Thursday, June 26, 2014

Mathews Accused of Being a Bully

Jan 2014
Mathews Accused of Being a Bully

The below MDJ article of 1/23/14 is reproduced here as the MDJ circulation in Kennesaw is limited and residents might not have otherwise seen it.   


Speaking of Mathews 'bullying' I would direct you to the Oct 29th entry on this site where you will see many of the rude posts sent to me by this Mayor.  

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2 councilwomen, resident accuse mayor of bullying
by Rachel Gray
January 22, 2014 11:55 PM 
http://matchbin-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/public/sites/624/assets/C0UW_Kennesaw_Council_2014.jpg

Front Row, L to R:  Larry, Moe and Curly
Councilwomen Cris Eaton-Welsh and Debra Williams and an outspoken supporter Tuesday night called for an end to what they see as bullying by Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews, accusing him of setting a tone that has divided the city. Attending Tuesday’s council meeting are, front row from left, Mayor Mark Mathews, Councilman Tim Killingsworth and Councilman Leonard Church. Back row from left are Eaton-Welsh, Councilman Jim Sebastian and Williams. 
Courtesy of Pam Davis

KENNESAW — Two councilwomen and an outspoken supporter Tuesday night called for an end to what they see as bullying by Mayor Mark Mathews, accusing him of setting a tone that has divided the city.

Eileen Alberstadt, a familiar face at city meetings, said during the public comment portion of Tuesday night’s council meeting that she was speaking on behalf of a group of concerned citizens who want to see the city “unite.”

Alberstadt firmly said that the bullying has to stop, or she will personally petition to have Mathews or members of the council recalled and removed from office.

Alberstadt, who has lived in Kennesaw for 10 years after moving from Tallahassee, Fla., to Cobb, said some council members are her friends. But, Alberstadt said she shares “bad blood” with Mathews and other council members over past disagreements.

On Tuesday night, Councilwoman Cris Welsh said she had prepared a statement, but she went off the script to address the crowded room of residents.

Welsh said Mathews has been condescending toward her during their conversations.

And, for the majority of the time she has been on the council, Welsh said she has spent two and a half years “avoiding slings and arrows.”

“I’m done with that,” she said.

Welsh says ‘stop the infighting’

The infighting has caused Welsh to neglect her family and business, she said. Welsh has two young daughters, Isabelle and Shelby, and runs Eaton Chiropractic on Main Street in downtown Kennesaw.

Welsh said her antagonists have accused Welsh of owing past-due property taxes. Welsh said Tuesday night that during the slow economy she has tightened her belt and is paying the taxes in installments, just as other property owners have been forced to do.

“I am not ashamed. I am not alone,” Welsh said.

Welsh won re-election in 2011 for a second term and took office in January 2012. Her term expires at the end of 2015.

“Despite what’s gone on up here the last two and a half years, despite the tone that has been set,” Welsh said the city staff has done an excellent job and the city has moved forward, with more positive news on the horizon.

But, she said, “the infighting has got to stop. It’s the last thing we need. We are going to disagree on a lot of stuff, but we don’t have to disagree and take it personally.

“I just want to finish up my final two years in peace.”

The mayor versus the council


On Tuesday, Councilwoman Debra Williams said the council is composed of many personalities with strong convictions.

And, each council member has supporters “who are going to defend us till the end,” Williams said.

But, she asked those people not to make disagreements between Mathews and a council member personal.

“When we divide, we cannot make progress,” Williams said.

Mathews did not address the outcry by Alberstadt during the  meeting, but said afterward he does not know what the real issue is.

“It has evolved into something where no one can pinpoint specifics,” Mathews said. “For months I have asked to be called out on any actions of mine that are questionable.”

Mathews accused members of the council of not talking directly to each other or with him, instead using social media or supporters in the community to address issues and come down on one side or the other.

He said council members should “take responsibility” for their actions, matching what they say.

“I feel like my actions and my words are consistent,” Mathews said.

Mathews said any change in attitude by the council will be up to each individual.

After the public meeting Tuesday night, each council member and Mathews posed and smiled to take a picture together to be hung in the foyer of city hall.

Speaking for the residents


Alberstadt was the only resident who spoke during the public comment section Tuesday night.

She said Kennesaw residents are fed up with the power struggles happening on the City Council, which swore in three new members about two weeks ago.

“I would like to know and the citizens would like to know, when are you going to work together?” Alberstadt asked.

Alberstadt said she does not expect the council members to all vote the same, but they need to join together to address the needs of Kennesaw.

The council should have “no secret projects or backroom handshake deals,” Alberstadt said, and all information about future developments in Kennesaw should be shared between all the council members and Mathews.

Alberstadt is a retired legal assistant who served on the Kennesaw Ethics Board until a year and a half ago. Now, Alberstadt said, she wants to “work in the wings,” helping businesses write grants to update their signage to beautify Kennesaw.

The high voter turnout at last year’s election has stirred Kennesaw residents into action, Alberstadt said, including some community members with extensive educational backgrounds who want to join city boards.

Alberstadt said it will be clear if the council and Mathews heard her warning by their personal encounters with her in the future.

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6/19/14


Saw this in the MDJ of 6/19/14 and I will park it here for now as the top of the blog is for Castle Lake info, sent off my 'comment' but who knows if it will be run.  I did get a 'letter to the editor' published 2 days ago.

Bill


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Kennesaw rejects trip to Dallas for mayor


by Haisten Willis
June 19, 2014 04:00 AM | 6 views | 0 http://mdjonline.com/pages/full_story/push?article-Kennesaw+rejects+trip+to+Dallas+for+mayor &id=25312635#comments_25312635 | 0 http://mdjonline.com/community/content/recommend/25312635 | mailto:?subject=friend recommendation from The Marietta Daily Journal&body=A friend recommended the article "Kennesaw rejects trip to Dallas for mayor" for you.  Read it at http://mdjonline.com/bookmark/25312635/article-Kennesaw-rejects-trip-to-Dallas-for-mayor. | http://mdjonline.com/printer_friendly/25312635

http://matchbin-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/public/sites/624/assets/ISBL_Kennesaw_Mayor___Mark_Mathews_RGB.jpg
Mark Mathews
KENNESAW — Taxpayers likely won’t be sending a local mayor to Texas after the Kennesaw City Council voted against funding for his trip by a 3-2 vote.

Monday night, the council denied Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews a $2,500 trip to Dallas for an economic development conference Aug. 24 to 25.

“This was on the agenda as a professional courtesy to my peers, and they decided they didn’t think it was a worthy expenditure,” Mathews said.

Council members Cris Welsh, Debra Williams and Jim Sebastian voted against paying for the trip. Tim Killingsworth and Leonard Church voted in favor of it.

The trip is part of the Cobb Chamber’s Economic Development for a Growing Economy initiative and is called Opportunity Dallas 2014. The agenda item from the council meeting said the trip “is an elite opportunity to gather best practices related to all areas of the EDGE strategy. During the trip, visitors will examine how Dallas attracts talent and defines its communities as well as tour the city’s business incubators and sporting facilities and meet with Dallas’ economic development leaders.”

The agenda item said the $2,500 price tag covers “ground and air transportation, hotel and some meals.”

Welsh said it was too expensive.

“I don’t think it was a wise use of money,” she said. “The price was a huge part of it; $2,500 is a lot of money for a three-day trip.”

New members shake up council

Williams and Sebastian both are in their first year on the council. Williams said the previous council likely would have sent Mathews to Dallas.

“It’d be 3-2 in favor,” she said. “The new members — I know I can speak for Sebastian and myself — we’re looking at this entirely different.”

Williams talked about how some politicians think taxpayers should pay for programs that benefit them personally. She said former Kennesaw councilman Jeff Duckett, who lost to Sebastian last November, worked out a deal where the city paid for half of his $3,000 cost to participate in Leadership Cobb, another Chamber program. Williams said the city paid $1,500 for the program even though Duckett lost and is no longer representing the city.

“Those are the types of things that make career politicians and set politicians up for a lifestyle of staying in politics,” Williams said. “I have a huge issue with that. The citizens paid half of Duckett’s Leadership Cobb, and he was not an elected official.”

After the vote, Mathews seemed upset the council members did not mention anything about their opposition to the trip before voting against it.

“The irony of the whole thing is this was put on the agenda as a courtesy to get the authority to do so,” Mathews said. “The courtesy wasn’t extended to me. They didn’t support it or tell me they would vote against it.”

Mathews said similar expenditures were approved in the past, including “around $2,000” to pay  for Welsh to attend a Cobb Chamber program in December 2013.

Welsh said that was a different situation.

“They are not even remotely the same,” she said. “I’m in the Honorary Commanders program through the Chamber. It’s $1,700, which the council voted for. It’s a year-long program and when we do excursions I pay with my own money. It’s also a program Mark has gone through. This is $2,500 for a three-day trip on economic development. Economic development is not his job.”

Welsh said Bob Fox, the city’s economic development director, would have been a better candidate to go on the trip. 

Mathews said he may still attend the conference. He could veto the item, pay his own way or go using city money despite the vote. 

“I haven’t made a final decision yet,” he said. “Typically, those items are put on just as a courtesy and spread on the minutes. Our charter and everything allows us to do the business of the city as we deem necessary.”

This isn’t the first time Mathews’ use of taxpayer funds has come under fire. 

Between December 2012 and September 2013, Mathews spent more than $8,000 on restaurant tabs, flights to conventions and events across the country, iPad accessories and memorabilia for city residents using a city-issued credit card. 

Kennesaw has no documented limits on credit card spending by the mayor and council members, who are given the cards after being sworn into office.

The MDJ exposed the council’s use of credit cards in October 2013, and Kennesaw council members Duckett, Jenkins and Matt Riedemann were swept out of office the next month.

Other officials not going

None of the other five mayors in Cobb County said they planned to go on the trip, though Brooks Mathis, executive director of the EDGE initiative and a vice president of the Cobb Chamber, said all were invited. Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee, who co-chairs the EDGE program, said he will not be attending either.

EDGE is a five-year initiative which is in its second year. The program’s goals are to create 7,500 new jobs, increase payroll earnings and income by $420 million and $7,000 per capita in Cobb County, reduce unemployment to 5.5 percent, increase the public school graduation rate by 4 percent and increase the number of college-bound students in Cobb by 7 percent, according to the program’s annual report.

Mathis said this is the third trip taken as part of EDGE. The first trip was to Fairfax, Va., and the second was to Cleveland, Ohio, where the group toured that city’s bus rapid transit program. Mathis said the trips help leaders learn from the places they visit.

“They’ve got a stadium in Dallas similar to the project we’re working (with the Braves),” Mathis said. “It will show how they are able to develop and work a stadium project. There are small business incubators we’re going to look at… We compete with Dallas quite a bit on economic development.”


Comments
(8)
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Andrew Jacobs
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13 Hours Ago
Mark Matthews' idea of economic development is simply the word 'yes'. Whatever anybody wants to build, wherever they want to build it. Why does he need training for that.

The City of Kennesaw is being greatly damaged by too many apartments and too many extended stay motels and too few nice neighborhoods.

Mark is just as bad as Leonard. They've merely swapped seats but the City still lacks leadership that will ensure Kennesaw develops in a quality way. Bravo to the ladies on the Council for stopping him on this.

Be Careful
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13 Hours Ago
The next election can't come soon enough.

Mark and Tim are "bye bye".

How totally SHAMEFUL that he would even threaten to veto when counncil members expressed concern on spending that much TAXPAYER money on a 3 day trip (that NO other county mayor is attending).

If he wants to go so bad, write it off as a sales trip and have his buddies at Metro Ambulance pay for it.

Jeff Duckett
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14 Hours Ago
Sorry that you are so ill informed Mrs Williams. Every council member and staff before that were privileged and honored to be chosen for Leadership Cobb had it paid for by the City. Any company or government entity should be proud and encourage their employees to improve upon themselves in programs like this one and others. A small price to pay to improve and enhance employee knowledge and bring new perspectives and ideas back that will benefit all. The reason that the City only paid for half of my program is because I was only guaranteed to serve on council through half of the program. I didn't think it was ethical that the City pay for the other half if I were not re-elected. If I had been, then the council had already approved to pay the other half at that time.

I believe that is the same for Honorary Commanders, GMA Conferences, Economic Development summits, etc. Leaders are always challenged to hone their skills and knowledge to continue to be effective and great leaders.

I guarantee Kennesaw would not be where we are today and in this economic boom if our leaders had not branched out and gathered the knowledge and acquired the relationships that would help us to do so. Look at all the past great events, they were not accomplished on an individual basis. It takes relationships and partnerships, as well as friendships. It takes prior knowledge, existing knowledge, and continued learning.

You say this economic summit is not worth it. How do you know?? I believe learning something to improve or enhance is always worth it. The return on investment can prove to be huge if you are in it for the right reasons.

curious about articl
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8 Hours Ago
I don't know anyone involved in this but I applaud Jeff Ducket for replying himself. It sounds to me like he did the ethical thing by only accepting half; and as he said, without stating he is the only person whose leadership cobb membership is paid for by their respective politic, you have presented a very biased story.

Bruce Jenkins
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14 Hours Ago
In my terms on the City Council, travel,training and many meetings expenses were covered with the phrase “shall be reimbursed” with the use of City credit cards,(quoting from the City Charter). In retrospect I feel many of the expenses I used the City credit card were justifiable and in line as a representative of City business. However, the taxpayers needed the understanding of why and for what these expenses where being placed on their shoulders. To speak one on one with constituents, it was made clear to me that there is an respectable cost of doing business that relate in expenses such as luncheons, training and travel. What is usually the frustration is the repeated lack of clear written documentation as to why and for what purpose each of these were taking place, to the masses and the Council. Minutes should reflect an attachment or statement from the Council member or Mayor as to why they are requesting reimbursement and not only a receipt or expense report. An update as to what transpired on the trip or meeting, giving clear transparency as to what was being discussed during a “luncheon or breakfast meeting”. Many meetings, training seminars are in good intentions to help the Council serve more effectively, however this is usually only understood by a select involved few. This “documentation” could offer insight to members to continue to share insights with the group, creating better dialogue between meetings outside the Council chamber. Since I have left office I have noted little progress in the changes or creation of a Elected Official personal policy manual that I was working on before my term expired. I hope that this is completed and guidelines are placed so that all understand and have clearer expectations of fiscal responsibilities to taxpayer expectations.

This article refers to the City credit card, in many cases the City credit card carries as an open and accurate expense account of the individual that is using it. It also has certain advantages of savings to taxpayers if it is used in travel. For example, in the travel industry certain local sales or “Hotel/Motel tax” are removed if the purchaser has a credit card that bears the name of the entity he/she represents and the entity is tax exempt, and in most cases municipalities are tax exempt. In some cases the advantages are easily justified for having the City card. The gray area is created by the phrase, “shall be reimbursed” when the card is used in advance and clear guidelines as to what is expected in return on its usage to the owner, i.e. “taxpayer” (other then just receipts). The City charter needs an amendment to more accurately dictate policy on what exactly is a “justifiable and reasonable” reimbursement, and requiring documentation for future references as to the details of the expense. In this case the people, (taxpayers) are and “shall be reimbursed” with clear understanding of how their funds are being used. Just my thoughts...

Bill in Kennesaw
|
18 Hours Ago
As the article pointed out Mr. Mayor spends about $1,000 a month on restaurant meals and assorted junk. He lives high on the taxpayers funds but that is no surprise as he stiffed 140 or so people and businesses when he went bankrupt for over $1,000,000 in 2009. He put in to the paperwork even the tiniest amounts, like $30 to UPS and $32 to Georgia Oak Floors. Not much chance of him being elected again so he wants to get as much as he can while he can. We could pass the hat for a collection to send him, but he would have to promise not to come back.

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A poor start for the new City Council?


Time to find a new job Mayor?
I understand that the new Council is off to a rocky start with relations to the Mayor.  

Did he veto an appointment already put up by the Council?

Why was he giving them a hard time as to the procedure would be for swearing in new members? 

Rather than trying to 'get along' with the new lineup on the Council it seems that he wants to bump heads with them right from the start.  

If he dosen't like things now that he is a 'lame duck' mayor then he might want to resign and go back to washing Metro ambulances for a living.

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The below appeared in the MDJ 1/1/14 and is a good summary of the past years election.  

The MDJ has a limited local readership and their online edition has gone to a pay site so the item is reproduced here FYI.


Residents oust three Kennesaw City Council members


Controversies over late councilman’s replacement, spending fuel elections 


December 31, 2013 09:57 PM 


KENNESAW — After months of political sniping and controversy over spending and other issues at the City Council, Kennesaw residents voted to oust all three councilmen who were up for re-election in November.

Some say the divide in the council was exacerbated when longtime councilman Bill Thrash died from bladder cancer in May. The council was split in deciding who should take Thrash’s spot on the five-member council.

Mayor Mark Mathews made the tie-breaking vote in electing Matt Riedemann to the council in June, which added angst to the city’s split council members and residents.

Council members Cris Welsh and Bruce Jenkins voted to install Thrash’s wife, Suzie, as his replacement on the council, while Jeff Duckett and Tim Killingsworth opted for Riedemann.

Mathews voted to break the tie in favor of Riedemann.

From there, the council became a two-headed governmental body, split on most of the important votes, with council members Riedemann, Killingsworth and Duckett consistently voting in a bloc to overrule motions made by council members Cris Welsh and Bruce Jenkins.

Welsh brought forward motions this fall to ban smoking in nearly all businesses and public outdoor spaces and another to prohibit elected officials from texting during council meetings. Both motions were overruled and dismissed by Mathews and his allies.

Museum, credit cards spark controversy

The council was repeatedly petitioned by residents concerned with the city’s finances. Critics believed the city’s financial position was burdened by taxpayer subsidies of its top two tourist attractions, the Southern Museum of Locomotive History and the Smith-Gilbert Gardens.

Both attractions have been running deficits for years, pulling money from the city’s general fund, which is fed by fees and taxes paid by Kennesaw residents.

In the 2013 budget, city officials transferred $557,643 to the gardens and the museum in order to balance the annual budget. That figure is expected to rise to $616,322 in the 2014 budget, which was adopted in September by a 3-2 vote of the council.

In late October, city officials came under fire again for the city’s lack of a credit card policy. Residents were upset to learn their elected officials had been using credit cards with very little rules and regulations, funded with their tax dollars.

The mayor and council members had spent together about $33,000 on dinners, including one at Vic’s on the River in Savannah from July 2012 that totaled $923.20, various flights and embroidered clothing between September 2012 and September 2013, according to credit card statements.

Duckett spent roughly $4,500, Jenkins, $6,500, Welsh and Killingsworth almost $3,000 each, and the mayor about $8,200 from December 2012 through Sept. 9, 2013.

The bills were paid for and unquestioned by the city. As news of this and other hot-potato issues broke, residents responded by signing up to run for council.

By the filing deadline, residents had seven candidates to choose from on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Clean sweep of council candidates


Debra Williams, a local businesswoman who owns her own public relations and marketing business and serves on the Kennesaw Planning and Zoning Board, stunned incumbent Matt Riedemann by garnering 60 percent of the votes in the Post 4 race. She outpolled Riedemann by nearly 400 votes, tallying 1,142 to her opponent’s 757.

Jim Sebastian, chairman of the Citizens Advisory Committee and owner of SAFE LLC, a consulting company, squeaked out a win over incumbent Jeff Duckett by about 30 votes.

Former Kennesaw mayor Leonard Church made a political comeback, beating incumbent councilman Bruce Jenkins and Briggett Washington in a tight race, as no candidate won 50 percent of the vote.


Read moreThe Marietta Daily Journal - Residents oust three Kennesaw City Council members


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Misc Info:  
The election is now history with all 3 incumbent councilmen having been replaced by other candidates.

So the original purpose of the site, and the others, is now gone but the information will remain as it has historical value and might be useful to people who have an interest in what goes on in Kennesaw.

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Misc Info:
  Despite the article's claim of a 'runoff' there is no provision in Kennesaw for one if candidates do not get over 50%, so Church is the winner in Post 3.


Voters oust two Kennesaw City Council incumbents, shattering its voting bloc 


Bruce Jenkins, Leonard Church in runoff Dec. 3

By Hannah Morgan, MDJ Reporter  hmorgan@mdjonline.com  

KENNESAW — Two new members will join Kennesaw’s City Council as they knocked off incumbents, and a third race will go to a runoff, shattering a tight voting bloc that has controlled many of the city’s policies for months. 


Williams in a landslide 


Debra Williams, a local businesswoman who owns her own public relations and marketing business and serves on the Kennesaw Planning and Zoning Board, stunned incumbent Matt Riedemann by garnering 60 percent of the votes in the Post 4 race. She outpolled Riedemann by nearly 400 votes, tallying 1,142 to her opponent’s 757, according to unofficial results posted on the Cobb Board of Elections website. 


Duckett goes down, barely 


Jim Sebastian, chairman of the Citizens Advisory Committee and owner of SAFE LLC, a consulting company, squeaked out a win over incumbent Jeff Duckett by about 30 votes, according to county election results.


“You did it, Jim, you did it!” Williams shouted across the crowded restaurant, 41 Cork and Tap, off Cobb Parkway in Kennesaw Station Shopping Center, pointing to Sebastian, as the election results came in Tuesday night. 


Jenkins in runoff with former mayor 


Former Kennesaw mayor Leonard Church and incumbent councilman Bruce Jenkins will be in a runoff election Dec. 3, as neither candidate garnered 50 percent of the vote, plus one vote, according to Cobb County election regulations.


Briggett Washington also ran for Jenkins’s seat but tallied only 23 percent of the vote, not enough to make the runoff election next month.


With Duckett and Riedemann going down in defeat, Mayor Mark Mathews will finish out the rest of his term without the voting bloc he has enjoyed. 


Posting in pink 


Councilwoman Cris Welsh, who was not up for re-election, posted the numbers as they came in from the county on a neon pink sheet, taped against the glass door at 41 Cork and Tap.


Peg Rhoad was excited about the potential for the new faces on the council, and said she hoped they could help to “Get the mayor out of town … and start getting the city where it needs to be,” both financially and ethically, said the owner of Dog Grooming by Peg on Main Street in downtown Kennesaw.


The Hickory Wine Bluegrass Band, with players from Tennessee and Woodstock, played as more than 60 supporters of Jenkins, Williams and Sebastian waited for the numbers to come in.


When Williams heard of her victory, she began to cry, “I made a promise to the people that I fully intend to keep,” she said.


Her best friend for more than 20 years, Lisa Lott, had driven in from Montgomery, Ala., to surprise Williams earlier that afternoon in the parking lot. She hugged Williams when the numbers began to come in.


Jenkins stood in the parking lot and said while he was disappointed with the results, he vowed to continue to support the city and all of the council members, whether or not he wins the upcoming runoff election. 


“We need new blood, not old blood. Leadership is about everyone having a chance to serve. We need fresh faces, fresh ideas,” on the council, said 50-year-Kennesaw resident Mike Serkedakis, when he heard about Church’s slim plurality. 


Across town, at Mazzy’s Sports bar and Grill off Cherokee Street, more than 50 people came out to support Riedemann, and to watch election results come in. 


Riedemann said he felt “wonderful” and happy that so many people had been involved in voting Tuesday. Recent reports of his personal financial difficulties had both hurt and helped his campaign, he said. While the reports had certainly lost him a few voters, Riedemann said that he received many emails, text messages and calls from residents who felt that he was “a real person” that they could relate to. 


Duckett, who was narrowly beaten by Sebastian, could not be reached Tuesday night. 


In the current council, Mathews has received strong support from council members Tim Killingsworth and Duckett, while Jenkins and Welsh have previously voted against the mayor on important issues for the city, including the city’s budget. 


Riedemann joined the council in July, after the death of former councilman Bill Thrash, and has not been on the council long enough to establish a voting pattern. 


Riedemann was appointed to the council, however, by a tie-breaking vote from the mayor last June, after Thrash’s death. A picture of Thrash sat nearby on the bar Tuesday night at 41 Cork and Tap, facing out at the crowd as the final numbers came in. Residents were more involved in this year’s election than ever before, they said, as news reports revealed the city’s struggling financial situation, and complaints about a lax credit card spending policy drew them to the polls. Williams, Sebastian and either Jenkins or Church will take office at the start of January. Council members Welsh and Killingsworth, along with the mayor, were not up for re-election this year. 


Staff/Jeff Stanton Above: Kennesaw City Council candidate Jim Sebastian, right, receives a victory smooch from his wife, Karen, at the 41 Cap and Cork. Sebastian narrowly defeated incumbent Jeff Duckett. Below: Incumbent Kennesaw City Council member Bruce Jenkins is embraced by Suzie Thrash, the wife of former council member Bill Thrash, who died from cancer in May. Thrash was supporting Jenkins, who will now face former mayor Leonard Church in a runoff.


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Mayor Mathews is now a 'lame duck'

With an unusually high turnout for a Kennesaw Council election, just over 1,900 voters turned out to cast their votes for the 3 Kennesaw Council positions.
   
3 incumbents have been swept out of office.  

The financial problems with the mis-use of City credit cards was a late developing major facor, also voters expressed their annoyance with the Mayor over his actions in putting a financial burnout on the Council to replace a deceased Councilman.

This was much more than an election, it was a referendum on Mathew's stewardship and almost surely means that in 2 years both Mathews and his remaining Councilman Mr Killingsworth will be gone from Kennesaw politics.

The 3/2 Mathews majority on the Council is history, he now has to deal with 4 Council members who are 'anti' Mathews and in a mood for some major reforms both in financial matters and in any new Council business.


Post 3 
L. Church     768  40%
B. Jenkins    720  37%
Washington 434  23%
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Post 4
D. Williams 1,142  60%
Riedemann  757   40%
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Post 5
Sebastian  964 51%
Duckett      934 49%

====================================================================PM's from Facebook Account of JimJimgg, now closed

Below are both incoming and replies from me via a now closed Facebook account.  When active the account had 30 'friends', one of them was Mathews.  

He initiated an exchange of Private Messages and since I found them both annoying and a distraction I initially blocked/unfriended him.  Shortly after that I decided just to cancel the account and it was deleted by me. 

After this Mathews started contacting me via emails, none of which I replied to.
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https://www.facebook.com/NEVRL8

/mobile//mobile/ 7:52pm l


Bill, i hope you are having a great Labor Day weekend. In all of your research on the Burger-Fi project,how did you not see that one of your "anti-mayor" angels was the lead council member over the KDDA for this project? As thorough as you are, I have to assume that you saw that little tidbit but including it would make you look even more foolish. Keep up the good work! Oh, and On your election analysis, I have to thank you for giving me so much credit. It's quite flattering.


8:37pm l


Always glad to help! I've said about 20 times that all those on the Council should be replaced. Don't care whether they are 'pro-Mayor' or 'anti-Mayor', all of you did a poor job on the Pawn Shop fiasco and I could not care less if one of you is on the KDDA or if that person is pro or anti Mayor.


8:43pm l


Pawn Shop was definitely a fiasco. That crazy thing called "Due Process of Law" really slows things down. Personally, understanding what we had to go thru with "Due Process" I think it went very well. We were made aware of a problem and resolved it.


10:03am l


It must be a very rewarding feeling to try to tear down people and progress. I'm sorry that you are such an unhappy man. What a man!

"Today "


1:29pm l


Just remind me how many creditors you stuck in yoour 2009 bankruptcy? I am sure more people are pissed off with you than are with me. Wasn't that a bit over one million bucks you got out from under? People who live in glass houses should probably not annoy others who like to throw rocks.





2:08pm Sep 6 

Again, I'm glad I can bring enjoyment to your obviously lacking life. Harping on something that is 4 years old really says a lot about the kind of person you really are. It's all public record and I've been in a glass house for over 16 years. While I too enjoy throwing rocks, I've never tried to hide from anything, cover anything up, or take out my personal deficiencies on others from behind a keyboard. I'm happy to answer any questions you may have "man to man" or "face to face". Enjoy your weekend "Mr. Big Man".

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  Background Information on Mathews:

(This 2 part article is presented with Part 2 first as this is the more interesting of the 2 and deals with current Mayor Mathews and how he handles his financial obligations)

Political Vine:  The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics
See article at:   http://politicalvine.com/politicalrumors/georgia-races/city-of-kennesaw-elections-part-2/ 

The Political Vine is the home of political news, satire, rants, and rumors.

City of Kennesaw Elections-


City of Kennesaw Elections - Part 2
by PV

Mark Mathews is the current mayor of Kennesaw, and is running for reelection this Tuesday, November 8th (2011).

First elected as mayor in 2007, he started his term in January 2008.

According to his reelection Website, he states the following as part of his business resume:

“1989-2009: Mathews Carpet Company – a company started by his parents in 1974. In 2001 MR Mathews, Inc. was created to purchase the business, Mathews Abbey Flooring, providing all types of flooring products and services to the residential, commercial, and new construction markets. Forced to close business due to economic downturn.”

A more accurate statement (and, truthful one at that) with regards to being “Forced to close business due to economic downturn” would have been “Filed bankruptcy in 2009 as a result of economic downturn.”

See, Ladies and Gentlemen, there is a difference between merely “closing a business” and a business filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. One denotes the act of merely ceasing operations after settling all debts…while the other one denotes a legal filing to a federal court to officially tell 44 some-odd creditors “Hey…ummm…sorry, we ain’t gonna pay you what we owe” to “close” the business.

So, if he’s not accurate in his description of what actually happened to his business, one might wonder if it really went bankrupt due solely to an “economic downturn” OR…could it be because Mathews was spending too much of his time playing mayor and dealing in the “fun” of politics rather than keeping his eye on his business enterprise?

Also in 2009, Mathews and his wife had to personally file for bankruptcy. (We are not in any way implying or inferring anything negative with regards to the character of Mark Mathews or his wife.)

HOWEVER…in referencing the actual filing (a 23 Megabyte PDF file should you choose to open or download it), there are significant instances of the taxpayers of several government jurisdictions being left on the hook for Mathews’ tax debt.

Specifically:

- City of Marietta: $2286.53 (Page 31 of 83 in PDF)
- City of Marietta Section 8 Housing Authority: $2003.43 (Page 39 of 83 in PDF)
- Cobb County Tax Commissioner: $626.00 (Page 40 of 83)
- Cobb County Tax Commissioner: $1553.32 (Page 40 of 83)

All told, Mark Mathews (via himself and MR Mathews, Inc) has left several Cobb County-based municipalities $6,469.28 in the red and OTHER taxpayers having to foot his tax bills (by having to pay higher taxes on their tax bills owed)

Now, the 2nd-term seeking mayoral candidate just happens to be one of the big, Big, BIG proponents of next year’s T-SPLOST. You know, that little vote that will require all Kennesaw inhabitants the additional responsibility of paying 1% more in sales tax on everything they buy in Cobb. Yeah. Mathews is in favor of you paying more taxes so that he can have a hand in spending on your behalf.

Councilman Tim Killingsworth, Post 2 is running for reelection to the Kennesaw City Council. He is also known to be a tight ally of Mark Mathews.

On October 24th, there was a candidate forum held by the Kennesaw Patch (an online local news site that is owned by Huffington-Post).

Here is a link to a PDF version of the transcript.

It is interesting to us that Councilman Killingsworth, at Time Marker 7:32 states “We haven’t raised your taxes, and we don’t plan to do that anytime soon.”

Then…at Time Marker 7:45, Killingsworth answers the question of whether he supports the T-SPLOST vote next year by saying “I would have to say I do support it.”

So, for Killingsworth’s mind, maybe there’s a distinction in his mind of what constitutes “anytime soon” and intending to push (along with Mathews coordinating) for passage of next year’s T-SPLOST vote to…do what? Oh, yeah. RAISE TAXES.

PV’s Conclusion: Frankly, in our opinion, the existence of Mathews’ two bankruptcies (personal and business defaults) are not the direct issues here.

What should be important in this case is the following:

1)  Mathews had an obligation to be truthful as to why his business “closed.” It’s easy to blame the downturn…but, not everyone has gone out of business due to the downturn. AND, filing a bankruptcy is NOT the same thing as “closing a business.”

2)  The failure to pay nearly $6500 in various taxes to the City of Marietta (hey, Thunder has deep pockets to cover this default, right, Thunder?) and the Cobb County Tax Commissioner’s office (hey, Tim Lee and Helen Goreham will cover for Mathews in a heartbeat…they’ll just raise the rest of our millages, right?).

No, defaulting on taxes should immediately disqualify anyone from “serving” the people. We hope that come the Election Night of November 8, the voters of Kennesaw disqualify the reelection of Mark Mathews.

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This entry was posted by PV, on Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 at 11:25 pm and is filed under Cobb County, Georgia Races and Tagged: Candidate Bankruptcy, Kennesaw Mayor, Mark Mathews, Tax Debt, TSPLOST
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Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics
See article at:  http://politicalvine.com/politicalrumors/cobb-county/city-of-kennesaw-elections-part-1/

The Political Vine is the home of political news, satire, rants, and rumors.
City of Kennesaw Elections-Part 1
by PV

Last week, we issued a Poll to the Vine readership consisting of this one question: ” If a person running for public office has a bankruptcy of any type in their background, should it be disclosed?”

Out of 142 votes cast, 111 voted “Yes, it should be disclosed” and 32 voted “No, I don’t care to know.”

There was an opportunity for people to give their own insight into the subject, and the personal opinions ran the gamut (see here for opinions…by the way, the site that the Poll is on is not controlled by Political Vine in any way, and it will not be monitored).

In reviewing these opinions, as well as consulting with other people in the world of politics, we’ve come to the following conclusions about bankruptcies (you are free to disagree):

1) Not all bankruptcies are the result of a character flaw in the people who file. It does not mean the person is immoral or unethical for filing a bankruptcy (of course, if any US Senator from Georgia ever files for bankruptcy, we’ll be scratching our heads and wondering why they didn’t get enough ROI from their crony capitalist bank pals after they voted in 2005 to give the homeowner less of a chance for recovery, all the while giving more power and absolution to the banks themselves).

2) Not all bankruptcies are entirely the fault of the person or business making the filing.

3) Barring the actual attempt to defraud, defaulting on money owed to creditors is not a sign of anyone who is being inherently dishonest (the creditors voluntarily took a risk to give credit to the borrower…that is an agreement between two private parties as far as we are concerned and a happenstance of the free market).

4) However, if the person has defaulted on taxes owed to a government entity, AND….that person is a candidate for a publicly-elected office for some position at some level of government, then everyone’s pretty much in agreement that that is a sign of hypocrisy present that is not going to be tolerated for very long by the voters and taxpayers.

It is this 4th point that is crucial to understand why there’s “hypocrisy” if someone is elected to office who hasn’t paid their own tax bills. It is the reason why we felt it was necessary to expose, not only the $137,000 some-odd of current tax liens that HD 43 candidate Robert Lamutt had on his current books, but also his documented 7-year history of having liens at both the federal and state level field against him that made it relevant.

When you are elected to public office, you are, in effect, using the force of government to extract tax dollars from us to pay for your fiefdom.

And, unless you think, as an elected official, that you should be exempt from paying taxes to support your infrastructure, your failure to pay taxes means that the burden must fall on the rest of the taxpayers.

And, taxpayers don’t particularly care to shoulder your load while you are put in charge of making decisions on how to spend their money.
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This entry was posted by PV, on Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 at 11:09 pm  and is filed under Cobb County and Tagged: Kennesaw Elections, Kennesaw Mayor, Mark Mathews, TSPLOST
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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Mark Mathews
Manager - Government Relations
Greater Atlanta Area Government Relations
As posted on the site Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mrmarkmathews?trk=pub-pbmap 

Current
Board Member at Atlanta Regional Commission
Manager - Government Relations at METROAtlanta Ambulance Service
Mayor at City of Kennesaw

Past
Owner at Mathews Abbey Flooring
Council Member at City of Kennesaw
Communications Specialist at Honest Face Systems Inc.
Recommendations
14 people have recommended Mark
Connections
500+ connections
Websites
MetroAtlanta Ambulance
City of Kennesaw
Mark Mathews' Summary

Local elected official with over 15 years experience in federal, state, and local government relations in Georgia.

Specialties
Government relations, government liaison, project management, research, computer networking, contract negotiations, sales, dispute resolution.

Mark Mathews' Experience

Board Member
Atlanta Regional Commission
Nonprofit; 51-200 employees; Government Relations industry
July 2009 – Present (4 years 4 months)

Represent the six cities of Cobb County for the region.
Manager - Government Relations
METROAtlanta Ambulance Service
Privately Held; 201-500 employees; Hospital & Health Care industry
June 2009 – Present (4 years 5 months)

Mayor, City of Kennesaw
Government Agency; 201-500 employees; Government Administration industry
January 2008 – Present (5 years 10 months)

Owner, Mathews Abbey Flooring
January 2001 – March 2009 (8 years 3 months)

Family owned and operated flooring store. Provided all flooring products and services to the construction and retail trade. Carpet, Vinyl, Hardwood, Ceramic Tile sales and installation. Purchased business in 2001 from parents.

Council Member
City of Kennesaw
Government Agency; 201-500 employees; Government Administration industry
January 1996 – December 2007 (12 years)

Communications Specialist
Honest Face Systems Inc.
May 1982 – November 1989 (7 years 7 months)

Coordinated and managed all Data Processing functions, network specialist, and project management

======================================================================Mathews Bankruptcy Information

Below Bankruptcy Schedules B, C and the 22 page listing of the 108 Schedule F unsecured creditors.

Written off debts ranged from $382,353 to the law firm of Haynie, Litchfield & Crane to $30 for UPS.  The total liabilities were $1,446,583.43 v. assets of $360,268.
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Additional Bankruptcy information is coming soon about the Mayor and another Councilman.

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  The Georgia Campaign Finance Commission has some problems with the failure of 2 candidates for the Kennesaw City Council, 1 Kennesaw Mayor and one sitting Kennesaw Councilman (not up for election) in their failure to provide 'Personal Financial Disclosure Statements' as is required by Georgia law. 

Riedemann owes $125, Killingsworth owes $125 and Ms Washington owes $250 for a missing 'Personal Financial Disclosure Statement' and a missing 'Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report'. 

In the case of the Mayor it goes back to 2011. Mathews owes $250 for 2 seperate failures to file. 

The Commission Invoice states in part: 
"If you fail to pay the required late filing fee(s) as indicated above, the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission may issue an Administrative Subpeona commanding your presence before them to give reason why you have failed to remit the required late filing fee(s)."
 
 
 
 
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Kennesaw Campaign Contribution Disclosure Reports are available at the below direct links, copy link and put into your browser to bring up the site:

Riedemann:
http://media.ethics.ga.gov/Search/Campaign/Campaign_ReportOptions.aspx?NameID=18848&FilerID=C2013000368&CDRID=95442  

Duckett:
http://media.ethics.ga.gov/Search/Campaign/Campaign_ReportOptions.aspx?NameID=9030&FilerID=C2011000437&CDRID=96774  

Williams:
 http://media.ethics.ga.gov/Search/Campaign/Campaign_ReportOptions.aspx?NameID=19097&FilerID=C2013000572&CDRID=96560

Sebastian:
 http://media.ethics.ga.gov/Search/Campaign/Campaign_ReportOptions.aspx?NameID=18917&FilerID=C2013000420&CDRID=96586

Washington:
 http://media.ethics.ga.gov/Search/Campaign/Campaign_ReportOptions.aspx?NameID=19089&FilerID=C2013000566&CDRID=97571

Jenkins:
 http://media.ethics.ga.gov/Search/Campaign/Campaign_ReportOptions.aspx?NameID=5901&FilerID=C2009000157&CDRID=97342

Church:
 http://media.ethics.ga.gov/Search/Campaign/Campaign_Name.aspx?NameID=19088&FilerID=C2013000565&Type=candidate

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The below information comes from the site:  http://notmathews.org/notmathews/default.htm

NotMathews.org  - Integrity Matters This site was established by those who have been exposed to the 
lack of character and integrity of Mark Mathews
and believe that he would not be a good mayor of Kennesaw.

NotMathews.org - Integrity Matters
This site was established by those who have been exposed to the 
lack of character and integrity of Mark Mathews
and believe that he would not be a good mayor of Kennesaw.
Character and integrity matter: we suggest that you not vote for Mark Mathews for Mayor of Kennesaw.

Whether Democrat or Republican, you have to admire the courage and conviction of the Swift Vets and POWs for Truth during the 2004 presidential election. The Swift Vets knew from their own personal experience that John Kerry lacked integrity and deliberately misrepresented the truth. They felt it important that someone with lack of integrity should not be President of the United States: “John Kerry … exhibits serious flaws in character and lacks the potential to lead.” They stepped forward, presented the facts, addressed all rebuttals, and stood up to the personal abuse from the Kerry supporters.

While the Kennesaw mayoral race is nowhere near as significant,  the mayor of Kennesaw will serve for 4 years and much can happen to influence our town's reputation and our lives here.

In that spirit, this site represents those in the area who have had personal experience with Mark Mathews and know, firsthand, that he lacks the character and integrity to be Mayor of Kennesaw. We will present the facts that are available and allow Mark Mathews to respond at any time.

We shall begin by reviewing Mark Mathews' own words about himself on his website. You will see that he distorts the truth to deceive you, takes credit for the work of others, or really does no work at all.

The "About Mark" and "Accomplishments" pages on his website have only three relevant activities: education, work experience, and city council membership:

EDUCATION:
At first glance, you might think "taken classes at Southern Polytechnic and Kennesaw State Universities" says that Mathews has a college degree or at least a significant college education - this is what he intended that you deduce. The reality is that he quit a computer science degree program from Southern Polytechnic because he was on academic probation after only two semesters. He then transferred to Kennesaw College (not a University at the time) in a business degree program and quit again. Given this poor performance, he was asked why he thought it important to put college classes in his biography and he could only agree that it was lack of  commitment and poor planning and that he was "not as well in tune with myself, my goals for life, or my plans for the future." There are at least three things that must be derived from putting his failing college education in his bio:

1. He was trying to deceive the voters into thinking he had a college education. Why else would he place it in his bio? He was asked what courses he took that were relevant to being mayor and he refused to respond. If he wanted you to know the truth, he would have said he was a college drop-out. 

2. He failed, twice, at a task that most of the voters would like their children to accomplish. Mark Mathews is not a good role model for our children - not for education, not for commitment and perseverance, and mostly not for integrity.

3. If he is unwilling to commit to an education, how can we expect he will commit to the job of mayor? This was already demonstrated when he was on the city council where, after 12 years, he has still not completed the Georgia Municipal Association classes, required of all public officials. Even knowing he was going to run for mayor, he dropped out of a scheduled class.

Some compensate for not getting a college degree and are honorable citizens. Mark Mathews did not and continues to demonstrate his lack of education and integrity. He could at least have someone check the grammar and spelling on his website.

WORK EXPERIENCE:
The first half of Mark Mathews' work experience was as a LAN administrator and a technical career. He quit this to take over his father's carpet business. We must ask why was there no mention of this in his bio? This would be far more significant to being mayor than running his father's business. But a more significant indicator of his lack of integrity is his carpet experience. This is where his true character is exposed. There are two types of contractors and the test comes not on a job that goes well but when there are problems. Here is where Mark Mathews clearly shows his lack of character and integrity. Here are just a few of his "contractor tricks":

1. Quit an incomplete job and claimed the remainder of the work was warranty. Then demanded full payment before he would do warranty work.

2. Personally showed up and demanded payment and became belligerent when female spouse was at home alone.

3. Used the courts as a weapon instead of  an arbiter. Even when he lost the case, he refused to pay and used lawyer tactics to wear down the customer.

Other than demonstrating his poor character, this is important because he is a contractor and a considerable amount of city business deals with contractors and building. Having a contractor of Mathews' integrity as mayor can only cause a conflict of interest that is not in the best interest of Kennesaw residents.

CITY COUNCIL: 
As with his deceptive education statement, his "accomplishments" as a city council member are written to deceive the voters. Here are some things to watch for in his claims:

1. His claim under "Leadership" was that he was "elected" by the council as Mayor Pro-Tem. There is no "election" involved. The position is a backup position in case the mayor is absent from a meeting and it is "rotated" among all the council members. Yet using the words elected, mayor, and leadership were meant purely to deceive the voters into thinking he has been elected and performed as mayor.  

2. His claim under "Commitment" is again similar to his false education claims. This is actually a failure in commitment for, in 12 years, he has only completed 102 of 120 hours of the GMA education for elected officials. 

3. Be very careful reading some of his other accomplishments noting particularly the verbs he uses. "Led the push", "served on", "instrumental in", "worked for", "worked with", "worked to maintain", "supported", "promoted", ... These are passive statements and amount to just talk. His "Vision" claim seems to use the active verb "led" but the reality is that he did not lead the automation project as the statement tries to deceive the voters. He didn't even lead a push, and when asked what specifically he did, he had no reply.

4. Regarding his statements on "Taxes," it is not clear what he actually did because the city manager is responsible for this area. As to his statement about working to maintain the current tax rate of 6.75 mils, his action at a council work session on June 27th, 2007 is to the contrary: "Councilmember Mathews recommended publishing at the highest possible millage rate (9.5 mils)." 

5. Lack of character is reflected in his judgment, as well. For example, shortly after Jeff Miller was publicly reprimanded and removed as Vice President by the Legacy Park Community Association Board for improper conduct, Mark Mathews recommended him for the city planning board. Another example is his desire to disband the Kennesaw Police Department. 

6. Mark Mathews says his reason for wanting to be mayor was to "bring parties together" to resolve "The slow progress on recent projects in the city [which] has been hindered by weak relationships, both internally and externally." When asked what projects and delays he was referring to, he had no answer. When asked why he hadn't accomplished these things as a councilman, he had no answer. 

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So, in his two short website pages, Mark Mathews has deceived, mislead, and demonstrated his lack of integrity, skill, and background for the position of Mayor of Kennesaw. His slogan is "building our hometown" but his actual behavior indicates that socializing and self-promotion are his priorities. To summarize his accomplishments from his own words, Mark Mathews is a college drop-out whose only business experience is running a business created by his father. Surely Kennesaw can do better.

This information on this website has been reviewed by Mark Mathews numerous times and he has been given, and continues to be given, the opportunity to correct any errors. Comments, experiences, and corrections may be sent to integrity@notmathews.org.


 
 
 


===============================================================


On October 24th, there was a candidate forum held by the Kennesaw Patch (an online local news site that is owned by Huffington-Post).  

See original transcript at:  http://www.politicalvine.com/kennesaw/KsawPatchForumPodcast.pdf


Monday October 24, 2011

7:23 And we're live from Ben Robertson Community Center.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:23
7:25 The candidates have been introduced. Now moderator Rep. Ed Setzler takes the podium.

Monday October 24, 2011 7:25
7:26 Format: Four general questions to be asked to all candidates, and two individual questions to each candidate.

Monday October 24, 2011 7:26
7:27 This will be followed by a Q&A from the audience.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:27
7:27 Now 3-minute opening remarks from all the candidates.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:27

7:27 Mayor Mark Mathews takes the podium
Monday October 24, 2011 7:27
7:28 Mathews: Four years ago, ran on platform of "building our hometown."
Monday October 24, 2011 7:28
7:28 Mathews: With hard economic times, budget has been reduced by 12 percent.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:28
7:29 "Thank you very much for the opportunity tonight. I look forward to answering your questions."
Monday October 24, 2011 7:29

7:29 Next, City Council challenger Jimmy Dickens, Post 2, takes the podium.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:29
7:29 I'm concerned about our community. I want to be part of it...
Monday October 24, 2011 7:29
7:29 Dickens: Currently running three mentoring programs.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:29
7:30 Dickens: I have eight kids, beautiful wife.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:30

7:30 Councilman Tim Killingsworth, Post 2: been in Kennesaw for 15 years. Retired from Marine Corps.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:30
7:31 "We changed a lot of attitudes about the way people look at politics and look at leaders here in Kennesaw."
Monday October 24, 2011 7:31
7:32 "One of my passions being a retired Marine is to follow and stay with the veterans groups."
Monday October 24, 2011 7:32
7:32 "We've got a lot of things happening and a lot of things about to happen."
Monday October 24, 2011 7:32
7:32 "We haven't raised your taxes, and we don't plan to do that anytime soon."

Monday October 24, 2011 7:32
7:33 Councilwoman Cris Eaton-Welsh, Post 1, takes the podium.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:33
7:33 "I work here, I live here, my husband Steve and I have chosen to raise our family here."
Monday October 24, 2011 7:33
7:33 "We have got a $1 million renovation going on with the old Cowboys location."
Monday October 24, 2011 7:33
7:34 "I'm very proud of this mayor and council for the relationships that they've built."
Monday October 24, 2011 7:34

7:34 First group question
There's been a lot of talk for the need for economic development in downtown Kennesaw. What's your vision for downtown? How will you get there?
Monday October 24, 2011 7:34
7:35 Eaton-Welsh: That's my vision for downtown—a walking breathing downtown
Monday October 24, 2011 7:35
7:36 Killingsworth: The development that she's talked about, everybody has seen the Underpass under the railroad tracks. All that land on the other side of that street has been put together by the Development Authority. Now we've got Camp MacDonald. That's gonna be a passive park. Plus 4-story parking deck.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:36
7:37 Killingsworth: Our downtown is moving. We've got development already happening. Kennnesaw right now is staged and prepared to be on the front of the stage.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:37
7:38 Jimmy Dickens: Trackside was a good start. Me personally, I would like to see more restaurants downtown.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:38
7:38 Right now, other than the Trackside, there's not a lot of restaurants.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:38
7:38 People want to be in downtown Kennesaw. If you look at Pigs and Peaches and the big festivals that we have. I would want to redevelop downtown so we're more family friendly.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:38
7:39 Mark Mathews: The vision that we've got for Kennesaw is shared by the entire council at this present time.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:39
7:40 Downtown on Main Street, there is a rendering as well where we have assembled a property behind City Hall. That is intended to be amixed use facility. One of the big problems we have—lack of parking.
Once we address parking problem, we should have influx of additional
business, restaurants and shops opening up in downtown. That vision is well underway and being executed as we speak. The biggest hindrance right now is the economy. I envision over next two or three years, we will start seeing drastic, drastic changes.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:40

7:44 Individual questions for Eaton-Welsh:
With your stated focus on communications, how have you helped increase communication between city and residents? With what tangible results? 
Eaton-Welsh:
Communication is the key to everything. The first thing I did when I came into office is I put together a blog. Then we started doing Facebook. Now Parks and Rec has Facebook, Police dept. has facebook.
Favorite thing is electronic newsletter. We've got a good percentage of people that have signed up and staying on top of what's going on.  Started doing Survey Monkeys and got great feedback.

Next question: Which of projects currently in development would take first priority for completion if you are re-elected? Eaton-Welsh: The Sanctuary over at McCollum, everything coming together perfectly for this parking garage and downtown development.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:44

7:44 Group Question
Do you support passage of the TSPLOST?  Specifically the proposed mass transit system from Kennesaw to midtown Atlanta.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:44
7:45 Killingsworth: I would have to say I do support it.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:45
7:46 They (Roundtable) all had to work together. You've got all these
county commissioners, you've got these mayors, they're all trying to figure out a way to make it work.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:46
7:47 I'm here to tell you that they did a pretty good job when they
started butting heads and getting together. Tim Lee and Mark Mathews came up here, and they started talking to Cobb County. Everybody knows how that went. Then they went back to drawing table and got in the trenches again. If you look at return on the dollar, I think Cobb County fared pretty well.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:47
7:47 In the event that it comes down to it, I'd probably have to vote
yes. Because in 15 years, we're gonna be in trouble if we don't do something.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:47
7:48 Jimmy Dickens: I'm gonna give it to you straight. Yes, I do support it. I do think it should have been done years ago. Now's a bad time because of the economy.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:48
7:49 Ten years ago, something should have been in place then. If you look down the road, the congestion of traffic, we need to do omething now.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:49
7:49 I do support it, but I want to make sure the monies are gonna go exactly where they say they're gonna go.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:49
7:50 Mark Mathews: No ifs, ands or buts is a little unfair. I've maintained my position since we adopted the final project list. It is too early for me, there are too many unanswered questions that require the state legislature to take action, specifically on the transit
piece.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:50
7:50 Without a regional transit governance model in place to oversee that...if that's not in place, I can't support it.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:50
7:50 But assuming it's in place, will support it.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:50
7:51 I didn't have the choice to say yes or no as to when we would do it. All I had was the choice to be involved in the project list.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:51
7:51 Alternatives analysis study will take 18 months to complete—won't be complete until after the vote.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:51
7:52 Once study is done, then we can move forward with whatever that recommendation is.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:52
7:53 Eaton-Welsh: I do actually support it—something has got to be done about transportation. I've got to commend Mark. He put his neck out there. You know something needs to be done about transportation.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:53

7:53 Question for Jimmy Dickens
As Kennesaw business owner, why are you running for office? Why now?
Monday October 24, 2011 7:53
7:54 Dickens: I'm not just a business owner. I'm a father. I hear the
complaints. I hear from customers, from knocking on doors. I hear needs people are asking for. People want somebody that's real. Instead of just complaining about the stuff that Kennesaw needs—get involved. I think the best way to get involved is to get on the side making decisions.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:54
7:54 Dickens: I want to do whatever it takes on your behalf.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:54
7:55 Question: If elected to council, what are first changes you would make to what current leadership is doing?
Monday October 24, 2011 7:55
7:55 Dickens: The main thing I want is communication. I feel there is
a link missing from the needs of the people and what's currently going on in some of the positions on the Kennesaw Council.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:55
7:55 I want to be the one that's listening to you because it's you
that makes Kennesaw. Without all of you, Kennesaw wouldn't be what it is.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:55
7:56 As a business owner, I learned a long time ago that the people are my boss. I don't have a supervisor, I don't have a manager. The
customers are what makes the business run.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:56
7:56 You all would be my boss.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:56

7:57 Question
In a struggling economy, what is your plan of action for bringing jobs to Kennesaw?
Monday October 24, 2011 7:57
7:57 Dickens: We have to first make Kennesaw attractive. We need to work with KBA to have something to attract more business. We need to redevelop downtown Kennesaw so businesses will want to invest.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:57
7:58 Mathews: The plan of action for bringing jobs to Kennesaw is
really a multi-fold solution. I've been asked to work on economic
development plan and identify key opportunities we currently don't take advantage of. Results should be back by end of year. There's initiative called One Georgia at state level. Once we get those plans
in place, we can focus on industry or trade best suited for our area.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:58
7:59 So, our plan is really mainly just to continue focus on economic development in downtown, the student housing projects, continuing to
partner with KSU.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:59
7:59 Eaton-Welsh: Our job as councilmembers is to promote Kennesaw inside Kennesaw.
Monday October 24, 2011 7:59
8:00 With Economic Development Department, we've got all these developments coming in. Cowboys will bring 40-50 jobs into the area.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:00
8:01 Killingsworth: One of the things that we want to be sure to look at is Kennesaw State University. Putting together student housing facility. KSU is gonna start doing something they call football. When football comes in, that's gonna bring a lot more people into Kennesaw.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:01
8:02 We're working with the museum. One little project I've been
doing is looking at our hometown heroes. One of the things we've started doing is interviewing people who are real close to right here—you have a Pearl Harbor survivor, a D-Day survivor, the first female Post Master General right at the end of Moon Station.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:02
8:02 One of my dreams is to interview these people and having them digitized and having them on these tapes, so our grandchildren will be able to say, 'Hey, they lived right here.'
Monday October 24, 2011 8:02

8:03 Individual question for Killingsworth
You've talked about importance of partnerships and thinking regionally as a city. What is partnership you've helped establish? To what benefit? 
Killingsworth:
When this council looked at me and asked if we could get Marine Corp
Platoon here. We got em here twice.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:03

8:05 Question
If re-elected name at least one project you hope to
complete in your next term that will benefit Kennesaw in the long-run.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:05
8:06 Killingsworth: Camp MacDonald Park, first African American museum. That's the kind of impact we're making. We're gonna make an impact. That gun law will only take us so far.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:06

8:06 Final group question
KSU is third largest university in Georgia. While KSU is not in city limits, how does university fit into larger picture?
Monday October 24, 2011 8:06
8:07 Eaton--Welsh: There's really two groups of people in economy that have money—seniors who are retired and college students.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:07
8:07 Purpose-built student housing is gonna be great. Also working closely with KSU and having great relationships with KSU.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:07
8:08 Killingsworth: One of the things Kennesaw State's gonna be doing is bringing football. This Wednesday, meeting with new athletic
director. Actually getting to meet with these people and talk with
these people. Dr. Papp has embraced the city government and city of Kennesaw.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:08
8:09 They are asking for our help.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:09
8:09 Dickens: Student housing—we need to give kids something attractive so that they'll want to be part of Kennesaw. Give them something they can gravitate to.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:09
8:10 We need to work on developing downtown area. That will draw them also.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:10
8:10 Mathews: Some of the things we've already put into place at KSU—I was asked by President Papp to be on Citizens Advisory Board.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:10
8:10 We've got two choices: we can either partner with KSU, or we can ignore it.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:10
8:11 Up until last four years, we've ignored it. What we've been able to do in last four years has been amazing.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:11
8:11 We've had high-level discussions with the team, the president's cabinet, to talk about additional housing in or around downtown.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:11
8:11 If I'm allowed to stay in office, we will continue to cultivate that relationship.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:11

8:14 Question to Mathews
Taxes and trash pickup are higher within city limits. Benefits of parks and rec available to nonresidents. What are benefits of living in city?
Mathews: People do pay nonresident fee. Looking at creating more fees for nonresidents. The areas within the city that we stand out: our police services, the protection we offer you. The average police
response time in Cobb County—20 minutes. In Kennesaw—2 minutes.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:14
8:15 Kennsaw is in a unique position. Kennesaw's age is actually getting younger. Not just because of KSU. It's because we've created a family-friendly environment.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:15

8:16 Question
If re-elected as mayor, what will be your number one priority?
Monday October 24, 2011 8:16
8:16 Mathews: To continue building our hometown.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:16
8:16 One of the key steps is having property available and having cooperative land owners.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:16
8:17 We can't make people sell, or open business here. All we can do is try and provide the connections and try and facilitate some of these deals to actually be completed. If elected again, one of key
projects will be to continue that downtown development.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:17
8:17 The Pedestrian Underpass is one key piece. If downtown is mall, our job is to create the anchor stores. I think we've done that with
the museum. We've created framework for pedestrian-friendly downtown.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:17
8:18 We have to have something that's drawing people downtown if they don't live here. Things like Dinner at the Depot (food trucks that come in Monday night in downtown area).
Monday October 24, 2011 8:18
8:18 This city has become successful because of the volunteer boards.
Much bigger than just the mayor and council.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:18

8:19 Now, starting Audience Q&A.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:19
8:31 First question for all candidates
Kennesaw Elementary School enjoys great relationship with city of Kennesaw. What would you do to strengthen relationship?
Monday October 24, 2011 8:31
8:31 Mathews: The only way to improve that, in my opinion, is to improve communication.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:31
8:31 Dickens: I have two kids that go to Kennesaw Elementary. I see that there's a great link that needs to be set forth.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:31
8:32 Killingsworth: In middle of November, got contacted to help in
Jump Rope for Heart.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:32
8:33 Eaton-Welsh: My daughter goes there. I serve on their legislative committee. I'd like to see kids get involved.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:33

8:33 Question: Trash services have been reduced, while costs remain the same. Are you open to competitors?
Monday October 24, 2011 8:33
8:34 Eaton-Welsh: If we bring people in, I think it will be a big mess. A lot of these places dump illegally.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:34
8:35 Dickens: Myself, I would agree to have competition come in. No one should have a monopoly. I think the competition is good.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:35
8:36 Mathews: Sanitation is one of our services. We have tremendous recycling effort going on. As we continue to recycle more, those costs will go down. In order to reduce rate, we have to increase recycling.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:36
8:36 Long and short of it is: Increase recycling and sanitation fees
will go down.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:36
8:36 We surveyed residents: overwhelmingly, people opted for reduction in service rather than increase in monthly bill.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:36
8:38 Sorry, had some connection issues. Now we're back on.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:38
8:40 Why should large company with more than 100 jobs bring them to Kennesaw?

Mathews: Primarily—quality of life for the employees.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:40
8:41 You can go from beginning to end and never have to leave Kennesaw.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:41
8:42 Eaton-Welsh: We've got great economic incentives. We have a fantastic university system, we're right on 75 and we're developing relationship with Cobb Chamber.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:42

8:43 Question
With growth, comes diversity. What would you do about Wildman's business if you were going to develop downtown?
Monday October 24, 2011 8:43
8:43 Eaton-Welsh: He and my father have butted heads for 20 years. When Wildman called me and asked me for a yard sign, my jaw dropped.  Great thing about community—we can agree to disagree. We've just got to build everything beautiful around him.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:43
8:44 Killingsworth: I don't agree with him, but we have to let him
stay where he is. As Cris said, we will grow around him. He won't be here forever. And we'll grow around him.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:44
8:45 Dickens: Knocking on doors and talking to you all, I've been asked this question a lot. My response is, I've had lunch with Dent a few times. He's even come by my barbershop. It's not Dent Myers that concerns me the most. You see his views a mile away. But it's people who have it in their hearts that you can't see that I'm concerned about. Maybe they're serving on a board or are a policeman—that's the scariest thing.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:45
8:46 My concern is beautifying downtown. We must be concerned about overall Kennesaw, not just Dent.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:46
8:46 Mathews: He is a business owner and deserves same respect that any other business owner deserves. As long as he stays within standards we've set, he's just as entitled to be there as anybody else
is.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:46
8:46 I see him as just another piece of that diverse landscape we have here.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:46
8:47 He is a prime example of a diverse business.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:47

8:47 Closing Remarks
Monday October 24, 2011 8:47
8:48 Mathews: I want to thank the Patch for putting this event together. I think it's very unfortunate that all the candidates didn't
choose to show up.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:48
8:48 We've got a lot of things that need to continue to stay in place and to maintain that focus so that we can come out of this strong on the other side.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:48
8:50 Dickens: I do ask you for my vote on Nov. 8 so your ideas, your voice, can be heard and passed along.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:50
8:51 Killingsworth: Who wouldn't want to be part of this? Who
wouldn't want to be part of a great team? We've been able to assemble great people. We've been able to hear your voice. A lot of ideas we've moved forward with have come from you.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:51
8:51 Eaton-Welsh: It has been an absolute pleasure. I would humbly ask you not only to get out and vote but get your neighbors to vote.
Monday October 24, 2011 8:51




-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------



From:  Political Vine:   
The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics


Nov 2013

City of Kennesaw Elections-Part 1


by PV, See article at the direct link:


Last week, we issued a Poll to the Vine readership consisting of this one question: ” If a person running for public office has a bankruptcy of any type in their background, should it be disclosed?”


Out of 142 votes cast, 111 voted “Yes, it should be disclosed” and 32 voted “No, I don’t care to know.”


There was an opportunity for people to give their own insight into the subject, and the personal opinions ran the gamut (see here for opinions…by the way, the site that the Poll is on is not controlled by Political Vine in any way, and it will not be monitored).


In reviewing these opinions, as well as consulting with other people in the world of politics, we’ve come to the following conclusions about bankruptcies (you are free to disagree):


1) Not all bankruptcies are the result of a character flaw in the people who file. It does not mean the person is immoral or unethical for filing a bankruptcy (of course, if any US Senator from Georgia ever files for bankruptcy, we’ll be scratching our heads and wondering why they didn’t get enough ROI from their crony capitalist bank pals after they voted in 2005 to give the homeowner less of a chance for recovery, all the while giving more power and absolution to the banks themselves).


2) Not all bankruptcies are entirely the fault of the person or business making the filing.


3) Barring the actual attempt to defraud, defaulting on money owed to creditors is not a sign of anyone who is being inherently dishonest (the creditors voluntarily took a risk to give credit to the borrower…that is an agreement between two private parties as far as we are concerned and a happenstance of the free market).



4) However, if the person has defaulted on taxes owed to a government entity, AND….that person is a candidate for a publicly-elected office for some position at some level of government, then everyone’s pretty much in agreement that that is a sign of hypocrisy present that is not going to be tolerated for very long by the voters and taxpayers.


It is this 4th point that is crucial to understand why there’s “hypocrisy” if someone is elected to office who hasn’t paid their own tax bills. It is the reason why we felt it was necessary to expose, not only the $137,000 some-odd of current tax liens that HD 43 candidate Robert Lamutt had on his current books, but also his documented 7-year history of having liens at both the federal and state level field against him that made it relevant.

When you are elected to public office, you are, in effect, using the force of government to extract tax dollars from us to pay for your fiefdom.


And, unless you think, as an elected official, that you should be exempt from paying taxes to support your infrastructure, your failure to pay taxes means that the burden must fall on the rest of the taxpayers.


And, taxpayers don’t particularly care to shoulder your load while you are put in charge of making decisions on how to spend their money.


This entry was posted by PV, on Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 at 11:09 pm  and is filed under Cobb County and Tagged: Kennesaw Elections, Kennesaw Mayor, Mark Mathews, TSPLOST



City of Kennesaw Elections-Part 2


by PV




Mark Mathews is the current mayor of Kennesaw, and is running for reelection this Tuesday, November 8th.

First elected as mayor in 2007, he started his term in January 2008.


According to his reelection Website, he states the following as part of his business resume:


“1989-2009: Mathews Carpet Company – a company started by his parents in 1974. In 2001 MR Mathews, Inc. was created to purchase the business, Mathews Abbey Flooring, providing all types of flooring products and services to the residential, commercial, and new construction markets. Forced to close business due to economic downturn.”


A more accurate statement (and, truthful one at that) with regards to being “Forced to close business due to economic downturn” would have been “Filed bankruptcy in 2009 as a result of economic downturn.”


See, Ladies and Gentlemen, there is a difference between merely “closing a business” and a business filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. One denotes the act of merely ceasing operations after settling all debts…while the other one denotes a legal filing to a federal court to officially tell 44 some-odd creditors “Hey…ummm…sorry, we ain’t gonna pay you what we owe” to “close” the business.


So, if he’s not accurate in his description of what actually happened to his business, one might wonder if it really went bankrupt due solely to an “economic downturn” OR…could it be because Mathews was spending too much of his time playing mayor and dealing in the “fun” of politics rather than keeping his eye on his business enterprise?


Also in 2009, Mathews and his wife had to personally file for bankruptcy. (We are not in any way implying or inferring anything negative with regards to the character of Mark Mathews or his wife.)


HOWEVER…in referencing the actual filing (a 23 Megabyte PDF file should you choose to open or download it), there are significant instances of the taxpayers of several government jurisdictions being left on the hook for Mathews’ tax debt.


Specifically:


- City of Marietta: $2286.53 (Page 31 of 83 in PDF)

- City of Marietta Section 8 Housing Authority: $2003.43 (Page 39 of 83 in PDF)
- Cobb County Tax Commissioner: $626.00 (Page 40 of 83)
- Cobb County Tax Commissioner: $1553.32 (Page 40 of 83)


All told, Mark Mathews (via himself and MR Mathews, Inc) has left several Cobb County-based municipalities $6,469.28 in the red and OTHER taxpayers having to foot his tax bills (by having to pay higher taxes on their tax bills owed)


Now, the 2nd-term seeking mayoral candidate just happens to be one of the big, Big, BIG proponents of next year’s T-SPLOST. You know, that little vote that will require all Kennesaw inhabitants the additional responsibility of paying 1% more in sales tax on everything they buy in Cobb. Yeah. Mathews is in favor of you paying more taxes so that he can have a hand in spending on your behalf.


Councilman Tim Killingsworth, Post 2 is running for reelection to the Kennesaw City Council. He is also known to be a tight ally of Mark Mathews.


On October 24th, there was a candidate forum held by the Kennesaw Patch (an online local news site that is owned by Huffington-Post).


Here is a link to a PDF version of the transcript.


It is interesting to us that Councilman Killingsworth, at Time Marker 7:32 states “We haven’t raised your taxes, and we don’t plan to do that anytime soon.”


Then…at Time Marker 7:45, Killingsworth answers the question of whether he supports the T-SPLOST vote next year by saying “I would have to say I do support it.”


So, for Killingsworth’s mind, maybe there’s a distinction in his mind of what constitutes “anytime soon” and intending to push (along with Mathews coordinating) for passage of next year’s T-SPLOST vote to…do what? Oh, yeah. RAISE TAXES.


PV’s Conclusion: Frankly, in our opinion, the existence of Mathews’ two bankruptcies (personal and business defaults) are not the direct issues here.


What should be important in this case is the following:


1) Mathews had an obligation to be truthful as to why his business “closed.” It’s easy to blame the downturn…but, not everyone has gone out of business due to the downturn. AND, filing a bankruptcy is NOT the same thing as “closing a business.”


2) The failure to pay nearly $6500 in various taxes to the City of Marietta (hey, Thunder has deep pockets to cover this default, right, Thunder?) and the Cobb County Tax Commissioner’s office (hey, Tim Lee and Helen Goreham will cover for Mathews in a heartbeat…they’ll just raise the rest of our millages, right?).


No, defaulting on taxes should immediately disqualify anyone from “serving” the people. We hope that come the Election Night of November 8, the voters of Kennesaw disqualify the reelection of Mark Mathews.


This entry was posted by PV, on Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 at 11:25 pm  and is filed under Cobb County, Georgia Races and Tagged: Candidate Bankruptcy, Kennesaw Mayor, Mark Mathews, Tax Debt, TSPLOST

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