Tom Gilbert is breaking county sign ordinances

Tom Gilbert’s sign on the construction fence at Lakeside High School.

Tom Gilbert, District 4 candidate, is seriously violating the county ordinances with his signs. He even has them posted in front of schools (former Kittredge, Lakeside HS) on North Druid Hills/Briarcliff. That’s DCSD property!! He also has signs posted on other parcels of public property like the traffic light at Briarcliff and Briarlake Roads as shown above.

Please forward these photos to code enforcement as Gilbert should be fined for breaking the sign ordinance. If you see more, take a picture and send it to the blog at

CLOSE UP: Tom Gilbert’s sign on the construction fence at Lakeside High School.

Tom Gilbert’s sign on public land at the traffic light at Briarcliff and Briarlake.

The Code Reads:

Sec. 702. – Placement of political posters, signs and advertisements—Prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person within the territorial limits of DeKalb County to place political posters, signs and advertisements:

Within the right-of-way of any public streets located within such county;

On any public property or building; and

On any private property unless the owner thereof has given written permission to place such political campaign posters, signs and advertisements on such property.



(Acts 1968, p. 2972, § 1; Ord. No. 08-02, Pt. I, 1-8-08)

Sec. 703. – Reserved.

Editor’s note—

Ord. No. 08-02, Pt. I, adopted Jan. 8, 2008, repealed § 703, which pertained to printing of warning on political posters, signs and advertisements and derived from Acts 1978, p. 2972, § 2.

Sec. 704. – Penalty.

Any person violating the provisions of this act [§§ 702—704 of this appendix] shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished as for a misdemeanor.

(Acts 1968, p. 2972, § 3)

Secs. 705—800. – Reserved.

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52 Responses to Tom Gilbert is breaking county sign ordinances

  1. Susan Curtis says:

    Seriously?? I had more respect for DSW, but this is silly tittle-tattle with all the big news going on in DCSS.

  2. “Tittle Tattle”? Really? We give our board reps a very hard time, but then again, we don’t think it’s right for them to have to fight someone who chooses to break the law (or is ignorant of the law – or just doesn’t care about the law?) in order to win a board seat. The rules are spelled out very carefully when you qualify to run for a political office. He had been warned by others who commented on this blog, yet chose to keep his signs illegally planted. We have also heard stories of signs being ripped up in the dark of night in all districts. We would like to remind these contenders of the race several years back when someone was caught stealing opponent’s signs. A very hefty fine was assessed. At the very least, we would like to think our board reps won their seats fair and square. As well, we think this is a strong testament to a huge lack of integrity. We already have enough strong-willed, but ignorant board reps.

  3. Dr. J says:

    Thanks I have set this info to our Sheriff & Code Enforcement. Keep up the good work. Maybe the new superintendent &her crew can now see the need for our SRO’S.

  4. Internet-Libertarian says:

    The horror!

  5. Yes, it is, actually. Gilbert’s actions demonstrate a past practice and policy of breaking rules that he doesn’t like. It’s not much of a step from that to corruption.

  6. Dekalbite2 says:

    Does Tom Gilbert even know where the signs are placed? Couldn’t one of his supporters have placed the signs? Removal of Get the Cell Out signs happened all over over my neighborhood including someone from the county knocking on my door and saying my sign was too close to the road. He said his department had been receiving calls regarding the placement of these cell tower signs and had been removing them. Wonder who called that department? Obviously, someone who is for the placement of cell phone towers next to schools. That certainly narrows it down since MOST of the community is NOT for the cell tower that is supposed to be placed next to the school.

  7. The Deal says:

    We don’t need another board member that thinks he or she is above the law, minor law or not.

    Also, tactics like this are what keep a lot of normal people from running for these positions.

  8. wiserthanmyself says:

    Try to tear your attention away from illegal signage to the just-called Board meeting tomorrow to fire another 370 people, including 250 teachers.
    Shouldn’t that, too, be illegal?

  9. Susan Curtis says:

    Exactly my point when I called this story tittle-tattle. I agree that the man should follow the law, but as to our policing it? Shouldn’t we focus on the larger issue – our school system is disintegrating before our eyes….

  10. Could you be more specific about how additional RIF-ing is illegal? It’s horrifying because the corrupt board, in conjunction with the inept and possibly corrupt (we know she has a past practice and policy of lying) superintendent, refuses to cut costs by getting rid of duplicates and friends-and-family. Instead their cost-cutting (because the board has consistently overspent) is confined to the classroom, parapros and teachers. But, illegal? We are open to the possibility. So far, the corrupt board and their cohorts have managed to be right on the edge of illegal, though definitely unethical. How about that demonstration of appalling and unethical behavior at last night’s board meeting?

  11. This is what we posted on the subject twice already:

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012 @ 12:30PM
    1. Approval of a Reduction in Force Plan
    Presented by: Dr. Tekshia Ward-Smith, Chief Human Resources Officer, Division of Human Resources

    From the AJC:

    DeKalb school board to consider layoffs

    The DeKalb County school board has scheduled a meeting Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. to consider layoffs.

    The school district included no detail in its announcement Tuesday, saying only that the meeting was so the board could consider another “reduction in force.”

    On June 28, the school board approved 412 layoffs of paraprofessionals, media clerks and specialists, interpreters, school resource officers, central office workers and bus monitors. Meeting location: 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain.

    UPDATE: The board will consider a “reduction in force” of up to 120 paraprofessional positions and 250 teacher positions. This comes atop 412 positions eliminated June 28, including paraprofessionals, media clerks, media specialists, interpreters, school resource officers, central office workers and bus monitors.

    Meeting location: 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain.

  12. …”the larger issue”… That’s pretty much all we focus on here 95% of the time. Don’t you think it’s important to ensure that when we have the opportunity to replace board reps, that we make sure we replace them with someone we can trust? Someone ethical? Someone informed? Someone who respects rules? If you’re willing to overlook those personality and character flaws, then you deserve the representation you will get.

  13. atlantawombat says:

    I posted earlier w/re the “Parent Coordinators.”

    In 2008 and 2009 they were called “Family Service Coordinators.” Now they are “Parent Coordinators.”

    Please forgive me if I missed something posted before, but I want to know if this title change is evidence of the “shell game” that DCSD leadership is playing? The same people have different job titles.

    Also, please look at state website for Ronald C. Price, Rodney L. Mayfield, and Charles G. Barnes. It looks like Ronald Price went from $44k in 2009 to $62k in 2011.

    Rodney L. Mayfield went from $2,850 in 2008 to $61,976 in 2011.

    So, no cutbacks at the central office? Just change the job title?

  14. no duh says:

    Yes, it could be his supporters who are “breaking the law.” But, he should have informed his supporters of the ordinances. I agree with DSW. It shows a disregard for the law. Therefore, it shows a disregard for rules in general. This isn’t someone I’d want to set policy (that he would probably later have no problem not following) for DCSD and the BOE.

    And putting signs on school property is egregious. And I will tell him that tonight if he shows up at the EduKalb debate.

  15. wiserthanmyself says:

    It’s the update, I think, that’s new. And, I agree that it’s hard to define “illegal” in a state where workers have no representation. But to the extent that legality and ethics go together, firing teachers after a long denial that that will occur, is surely harmful to our collective moral landscape. Had the Board initially said, back in May, that X number of teachers would go (give or take a few), then those teachers could have gone on the job market with a better chance of finding something. People shouldn’t have to face a situation like that in one school where teachers were told that firings will occur due to “restructuring”, without an explanation as to who will be fired. Granted, it’s better for HR to “restructure”–no need to consider seniority–than to “rif”–but then we’re back down to Friends and Family-based hiring. What are the criteria for hiring after a “restructuring”? Whether you’re rif’d or “restructured” out of a job, I think you have a right to know in a timely manner and, at the least, to NOT be told you won’t be fired–then, just before the semester starts, hear “oh gee, we have to fire you after all…”

  16. It’s interesting. Did they really think that they could just increase class sizes and then rest on their laurels by not replacing all the teachers who leave via retirement, moving or some other reason? Did it not really occur to them that you still need X number of math, science, language arts, etc teachers? These teachers have specialties, you can’t just shuffle them around willy nilly.

  17. concerned says:

    I think they thought they had it covered because they waited until they got the signed contracts back before they offered contracts to some teachers-don’t know how many. Maybe when they realized that the deficit was larger than they had originally thought they added cuts that were not orignally covered. I don’t know. Maybe tomorrow’s vote is just to make sure they are covered in case the numbers don’t work out. When you put the displaced magnet and Fernbank teachers together you have a very talented teacher pool that the principals can pull from at the job fair.
    It is just really short notice for teachers who are making the change. I think this why Atkinson wanted the board to vote on part of the budget at the first board meeting back in June.

  18. wiserthanmyself says:

    And it’s not just teachers. The paras, custodians, bus drivers, cafeteria staff, etc., who have fewer financial and networking resources than teachers, and aren’t as much in touch with others at their level who work in other schools, also deserve to be treated fairly and with respect. At Fernbank Science Center, all personnel were fired and told to reapply for some unspecified number of jobs that will remain. These lower-income people will be especially hard hit by the BOE’s fiscal incompetence.

  19. DSWparticipant says:

    3:25 p.m. Tuesday, July 10, 2012 Dekalb County News
    DeKalb school board to consider eliminating positions
    By Ty Tagami ————–The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    The DeKalb County school board has scheduled a meeting Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. to consider cutting positions. ——————————–
    More DeKalb County news ———
    School media centers to lose staff ————
    New policy on immigrant students—————
    The board will consider a “reduction in force” of up to 120 paraprofessional positions and 250 teacher positions. This comes atop 412 positions eliminated June 28, including paraprofessionals, media clerks, media specialists, interpreters, school resource officers, central office workers and bus monitors.——-Meeting location: 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain.

    Somewhere I think I said July 20, but this sounds like tomorrow (July 11, 2012)

  20. RIF'd Dekalb Teacher says:

    I hate to be bitter, but yeah, I don’t really care about the sign ordinance right now. I was devastated when I lost my job with the first (apparently first of at least three) RIF back in May, and now I am devastated as I continue to watch my friends and colleagues lose their jobs. I am devastated to think about what the schools are going to look like in just 5 weeks when students go back, with morale and personnel at an all-time low.

  21. The Deal says:

    While I don’t place the prospect of losing 250 more teachers and breaking sign ordinances on the same level of offense, I do think the behavior of people who are running to replace current people on the BOE is important to note. We are not going to be able to change the thoughts and opinions of the people on the board now, so all we can do is change the board members. That is happening in just a couple of weeks, so it is important.

  22. DSWparticipant says:

    @RIF’d Dekalb Teacher: The mood? PARANOIA, to such an extent that people are scared to talk to each other in some cases. Some administrators don’t even talk to their people. Morale? A very lonely environment even for those who stay. I’m sorry for you and everyone affected by this, and of course angry that it came to this (or did it really have to come to this?) Are there still other choices that “they” should be making?

  23. Tracey says:

    Re..signs? I am more appalled about the so-called “legal” idea that politicians are allowed to robo-call my house for votes!! Who in their right mind thinks that will win them votes??? Signs don’t bother me one bit.

    Re…jobs.. I am a teacher that usually works all summer planning/preparing for my year ahead…I am definitely not going to plan ahead if I might not have a job or know what grade I will be teaching. Also, how legal is it to offer contracts to employees–(with strict notice that before signing the employee is bound to the agreement and must commit for the year). Then, the contracts signed or a copy given to almost the entire system until school starts? Talk about budget issues…I sense major legal battles ahead….

  24. Tracey says:

    Typo..”contracts aren’t signed or returned by superintendent”

  25. Educate says:


    SAVE OUR LIBRARIANS! How can one librarian take care of the needs of +1600 students, their teachers, school technology, book club, Reading Bowl, student news, etc…? Don’t say that other workers at the school will be able to pick up the slack, because they are all stretched too thin already (except the assistant principals). Proposal: Trade one of five APs for 1 1/2 librarians. Let the principals decide which AP needs to needs to go.

  26. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    At one point, there were about 100 APs on the chopping block. Whatever became of that budget cut? I guess we’ll have to wait and see when the HR reports come out in August and September. We have no other way of knowing how many people lost a job and what those jobs were. We are starting to get very concerned that too many cuts have been made at the bottom and far too few at the top. And, the cuts at the top are moot, since those people have essentially all been replaced with new people and a different job title, but the same salary. We WILL follow up – but we are sorry that we can’t do a thing to change it.

    We are unable to get a true handle on exactly how many central office staff have been cut. Many of the magnet teachers and maintenance workers were considered CO staff, and were moved out from under the CO budget into other budgets. We cannot tell if the administration has performed the cuts recommended by the study commissioned last fall. Results were released in January. Some of the documents can be found under our Facts & Sources tab. The AJC report is below:

    The ONLY possibility is to ensure that we vote in school board members who will not endorse harm to the classroom. Nancy, Don, Paul and Pam all voted down this budget with it’s cuts and tax increases. Nancy is not up for re-election, but Don and Pam are so support them – they are trying. Paul is also up for reelection, but since he has caused so much other damage we aren’t keen on his reelection. Now, can we add a couple more people who have compassion for teachers and students? People who have a strong moral compass and the guts to do the right thin? We are only comfortable betting on Denise McGill and Jim McMahan to protect our classrooms from further destruction.

  27. cathy says:

    Hello DeKalb Community. Thank-you to all of you that have pointed out some misplaced signs. While I have informed my supporters of the county codes, there were some that obviously need to be removed. My team will work diligently to remove these signs as soon as possible. Thanks for all your support!!!! VOTE 4 TOM GILBERT JULY 31 !!!!

  28. bu2 says:

    Contracts require “consideration.” If they aren’t committed, they haven’t given you consideration and there is technically no contract. You aren’t committed.

    Now there might be some legal question as to whether those contracts are binding on the school district even if they aren’t signed by the superintendent. It all depends on the language and state law as it applies to school districts.

  29. Ned says:

    Just out of curiosity, why do your postings sometimes show up with white background and sometimes with blue-gray?

  30. wiserthanmyself says:

    At Fernbank, the head of HR assured teachers that there would be no penalty for breaking their contracts if no jobs were available after the “restructuring.” So DCSD is covering all of its legal bases–firing without penalty or consequence.

  31. District 4 voter says:

    DeKalb County is suffering! There is no doubt we have serious problems. We as community members need to look at these issues and choose wisely with our votes!!! We also need to look at the BOE not as a whole but as individuals. Not ALL board members are responsible for the destruction. Certain members are responsible. Those wielding the weapons of ignorance, mismanagement, and nepotism may not be up for vote this year. Don’t be misled into thinking “out with the old” or “change” will solve the problem. Carefully consider each board member and candidate. Look at what they bring to the district. Specifically, education, experience and character should be closely scrutinized. Everyone has ideas. Consider, are these ideas going to increase the overwhelming financial burden at hand? Will these ideas be part of a solution or cause further decline? How will the potential or existing candidate interact with the remaining board and Superintendant? Will they function within SAC’s stipulations?
    Remember it is not just our schools at stake! Our community as a whole is in jeopardy! If our public schools fail who will want to relocate/remain in our community to live? Without families living in the community how will local businesses survive? What will happen to already declining property values?
    Cuts had to be made this year. Loans to cover expenses until tax revenue was collected and allocated. People lost jobs. Morale is suffering. Who is capable enough to effectively deal with these problems?
    At the end of the day we will all vote for the individual we like. I encourage you not to waste our communities’ potential on an uninformed guess. There is too much at stake!!! Demand that the candidates produce a résumé and list their civic experience as well. Make an informed decision!
    It will take a tough individual to handle this position. It will require business, financial and intellectual savvy. This is a two year position. We will be going through this process again in 2014. Take the time to do your homework! Most importantly, don’t vote on emotion!!!!

  32. DSWparticipant says:

    @Educate and @Save our Librarians posts: We all have to be realistic. If less money = fewer people, then that = fewer programs. EVERYONE – top to bottom – needs to understand that. This has nothing to do with anyone “having a bad attitude.” It has everything to do with limitations in energy and time. Almost everyone has other responsibilities beyond the school house & school district. Those with dependents (young or old) cannot just not go home to take care of them (and have foster care take over), particularly when what has happened is not due to any fault of the workers. Even if it were their fault, they’d still have to take care of their dependents.——- So, maybe that will mean no whatever bowl, no _____, no ______, no _______, and no ______. For those imagining that a few people will do all the jobs of many, they need to re-imagine realistically. Yes, teachers could have 40 students in a class, but the approach would of necessity be different and the results would probably be different. So that’s how it is. A total package.

  33. science supporter says:

    So is Ramona Tyson still on the payroll?

  34. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    That depends on how I log in – whether from the post or from the dashboard. It’s a WordPress thing.

  35. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    YEP! And we don’t even think her salary has been cut. Talk about a golden parachute!

  36. science supporter says:

    Her salary could fund 3-4 teachers. So so sad….

  37. momfromhe11 says:

    Since the extermination of librarians and media clerk positions seems to be a done deal, I can only hope the impact of their elimination will be clear. The teachers are certainly aware of how it will affect them, and at least some of the principals, but those not on the front lines have no concept of what this means!

  38. District 4 voter says:

    Saw DeKalb county enforcement today yanking signs! Good news is citations will be issued!

  39. Dekalbite2 says:

    My neighbors aren’t too fond of sign yankers. We just went through this with our “Get the Cell Out” signs being yanked because they were within 10 feet of the road – as if we knew. Meanwhile, other political and commercial signs in plain sight were less than 10 feet from the road and they were still up. When we asked the enforcement officer why he was not taking down those signs, he said they ONLY enforce the code if someone complains. I guess the cellphone tower supporters – who is that in the Northlake area – complained to try to get these particular signs down. So the county’s selective in code enforcement. Just FYI.

  40. District 4 voter says:

    There were many signs in the back of the code enforcement truck. The majority were from Gilbert. The officer was quite irritated and said the ratio was about 80+% Gilbert. They were not all campaign signs. I believe the accusation of selective sign removal to be inaccurate.

    Candidates are told from the get go that they are NOT permitted to display signs in the public right of way. If Gilbert can’t understand simple instructions how likely is he the function effectively on the school board? My opinion is… he knew full well he was in violation of county ordinances. He figured by the time he was reprimanded for his offense he would have gained sufficient name recognition for the election. Who in their right mind would tolerate such actions and support this candidate? He has a high school diploma and never served on even a PTA board. He has never indicated he has functioned in a leadership capacity of any sort. Do you really think a soap box stand against cell towers is worth the sacrifice of critical qualifications?

    Our front line educators are whittled away. New income generating ideas are pushed aside while “friends and family” are granted their hearts desire. It is obvious that there is mismanagement in the HR department. Schools and programs are on the chopping block.

    Getthecellout is determined to oust Womack because of the cell tower issue at any cost. Instead of proving their case with scientific data they put speakers up that use scare tactics. Comments like “radiation is coming” are consuming this blog. They are defending/supporting Gilbert since he is the only candidate that supports their agenda. Their agenda is NOT the most important issue in the county. They finger – point and blame the school board. The school board is not at fault. Getthecellout refer to the cell towers as Womack’s towers. He doesn’t own the towers nor does he have any connection to the companies who proposed the project. This is a blatant attempt to divert attention away from the dire financial deficits we are facing in DCSS. They are willing to vote in a candidate that has limited education, no record of serving in a leadership capacity, shows total disregard for law and has never performed any form of civic service why…because he is against cell towers at Lakeside. Seriously, is this reason enough to ignore his lack of credentials?

    Let the August cell issue stand on its own. Don’t muddy the water with this agenda. Stay focused on what really matters in this election which is fixing our schools and saving our community! Elect someone that is qualified, experienced and can do the job!

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