by Robin Kemp

Claude Tate is a retired software engineer who has lived in Riverdale for 27 years. He holds an associate’s degree.

Why are you the best-qualified candidate in your ward?

Because I spend 90% of my day in the city of Riverdale and I have a clear understanding of what it will take to get this city on and pass the level of our surrounding city that are out performing Riverdale. I understand the economic and social challenges of the city and I have relationships that I can implore to accelerate change.

What are the FIVE most pressing issues in Riverdale, in your opinion?

  • Hiring a full police force
  • Holding polluters accountable
  • Absentee landlords/code enforcement
  • Holding motel owners accountable
  • Teen programming/outlets (skate park, adventure course, etc.)

What is the ONE issue you would tackle first? How would you go about solving the problem?

Absentee Landlords code Enforcement. By mandating the owner or a legal representative for the owner to appear in a legal forum and let them know that business as usual has changed and they will be held accountable. Hold their rents in escrow until the previous fines are paid and requested repairs are up to code and beautification standards. Put a plan in place with check off from the office of code inforcement to keep them up to code with penalties if their not meet.[sic]

What has the city done RIGHT/improved over the past 4 years?

They increased the size of code inforcement by 1 1/2 officers, laid sidewalks, improved MARTA routes.

What has the city done WRONG/failed to improve over the past 4 years?

Abandoned properties, blite, road maintenance, business property maintenance inforcement [sic]

Define “transparency” in your own words.

Sharing future plans for the city via the website, communicate on the projects that the city is working on. I.e. cost of projects and percentages of being complete.

What specific changes will you make if elected?

I’d make myself available to those in my ward and outside. I’d publish their issue and communicate the work I do to get their issues resolved.

What THREE services does your ward need most right now?

  • Pick up litter/junk/cut grass on public right of way (Public Works)
  • Monthly LISTENING SESSION for ward residents to share concerns/ask questions
  • Additional police patrols

Describe the city’s current racial climate.

I feel it’s good

What do you think homeowners in your ward want/need?

Roads repaired to get home safely

What do you think renters in your ward want/need?

Better choice of neighborhoods

What do you think business owners in your ward want/need?

Better landlord maintenance inforcement

Will you make yourself available to the press immediately before and/or immediately after every council meeting?

Yes

Will you support greater representation of diverse faith communities at city functions (e.g., non-Christian invocations, interfaith summit, etc.)?

Yes

Have you accepted campaign donations from anyone who does business with the city? If so, who and how much?

No

Should the city incorporate solar power and electric car chargers in the city center complex?

Yes

Will you change city trucks/cars that aren’t used for heavy-duty towing, etc. (such as Code Enforcement/Public Works/City Hall) to electric/hybrid models?

Yes

Where would you cut spending and where would you increase it?

MORE: Street lights, Experienced police officer recruitment, Small business assistance, Consulting fees, Personal services, Meals, Public relations, Employee training, Energy efficiency, Teen programs/resources, Code enforcement, Drug interdiction, Professional interpreter(s), Elections operations, City fleet fuel costs, Walkability

LESS: City-sponsored events, Sidewalks, Historic preservation

How would you improve Hwy. 138?

Extend traffic light times at the intersection of hwy 85. Close the entrance and exit of the AGL to Taylor Rode to cut down on accidents. Add a turning lane to Taylor road heading west onto Taylor Rd.

What are your thoughts about the ward boundary map issue?

It is not clear as to what side of the street is in the ward or city.

How would you grade the city on each of the following?

  • Returns calls/texts/emails within 24 hours: C
  • Openness/transparency: C
  • Open-door policy for residents: C
  • Ease of small-business permitting: B
  • Current cityscape/built environment: B
  • Job creation: C
  • Fiscal responsibility: B
  • Stewardship of city resources: C
  • City-sponsored events: C
  • Resources for teenagers: C
  • Drug activity: C
  • Racial reconciliation: B
  • Housing stock: C
  • Affordable housing (rent): B
  • Walkability: C
  • Tree replenishment: C
  • Noise abatement: B
  • Police responsiveness: C
  • Party houses/Air BnB enforcement: C
  • LGBTQ+ friendliness: A
  • Religious diversity: A
  • Small business support: C

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