Wendy Butler candidate for DK Commish District 1Wendy Butler (R)Occupation: AttorneyElective offices held: NoneCommunity service: MARTA Board, 2012-2014; State Road and Tollway Authority, 2010; DeKalb Planning Commission 2010-2011; DeKalb Board of Zoning Appeals, 2010-2011; members of Citizens for North DeKalb; worked with campaigns for Rep. Mike Jacobs and Brookhaven City Councilwoman Rebecca Chase Williams.

Why should the voters choose you for this position?

I have an unblemished record of public service and a proven ability to get the job done. I’ve demonstrated that I can work with others to restore fiscal sanity to MARTA, to get transportation and traffic relief projects funded and completed, and the willingness to take hard votes in protecting communities and neighborhoods. I have 15 years’ experience in smart land use, economic development and sustainability. Those are my passions, and why I earned a law degree and a masters degree in Community Development. DeKalb needs a commissioner with experience to restore the public trust in the county government.

What is the biggest issue facing the constituents you seek to represent?

There are two issues. The first is restoring a basic level of trust in county government; the second is protecting home values. Property values are just starting to rise in DeKalb, and it would be unconscionable to risk home values as when the school system’s accreditation was in jeopardy. I’ll hold regular and frequent town-hall meetings across the district, report all spending by the District 1 office monthly, and work to make county operations transparent, informative, accessible and accountable to its residents. Showing and telling people what you do and being completely honest is the only way to transform DeKalb.

What’s the first thing you hope to accomplish after taking office next year?

Cut spending, increase transparency, restore public trust in DeKalb and cut property taxes. I’ll work with the commission to cut DeKalb’s spending while increasing service and accountability, and eventually cut property taxes. I will cut spending of the District One office, we don’t need $250,000 to run this office. Through reducing spending, increased efficiency and outsourcing, I will cut 25 percent of that spending. I will lead by example and work with the commission to restore public trust in the leadership and service of DeKalb County moving forward to sustainable growth and reducing taxes for DeKalb’s residents. That’s my first goal.

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.