Sign the Petition to STOP CITY TAX INCREASES!!!


Why This Is Important

Currently the charter for the city of East Point reads “The city council may assess, levy, and collect an ad valorem tax on all real and personal property within the corporate limits of the city that is subject to such taxation by the state and county. This tax shall not exceed 15 mills on each dollar of taxable value. This tax shall be for the purpose of raising revenues to defray the costs of operating the city government, of providing governmental services, for the repayment of principal and interest on general obligations, and for any other public purpose as determined by the city council in its discretion.”

The Mayor has proposed removing this sentence, “This tax shall not exceed 15 mills on each dollar of taxable value.”, which caps the millage rate at 15 mills. With the removal of this cap, the city would be able to set the rate at any amount they wish, which leave the citizens vulnerable to a huge property tax increase. We call on the Mayor and Council to reject ANY attempt to remove or modify the current millage rate limit, so that the citizens of East Point will be protected from vast increases.

Our residents property values will never recover and future home owners will avoid a city with an unlimited tax rate. Our city was well on the way to recovery before Mayor Pittman got two Council Members elected on lies. Now she expects homeowners to sit back and have their taxes doubled so some irresponsible utility users don’t have to pay for what they use. This is an unsustainable proposal that will undo 8, long, hard years of recovery. TELL THE MAYOR NO TAX INCREASES & TO BALANCE THE UTILITY WITHOUT SUBSIDIZED TAX DOLLARS!

SIGN THE PETITION NOW !!!

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Utility vs. Tax Rate Battle Delayed… Not Out of Woods Yet


The pressure East Point City residents have been putting on Mayor Pittman and the City Council seems to have been enough to make them slow down and take a second look at things. Don’t be fooled, this does not mean we are out of the woods, delaying this action still means there is a glaring $7M shortfall in the 2012-2013 fiscal budget.  The Mayor has a history of pulling items of controversy when the pressure is on only to bully the item on to a later agenda with little or notice.  Here is an update from Council Member Rhodes along with the referenced AJC story.

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Following is the news article from last nights meeting. While the issue of rolling back the utility increase is on hold, Mayor Pittman will continue her attempts to raise property tax.

I encourage you to call her voting block and voice your objections to her recommendations. I would also encourage you to attend the council meeting and continue to complete your petitions. If you would like to sign a petition objecting to Council raising your property tax, removing the freeze on property tax for senior citizens or the removing of the limit for property tax from the City Charter, please let me know and I will direct you to some people who are gathering names. Of course, you can also start your own. Talk with your neighbors and friends on your street to ask their support in signing your petition. It does not matter if you have five names or five hundred names. Every petition will be helpful.

If you are planning a petition, please let me know how to direct people to you, the date and location you will collect signatures or your contact information and I will be happy to pass it along.

Council Person Reed and Cook made it clear that this utility issue is political. I could not disagree more with their position. This is not and should not be a political issue but a responsible governance issue.

AJC Story: East Point City Council Stalls on Water Rates

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Your Guy for That, Dustin Drabot is a real estate expert serving the East Point, Fort McPherson, College Park, Hapeville and surrounding metro Atlanta area. A member of Keller Williams Realty Intown Atlanta, Dustin can be reached directly at 404-507-2267 or Dustin@YourGuyForThat.com. Search all Metro Atlanta properties at www.BuyEastPoint.com

Buyer Can’t Find Home… Is Yours the ONE ???


SELLER WANTED:

Our office has a client who has looked at all the homes currently on the market in East Point and still hasn’t found the right one.  The client is highly qualified and is willing to get a rehab loan, if the right house comes along. Here is the criteria we’re looking for:

  • 2 to 3 Bedrooms
  • 2 Bathrooms (Preferred)
  • Not looking to rebuild, but systems and structural issues could be addressed with the rehab loan.
  • 20’s bungalow or ’40s-’50s cottage.
  • May consider a newer craftsman style home, but is turned off by dirty carpet and pergo.

If this is your house and your looking to sell, or, if you know someone in East Point, College Park or Hapeville with a home like this please call Your Guy for That, Dustin Drabot at 404-507-2267 so we can get this client in to see it.

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Your Guy for That, Dustin Drabot is a real estate expert serving the East Point, Fort McPherson, College Park, Hapeville and surrounding metro Atlanta area. A member of Keller Williams Realty Intown Atlanta, Dustin can be reached directly at 404-507-2267 or Dustin@YourGuyForThat.com

February 2012 Market Report


2012 is off to a promising start. Mortgage rates continue to drop and have remained under 4% for nearly two months. Home sales are strengthening and pending home sales, a measure to gauge future sales, are at their highest levels since March 2010.

Job growth has been increasing for most of 2011, with unemployment dropping to 8.4%. As more people are getting jobs, consumer confidence has also been increasing. However, underemployment continues to be a problem for a stronger recovery. The underemployment rate is 18.1%, and there are still a significant number of people working part time, who would like to have full-time work.

Even with substantial national improvements, this continues to be a “one neighborhood at a time” recovery. Payroll jobs were up in 25 states, but down in 24, demonstrating the delicate state of the U.S. economy. Global factors such as the European debt crisis are also complicating a more robust recovery. Strong guidance is needed from local and global leaders to continue this growth, as well as allow for business to maintain momentum toward building and expanding upon the opportunities that exist.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Association of Realtors

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Your Guy for That, Dustin Drabot is a real estate expert serving the East Point, Fort McPherson, College Park, Hapeville and surrounding metro Atlanta area. A member of Keller Williams Realty Intown Atlanta, Dustin can be reached directly at 404-507-2267 or Dustin@YourGuyForThat.com

Rally Together to STOP OUTRAGEOUS CITY TAX INCREASES !!!


Yesterday YourGuyForThat.com saw tremendous support for protecting home ownership in East Point. (Please see yesterday’s post). Unfortunately simply staying informed and making a few comments via email back to me or supporting comments on Facebook is not enough.  Below is a follow-up message from CM Rhodes with the Top-10 ways you can start taking action today…

There is no greater freedom than the ability to express your support and or your disapproval of your elected officials. Seize this moment to mobilize and express your views on our city government. The time has passed for casual conversation about disapproval of the elected officials in East Point. It is now time to take action. Let us know what you want to see in YOUR government. It will be time consuming and there will be some work involved, but today is the day.

This is your city, it is your future and it is your government. State your demand.

Some ideas:

1. Start a committee for responsible government. It is not necessary to raise funds or to march in the streets. Simply organize. Write emails, make phone calls, come to Council Meetings and sign petitions. All of this can be done without raising funds. Focus on Council conduct and not issues. Political issues can be divisive and cause division. However, mandating proper conduct can be a strong source of agreement even when political views may vary.

2. Write letters to the Governor/ Attorney General/State Representatives expressing your concern about our elected officials ignoring the City Charter. It may seem fruitless, but it will have an impact. For example, out state legislators will not act without a majority vote of Council. In this case, it is the majority of council that is ignoring our City Charter. Of course, they will not vote to request assistance from our state officials. However, you have your own voice. Make them listen to you.

3. Attend and speak at Council Meetings. If you are not comfortable speaking in public, ask someone to assist you in writing your comments. You are not required to speak for three minutes. You can give your time to someone else or you can simply make a single sentence statement. This can be difficult as the Mayor allows her supporters to disrupt the meetings by speaking out during the meetings. There have been some people who will not attend another meeting because of the rude behavior of the Mayor’s supporters. I know it is difficult, but if you can gather the strength, there is a chance for change. You can speak at Council Meetings every first and third Monday. Plan to arrive by 6:10 PM to complete a form to turn in to the clerk for public speaking.

4. Organize a demonstration. It is not required to spend several hours marching in the streets. You can march for 30 minutes. You can attend a Council Meeting and hold signs.

5. I believe more than adequate improper actions of Council exist that if an attorney were involved, you could file a class action law suit. There may even be enough charges to qualify for a recall of elected officials.

6. East Point has an Ethics Board. While the council may not be able to act if the majority of Council are involved in unethical conduct, simply having an authority to address the improper conduct could be used to build a case for a class action law suit.

7. Host a BYOB party. Invite people to come to the party and sign a petition making demands of the Mayor and Council Council. In fact, I belive a few Council Members may be willing to attend the party. It does not need to be a long meeting. Just a party with a petition.

8. Start On-Line petitions. Organize door to door visits with a petition from the voters who participated in the last couple of elections.

9. Email and call Mayor Pittman and her voting block. Many of you will not receive return calls or emails. That is fine. It is still important to have your voice heard. Your elected officials may not respond to your voice but NO ONE can make you be silent. Ring the bells of descension. Let liberty ring.

Get City Council Member Email Addesses & Phone Numbers Here!!!

10. Continue to communicate with your elected official. I can not stress enough how important it is for me to hear from you. While I am a Ward B Council Person, my vote does represent the entire city. I have received calls from across this city from every ward and I am committed to continue responding. I will have mailed out 1100 letters by end of day on Monday to religious institutions and senior citizens informing them of pending legislation from Mayor Pittman and her voting block. I will continue to work diligently to respond to your emails and phone calls within 24 hours. I am sure all of my actions will not meet with your approval, but your voice will be heard and received by me. I am in YOUR service.

HOW WILL YOU SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR HOME OWNERSHIP IN EAST POINT ??? It’s time to take our city back!

Now Search BOTH Georgia & First MLS at BuyEastPoint.com


Yes, Metro Atlanta has two multiple listing services and Your Guy for That, Dustin Drabot allows you to search BOTH systems in one tool.

You will find that FMLS provides you with additional information and photos, but may not include all listings. Georgia MLS includes more listings, particular distressed sales including bank-owned and short sales, but may provided limitted information and photos. Now, you don’t have to choose between quality and quantitie because Your Guy for That, Dustin Drabot is your key to BOTH!

Plus, BuyEastPoint.com also gives you advanced search tools letting you search East Point homes for sale by neighborhood, school, property type and more.

City of East Point in Crisis – TAKE ACTION NOW!!!!!


Over the past year I have taken a step back from protesting Mayor Pittman and her voting block for the sake of promoting good news about the City of East Point. Unfortunately, the Mayor has taken actions against home owners and as a REALTOR I have sworn an oath to help protect home owners in my community. Due to this oath, I feel it it urgent that I share the following information with my readers and ask that YOU (yes, you) TAKE ACTION NOW!!!!

Here is the latest update from Council Member Lance Rhodes. CM Rhodes has spent the past 8 years leading the effort for positive change and fiscal responsibility. As you can tell by the message below, Mayor Pittman and her voting block are working to undo 8 years of fiscal responsibility in under 8 weeks!

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While it is difficult to determine which action of Council over the past few weeks has been the most harmful, this attempt to remove the millage rate from the City Charter certainly ranks among the highest.

Our present council has violated the City Charter in every meeting including conflicts of interest, illegal veto’s upheld by the Mayor’s voting block, dismantling our financial stability (to which the city received an award this past week for the excellent work and presentation of a city budget) passing city ordinance (laws) without due process and now an attempt to remove the first line of defense for citizens in fighting an elected body from unnecessarily raising property taxes.

While many may wonder what has caused this aggressive action from the Mayor, there are three basic reasons that you may find of interest;

1. Mayor Pittman has publicly stated she has the support of her voting block to raise the millage rate from 13.75 mills to 30 mills. It appears the general public is expressing their concerns to this voting block for such an action. In an attempt to have citizens believe this voting block is protecting their interest, they have now presented the idea to completely remove the limit on the property tax. It is their hope citizens will be so relieved that they have reconsidered their support of the Mayor in removing the limit that a 30 mill increase will not seem as aggressive when compared to removing the limit. I for one, will not be deceived. Any change in the Charter is simply not acceptable.

2. Mayor Pittman and her voting block have received a great deal of opposition to their proposal to violate State Law and attempt to pass a tax on non-profit organizations to include churches and other religious institutions. Within the same statement, Mayor Pittman and her block of votes on council have stated their intent to remove the senior citizen property tax freeze. This attempt to change the charter is an act to draw attention from the attack against our senior citizens and religious institutions.

3. Our past City Manager, our present interim City Manager, all of our city financial leaders and every contract professional adviser have agreed the budget as previously passed (to which we received the award) was the only safe course of action to strengthen our financial future. Mayor Pittman and her voting block ignored all of the professional advise and have worked to weaken our budget. This attempt to remove the millage rate limit is a safe guard for their lack of responsible actions regarding our budget. It is likely, barring any miracle in several business locating to East Point, that you and I will pay more as a result of their reckless actions than we would have under the previous budget.

There are so many negative issues with the attempt to remove any restriction and or to raise the limit on the property tax, that it would require several pages to address. However, I have listed six concerns below.

A change in the City Charter requires a much greater action with additional steps to inform the pubic than simply raising the property tax. If their is no limit, the Council can move more quickly and with less public involvement to change the property tax at any given time. This limit on the property tax is a “first line of defense” for the citizens in East Point. Removing this provision will weaken the authority citizens have to hold our elected officials accountable for their budgets. The use of an invisible tax (no property tax limit), is a method used by those in elected office to prepare for re-election. It allows for the increase in taxes with far less public involvement. Given the next election is an at-large election and we are sure to have financial issues with this attack on our financial structure, it is important for present Mayor and Council Members to remove as much discussion about how to correct their irresponsible decisions with our budget as possible. In addition to our sitting Council, this invisible tax would benefit anyone else who will seek election that opposed our previous budget. It will be important for them to have as little negative impact on the failure of our budget as possible. This is why some Council Members who will not be up for re-election to support the installation of this invisible tax by removing the property tax limit. The removal of the property tax limit and or the increase of the property tax allows for a lack of checks and balance for the elected body. This gives far to much control to the Mayor and Council with less protection to the citizen. This action is not the first attempt to remove checks and balances for the Council. In this past meeting, Mayor Pittmans recommendation to require a majority vote of Council in order for any “one” Council Member is receive a legal opinion for the City Attorney also removed checks and balances for the elected body. Mayor Pittman and her voting block will only vote for legal opinions that will support their political agenda. Every illegal action that has violated our City Charter and every ethics violation from the Mayor has been supported by the city legal department. With this latest action from Mayor Pittman and her voting block, the minority Council Members have little opportunity to reveal actions by the majority voting block that are unethical and illegal. The trend with the Mayor and her voting block is to limit the opportunity for citizens to be informed of their actions.

The removal of the property tax limit and or the increase is an act of poor fiscal responsibility. This is similar to having a credit card without a limit, no means to paying the bill and no time limit to pay the bill. Home ownership will be negatively impacted. This is not a time to discourage people from buying homes. Without a limit on the property tax, homeowners will have little opportunity to participate in controlling their cost as it pertains to property tax increases. This will not only have a negative effect on homeowners, but business will also consider better options for relocating to a community that has restraint for increasing property tax. Additionally, the uncertainty of an increase in property tax will be greater with less public involvement. Those who rent will also see an increase in their rent as property owners will pass this cost on to the tenant. There is some leverage for the tenant, however, this will only be a temporary leverage as eventually the rent will increase.

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TELL THE MAYOR & CITY COUNCIL WHAT YOU THINK! The next East Point City Council Meeting is scheduled for next Monday, February 20, 2011 at 6:30pm.  Everyone is welcome to address Mayor Pittman and City Council during Public Comment. Each speaker is allotted  up to 3 minutes, one additional person may donate their 3 minutes to you for a total of up to 6 minutes per speaker. CM Rhodes has issued the top 10 things YOU (yes, you again) can do to stop Mayor Pittman and her voting block from more than doubling your property taxes AND raising utility rates (which was a topic the Mayor’s voting block campaigned for LOWERING). Since this is a lot of information, your 10 action steps will be presented tomorrow, right here on YourGuyForThat.com.

Thank you in advance for showing your support to defend home ownership in East Point. Your Guy for That, Dustin Drabot will continue to bring you information on this attack against home owners by Mayor Pittman, CM Cook, CM Reed, CM Gothard & CM Martin. I will see you at the City Council Meeting next Monday, February 20th, the more speakers we can gather the better. For additional information please feel free to call me at 404-507-2267.