Saturday, June 14, 2014

Great Dad, Husband, Grandpa and Father-in-law


HAPPY FATHER'S Day
Dad, Mom,Caitlin and Kathy
at the University of Alabama

Friday, May 16, 2014

Another rebuttal of Brad Goodchild's clueless letter by Erika Harris

By, Erika Harris      
 Co-Chair of Georgians for Local Area School Systems and Dunwoody Resident

 This election campaign cycle has been an
 interesting and sometimes difficult one to observe. 
 I’ve been proud to watch Representative Tom Taylor stay
 positive, refuse to engage the mud slinging &
 negative campaign run by Goodchild, and focus on his own
 past efforts, successes, and his future intentions. 
  Just days before the May 20th Primary, Brad Goodchild has put out a mailer
 attacking Representative Taylor for the extraordinary work
 he has put forth on the Independent School Resolution
 (HR486).  For the record, I have workedin lock step with Tom Taylor on this resolution
 for the past eight months.
  
  “My opponent spends a lot of time touting his bill for a Dunwoody school district... that never saw a
 vote. Why does he feel pride in this legislative
 non-accomplishment?”  - Brad Goodchild

 I am floored by the ignorance and arrogance that Mr. Goodchild reveals in his commentary.  Both Tom
 Taylor and Fran Millar were extremely upfront that this effort was going to be one that would require patience and
 time to accomplish.  Consider that it took three years for Dunwoody to become a city through Legislative approval,
 something already allowed by the constitution.  How is it then that Brad Goodchild would assume that this
 constitutional amendment wouldn’t be vetted with equal time and consideration?   
HR486  serves to amend our state constitution, ratifying an amendment from nearly 70 years ago. 
If Brad Goodchild knew any of the background of education legislation in Georgia, he would know why this was not going to be a one session push through.  Further, if he understood the dynamics and complexity of rural versus metro
 politics, he would not be so quick to criticize Mr. Taylor’s legislation.  
But Brad Goodchild does not know these things.  Why?  Simply because he has not been involved in any of the
efforts to improve education in our city or our state. He has not attended information sessions, city events to learn
more about improving education through legislative efforts, or shown support down at the Capitol... 

“My opponent personifies the "showing up is good enough" mentality that has brought DeKalb
County schools to the brink of losing accreditation.” – Brad Goodchild  
Well, if this is really the bar he is using, “showing up”, Mr. Goodchild has not even come near reaching his own bar. Let’s recap:
not showing up for any educational events, 
not showing up for the DHA debate, 
not answering media phone calls… 
When does he show up?    

Our children do deserve better, as Brad Goodchild points out in his letter.  They don’t deserve someone who seeks to “pad his resume” using false claims and undeserved bravado in an attempt to win an election against a proven
incumbent, as Mr. Goodchild does.

 I urge everyone to show up on May 20th and cast their vote for Tom Taylor who stands for honesty, integrity, and accountability in more than words, but in proven leadership.    

Desperate Candidate continues to show how clueless he is. The letter just makes it clear to everyone


A sure sign of a desperate candidate is one who escalates his negative campaign.  The letter written by Brad Goodchild is unique because he inadvertently demonstrates how clueless his is in the working of the Ga. House .
Combine those two and throw in some absolute lies and misdirection and you have a perfect storm. Let's take a look at what this witless wonder has sent out  this time.  My comments will be in RED


Fellow Neighbor:


I am running because we need someone who will fight for the issues that matter to HD79.  This late into the campaign and he has still not stated a single agenda or  specific platform that he stands for in our district.


My opponent spends a lot of time touting his bill for a Dunwoody school district... that never saw a vote. This is at best a misdirection or it maybe a flat out lie.  Tom introduced a Bill that we all knew was going to be a difficult battle.  2/3 of the House vote, 2/3 vote of the Senate and then a State wide vote on the Constitutional Amendment.  Tom passed his Bill through two committees in record time. Why does he feel pride in this legislative non-accomplishment? Why not author a bill that will garner support without harming  the intent, such as letting other cities take advantage of the same provisions we desire?  If Mr. Goodchild had any idea how the Legislature works, he would know that there are many hurdles to jump in getting any bill, especially one that requires a 2/3 vote and a change to the Constitution passed.  When you have a bill of that magnitude you start to count votes.  If you see that the support that you will need may not be ready the first time around, you withdraw and live to fight another day.  Pushing a bill through that you know does not have the votes makes it virtually impossible to bring back next year or  two.  Tom made the right decision
  It is also a pattern that Mr. Goodchild talks about some bill he would introduce but again never gives specifics
Perhaps a different bill would have been more successful.  My opponent  personifies the "showing up is good enough" mentality  that has brought  DeKalb County schools to the brink of losing accreditation. What bologna! One only need to watch the the videos of Tom''s work in front of the committees to see how ridiculous this statement truly is. Tom just shows up . Take a look at what "just showing up" means when Tom is at work in front of the House Education Committee hearing: 

http://media.legis.ga.gov/hav/13_14/2014/committees/edu/edu020514EDITED.wmv . 

Bill starts at 10:45 and goes to 47:10

Speaking of showing up, where has Mr. Goodchild ever shown up.  He was not involved in the  local effort to pass Tom's Independent School District bill and , oh yeah he did not even show up at the DHA debate.  Our district cannot continue down  this path.  We must explore every option available for fixing our schools, until we find solutions  that make progress.  I will fight for better schools for our children by creating a stra tegy to reach out to legislators throughout the state.  Please for the love of God tell us something that is your thought and not some political spin from the Liberty Party Caucus

I give you a new vision of representation  for House District 79. Once again give us a clue to what your vision is and not some party BS that Norb or Jim Dickson wrote for you.


Leadership -I will seek viable fixes and I will work to get that them enacted. Please tell us what the hell you as specifically going to do.  Even a peak into your clever political thinking might help


Education Focused - Our children deserve better.  No Joke,  That goes right along with America, apple pie and the flag.  It means nothing unless you tell SOMEBODY, ANYBODY what you are going to do.  We deserve a representative that has ideas not just slogans


Honest- I won't float dead-on-arrival bills to pad my resume for re-election. I won't play games to distract voters.  I will act with intent and integrity. Once again your ignorance of how things get done under the dome shows up.  To once again accuse Tom of a lack of integrity  without any specifics and shamelessly dirty politics.

Accountable  - I will reach out to you, the voters, directly by mail, email, and my website.  You will always be able to read why I make each choice first hand.  In fact, I have ensured my personal phone number is printed on my campaign flyers.  Uh excuse me Tom is everywhere and accessible to anyone who bothers to call or visit him

I will work diligently to address  the concerns of my constituents.  I respectfully request your support May 20, 2014.  With nothing but shameless. groundless attacks and nothing but campaign slogans as your message, you will never have my support nor do deserve the support of anyone who has lived, and worked for the betterment of Dunwoody.  My vote is going to Tom Taylor.

Sincerely,


James "Brad" Goodchild


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Tom Taylor answers, still no sign from Goodchild

I have written to Mr. Goodchild on his campaign site asking for specifics, but as of this time he has not answered a single question.  I thought I would be able to ask the questions at the DHA candidate forum, but Mr. Goodchild choose not to attend.

I was recently asked to write a couple of questions for the candidates for a new newspaper so we could get an idea of what the candidates stood for and what specific positions or political agendas that they were going to pursue.

That paper thought the questions were too specific and chose not to use them. They wanted general get to know you questions. I hate general fluff questions that get fluff campaign spin answers in return.

So here are the questions I posed to Mr. Goodchild and Mr. Taylor.  ONLY TOM HAS ANSWERED THESE BASIC QUESTIONS:

Questions:

One of the largest economic projects in the state is the deepening of the Port of Savannah.  What is your position on this project, funded in part by Federal Grants and the impact it would have on Dunwoody, DeKalb and  the entire State of GA?
The Port deepening is the most important project not just for the next few years or decades, but for the next few generations.  The legislature has budgeted $265 million toward this, and the return on investment dollars is at a 7 to 1 ratio.  EVERY area of the state is effected by this and will directly or indirectly support about 300,000 jobs in Georgia.  The acceptance of Federal money is not an issue with me, we send money to Washington and are a net donor state, we should leverage some of that back to benefit Georgia, not to bail out Detroit or Illinois.


Our City is actively supporting the creation of a independent school district.  If elected or re-elected, what will your plan of action be to continue move this item forward? 
I sponsored and drove the effort to get HR-486, the Independent School System legislation pushed through last session.  I was proud to get it quickly moved through the House Education Subcommittee and full Education Committee in just 2 days.  As a Constitutional issue, this requires a 2/3rds vote in both chambers, a difficult hurdle, which I have never played down, link here to Dunwoody Crier article from December 31, 2012http://www.thecrier.net/our_columnists/article_c1eeb360-535e-11e2-8e0d-0019bb2963f4.html

I will continue to push for this next session and with the assistance of groups like GLASS, endeavor to get this passed.  We took 3 years to get the Dunwoody Cityhood bill passed, this may be as difficult, but I will persevere to get this done, just like the cityhood bill that we successfully passed.

Negative campaigning always seems to creep its way into every election.  Mr. Goodchild recently ran a post on Ballotpedia :

"I will work for smaller government in an ethical, open, and honest fashion. I chose to run for office because of my opponent. I wanted a candidate with more integrity and more dedication to the voters."

Mr. Goodchild what specific unethical and dishonest actions has Tom Taylor taken since being in office?  What has he done to demonstrate that he is not dedicated to the voters?  Unsubstantiated charges like these are bad politics.

How do you justify these types of attacks?


Mr. Taylor, what is your reaction to these types of negative ads?
I have served a community volunteer, unpaid lobbyist, City Councilman, and 4 years as a State Representative.  I have NEVER said anything negative or done a negative campaign ad against any of my opponents.  Ask them, Councilman Doug Thompson and my primary opponent for State Representative, Tammy Anderson, or my General Election opponent Keith Kaylor.  Have always been able to run on my record of results.  I find deceptive, negative, and divisive campaigns are the tools of folks that cannot run on their own record of accomplishments and need to result to attacking rather that facing the issues.


The Liberty Caucus has endorsed Mr. Goodchild in this race. While the rhetoric of the Liberty Caucus may sound appealing to some, this year under the Dome the current 3 Liberty Caucus members proved to be totally ineffective in doing anything positive for the State or their communities. Mr. Goodchild, what are your plans do move a positive agenda forward during the next two years? 


What are your specific State legislative priorities?

For Both Candidates, what is your opinion of utilizing grants offered by the Federal Government for State  and Local projects?  
As I said for the question about the Port, we pay in, we should strategically leverage some of those dollars back.  Just this morning, Governor Deal announced a $240 million project to fix the GA 400 / 285 interchange, using a variety of funding sources.  I am proud to have worked with the Governor Deal for the past 3 years to get us to this point, along with DOT folks, the PCID and our Congressional delegation to get us this project that will really improve the traffic issues in North DeKalb and North Fulton.        

I always knes that Mr. Taylor would respond.  I am not surprised that Mr. Goodchild did not.  Not any more surprised than I was when he no showed the debate.  Guess when you have nothing positive to say it is better to say nothing at all.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

WANTED: Campaign specifics, not political spin or political rhetoric


The Liberty Party Caucus folks of the Republican Party claim universal wonders like smaller government, less intrusion into  personal lives, the American Flag and  apple pie, but never say how they are specifically going to act, vote or put forth agendas in the next legislative session that will actually have a chance to pass the House and Senate.  While I admire ideals, I want to know what candidates will actually do when idealism takes the back seat to the political realities of the capital.

While there may be political ideals that have  some general appeal, when pressed to get down to actual facts and legislative agendas, the idealists almost always fall way short.  Campaign materials of the two Liberty party candidates Brad Goodchild and Dick Anderson speak in generalities but when pressed for specifics they offer nothing
.
I ran into to Dick Anderson one night at a Mexican restaurant and asked him why he was running against Senator Millar.  His answer.  “I want to return to the Constitution”.  When I asked him what he would do if he were elected, his response was, “I am not going to the capital to make laws”.  Not exactly the reason to go to the Senate.  Sit and do NOTHING.


I have heard that Mr. Anderson has sustained a serious injury and my not be running at this time.  If so, I sincerely wish him a speedy recovery.

Mr. Godchild, who is running a much more aggressive and negative campaign, has yet to state why he is running, other than to take pot shots at Mr. Taylor.  His attacks ads are weak and without merit. Clearly he is spouting campaign dribble while showing no real idea of what a State Representative actually can do while in office.

I have written to Mr. Goodchild on his campaign site asking for specifics, but as of this time he has not answered a single question.  I thought I would be able to ask the questions at the DHA candidate forum, but Mr. Goodchild choose not to attend.

I was recently asked to write a couple of questions for the candidates for a new newspaper so we could get an idea of what the candidates stood for and what specific positions or political agendas that they were going to pursue.

That paper thought the questions were too specific and chose not to use them. They wanted general get to know you questions. I hate general fluff questions that get fluff campaign spin answers in return.

So here are the questions I posed to Mr. Goodchild and Mr. Taylor.

Questions:

One of the largest economic projects in the state is the deepening of the Port of Savannah.  What is your position on this project, funded in part by Federal Grants and the impact it would have on Dunwoody, DeKalb and  the entire State of GA?


Our City is actively supporting the creation of a independent school district.  If elected or re-elected, what will your plan of action be to continue move this item forward?

Negative campaigning always seems to creep its way into every election.  Mr. Goodchild recently ran a post on Ballotpedia :

"I will work for smaller government in an ethical, open, and honest fashion. I chose to run for office because of my opponent. I wanted a candidate with more integrity and more dedication to the voters."

Mr. Goodchild what specific unethical and dishonest actions has Tom Taylor taken since being in office?  What has he done to demonstrate that he is not dedicated to the voters?  Unsubstantiated charges like these are bad politics.

How do you justify these types of attacks?


Mr. Taylor, what is your reaction to these types of negative ads?


The Liberty Caucus has endorsed Mr. Goodchild in this race. While the rhetoric of the Liberty Caucus may sound appealing to some, this year under the Dome the current 3 Liberty Caucus members proved to be totally ineffective in doing anything positive for the State or their communities. Mr. Goodchild, what are your plans do move a positive agenda forward during the next two years? 


What are your specific State legislative priorities?

For Both Candidates, what is your opinion of utilizing grants offered by the Federal Government for State  and Local projects?          


Now I will hold my breath until the candidates respond.  That means Mr. Taylor and Mr. Goodchild, give me specifics and your answers not those of some surrogate or spokesperson.

Friday, May 9, 2014

No Dispute... The worlds best MOM

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY



I know most of us say we have the best Mom, but I KNOW I can end that argument right here and now.  I have reviewed all the evidence and there is no doubt. Evie wins hands down

Born the oldest daughter of 5 daughters, she lost her dad when she was very young.  She and her mom raised the 4 girls together in a second story brownstone in Brooklyn NY.  Working at a very young age , through out WWII waiting for my dad to return home, she and her sisters and her single mom worked through it all.  When the War was over.my dad returned to Brooklyn to marry mom.

The young couple not wanting to "stuck" in Brooklyn as newly weds moved to the Bronx to start a new life together.  Life would not be easy.  Soon after they moved out her  mom passed away on a trip back to Norway to visit her family.  The decision was easy,  They gave up their own apartment and moved back to Brooklyn to raise the 4 remaining sisters.
My Mom's sisters
Soon a son was born and the little apartment got a bit crowded but they persevered.  They all lived together until Mom was expecting another baby, ME !

Off to Paramus in 1953, where a third son was born a couple of years later. 

The Leave it to Beaver Years.  Dad, Mom, and three sons, Billy Bobby and Richy.  The big difference was that my mom worked full time for as long as I can remember.  That was not as common then as it is now.  We were latch key kids and loved our life.  When dad stuck his head out the back door and whistled, we came home and mom had dinner on the table.
She always made sure that we had everything that we needed,  We never had any real idea of how hard she worked to give it to us.  She was just mom.

With three boys all involved in sports all the time, she spent hundreds of hours making sure our uniforms were clean for every game and our underwear and little jock straps were all tidy whitey.
I had a talk with my dad one time about college and he told me that if it was not for my mom working,  college would have been a stretch if not impossible.  My mom never said a word.

Mom made sure our house was the place that our friends wanted to come over to, and our family wanted to come and spend Thanks giving and Christmas,  Mom did that.

Through the college years she always maintained our home.  It was a place we wanted to come back to.  She made sure that all the Aunts, Uncles and Cousins felt that her home, 683 Bruce Drive was the "home" for the whole family.

But for me she is just Ma.  All the things she did, I took for granted. It was the life she gave me so I did not think about it a lot.  I thought we were on top of the world back then.  It was my mother that let us live that small town America childhood.

I call her now every weekend.  Sometimes I hear the same stories twice in the same conversation. she quickly fills me in on my relatives, brothers and her dog.  She always asks when I am coming home.  It is after those brief calls, after I tell her I love her and hang up when I realize how much of my mom I have in my heart.  How much I miss her.  I wish it was an appreciation I had when I was younger.  Just to have told her one more time how much she meant to me then and how much more she means to me now.

Happy Mother's Day Mom, The Best Mom in the whole world.!!!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Chamblee are all part of the DeKalb Sanitation Pilot Program

DeKalb Launches Sanitation Pilot Program
28,000 Residents will Begin New Schedule on Week of April 28

The DeKalb County Sanitation Division will begin a three month pilot program designed to test consolidating collections of all materials to one day per week and other improvements.  The pilot includes 28,000 households throughout DeKalb County.  Included are areas of unincorporated DeKalb, and portions of Brookhaven, Chamblee, Dunwoody, and Lithonia.

Affected households have already been notified by mail about the program that will begin the week of April 28, 2014.  Most of these households have already received a new 65-gallon roll carts container, as well as literature explaining the program and its objectives. 

Residents who have been selected for the pilot program will have their garbage, recycling, and yard trimmings all collected on the same day in separate containers.  Garbage will be collected in the aforementioned 65 gallon green roll cart container, recycling in the 18-gallon recycling bins and blue bags, and yard trimmings in customer supplied paper bags or other appropriate containers.  For pilot participants, the once-a-week collections will all occur on their current recycling day. 

The new containers also allow the DeKalb Sanitation Division to test new semi and fully automated equipment on Sanitation trucks.  The current method of hand loading or manual collection of garbage requires frequent lifting in conditions that often cause injuries to employees.  Manual collections require this material be lifted in conditions that vary greatly with the weather.  In addition garbage often contains potentially sharp objects (i.e. broken glass) and potentially harmfully chemicals. Through the use of carts, lifting movements will be reduced and exposure to collectors from potentially harmfully contents of garbage will be limited, reducing costs from accidents and injuries.  Reducing costs allows DeKalb County to continue to provide reasonably-priced waste collection services to customers.

 
This depicts the proper method for placing various materials for collection in the pilot program area.  At left, garbage in the 65-gallon green container, recycling in the blue bins and bags, and yard waste in paper containers at right
For more information, visit www.dekalbcountyga.gov.