Applications now open for Commission District 5 seat

Jennifer Ffrench-Parker | 6/6/2014, 6:02 a.m.

Residents of Lithonia, Decatur and Stone Mountain who live in DeKalb Commission District 5 can now apply to be interim commissioner.

The county began advertising this week in CrossRoadsNews and other local newspapers for applicants to represent the district of 145,000 residents that was left without a commissioner when Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Lee May interim CEO on July 16, 2013.

The deadline to apply is July 3.

May said Tuesday that he will appoint a three-member panel to review all applicants and narrow the field to two qualified candidates. He will submit one of those names to the Board of Commissioners for the appointment.

Eligible candidates must live in the district for at least 12 months prior to the appointment, be at least 21 years of age, and must not be barred by any disqualification under the law.

They must have “thorough knowledge of the DeKalb County Government, federal, state and local law, including but not limited to the DeKalb County Code and Code of Ethics is preferred. Strong communication skills, oral and written, and experience in public service is also preferred,” the ad says.

The DeKalb Board of Commissioners will make the temporary appointment from the pool of applicants. The appointee will serve until CEO Burrell Ellis’ suspension is terminated or the need for him or her ends, whichever is earlier.

The Georgia Legislature passed SB 367 on March 20 to provide representation for the district after Deal tapped May, the district’s commissioner, to be interim CEO.

Deal removed Ellis from office on July 16, 2013, after he was indicted on theft and racketeering charges for allegedly shaking down county vendors for campaign donations.

While serving, the interim commissioner will receive the $38,374-a-year salary paid to commissioners.

Interested candidates should email a cover letter and resume to district5@dekalb

countyga.gov by July 3, 2014.

Ellis’ trial is scheduled to start Sept. 8. If he is exonerated, he will return to the CEO’s office and May will return to the District 5 seat.