On Tuesday, March 29, runoffs for the Tucker City Council wrapped up, and Georgia’s newest city now has a fully-elected six-member city council and Mayor. Noelle Monferdini and Matt Robbins won their runoff contests in District Two, joining Michelle Penkava and Anne Lerner from District Three, and Bill Rosenfeld and Honey VandeKreke from District One. Mayor Frank Auman will lead the Council and preside over council meetings.
The Stone Mountain CID reached out to each of the the six council members and the mayor for insight into their vision for the city of Tucker.
Frank Auman, Mayor
“Beyond getting all the foundational issues addressed, and getting the three services we’re committed to up and running, economic development is where my heart is. For Tucker, that doesn’t mean gleaming skyscrapers and giant parking decks. It means preserving and nurturing the live, work, play and pray character of our city. It means welcoming new businesses and valuing existing businesses by making it easy to do business. Licensing, permits and code enforcement are necessary, even helpful to businesses, but should never be a burden or get in the way of their missions. Attractive public spaces, roadways and parks should encourage business decision-makers to want to make and keep Tucker their home. If in the first year we can get the new city on a firm financial and organizational footing, and instill a cooperative culture among all our corporate and private citizens, we’ll be well on our way to a bright future.”
Honey Van de Kreke, Council Member, District 1-Post 1
“The City of Tucker has a very bright future. We have the opportunity to invite good companies to come to Tucker and expand our employment slots for residents and potential residents. With the three services Tucker offers, the planning and permitting will be closer to home and should be a smoother process. Our residential neighborhoods will benefit with stronger code enforcement and locally controlled parks and green space. “Tucker will remain a strong community while taking on the tasks of becoming the Best New City in Georgia.”
Bill Rosenfeld, Council Member, District 1-Post 2
“I’m looking forward to working together with a full council to get the City of Tucker up and running, and there are quite a few boring but important steps we need to take in order to be able to do anything at all and start functioning as a city. Once we have an operational framework set up, we can begin to address the things that the people of Tucker hope for and believe in. To do this, we’ll need to work with both our residents and the businesses in Tucker, as both groups will play an important role in shaping Tucker’s future, and we’ll need to make sure that all lines of communication are open and working. My goal is to make sure that the city will have efficient, cost-effective responses to requests for permitting and licensing, and that our record of excellent customer service will help retain existing businesses and attract new ones.”
Matt Robbins, Council Member, District 2-Post 1
“My top priority will be working with the Council and the residents on the ‘creation’ of the City through formal procedures and ordinances. As a brand new City, we will be involved in resource staffing and administrative requirements to support the functions that the City is accepting. In addition, we need to craft an effective partnership with DeKalb County through Interagency Governmental Agreements, to detail the responsibilities of both partners.
“I want the business community to know that the Council will continue, and seek to improve the requirements impacting the business community. Efficiency, effectiveness and responsiveness will be our goals. In a presentation to the Tucker Business Association a number of weeks ago, I spoke about my personal desire to learn from the businesses concerning issues impacting their quality service delivery. I have attended meetings conducted by the Northlake-Tucker CID, and would welcome the introduction to the Stone Mountain CID as well. I wish to challenge the business sector to become involved with the Tucker community and demonstrate its buy-in into the fabric of our City. Businesses exist in our community and so should be part of it as well.”
Noelle Monferdini, Council Member, District 2-Post 2
“1. Create and function within the constraints of a budget. 2.Adopt ordinances that fit Tucker and modify or remove the ones that don’t. 3. Continue to connect with block captains, and other community leaders, to build a functioning communication network that will keep the pulse of the people’s choice on what direction we are heading. 4. Start to restore and improve our parks. I would like the business community to breathe a little easier. I believe that the city will be able to give a higher standard of quality customer service to each of you, making the process of licensing (and working with you) that much easier.”
Michelle Penkava, Council Member, District 3-Post 1
“Thanks to the people of Tucker for their enthusiasm, and congratulations to my fellow council members who campaigned for their votes and support through the elections. I’m looking forward to our full council working together on a collaborative vision that protects what makes Tucker unique and special, promotes quality economic growth for the City, and enhances our entire community for the people who live here. The Stone Mountain CID has been supportive in our incorporation efforts, and I look forward to opportunities for continued partnership with them.”
Anne Lerner, Council Member, District 3-Post 2
“Tucker must be built on a solid foundation to ensure its success well into the future. The things that need to be accomplished in the first few years of our new city are not glamorous. We must focus on the core functions of our city and get those done right from the start. I seek to ensure our business owners receive responsive and effective services with a focus on great customer service. I’ve heard from many current and potential business owners that the permitting and licensing process needs to be more efficient. We need to respect your time so you can focus on running a successful business that benefits both you and the City of Tucker. Local code enforcement officers dedicated to Tucker and working in partnership with our business owners will positively enhance quality of life, community appearance, and property values. Our goal is better response times and visible results. The Stone Mountain CID is a vital partner to our new city and I look forward to working together to improve Tucker by improving conditions for existing businesses and attracting new growth.”