Clayton Democrats sent out a questionnaire to all 10 candidates for the September 21, 2021 special election for Clayton County Board of Commissioners District 1. We received five responses. The following are responses from candidate Shegale Crute-Thurmond. We encourage residents in District 1 to vote on Tuesday for who they would like to have in this position.
1. What qualifications do you have that make you qualified than the other candidates?
I believe in both my professional experience and work history with Clayton County make me the best candidate for the job. Professionally, I have worked as a paralegal for over 25 years specializing in contracts, mergers, acquisitions, and various types of litigation. I currently work for the DeKalb County Sheriffs Office in the legal department. Having this specialized skill sets brings me to the table with a unique ability and competency to understand contracts, zoning, ordinances, budgets and other technical aspects of the duties of commissioners. That coupled with my strong work ethic and the fact that I have attended all the commissioner regular meetings and work sessions, makes me able to hit the ground running on day one. I am a problem solver and will work to obtain the very best for district one.
2. What incentives would you offer businesses to come to Clayton County?
Currently, there are many business incentives already been offered to Clayton County business owners through federal funding, and also since our county has been designated tear one by Georgia Public Affairs. I believe that we should offer them partnerships and incentives that augment the state level incentives, but I believe those incentives should directly benefit the county and its citizens. As it stands, companies can use credits that they obtain through incentives out of state and even transfer them to other subsidiaries which has not given a great benefit to us locally. Both the Clayton and County and Airport chambers offer a technical assistance and training to businesses to maximize their ability to receive various incentives and contract opportunities that may be available to them. I will research, learn more, an offer to assist businesses however we can to ensure their success.
3. What percentage of Clayton County’s budget comes in the form of direct payments and all grants from federal sources of indirectly through state money and non-cognizable grants sourced from the federal budget?
Direct payments from grants and federal sources is about 1% of the county budget. It should be noted however that this will change significantly in the coming years as the county has received over $60 million in federal federal stimulus. The two distributions were approved and will be distributed throughout various departments To be performed and completed (spent) By December 2026.
4. Dekalb County has implemented ways to increased Covid-19 vaccinations. What are some of your ideas to increase COVID vaccinations in our county?
The county approved federal designation for The category of “public health response“ of the American rescue plan act revenue that was received on this past year. I think our county officials should spend time researching what has worked effectively throughout the state and southern region and immediately begin to implement measures to ensure that our residents receive testing, information, and vaccines in a timely and convenient manner.
5. What has been your community involvement prior to seeking the seat of the District I Commissioner?
I have served the county in many capacities, been a parent, citizen, and member of my church. I have served on many boards to include the United Way. DFACS, CASA, Rotary, Citizens for Progressive transit, and many others. Ive served alongside many others who helped to bring about the first and second SPLOST projects. In addition to that I also fought to bring transit out into the community. I have always been an active member of whatever organizations I have been a part of and have served our community for many years at my church.
6. As a commissioner, you will be able to appoint persons to the various county boards, How will you ensure that you’re selecting the right individual?
One great thing about campaigning, if you do it right, you meet amazing people within your district. District 1 is no exception to this. I would work to find citizens that I know are concerned and engaged in our community who have lived here and who understand the dynamics and the characteristics. Of course, there is a formal vetting process, but I will first go to the phenomenal poole district 1 citizens to pull for my nominations for committees and boards.
7. There is 14months left in the unexpired term of the late Commissioner Sonya Gregory. If you are elected, what will be your priority?
My first priority will be to look at and assess the existing zoning and development projects. I want to make sure that they are in line with what I have heard the citizens say that they want to see, and more importantly what they do not want to see. In addition to that I will be learning more about the budget, in order to assess and evaluate a clear and concise strategy
8. How will you engage with the citizens in District I?
Citizen engagement is key to the success of District one. The citizens in our district are concerned and engaged they understand the issues. I will continue in the tradition that was started in District to hold monthly community meetings. In addition to that, I will engage the citizens by returning their calls, following up on their concerns, and communicating Matters but I believe all concerned them.. I also believe that we must continue to keep a continue dialogue through attending meetings and HOA gatherings within the district.
9. Are you aware of any other revenue streams that can be utilized other than raising property taxes?
Yes. I believe that there are several other aspects that we can use to work to lower property taxes and remove the burden that is so heavy on our citizens. We can first start by improving collection, optimizing collection and audit the process to increase our collection right and minimize leakage. We can also introduce new revenue levers such as additional service fees, fines, charges and establish a cost plus model to help to generate additional revenue pay. For example, charging higher fees for expedited processing of our existing services and serve and processing times. We should also look into asset monetization, leases joint ventures, and joint development agreements with the surrounding counties. This would all help to increase and create emerging options that are more into the innovative
10. What is your position with regard to zoning changes within District I (with regard to logistic centers, retail development, housing, or other commercial develop)?
With regard to zoning changes, I believe that this is probably the most critical aspect of taking the sake of commissioner in district one. Zoning dictates how our county will be shaped and what the framework what ultimately look like. It is important that our new development is fully comprehensive taking in all considerations to include the existing communities and the people who live there. The industrial zoning has become burdensome to the citizens in the area. I have committed to them that I will not approve any more zoning of industrial plants in that area. In addition, I believe that it is imperative that we look at existing zoning projects that are upcoming and work to curtail their impact on the area. This is a very detailed and challenging task. I encourage citizens to visit VoteShegale.com and review my plan in more detail for this area.