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Greenhaven, Vista Grove and Vernon Jones? Yes, that Vernon Jones

April 3, 2019

Greenhaven, Vista Grove and Vernon Jones? Yes, that Vernon Jones

When we woke up this morning, Neighbors Against Greenhaven is thankful Greenhaven did not get a sponsor this year, but you can be assured, Kathryn Rice and Greenhaven, Ga will be back next year. Yesterday was Sine Die.

What is Sine Die? According to the Georgia Sun “Sine Die is the term used for the last day of the legislative session. In Georgia, the legislature meets for 40 days. Day 40 is Sine Die. It is the last day that a bill can pass. If it doesn’t pass by the end of day 40, it will have to wait until next year to be picked up…For the 2019 legislative session, Sine Die is April 2…Sine Die is pronounced “Sigh-nee-die” by Georgia lawmakers, however that isn’t the correct pronunciation of the term. In Latin, it is “sina dia.

Sine Die Georgia State Capitol April 2, 2019
Sine Die Georgia State Capitol April 2, 2019

 

Vista Grove was not so lucky. Vernon Jones, yes, that Vernon Jones, state House Representative from District 91 which includes Rockdale and far East DeKalb has sponsored the bill for Vista Grove. A little backstory on Vernon Jones. He was the CEO of DeKalb County from 2000-2008.

Vernon Jones Georgia House District 91 sponsors Vista Grove legislation
Vernon Jones

However, Wikipedia states Jones term as DeKalb County CEO was also known for controversies and accusations of improprieties. Shortly after taking office Jones went back on his campaign pledge to keep the homestead exemption sales tax in place.[21] Jones was criticized for vetoing pay raises for police officers.[22] In January 2005, the Georgia State Ethics Commission sanctioned Jones for campaign contribution limit violations in 2004 reelection campaign. Under a Consent Order, Jones returned all excess contributions and personally paid a $7,500.00 civil penalty.[23] Jones apologized and stated that changes in campaign finance laws between the initial election and the run-off election are the reason for his acceptance of nineteen improper campaign contributions.[8] He was also accused of illegally using campaign funds to promote the 2005 bond referendum, but the State Ethics Commission “found no reasonable grounds” for the complaint.[24] Two grand juries found Jones $250,000 per year taxpayer funded security detail excessive, and recommended it be decreased, but found no violations of the law.[8] Jones was accused of a questionable real estate transaction involving a house and a 55-acre tract of land near Arabia Mountain that he purchased for $550,000 in 2003 in anticipation of a then active quarry becoming part of county green space project that he initiated. In summer of 2007, Jones sold the site and made a $220,000 profit.[37] On January 20, 2013, a special purpose grand jury, empaneled to investigate corruption in DeKalb County, found widespread “incompetence, patronage, fraud and cronyism” dating to the beginning of the administration of Vernon Jones.[38] The report, which was not released until August 21, 2013, recommended further investigations of possible illegal acts by Jones, along with a number of other current and former senior DeKalb County officials.[39] 

This session Vernon Jones diluted SB 7 – DeKalb Ethic’s bill on the House side to include previous employees and DeKalb County politicians couldn’t be indicated for their past crimes. This insures that if new evidence were to be found regarding Vernon Jones he couldn’t be tried. Subsequent meetings with the Senate and House included comments from Dwight Thomas who is the attorney for Vernon and Sharon Barnes Sutton, a former DeKalb County Commissioner who has been accused of ethics violations. Peas in pod? You be the judge.

Former DeKalb County Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton
Former DeKalb County Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton

This is the man Vista Grove choose to sponsor their bill for cityhood.

Vernon Jones ran for Sheriff in 2014, US Congress 2010, US Senate 2008, elected CEO DeKalb 2000 & 2004, elected state House 1992-2000
Vernon Jones ran for Sheriff in 2014, US Congress 2010, US Senate 2008, elected CEO DeKalb 2000 & 2004, elected state House 1992-2000, elected state House 91 in 2018.

Now Cobb has joined the cityhood movement. David Birdwell, an East Cobb businessman represents the group pushing the initiative for the City of East Cobb. Their tactics are similar to Greenhaven and Vista Grove in that they have repeatedly declined to disclose its membership and the funding of its hired public relations consultants and lobbyist. At a meeting held March 28, 2019, opposition was overwhelmingly against it this new city. Much like the meeting held against Greenhaven and Vista Grove on February 26.

Neighbors Against Greenhaven goal for the remainder of this through the start of the next legislation session, January 13, 2020 is to communicate with you at least once per month. We will continue working with Concern Citizens in Opposition To Greehaven, http://www.CCIOTG.org in our fight against Greenhaven. www.DeKalbStrong.org has been a strong partner and we will continue to assist in their efforts against Vista Grove.

Lastly, thanks to all of you who have worked tirelessly this past session in emailing, writing letters, making phone calls, appearing at the Capitol, signing our petition and letting your neighbors and others in the affected area in our fight against Greenhaven, Ga.

Previous articles:

Police remove Greenhaven’s Kathryn Rice from State Capitol

Proposed Greenhaven, Ga How It All Began

Why N.A.G. Opposes Greenhaven

Big Money Lobbyist for Greenhaven and Vista Grove

9 comments

  1. Thanks for your hard work. It’s disgusting that our lives must be preoccupied fighting off the sneaky onslaughts of the corrupt and self-serving. Let’s find the loop hole these snakes are hiding under that prevent full disclosure of their funding resources for these initiatives!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You for the other controversial stuff I did:

    1. Passed two bond initiatives totaling over $400,000 dollars for persevering over 5,000 acres of Greenspace
    2. Repaired and built new parks
    3. Built the first ever water park at Browns Mill Park
    4. Built the first ever and only indoor Park with a indoors swimming pool
    5. Bought new police and fire twin tower headquarters buildings
    6. Built first and only Porter Sanford Performing arts theatre
    7. Built the New Juvenile Justice building on memorial drive
    8. Developed Brooke Run park including Dekalb’s first skate park
    9. Built more side walks than any other administration
    10. Built 9 new libraries including Stonecrest and Tucker libraries with only fire places in any public libraries in georgia.
    11. Got Arabia Mountain declared a national heritage park
    12. Built miles and miles of hike and bike trails before you heard of the Beltline
    13. Open up a wildlife rehabilitation center at Arabia Mountain.
    14. Never raised the Milage rate during the entire 8 years
    15. Cut the milage rate during my administration
    16. Acquired DeKalb’s first and only dual AAA bond & credit rating from Standard and Poors. Note: DeKalb lost it after I left.
    17. After 27 investigations by every media and investigation apparatus known to man, not one single charge!
    18. Not a single person was charged or indicted for anything during my administration related to any type of corruption. Note: all indictments happen after my watch and took place during someone else’s watch
    19. Appointed first Hispanic Judge
    20. Promoted and hired the first female to major and assistant police chief
    21. Hired and promoted the first females to assistant fire chief and battalion chiefs

    22. Finally, my biggest accomplishment was not to ever be bought or bossed by people like the one who wrote this hack job.

    I’m falling to sleep and still have more credits I can write. But, people who matter know I left the county far better off than I found it. And that’s what counts!

    How you like me now!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vernon, like Trump, you just didn’t get caught. Yes, you were in office 8 years and those around you did do good things that you signed off on. You ran for fifty’leven different offices and had to go to Conyers to get elected. Dee Dawkins should run against you as you barely won your current office in a runoff. Why do you not want the Ethics Committee to be able to go after previous elected officials?

      Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciate the accomplishments listed above. In addition, can you please explain your involvement and editing of SB7, as well as Dwight Thomas’ interest in this matter? This seems like a conflict of interest. I would also be interested in why you submitted a bill proposing the City Of Vista Grove when you have absolutely not constituents, that I’m aware of, in that part of DeKalb Co. I think these are very important questions that need answers directly from you. Thank you I’m advance.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Because of all your antics, Vernon, we now have to deal with the cityhood problem. Boy is cityhood a problem for us. You ruined our DeKalb. That Greenspace that you paid too much for? What use is it? Not finding enough to charge doesn’t mean lack of guilt as in Trump.

      Like

  3. So tell us why you missed 77 votes in 2019 legislation session? more than any other legislator. Vernon, where were you and why did you miss so many votes?

    Liked by 1 person

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