The Kennesaw City Council voted Monday to remove several reminders of a part of the city’s past that officials described as shameful on government buildings around the city.
Councilman Jim “Doc” Eaton spearheaded the effort to remove former mayor and council member Leonard Church, who left office in disgrace after pleading guilty to child molestation charges in 2015, from several building dedication plaques around the city.
Though Church is currently serving an 18-year sentence at Long State Prison southwest of Savannah, his name remains on five plaques on Kennesaw buildings, and, until recently, his photo was in a place of honor among the city’s other mayors in the council chambers. The council approved removing his name and photo on Monday.
His photo has already been removed from the council chambers, but fixing the plaques will take more time.
“I brought it back up again because I’ve had a number of our constituents in town say that having his name, being a convicted felon, to have his name in public on city property was something that they would like to see changed, in addition to removing his picture from the council chambers,” Eaton said.
Eaton’s daughter, former Councilwoman Cris Eaton-Welsh, served alongside Church on the council. She remembered it as a trying time to serve the city, and said she will be happy to see the plaques come down.
“His actions weren’t just illegal, they were morally reprehensible,” she said. “I got a lot of phone calls from citizens when they would see the plaques up.”
Welsh said she introduced the idea of removing the plaques during her time on the council, but said other councilmembers dismissed the idea. She said they thought he was innocent.
Mayor Derek Easterling said he isn’t sure why these actions weren’t undertaken earlier.
“We had talked about it, and it was brought back up again, and we felt it was something we needed to do,” Easterling said.
The mayor said casting five new plaques will cost the city an estimated $10,000 to $11,000. The city’s budget has already been approved for the year, but Easterling said the city will “find it in contingencies and move money around,” and that the city manager had been tasked to do so.
Councilman Jim Sebastian voted against the consent agenda, which contained the authorization to remove the plaques. He said it is an economic issue for him.
“Basically, they want to spend $12,000-plus for a couple plaques that nobody really notices, and my point on that is not necessarily because of who it is, but we can’t afford to fix potholes, much less fix expensive brass plaques that nobody sees or notices,” he said.


at Pickadilly on Cobb Pky in Marietta. Very busy today, 15 min. in line to get my lunch.
Probably will dine there Xmas and New Years Day also.



Two Large Developments Under Consideration in Kennesaw

Ross Williams MDJ 11/21/17

Kennesaw could soon be home to a $268 million, 68-acre mixed-use development if approved by the City Council on Dec. 7.

Intended for 3550 Cherokee St. near McCollum Parkway, EastPark Village would contain mixed-use retail, an active-adult community, single-family townhomes, restaurants, a park and senior living.

Sanctuary Development plans a total of 850 residential units, including 235 market-rate apartments, 525 senior age-restricted apartments and condos, and 90 townhomes. Square footage for the residential units will range from 850 to 3000 feet, said Kennesaw planning and zoning administrator Darryl Simmons.

Retail will include 39,000 square feet of specialty shops, a 4,500-square-feet, outdoor multipurpose market with village green, a 36,000-square-feet grocery store, 32,500 square feet of chef restaurants, 81,800 square feet of office, a 102-room hotel, and a 5.46-acre public park.

The project will be connected to Historic Downtown Kennesaw and adjacent existing communities via a new multipurpose pedestrian path being installed in conjunction with the Cherokee Street SPLOST improvement projects, starting construction in 2018.

The average density of the project is 15.65 units per acre. The area currently contains a mix of mobile homes, residential houses, vacant lots and commercial structures. Sanctuary expects to pay over a million dollars just to demolish existing buildings and infrastructure.

Approximately 20 households will be relocated during the development period, according to a Sanctuary document posted on the Kennesaw website. Most are occupant owners and will be moving after the sale or closing on their property, the developers say.

Simmons said construction could begin as early as the third quarter of next year and is expected to be complete in 2022.

Another planned development, this one by Marietta-based Venture Homes, that includes 83 homes on Pine Mountain Road has been delayed until December. The plan would have a total average density of 2.6 lots per acre and the planned homes will be 2,400 to 3,600 square feet and cost between $350,000 and $400,000, though details could change before the Dec. 6 planning commission meeting.


Saturday, November 18, 2017



Scheduled to open in Late January 2018, interior construction is now well under way.

Hale Realty said 2 months ago that the ground floor will incorporate restaurants.    'Gastro Pub*' is at least one of the coming retail occupants taking up 2 of the 5 retail units. 

The pub will be a corner unit on Watts Dr. at Main Street (kitty corner from the Kennesaw City Hall) and it is taking up units 6001A and 6001B for a total of 2,796 sq ft.  The patio area is adjacent and has an additional 498 sq ft.

3 units remain available for lease on the South side of the Revival. These are units:
7001 with 1,904 sq ft
7002 with 1,647 sq ft
7003 with 3,616 sq ft

Photos show work under way:

*A gastropub or gastrolounge is a bar and restaurant that serves high-end beer and food.  The term was coined in the 1990s, but similar brewpubs existed during the 1980s.

Kennesaw's McCollum Field is Unlikely to be affected
By Jon Gargis MDJ 11/19/17

While a potential opening of Dobbins Air Reserve Base’s runway to commercial or civilian aircraft remains up in the air, several Cobb officials say such a move is unlikely to land any negative effects on another Cobb airport.

Karl Von Hagel manages Cobb County International Airport-McCollum Field in Kennesaw, about 10 miles northwest of Dobbins via Cobb Parkway.

“If you have to pay a whole bunch of money as rent, guess where’s it going to go? It’s going to go right on top of the procurement of C-130s and F-35s and other things. It’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul,” Blackwell said. “One way or the other, the government’s going to pay for it. If it can provide facilities, which is what it’s doing with Air Force Plant 6, that’s the better option probably for Lockheed.”

Current Lockheed Martin officials declined to detail how a BRAC or other negative impact on Dobbins would affect the company’s future in Cobb.

“We have enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Dobbins Air Reserve Base for many years,” said George Shultz, Lockheed Martin site general manager and vice president of Air Mobility and Maritime Missions. “Any change in that relationship would have an operational impact on us, but it would be premature to speculate about specific details.”


Beyond Cobb, Connell says Lockheed Martin’s site in the county has an effect on the entire state.

He points to the latest data from the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment, which shows Lockheed Martin was the top defense contractor in Georgia in fiscal year 2015, having been awarded $2.6 billion of the $12.6 billion in defense spending in the state.

“The real challenge is not just the jobs, but it’s the multiplier effect,” Connell said.  For example, Connell said, those working at the plant are likely to purchase a home in Cobb, buy vehicles at local dealerships and get their food and staples at local grocery stores.

“Downstream, there’s always a ton of things that get impacted by one job that could translate to many, many jobs. And there are suppliers to Lockheed in Cobb County — how many, I don’t know,” Connell said.

But Connell said he believes Lockheed Martin will remain in Cobb for the long haul.  “My view is that Lockheed is here to stay and they’re committed to this community unless something happens to make it uneconomical to build airplanes here,” he said. “We’re doing everything we can as a community to continue to make Lockheed appreciate and do their business as inexpensively as possible.”

Hughes, the 94th Airlift Wing official, said he believes Lockheed Martin’s connection to Dobbins helps the base as much as Dobbins plays a beneficial role for the aeronautics firm.  “With Lockheed being the largest (tenant) out there, because of the work they do for the Air Force, building C-130s or the C-5 (aircraft) modernization program, it’s a symbiotic relationship,” he said.


Ross Williams  MDJ 11/8/17


Pat Ferris will return to Kennesaw’s City Council after being voted out in 2001. He knocked out two challengers for the win: small business owner Antonio Jones and brewer Jeffrey Oparnica.

Ferris received 671 votes, good for 56.6 percent, to Jones’ 386 votes, or 32.6 percent, and Oparnica’s 129, or 10.9 percent, according to unofficial results.

Speaking earlier in the day, Ferris thanked his campaign volunteers and said early planning played a big role.

“I’ve had just an absolutely wonderful campaign committee that’s helped a lot, and we got started early,” he said. “Those are the two big things and then being a previous council member of course gave a me a little bit of name recognition, so that helps a lot too.”


Chris Henderson, a senior research engineer at Georgia Tech, is set to join Kennesaw’s City Council.

Henderson defeated incumbent Jimmy Dickens as well as Councilman James Sebastian, who stepped out of the race for his Post 5 seat to challenge Dickens in an attempt to show the flaws in Kennesaw’s election system, which elects all candidates citywide as opposed to electing them to represent wards or districts.

The gambit did not pay off for Sebastian: Henderson won with 634 votes, or 51.8 percent, to Dickens’ 347 votes, or 28.4 percent, and Sebastian’s 242 votes, or 19.8 percent, according to unofficial numbers.

Speaking as polls were getting ready to close, Henderson said his campaign’s greatest strength was getting out and meeting the people. 

“Here in Kennesaw, it’s all about shaking hands and representing the individuals,” he said. “I’ve knocked on over 800 doors.”


David Blinkhorn, a materials management professional for Kennesaw State University, will become the new City Councilman representing Post 5 in Kennesaw.

Blinkhorn defeated his write-in challenger Bobby Copeland with an unofficial tally of 936 votes to 152 write-ins, or 86 percent to 13 percent. The number of write-in votes that were specifically for Copeland won’t be known until the results are certified, but Blinkhorn won the seat by receiving a majority of the votes.

Speaking as polls were closing, Blinkhorn said his campaign’s biggest strength was “getting out and meeting the people and letting them find out who I was, as well as being a good listener. People want to have their representatives listen to what they have concerns about. My biggest strength is being a good listener in the process.”


My Misc Comment:

The big surprise of the night was NOT that Jimmy Dickens lost, but that Sebastian really got skunked.  Frankly I thought he would win.  I have said for several years that he was probably the smartest one on council BUT he did so little of note, guess the voters thought so also.

So we have a whole new crop for 2018:  Ferris, Henderson and Blinkhorn.

I sure hope that out of that bunch there will appear someone with LEADERSHIP.

The last leadership we had was with the Mathews cabal and that leadership was greatly flawed, maybe this time around a real leader will emerge?




A)  Not very many

There are 18,832 registered voters in the 5 Kennesaw precints
(unofficial results from Cobb County Elections)
Line 1 - Registered Voters
Line 2 - Votes Cast
Line 3 - % voting
Kennesaw 1A

Kennesaw 2A

Kennesaw 3A

Kennesaw 4A

Kennesaw 5A

Let's start with the easy one first.
David Blinkhorn
Bobby Copeland (write-in candidate)
Generally 'write in candidates' are NOT going to win, so it will be Blinkhorn getting Post 5.
Let's skip over to POST 3
Antonio Jones
Jeffrey Oparnica
Pat Ferris
Antonio Jones probably won't win this time around, but you will likely see him again, unless he decides to go for a County post instead. I expect Pat Ferris will get it based on his past experience on the Kennesaw Council.
Last and by far the only really interesting race is POST 4 
Jimmy Dickens, Sr. (incumbent)
Chris Henderson
James Sebastian
It isn't that far fetched to say that this Post has 2 Incumbents, in that Sebastian decided to not run for re-election in his Post 5, but to move over to Post 4 to make sure Dickens isn't back again.
Sebastian clearly wants Dickens OFF the council and most likely it is due to his lack of performance on Council AND Dickens' very checkered background of arrests both in Cobb and with 2 check issues from NC.
Had this arrest record been known he would never have gotten elected to finish off the Debbie Williams term
Keep in mind that Kennesaw is the only city in Cobb where there will be no runoff for any post. Candidates just have to win by 1 vote to get the job. Most other races require run offs if no candidate gets more than 50% of the votes.

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Jimmy Dickens is currently representing Kennesaw in Post 4 of the City Council. In the November election he…

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How exactly does a mayor tell his spouse that he has this great idea where he gets dressed up in sexy lingerie and goes out in public to 'raise $' for a good cause.
Does it start out:  "Hey honey, can I borrow your garter belt and hose", or does the mayor already have some stuff in the closet he can use?
Well, Halloween is coming so the outfit can get some more usage, if it isn't already getting some.
I wonder if this is part of that Legacy Park swingers club?  4+ years ago it was almost in the news when a disgruntled resident sent around some photos of their antics, most showed one of the K councilman having a good time.
They went to the MDJ, me and who knows how many others, no one used them.  I learned that the seven I got were not even the most interesting.  I felt very left out, my feelings were hurt that I didn't get the really good stuff.
Anyway that councilman did his 6 months of fill in council stuff and lost big time when he ran for the position on his own.
So who knows, maybe the Legacy Park Swingers Club is still up and running, maybe now they have a transvestite group?

So there isn't much else to do in Kennesaw, swap wives, dress up, get drunk and run for office.

Kennesaw Mayor Responds to Critics After Dressing in Drag for Charity Event
by: Tom Jones  Oct 23, 2017 
KENNESAW, Ga. - Pictures of Kennesaw's mayor dressed in drag for a benefit concert are causing controversy on social media.
  Channel 2’s Tom Jones spoke with the mayor Monday night, and he said it was all done for a good cause.
  Mayor Derek Easterling said he would do almost anything if it would help raise money for a good cause.  When he put on makeup, a wig and a risqué outfit, it had some people questioning his ability to lead this city.
  “I try to put the fun in fundraiser,” Easterling told Jones. “I dressed up as Christina Aguilera.”
  The racy costume had people on and off social media commenting about the mayor's appearance.  “It definitely bothers me,” one resident told Jones.
  “As a mayor, I think there's other things that he could do to get a message out there,” another resident said. 
  Some people say dressing in drag is unfitting for the office of the mayor.  Easterling said he did it for a good cause.   “I have 250,000 reasons why I did it,” he told Jones.
  Easterling participated in the Lip Sync Battle that raised $250,000 for Alzheimers research during the Battle for the Brain fundraiser last Thursday.
  Some people had no problem with the costume.  “I don't have a problem with it at all,” said Poopak Bagheri, whose mother recently died from the disease. “I will do anything to stop Alzheimers.”
  Easterling said his critics need to focus on things more important.   “He didn't bother anybody, he just wanted to raise money,” Bagheri told Jones.  The mayor said he would do it again if it's for a good cause.

Opinion - AROUND TOWN: Kennesaw’s ‘Madam Mayor’ dresses up for a good cause

MDJ 10/24/17
   HEY SISTA, GO SISTA: Kennesaw Mayor Derek Easterling said he had a blast dressed as Christina Aguilera while lip-syncing “Lady Marmalade” at an Alzheimer’s fundraiser on Thursday at the Buckhead Theatre.
   Dressed in a blond wig, red lipstick, garter belt and feather boa, Easterling battled it out against nine other competitors, from Atlanta Falcon cheerleaders to Delta Air Lines performers.
   Kennesaw Mayor Derek Easterling stands on stage at the Buckhead Theatre dressed as Christina Aguilera.
The event billed itself as the inaugural Battle for the Brain to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s of Greater Atlanta.
   Easterling said it took him about an hour and 15 minutes to dress up. He settled on Christina Aguilera because “It was something the audience was familiar with. Something that would be a little over the top … I gave it my best shot. You know, I’ve got a good sense of humor and was hoping people would find entertainment value in it. I didn’t want to do what everybody was expecting: Some stiff up there mouthing a song. I took it to the next level to raise awareness for the 5 million people that suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.”
The mayor said when he stepped out on stage, the audience roared so loud he couldn’t hear the music.
“They were cheering, everyone was standing on their feet, pumping their fists, and they continued to cheer. So I think it’s safe to say they had a good time and they enjoyed it,” he said.
Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. and the only disease among the top 10 causes that cannot be cured, prevented or even slowed. Additionally, more than 15 million family and friends provide care to people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias in the U.S. In Georgia alone, there are more than 140,000 people living with the disease and 519,000 caregivers, according to the fundraising group.

In fact, Easterling said his grandmother succumbed to the disease.
“She didn’t know who her son was. She didn’t remember me. To know that there are people, 5 million of them, it’s horrendous and there’s no cure,” he said.
Not everyone was pleased with the performance however. Posting on Facebook Friday, Debra Williams, who ran against Easterling for mayor in the last election and who serves as 3rd vice chair of the Cobb Republican Party, denounced his performance as an embarrassment for the city.

“So this is how the Mayor of Kennesaw chooses to represent the city and the school he teaches at Awtrey Middle School. It was for (sic) Lip-sync fundraiser for Alzheimer’s. However, there was SSSSOOO many other costumes he could have chosen besides a Drag Queen!

“When you represent a City and her people, as well as a school of children, you should be able to make better choices/decisions since you are representing them in your role,” Williams posted.
April 12, 1862 - The Great Locomotive Chase

My only comment is that the very nice engine on display at the Southern Museum in Kennesaw, Ga. has only 2 large heavy pieces of the original under carriage, the rest of this handsome engine is the result of many make overs since 1862.
My various readings on the topic of this engine indicates that during the 1850+ era of locomotives in the South that names were given to the engines, such a 'General' 'Texas' etc.

That was what was in place during the Great Locomotive Chase.

The engine was partly destroyed to keep it out of Federal hands at the end of the war. It was rebuilt, later put into service by a railroad and given the number 39, which was just the next number assigned as there were 38 locomotives already in that railroads inventory.

Later it went to a different railroad where it was given the number 3 indicating that it was the 3rd oldest of that railroads engines.

The number 3 is on the General to this day, but it had no association with the engine of the 1862 chase, that engine bore no number, just the name 'General'.

While the engine on display is indeed a great looking engine it is not the 'General' of the 1862 Great Locomotive Chase (except it seems, for 2 large heavy parts of the undercarriage).

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