Austell mayor defends appointment rejections
by Marcus E. Howard
January 12, 2012 12:38 AM | 3393 views | 9 9 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
AUSTELL — Austell Mayor Joe Jerkins is defending his recent decision to not assign two city council members to chairmanships of standing committees.

Council members Martin Standard and Trudie Causey previously voted against Jerkins’ wishes of awarding contracts to a company that owed the city money in back taxes to chairmanships of standing committees.

In August, the Austell City Council awarded nine contracts, totaling $65,475, to Carlos Jones Construction Company at a special called meeting. The contracts were for the demolition of 18 city-purchased homes that were damaged in the September 2009 flood.

Standard and Causey were the only dissenting votes in a 4-2 decision to award the contracts to the Hiram-based company.

Jerkins, who has sole authority each year to assign committee chairs, said Standard and Causey acted against the city’s interests.

“They’re totally working against the city because (Jones) hadn’t paid his taxes,” he said. “They were totally wrong. He’s done the job. He’s done it good and saved the city some money. And he paid his taxes. They made a big issue out of it.”

Jerkins compared his authority to that of President Barack Obama, who makes unilateral appointments to his cabinet.

“I don’t think President Obama has appointed any Republicans,” Jerkins said.

Causey said she is not upset with the mayor’s decision, but describes her relationship with Jerkins as “OK.”

“I think he expects everybody to just support him, and I’m not going to support every issue if I don’t feel like it’s in the best interest of the people,” she said.

“I felt like Carlos (Jones) should not have been awarded that contract because he owned the city a little over $19,000, and he had previous contracts with the city and had not paid the money. … You know, $19,000 is a lot of money.”

Standard could not be reached for comment.

In 2011, Standard served as chairman of the public works committee and Causey chaired the community development committee.

While not assigned as chairpersons this year, Standard will be a member of the community development and general administration committees and Causey will sit on the finance and parks committees.

The finance and police department committees are being chaired by Councilwoman Virginia Reagan; the general administration and public works committees are chaired by Councilwoman Kirsten Anderson; the fire department and parks committees are chaired by Councilman Scott Thomas; and newly elected Councilwoman Suzanne Thomason is chairwoman of the community development committee.
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Alicia McLain
January 14, 2012
This whole issue is completely ridiculous!!! My mother, Trudie Causey, and neighbor, Martin Standard, have done everything in the best interest of the City of Austell. The only people on here complaining are the people that are obviously violating city codes and ordinances! Yes, Mayor Jerkins did not re-assign my mother and Martin to chair a committee but he did assign them to sit on other committees (which if you would research this you would see that he did assign my mother to the Finance and Park Committees and Martin to the General Administration and Community Affairs Committees) in which they will serve well and continue to support revitalization of the City of Austell. The city needed a change when Suzanne Thomason was elected!!! She is a wonderful person and if you did not realize was supported by my mother and Martin as well! My mother and Martin's decision to vote against the Carlos Jones issue was the ethical thing to do! Yes, he may have been the lowest bidder and yes, he may do great work but the fact is he had not paid his back taxes! How do you give a contractor a job (which he will be paid for by the taxpayers of Austell) and not expect him to pay previous taxes? Do you not realize that Mr. Jones had previous jobs with the City of Austell and at that time was not in any hurry to pay his back taxes until my mother and Martin voted against him and pushed the issue? Wonder how many other contracts have been awarded like this over Mayor Jerkins approximate 20 year term? It is a known fact that Mr. Jones is a friend of Mayor Jerkins. Yes...I would consider this the "Good Ole' Boy Syndrome". As for the park, it is completely ridiculous for a current Mayor to have a statue of himself. Very few people in history have statues while they are alive much less in office! I have heard many comments regarding this statue and none of them have been good. Honestly, most of the time it is joked about! I do applaud Mayor Jerkins for what he has done during his term, but obviously some mistakes have been made!
austell voter
January 31, 2012
Your mother, Ms. Causey and Martin Standard brought this on themselves.

It is one thing to want to help out.

It is another thing to accuse decent, honorable, hard working people of criminal activity.
Happy with JOE
January 13, 2012
We nearly got in Austell what has happened in other areas.

People don't vote.

Causey and Standard got a few votes and became citycouncil members. What a shock it turned out to be.

Lamberton thought he would easily get on the council, with their support.

He didn't.

The Austell Police Dept. has documents of Mr. Lamberton's activities AGAINST his wife. These are public documents. You can get them for yourself.

Why would Causey and Standard and Thomason support such a man against someone like Mayor Joe Jerkins.

The mayor is handling this just right. Joe is a lot tougher than these people realized. More is coming.
Virginia Reagan
January 13, 2012
It’s obvious some of you don’t know about the many long hours, with no salary for over 14 years, serving the citizens as Mayor and City Manager saving our Taxpayers millions of dollars. Norfolk Southern Railroad insisted we relocate our Gazebo and Mayor’s Park, which was built on Railroad property, honoring the late C. H. “Fat” James and all Mayor’s who have served before. This resulted in the new Mayor’s Park. Former Council Member Beverly James Boyd designed and presented to Council and to the AACIC Advisory Board for permission to create a new Mayor’s Park with all approving the park 100%. The money all came from interest off the Railroad Trust fund, at no cost to the Taxpayers of Austell.
Tony Cain
January 12, 2012
I supported the incumbent Austell city council member against Lance Lamberton.

Lamberton and his wife stole the campaign fliers that I and others put out. I had several confrontations with them.

I spoke about this at the November 2011 Austell City Council meeting. You can read my comments online. Google search for Austell, Ga. goverment. Then go to city council minutes. Then click on minutes for November 2011. My citizen comments are at the beginning.

The South Cobb Patch and the MDJ ran the story about the numerous police reports made by Lamberton's wife. She accused him of fits, yelling, grabbing her collar and drunkenness.

This is still easy to access on South Cobb Patch, just type in "Lance Lamberton" and read the stories.

Lamberton was endorsed for his run for office by city council woman Causey and city councilman Standard.

By the way, Mayor Jerkins did not vote for a statue of himself. The city council voted for the statue and used development authority funds received from the railroad (the interest on those funds).

There was a story in the MDJ about this a couple of years ago.

I did not approve of it then or now. However, Mayor Jerkins did not take a salary for many years as mayor and he did the work of city manager without pay so he has saved us a lot of money, more than the statue cost.
January 13, 2012
Yes, but the statue is ridiculous. Any one with any common sense would not allow for it while they are sitting as mayor.
top cat
January 12, 2012
Mayor Jerkins is fighting 2 bad news council members, Trudie Causey and Martin Standard.

These 2 have been harassing Austell citizens every way they can.

Both want to change the city law to allow anonymous calls against Austell residents to police and code enforcement.

The failed city council candidate Lance Lamberton was supported by these two. Obviously their support did not get Lamberton elected to city council.

City council member Randy Green was defeated by a couple of votes only because absentee ballots arrived nearly a week too late to be counted and keep him in office. New city council member Thomason better remember this.

Causey and Standard want to put people in jail for code violations. Standard trespassed on a citizen's property and he has received a written warning from an attorney to keep off his clients property, to not trespass.

These two are bad news. That is why Mayor Joe Jerkins is shutting them out. And he has the legal right to do so and the support of the people of Austell. Good for JOE!
Austell Observer
January 12, 2012
I've had the displeasure of watching Jerkins actions over the years and its beyond me why voters keep falling for his "good old boy" B.S.. BTW, the Pigeons in downtown Austell must be smarter than Austell city voters, because they don't think enough of him to perch on his statue and leave their calling cards.......

January 12, 2012
Clearly a guy who builds a statue of himself and a park dedicated to himself has the best interests of the city in his heart. I'm sure he will say it was the council that did it or this, that, or the other, but what kind of ego maniac stands by as a sitting mayor and lets a bronze statue of themselves go up!?!
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