DeKalb signs fuel controversy
By April Hunt The Atlanta Journal-Constitution With the primary election less than two months away…
Georgia (Jun 4, 2012) — By April Hunt
Link To Articlehttp://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/dekalb-signs-fuel-controversy-1451119.html?cxtype=rss_news_82007
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
With the primary election less than two months away, one DeKalb County incumbent appears to have a 4-foot by 6-foot advantage.
CEO Burrell Ellis’ name appears in bold letters on eight tall stocky signs that sprouted with the flowers and greenery this spring. Just above his name is his local jobs’ stimulus slogan, “Creating jobs. Building Hope.”
Taxpayers, not Ellis’ re-election campaign, have paid $4,000 on the eight temporary signs so far. That figure is expected to double when another eight are put up later this year and could swell to $40,000 if the county erects signs at the 82 upcoming water/sewer projects, according to records obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Ellis dismissed any question about his name appearing so prominently, saying he had no role in the design. But Ellis' opponents in this summer's Democratic primary have called for the signs to be taken down, and some taxpayers readily agree. …
Politics, though, can often be about both things at the same time, said Kerwin Swint, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University.
True, similar signs in front of the schools in his native Cobb promoted only the projects, not the politicians behind them. But, Swint noted, that makes them an ethical question for voters, the same people the signs are trying to rally to the polls.
“It’s a little bit like the letters members of Congress send out with their pictures and accomplishments, which, funny enough, tend to go out in election years,” Swint said. “It may skirt the propriety of spending public money, but it’s pretty common.”
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the second-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 126 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.