Jonesboro, GA new polling location at City Center

Election Day is this Tuesday, March 21 in Clayton County—and just about everyone we’ve spoken with, wherever they fall on the political spectrum, has said, “I can’t wait for this election to be over.” It’s been a contentious special election season, with gaping divides in the race to choose former sheriff Victor Hill’s replacement and in the City of Jonesboro’s separate special election to fill the seat vacated by longtime Mayor Joy Day. Both Hill and Day are doing their best to leverage their political clout by endorsing their allies (Levon Allen and Pat Sebo-Hand). Meanwhile, Dr. Donya Sartor is hoping to become Jonesboro’s first Black mayor. The five-way sheriff’s race is almost certain to go into a runoff. What’s less certain is who the top two contenders will be.

The Georgia Assembly is likely to pass SB140, possibly today (Monday), and send it directly to Gov. Brian Kemp to sign into law. Opponents of the bill, which would ban nearly all surgeries and hormone replacement therapy for transgender children under 18, are planning a prayer vigil and a last-minute lobbying effort this morning.

The Clayton County Sheriff’s Office is dragging its feet on the Clayton County Medical Examiner’s mandamus to produce files related to the death of Alan Willison in the Clayton County Jail. It also has yet to produce documentation of how much CCSO spent on adding Interim Sheriff Levon Allen’s name to county vehicles before the election a month and a half after The Clayton Crescent’s Open Records Request.

Here’s what’s on the agenda(s) this week in Clayton County:

Monday, March 20

  • 8 a.m.—5 p.m.: Paper absentee ballots in the county elections for sheriff, House District 75, and the Clayton County Schools SPLOST must be hand-delivered to the Elections and Registration Office during voting hours.
  • 9 a.m.: Families of transgender youth will hold a prayer vigil at Central Presbyterian Church in downtown Atlanta, then lobby state lawmakers at the Gold Dome.
  • 10:30 a.m.: U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff and Clayton County officials will hold a press conference on “new resources [Ossoff] is delivering to prevent flooding.”
  • The Jonesboro Historic Preservation Commission meets. On the agenda:
    • consideration of a Certificate of Appropriateness for 124 Spring Street (parcel number 13240D C024) in the Historic Residential Overlay to alter an approved fence
    • consideration of a Certificate of Appropriateness for new Historic District homes, which would be duplexes on Lots 3 and 4 on New Dawn Court (Parcel Numbers 05241B B007 and 05241B B007A).
  • 6 p.m.: The Forest Park City Council holds its work session, followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m. will update the council “on behalf of the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) regarding recent activities at Gillem Logistics,” including environmental issues and the final handoff of the old base to the city. The council also will consider amending the “Illicit Discharge and Illegal Connection Ordinance” to ensure the city is in line with Metro Water District standards, as well as extending the moratorium on new blood/plasma centers for another 60 days. The council also will consider a program to hire nine 16- to 20-year-old students this summer, as well as hear from Clayton County Schools Interim Superintendent Dr. Anthony W. Smith.

Tuesday, March 21

  • 7 a.m.—7 p.m.: Voting in Clayton County Sheriff and Georgia House District 75 Representative races and the Clayton County Schools SPLOST Referendum. Paper absentee ballots must be hand-delivered to the Elections and Registration Office during voting hours.
  • 9 a.m.: The Clayton County Civil Service Board meets via Zoom. On the agenda are two appeals filed nearly five years ago by Clayton County Sheriff’s Office employees:
    • an August 14, 2018 termination appeal by Rebecca Thompson
    • a July 19, 2018 demotion appeal by Michael Hensley, who was demoted from lieutenant to sergeant
  • 6:30 p.m.: The Clayton County Board of Commissioners meets at 112 Smith Street, Jonesboro. The board is expected to vote on Fire Chief Landry Merkison’s replacement, as he has been named Deputy Chief Operating Officer. Zoning matters will be on the agenda, which according to the BOC’s website had been delayed due to technical reasons.
  • 7 p.m.: Election results will be counted and canvassed at the Clayton County Elections Center, 7946 N. McDonough Street, Jonesboro.

Wednesday, March 22

  • 9 a.m.: The Clayton County Civil Service Board meets via Zoom. No agenda had been published as of press time Monday.
  • 9 a.m.: The Clayton County Board of Assessors meets at the Tax Assessors Office,
    Annex 3, in the 4th Floor Conference Room at 121 South McDonough Street, Jonesboro. No agenda had been published as of press time Monday.
  • 10 a.m.: Fire Chief Landry Merkison holds a Transfer of Command ceremony on The Hill at CCFES Headquarters. As of press time, the new chief had not been named, pending Tuesday’s vote by the Board of Commissioners. Merkison began a new position as Deputy Chief Operating Officer on March 18.

Thursday, March 23

Friday, March 24

  • TBA

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Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

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