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Monday, May 5, 2008

Lithonia update.

by George Dienhart

People often laugh when I say small town politics can get ugly. Not just because local politics tend to attract those with big egos and small ideas, but also because it is at the local levels that politics has the most impact on out lives. If you live in Lithonia, it must be tough hearing your town dragged through the dirt on the news almost every night. Fortunately, the city may be making progress.

In review, these problems started when Mayor Joyce McKibben tried to fire the Police Chief, only to have the City Council reinstate him later that evening. These actions lead to Mayor McKibben’s supporters locking themselves in city hall.  In return, the city council changed the locks. See the big egos and small ideas?

There’s more. The City council will vote on 2 issues tonight: setting rules for city bank deposits and fuel purchases for city-owned vehicles. Seems like a good idea, right?  Not to Councilwoman Linda Pruett, who according to the Atlanta Constitution Journal, stated, "It seems to me that overall it gives more authority to the mayor than the charter allows."

This type of Infighting takes time. Time that should be spent on renewing and issuing business licenses. City Clerk Victoria Bateman told the AJC that licenses paid for in October have yet to be issued. That’s where local politics effects regular people. If the mayor and city council of Lithonia truly wish to serve their constituents, they will start to play nice with each other, and focus on actually running the city.