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 Hackwin Devoe. 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?
Hello! My name is Hackwin L. Devoe. I believe that Clayton County Matters! I am a public servant with 21 years of local government administration experience with DeKalb County government. I worked with senior departmental leaders, community & faith leaders, local Commissioners, and the citizens of the County. Moreover, with my military experience and current position as our community’s HOA President (of The Promenade At Rex Ridge), I have learned what good servant leadership means, and will always put people above politics.
2. What incentives would you offer businesses to come to Clayton County?
Tax credits are always beneficial to business bottom line. I would continue to support tax credits such as the Opportunity Zone and Tier 1 credits. However, there must be some component in which we the residents of Clayton County will benefit from said business’ presence in our community. Businesses must always be in partnership with the community they serve.
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?
Although both the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report for 2020 and the 2022 Annual Operating Budget are published/posted on the County’s website, I will not purport that I have the answer readily available. This question lends itself more to the Chief Financial Officer’s role to analyze and advise the Board of Commission so that decisions can be made on how best to allocate funds. I plan to work closely and regularly with CFO Bivins and the finance group to ensure that resources are allocated and employed in a transparent and fiscally responsible manner.
4. Dekalb County has implemented ways to increased Covid-19 vaccinations. What are some of your ideas to increase COVID vaccinations in our county?
As an employee of DeKalb County, I have seen the efforts up close. I would mirror DeKalb’s efforts so not to reinvent the wheel. That is, I would set up vaccination sites in areas within the County in which are convenient to the citizens. However, I would support giving gift cards to local restaurants instead of $100 debit cards.
5. What has been your community involvement prior to seeking the seat of the District I Commissioner?
I am the HOA president of my community here in Rex (The Promenade at Rex). I have worked with our community in communicating with Public Safety, new developers, and sanitation/beautification departments as it relates to the safety, sustainability, health and wellbeing of our community.
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?
While resumes and references give you a partial picture of an individual, I learned that several interviews afford a deeper level of vetting. It is in “real time” conversation that one can learn more about a person as opposed to printed words on a paper.
7. There is 14months left in the unexpired term of the late Commissioner Sonya Gregory. If you are elected, what will be your priority?
In talking with my neighbors in the surround community, I understand that there are a myriad of issues and concerns. However, no issue has been more prevalent to our neighbors than the blight in this County. That is, the dilapidated buildings and trash on our streets. It is an eyesore for everyone who lives or visits our County. It negatively affects our property value and image of our community.
8. How will you engage with the citizens in District I?
I will be accessible and available on weekdays and weekends outside of the standard office hours. In addition to this, I would schedule townhall meetings and hearing sessions to keep the community informed with the ongoings of the County. Weekly email / social media post will be one of many formats to engage the citizens. Moreover, I would avail myself to neighborhood HOA’s community meetings.
9. Are you aware of any other revenue streams that can be utilized other than raising property taxes?
Yes, such as TAD (Tax allocated Districts) funds, Federal & State grants, and SPLOST. These are revenue streams that can be leveraged to accomplish capital outlay projects and other county initiatives without raising property taxes.
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)?
The approach to zoning within District 1 must be balanced and comprehensive. While commercial zoning brings in some jobs and tax dollars, too many logistic centers and commercial development detracts from residential sustainability and growth, as families do not want to live amid warehouses and truck stops. Proper planning and strategic placement of residential homes and logistic centers will remedy the problem we have now of overdevelopment of logistic centers.