Edward “Ted” Terry

Edward ‘Ted’ Terry.


Occupation: Public Service

Previous elected offices held: Mayor of Clarkston, 2014-2020

Other community service experience: Member DeKalb County Board of Health 2014-Present; Leadership DeKalb Class of 2019; Advisory Board of Global Village Project School

What is motivating you to run for this office?

I’ve spent six years serving as mayor of the city of Clarkston, and six years on the DeKalb Board of Health. I have the experience DeKalb needs to lead us through these increasingly uncertain times. I know the tough questions to ask, and how to hold our leaders accountable. I want to bring new energy and new ideas to the County Commission. My progressive policy achievements in Clarkston are an example of how I will lead on the Commission. I am committed to being a voice for the people and ensuring a transparent, ethical and forward-thinking DeKalb.

What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address it?

COVID-19 has become the biggest issue facing our district. Previously, I would have said our water/sewer and transportation infrastructure. However, if we cannot get this pandemic under control, and put policies and procedures in place for the long term, we risk worsening the situation. I was an early advocate for a strong lockdown approach. I’ve been working with the health department to investigate higher than average positive test clusters, and pushing to ensure grocery stores are following all CDC guidelines to keep their customers and workers safe. The way to address this pandemic is with facts, science and together.

What strengths and weaknesses have the coronavirus pandemic crisis revealed in the DeKalb County government?

I can attest to behind-the-scenes work happening at DeKalb Board of Health weeks ahead of shelter-in-place orders that showed strength in response effectiveness. Our biggest weaknesses have been in our larger society. The fact that there are so many more “essential workers” than we may realize. That millions of service workers can become jobless in a matter of weeks. The vulnerability of renters and already low-income neighbors with no savings to cover the rent or utility bill. Or the fact that we still have politicians refusing to listen to the experts, who are trying to save lives and jobs.

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John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.