September 24, 2022
SENT VIA EMAIL
Mayor and Council
Stonecrest City Government
3120 Stonecrest Blvd
Stonecrest, GA 30038
Dear City of Stonecrest Mayor & Council Members:
Stonecrest citizens were dismayed to learn of the sudden departure of our City Manager, Janice Allen Jackson. Because there has been no official communication on this matter, speculation and rumors have become the primary sources of information. Additionally, citizens’ direct requests for an explanation have been met with rote and uninformative responses.
Therefore, we are calling for the Mayor and City Council to do the following:
1. Address the circumstances surrounding the City Manager’s departure, specifically whether she was asked or pressured to resign and if so, your basis for that decision and how it aligns with the Charter and/or the terms of Ms. Jackson’s contract.
2. Publicize and conduct a transparent and open professional recruitment process for the next City Manager that engages Stonecrest citizens.
3. Ensure that the next City Manager possesses the relevant experience, credentials, and professional reputation as a local government executive to effectively lead the largest city in DeKalb County.
4. Prominently post and maintain weekly on the City’s website a list of major city business that must be addressed in the next 30, 60, and 90 days (e.g., appropriation of ARPA funds, completion of audit, purchase of Strayer building, zoning decisions, etc.), and commit to conducting that business in open session.
5. Adhere to the letter and spirit of the Open Meetings Act with regard to the advertisement of meetings, posting of related documents, and the conduct of executive sessions.
6. Follow through on the appointment of a Charter Review Committee within the next 30 days.
7. Adopt an Ethics Ordinance based on the input of citizens and ethics professionals before the end of 2022.
As you all know, Stonecrest experienced a damaging, high-profile corruption scandal that has plagued this city almost since its founding and is still not behind us. So far, this Mayor and City Council have not done the work necessary to earn back the trust of the citizens. There has been no consistent outreach or responsiveness to citizens on your parts, an ongoing lack of transparency in carrying out the City’s business, and no attempt to put forth a vision or plan for our city’s future. And while it may be legally permissible to conduct certain business in executive session, it is not beneficial to do so in an environment that is already absent of trust. Continuing the status quo will not result in our city living up to the expectations that were set when Stonecrest was founded. You must do a collective about-face and demonstrate in word and deed that you, and in turn city government, will act in the best interest of all of Stonecrest’s residents.
Malaika Wells, President
The Stonecrest Citizens Coalition