks, and a new city hall. These efforts also provided the grounds that brought to Chamblee the first Wall Mart designed for urban settings.

Our Chamblee has increase in area and richness, with new neighbors, voices, concerns, and ideas. I will continue initiatives started during my past tenure facilitating open, continuous and consistent communication with our new and longtime neighbors. I will promote the creation of neighborhoods associations where there are none, so that a Chamblee Neighborhood Coalition can bring our neighbors’ voices to our government.

I plan to bring more federal and foundation grants to benefit our Chamblee, work for traffic calming measures on Peachtree Industrial, Buford Highway, and Clairmont Road, which now divide our city, and work for safety, growth, and unification for our entire city.

In other words, I plan to work hard for our amazing Chamblee!

Member at Large Candidates:

Incumbent Challenger
Dan Zanger

 

Dan Zanger

Darron Kusman

 

Darron Kusman

facebook.com/dan.zanger.7 votedarron.com
What would you like residents of Huntley Hills to know about you?

 

My name is Dan Zanger. I have been a proud Chamblee resident since 2002. I currently have the distinct honor of serving our community as a member of City Council and hope to continue serving and leading our great city with your help.

As a Husband, Father, Home Owner and Business Owner within the City of Chamblee, I am dedicated to making Chamblee the best it can be. Focused on sustainable growth, both in the residential and commercial arenas, I am working diligently to help create and maintain the highest possible standards and quality of life for all Chamblee residents, present and future.

Chamblee is a wonderful community with so much to offer to so many. However, we still have hurdles before us and issues to resolve. With your support, we can meet those challenges head on and continue to move Chamblee forward in the right direction.

Speaking directly to one of the important issues that faces Huntley Hills, the Swim and Tennis Club needs to renovate.

Some preliminary discussions have already started regarding the details of this issue.
They have mostly centered around what the city requires, and what the club needs to do to cater to their surrounding community.

Until the annexation that brought Huntley Hills (& Gainsborough) into the city limits, we did not have any neighborhood pools. Therefore we had no ordinances regulating them or any true idea of their needs and how they serve our public.

I would like to bring the pool board and the surrounding community to have a seat at the table with the city and development department to craft an ordinance specific to neighborhood pools/clubs and community centers.

Instead of trying to fit the square peg of the needs of the pool into the round hole that are our current regulations- I propose we craft specific language that address the real needs and concerns of a neighborhood pool. Parking, trash collection, setbacks, hours of operations and even noise abatement, need to be addressed and the neighbors and members of the pool need to be satisfied.

I believe I have the experience, knowledge and and willingness to make this work for everyone involved.

I ask for your vote on November 3rd to help put this and many other issues facing Huntley Hills in front of the city council for consideration.

What would you like residents of Huntley Hills to know about you?

The redevelopment of Chamblee Plaza and the need to maintain Huntley Hills unique sense of place are without a doubt two of the most pressing issues facing the neighborhood today. As redevelopment runs rampant throughout Atlanta, Huntley Hills remains a quaint neighborhood seemingly removed from the challenges of city life. It is paramount that as community leaders we understand how to maintain that identity. I believe I have the skills, experience, and education required to overcome these obstacles and it would be my honor to serve you.

Being listed on the National Register of Historic Places is a significant accomplishment that should be admired. What many don’t realize is that this offers little protection when it comes to preserving the sanctity of the neighborhood. In the face of looming redevelopment it is crucial that our neighbors understand this and work towards putting protective mechanisms in place if so desired. Chamblee provides many tools for neighborhood preservation including a special overlay district which would ensure new construction is consistent with the surrounding urban form and development patterns.

Unfortunately, the revitalization of Chamblee Plaza has stalled as the city awaits a more realistic and desirable plan from the developers. Compounding the issue is the fact that DeKalb County issued a long-term tax-abatement on the property reducing carrying costs and presumably slowing the development process. I do not believe the solution is to dress up most of the existing structures and provide for limited demolition to make way for an apartment complex and small retail space as proposed. You deserve better than that. Chamblee Plaza can and will be great but it is going to take a concerted effort from concerned citizens, Trinity, and elected officials to make it happen. It is time we work together to make Chamblee Plaza a vibrant destination once again.

Opportunities to learn more about the candidates:

  • The Dresden East Civic Association (DECA) is sponsoring a candidate forum for all City Council candidates on Wednesday, October 21st at 7:00pm at St. Pius High School.
  • The Chamblee Post just published a great Q&A article with responses from all of the candidates.