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					Burrell Ellis
E-Newsletter November
November 1, 2006

Edition
Volume 1, Number 9

In This Issue
 From the Desk of Commissioner Ellis  A Federal History of Thanksgiving  Thanksgiving and DeKalb County’s Stone Mountain – Believe It or Not  Volunteer Appreciation Night  At the BOC

From the Desk of Commissioner Ellis
Greetings friends and stakeholders of DeKalb County, As always I hope you are in the best of health and realizing the best in blessings. After turning back the clocks, November is a month that we put on jackets and sweaters as we find more things to do indoors. It is the opening to the Holiday Season. It is also a time that we consider those special things, people and events for which we are thankful. I am thankful for my health, my faith and my family. I am thankful for my work. I am also thankful to you the stakeholders of DeKalb County. I am especially grateful to the citizens who have placed confidence in me to represent them in DeKalb County Government. I am thankful to the other Commissioners that serve with me. In closing, in an election year, I am also thankful for the right to vote. Tuesday, November 7, 2006 is on the way. Many people have put their lives on the line for that privilege. Please do not let their sacrifices be in vain. For more information on voting in DeKalb County, call 404-2984020. I am wishing you the best in hope, happiness and success,

UPCOMING EVENTS FOR NOVEMBER 2006

Mark These Dates On Your Calendar! November 2 4 – 7: 00 p.m. The DeKalb County Office of Economic Development Annual Open House at 150 E. Ponce de Leon Av Suite 400

Burrell Ellis Presiding Officer Board of Commissioners of DeKalb County

November 4, 11, 18 & 25 “Take a Stroll” One-hour guided walking tours highlighting the development of Stone Mountain Village. For more information contact: Stone Mountain Village or stonemountainvillage.com Or 1-866-633-5252 ext. 3371 November 4 9 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 1st Annual Fall Festival United Methodist Church 3261 Panola Road, Lithonia November 5 4:00 p.m. (Rain or Shine) DeKalb County’s CEO & the Board of Commissioners Host Dedication Ceremony for the Liane Levitan Park at Brook Run November 8 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. DeKalb County Small Business Development Conference Holiday Inn Decatur Conference Plaza 130 Clairmont Av, Decatur $55.00 November 9 6 – 8:00 p.m. Live Healthy DeKalb At the Maloof Center Auditorium 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur November 10 9 a.m. BOC holds last 2006 Retreat Marriot Evergreen Conference Center at Stone Mountain

A Federal History on Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Proclamation
George Washington
City of New York, October 3, 1789

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness." Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th. day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us. And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

November 11 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. DeKalb County Employee Appriciation Picnic Stone Mountain Park Fireside Pavilion FREE Weekly Fitness Classes GET FIT. BE HEALTHY. HAVE FUN EVERY TUESDAY 7:00PM – 8:00PM Where: THE GALLERY AT SOUTH DEKALB When JoAnna Ward, the instructor, was a contestant on CBS’s Survivor Amazon, she was challenged to outwit, outlast and out play her challengers. However, when you participate in one of her fitness classes you’ll have the time of your life. This is your FREE opportunity to get fit, be healthy and have fun! The mall is located at 2801 Candler Rd, Decatur, GA 30034 For more information contact: (404) 241-2431 or visit www.GalleryatSouthDeKalb.com

Thanksgiving and DeKalb County’s Stone Mountain
In 1915, on a cool Thanksgiving evening, William J. Simmons and a group of men including Samuel Venable climbed to the peak of Stone Mountain where Simmons read a few verses from the Bible (Romans 2). They then burned a cross that was visible across Atlanta. That event is sometimes referred to as the rebirth of the Klan. Venable created a perpetual easement, giving them the right to forever hold meetings on the top of the mountain. Over the 45 years Stone Mountain was frequently used as a symbolic meeting place for this venomous group. It became such a symbol to the group that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. included it in his now famous "I Have a Dream" speech which was delivered in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. On August 28, 1963, at culmination of the Civil Rights March on Washington King said "...let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!" Dr. King’s request became a reality. The Klan is no longer welcomed at the mountain. The story of Stone Mountain goes back quite a distance. It predates both the first white settlers and the Creek Indians. To date, archeologists have identified at least 12 archaic Indian sites in the vicinity of Stone Mountain. On the mountain’s peak, prehistoric Woodland Indians built a rock wall, encircling its summit. The wall was similar to the rock wall on Georgia's Fort Mountain. By the time work started on the Confederate Memorial, the rocks comprising the wall were gone. The rocks were taken by visitors who climbed the mile-long path to the top. Crystal Mountain was the name given to this great rock in 1567 when Spanish explorer Juan Pardo visited it. He was there in search of the Moundbuilder civilization which was discovered by the Spanish explorer Hernando deSoto on an earlier trip. The Moundbuilders were gone, replaced by Creek Indians who called the peak Lone Mountain and used the easily spotted mountain as a meeting place. On June 9, 1790, Col. Marinus Willett met with Creek Indian chiefs to arrange a meeting in New York City (the capital of the United States at that time ) with President George Washington. Later, settlers moving west along the Hightower Trail used "Rock Mountain" or "Rock Fort Mountain", as it was called during that period, as a landmark. Prior to 1813, as they crossed the "rock bridge" over the Yellow River (just north of the present-day GA Highway 124 bridge) they would turn north to the relative safety of Ft. Daniel (presentday Gwinnett County). In 1813 Lt. George Gilmer secured the area west of Stone Mountain by building Fort Peachtree. Settlers then could take a route south of Stone Mountain, roughly corresponding to today's Rockbridge Road, leading west to Fort Peachtree, Montgomery's Ferry and Sandtown on the Chattahoochee River.

For more events go to: http://indekalb/newsletters/ WeekendHappenings/ happenings.htm

Creek Indians farmed in the vicinity of Stone Mountain until 1821 when the tribe ceded the land to the state of Georgia. Originally part of Henry County, Georgia’s fourth land lottery gave the area around the mountain to settlers, who paid $19.00 for this area of 202.5 acres. 2006 Budget Overview
A power point presentation detailing the important parts of the 2006 budget

On December 9, 1822, Stone Mountain was made a part of the newly formed Dekalb County. Baptist minister Adiel Sherwood, who went on to become one of the founders of Mercer College, is generally credited with the name “Stone Mountain” believe it or not. Stone Mountain, as we know it today, is absolutely the dream of one man, Scott Candler. Candler, a DeKalb County politician, felt that completing the Confederate Memorial in combination with other attractions could be a massive revenue generator for the county and the state. As early as 1939 Candler was proposing the idea to just about anybody who would listen, including Governor Talmadge. In 1941 the state made an attempt to purchase the mountain, which now had been split among the heirs to Sam Venable's estate. Finally in 1958, when Candler was secretary of state he successfully organized the purchase of the land. Once Stone Mountain had been purchased the state took the unusual step of condemning its own property. It seems that Sam Venable had given a perpetual easement to the Klan to hold meetings on the mountain and condemnation was the only way to remove the easement. Highway 78, which once ran closer to the carving, was rerouted to run about a mile north of the park. In the early 1970's the state completed the Stone Mountain Freeway from I285 to the park and built the main gate west on Old Highway 78. Campgrounds, hotels, a world class golf course, a sky lift, a railway, and many other upscale attractions like the one-of a kind laser show were added to make Stone Mountain a destination the world must see -

Atlanta Neighborhood and Development Partnership
Website for ANDP, an organization devoted to affordable housing and community revitalization

Commissioner Ellis’ Website
The official website for Commissioner Ellis and District 4.

Your 2005 Annual Report
A .pdf copy of the 2005 annual report for district 4 created by Commissioner Ellis.

Volunteer Appreciation Night
On October 26, 2006, the CEO and the Board of Commissioners hosted our rd 3 annual Volunteer Appreciation Night. The attendance was great. The food and entertainment were spectacular. However, it all pales in comparison to the work that many do sitting on boards and advisory councils. Your cost in time and transportation is invaluable. I, along with the entire Board of Commissioners, appreciate all that you our volunteer citizens do to help make our county operate at peak performance.

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF DEKALB COUNTY The Legislative Branch Mission Statement To improve the quality of life for the stakeholders of DeKalb County through governance, representation and accountability. Vision Statement With respect for the roles of the other two branches of government, the Board of Commissioners of DeKalb County, the Legislative Branch, is committed to excellence in public service as a way for the people to participate in a responsive government. Excellence is defined by fulfillment of our mission through:      Embracing and valuing the diversity of the community; Creating sound public policy; Providing independent oversight; Prioritizing and allocating resources; Collaborative problem solving. Statement of Values Commitment: We strive to give our very best. Honesty: We will be honest with each other and our stakeholders by communicating openly and professionally. Fairness: We strive to ensure all sides have equal consideration. Integrity: We adhere to ethical and professional values and behaviors, which include common courtesy, respect and trust. Stewardship: We believe that accountability and fiscal responsibility are essential for public confidence in government.

At the BOC
Commissioner Ellis speaks with reporters concerning the BOC’s recent decision to audit the county’s procurement and contracting proceedures.

Spotlight on Special Events for November 2006

Contact Us

Burrell Ellis
D i s t r i c t 4 C o m m i s s i o n e r P r e s i d i n g O f f i c e r &

B o a r d o f C o m m i s s i o n e r s o f D e K a l b C o u n t y

Manuel J. Maloof Center 1300 Commerce Drive Decatur, Georgia 30030 Phone: 404-371-4907 Fax: 404 - 371-7004 Email: bellis@co.dekalb.ga.us


				
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