District 4 Voters: Please replace Paul Womack

Watch Paul Womack in the January, 2010 video above as he ardently defends giving Dr. Lewis a raise, while cutting the pay of our teachers, calling it “what’s best for this county and for the kids”. His audacious attitude in the video highlights his blatant disregard for teachers as well as taxpayers.

So many bad decisions and actions this board has taken can trace their roots back to Paul Womack.  These include:

  • Fighting to keep Crawford Lewis (arraigned on RICO charges).
  • Refusing to accept that Lewis was corrupt and bankrupting the system.
  • Not recognizing serious issues with the budget while serving on the Finance Committee.
  • Defending Marcus Turk even as the school system plunged into insolvency.
  • Wasting untold time, energy and money trying to push a military academy into a tiny little elementary school with only 18 classrooms.
  • Pushing out the high needs special ed program that was already there and eventually leaving a vacant building in his own community.
  • Pushing through the fiasco cell tower contract with T-Mobile; refusing to listen to the communities’ concerns.
  • Flipping his vote at the last minute to go along with hiring Atkinson; giving Tom Bowen the six votes he wanted to hire a superintendent.

Womack has done nothing but publicly criticize this blog since its inception, including ignoring our published and documented concerns about Atkinson’s [lack of] qualifications.  Yet, he used, without permission, DSW’s copyrighted masthead and a quote from our copyrighted blog in his recent political campaign mailer, although he had previously not acted on the data we sent him on the subject.

Although we did say that we think Womack is correct in his assertion that the cuts mandated by the board for the 2011-12 school year were not implemented by staff, we still cannot endorse his future service on the board.  Jim Redovian thinks Womack should stay in order to keep Gene Walker in check.  We don’t see that happening. We think it’s time to move beyond the old-guard politics and simply elect some thoughtful, discerning people with integrity and a true desire to serve the children of this county – all of them.  It is critical that we somehow cobble together a board that works together and spends the taxpayers dollars wisely across the county in the best interest of ALL the children in DeKalb – not just squabbling to ‘get theirs’ for their district.  This isn’t Congress.

Womack is up for reelection this week.  Please replace him with Jim McMahan, a team player who understands DeKalb School System and who truly wishes to equitably move this school system forward – for the good of every child.

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22 Responses to District 4 Voters: Please replace Paul Womack

  1. Here are comments from Mr. Womack at the recent candidate forum at Arabia Mountain High School.

    So little confidence in our children and such a seemingly innocent excuse to “funnel” them out of education and into the underpaid trades. Are you employed right now in the same profession you went to school for? What do you think your odds of success would be if you only studied one narrow field and, at age 15 or 16, you had to choose what you would be doing for the rest of your life. What if that profession dries up at some point and you need to look in other directions, yet you didn’t get the benefit of learning all the same things that other kids in high school learned? How do you explain that on your resume? Womack spoke proudly about flunking out of Georgia Southern and often brags about his wealth. He stated that he had dyslexia that was not caught right away and he struggled in school as a result. Is that the behavior of someone who is a true believer in education? Or, perhaps, is it someone with an ax to grind?

    What kind of a representative is he to his community? Look back in this blog to the transcript of his meeting with the parents at Brairlake Elementary regarding the cell tower decision. See how he treats them, and these are his OWN NEIGHBORS. He tells them things like, “I don’t care,” and “I’m not going to listen to that” and openly admits that he agreed to the cell towers because they needed better ATT cell reception at Lakeside. That is a violation of one of the pledges the board members are supposed to take under oath – that they will not use their position to push forward an agenda that will only benefit one segment of the school population and subsequently harm others. That’s exactly what he did.

    We’ve submitted three separate Open Records Requests to the school system and have received copies of signed contracts for ALL the schools on the final list EXCEPT Lakeside. So, not only did he bring the cell towers to our school system, he even lied about the real reason he did it. It was not because Lakeside wanted a cell tower so badly, it was that Lakeside needed the money.

    He has only hurt the children he is supposed to be helping, and harmed the very neighborhoods he is supposed to represent. He has chased good families, like mine, away from public school completely and good teachers out of DeKalb. He has an agenda, but it has little to do with education and more to do with special favors to business interests that want a piece of the DeKalb County free money pie.

  2. SRO says:

    As a teacher I was really insulted when he made his “there are teachers out here dying for a job” comment.

  3. The Deal says:

    Paul’s negatives outweight any positives he has. Occasionally he makes sense and takes a stand for something right, but it’s not often, and there is too much damage he has already caused to compensate for the rare moments of enlightenment. I’m not totally sold on McMahan, but he is the lesser of two evils at this point.

  4. Educate says:

    This message was forwarded from our AP. Last year my children had workbooks. Did yours? They won’t this year.

    The FY2013 approved budget only includes an allocation for the ordering of K-2 math consumables and does not include an allocation to replace or order textbooks.

    Therefore, effective immediately, no request should be made to the textbook dept or warehouse for new textbooks or replacements. All campuses should utilize the current textbook resources and make every effort to collect textbooks that may not have been collected from students. The K-2 Math consumables will be delivered upon receipt and processing.

  5. DekalbELMom says:

    “The First Year of Home Schooling” by Linda Dobson. Yes folks, I’m going there! It actually is starting to feel freeing. Maybe all of this is happening to make families become closer again. Religious or not, our society could certainly use that. Good luck to all. “Thinking outside of the box (and the “system”!)”

  6. checksbalance says:

    What parents are meeting with Dr. Atkinson this evening per six o’clock news?

  7. Congrats! FWIW, at one time we posted an article on the old blog highlighting some alternatives for families who just can’t make DeKalb public school work. There are a few homeschool groups mentioned in it. It probably needs updating, but still you can see that there are affordable options.


  8. howdy1942 says:

    I agree with your assessment of Mr. Womack and will be voting on Tuesday for another candidate, namely, Jim McMahan. He seems to have a level head and, in this case, what I don’t know is better than what I do know. However, Mr. Womack is only one of about five that need to be replaced and I hope that you will be just as vocal in seeking their ouster. Specifically, we need to remove Walker, Copelin-Wood, Cunningham, and Bowen.

    Just as Dekalb county is being splintered by the formation of new cities such as Dunwoody, Brookhaven, etc., there are now moves afoot to break up the school system. Although that would require a Constitutional Amendment, such a move is very achievable with the current makeup of the Legislature. If we cannot find new voices to represent South Dekalb, this movement can only grow.

  9. justwatch says:

    Which channel did you hear the report?

  10. And the state offers free K-12 education online that you could help your child with: http://www.k12.com/

    In addition, there is a reasonably priced private school that we know still has some open spots in K, 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade, possibly pre-K. Email us at sayno2celltowers@yahoo.com if you want more information. Classes start on the 13th, so there is still time. Most class sizes are 12 or fewer per teacher with a teacher’s aide who rotates between two classes.

  11. We know a very good private school with a few openings in pre-K, K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd. Email us at sayno2celltowers@yahoo.com and we will send you more details.

    Also, you can check out: http://www.k12.com/ for information on the free K-12 online school that is state sponsored, I believe.

  12. justwatch says:

    I saw the report. It was brief, on WSB TV and it appears that Dr. Atkinson met with a Lithonia Area association (maybe homeowners) about their concerns as it relates to high schools and academic outcomes.

  13. alm says:

    I received that flyer in the mail and was shocked to see him use the quote. I plan vote him out. I’m sorry I can’t vote out Walker as well.

  14. Womack is worthless says:

    And with his campaign signs appearing in the right of way at several locations over the weekend, some of the commenters on this blog lose their only reason to vote for him.

  15. GREAT! We hope that everyone will vote for McMahan – otherwise, the no-votes against Womack could be split 3 ways and he could win anyway or force an expensive runoff. If you aren’t voting for Womack, please vote for Jim McMahan so that he can solidly beat Womack without a runoff. (51% of the vote is required)

  16. Lakeside parent says:

    Jim McMahan will do a great job. His only interest is bettering the schools for our kids. He has emerged as a leader in our n’hood – he is the one everyone turns to to get the full story on events. It will be a relief to have him in office.

  17. Jimmy says:

    I believe Paul Womack to be more complicated character than you are illuminating here. He was instrumental in Lakeside district being destroyed and was actually listening to IEP parents and addressing their concerns at Coralwood on Satruday. Didn’t see Marshall or Jim there.

    Yes, he has his negatives. He’s brusk and can come off as callus or uninterested when confonted. And there was that god comment. But currently, as budget chair, he seems at least to me the cloesest to having understanding the depth of the fiasco we are in.

    I’m guessing “Dekalb School Watch” is an educator and I understand your frustration with the entire board and him.

  18. Sharon Dekalb Mother and Taxpayer says:

    Paul’s district 4 (and McChesney’s old district 2) pay the majority of the property taxes that comprise the revenue for the school’s budget, yet the schools in south dekalb continue to make demands and expect entitlements. Why do people continue to ask for our money and expect no challenge from the paying community? Paul Womack actually stands up for his community and looks out for them. You put money into programs that work; not politically correct programs to appease the public. I like Paul b/c he listens, he cares and he is receptive. I voted for him and I will vote for him again. Replacing him, his experience, his knowledge and his contacts in the community would be a huge mistake. The whole cell phone tower thing was a way to try to make quick money (vs. another tax increase) for the schools, knowing how desperate the school budget is. The public voted “no” on the referendum and no more towers will go up. Move on people.

  19. dekalbite2 says:

    “The whole cell phone tower thing was a way to try to make quick money (vs. another tax increase) for the schools…”

    A quick buck at the expense of my property value is not really what I consider good representation since property value is what school taxes are based on. $4,000,000 for the school system over 30 years ($133,000 a year – less than the cost of ONE Central Office employee) to devalue the property value of a community by millions is not good economics. This goes the same for the other seven communities and their millions in property value decreases. My Briarlake community will be left with the property value wreckage that this elected official is directly responsible for. As you can tell from the vote, the Briarlake community (as well as the other communities) did not support his decision to take students’ instructional space in order to enrich T-Mobile’s coffers.

    “You put money into programs that work; not politically correct programs to appease the public.”

    Please name ONE program Paul Womcak has supported that has worked for students. You do realize that student achievement is the ONLY reason we have a school system and the ONLY reason we pay school taxes? Here is a link to our CRCT scores for this year. Can you explain how being the lowest achieving school system with the highest taxes is “programs that work”?

    Paul Womack has not fulfilled his duties as a fiscally responsible steward of our tax dollars and a decision maker that can move students forward academically. Those are the two duties that school board members are elected to do. If they do not get that right, then nothing else is worth consideration.

    Please provide a link to just ONE program that Paul Womack has supported that increased student achievement.

  20. dekalbite2 says:

    Paul Womack has done nothing to increase student achievement and everything he can to decrease property values. His cell tower fiasco – $4,000,000 over 30 years is worth $133,000 a year or the cost of ONE Central Office person – will cause a decline of tens of millions in property values.

    Fiscal responsibility and increasing student achievement are the only two functions a school board member MUST get right. Paul Womack has failed miserably at both.

  21. GTCO-ATL says:

    Sharon, your assessment of Womack makes no sense whatsoever to me, and I live in his district. I wish I could just “get over” the whole cell tower thing, but I can’t. You know why? Because Womack’s cell tower deal would have destroyed my neighborhood, ruined my property values, probably closed my child’s school and put her health and safety at risk. You think that the whole thing was a way to try to make “quick money”… really? That was the best idea he could come up with? Partner with a company that places HAZMAT materials next to children?

    He cares? He listens? To whom? Maybe to you. I don’t know you so I can’t say whether or not that is true, but I know I tried to get him to call or email me and I was a parent in HIS DISTRICT!

    I pay a LOT in property taxes. I have lived here a LONG time. Do I not deserve to have a decent public school to send my child to? Did I do something to deserve a cell tower in my neighborhood so Womack could try to “make quick money” as you put it? Just because it didn’t hurt YOU, doesn’t mean it was okay. If you don’t understand that and you do decide to vote to keep him, it will be you next time. He doesn’t play favorites. His schemes and tactics harm all of us eventually.

    Cell towers have caused the same reaction across the United States. This issue has affected nearly every state BEFORE it came to Georiga, so Womack knew exactly what he was doing.

  22. GTCO-ATL says:

    Get over it? Sharon DeKalb Taxpayer and Mother… Get over it? The man nearly ruined my neighborhood and wanted to place my child next to a dangerous industrial structure that has been linked to cancer, among other possible health-related problems.

    Click to access 90_r2_EMR_Living_Near_Broadcast_Towers_Health.pdf

    I live in Womack’s district and this is what he tried to do to me. I pay taxes, lots of taxes, just like anyone else. The vote reflects the true sentiment of this county. If Womack truly knew how to listen, as you have suggeted, then he would have gotten the message a long time ago!

    I suggest you look at the map of the cell tower locations: http://www.getthecelloutatl.com/2011/12/its-official-cell-towers-at-dekalb.html#!/2011/12/its-official-cell-towers-at-dekalb.html

    You will see that there are plenty of District 2 and 4 neighborhoods that will be harmed. Cell companies don’t want cell towers near people without money. They want them where the people can afford their expensive 4G products and costly monthly fees for the data transfer services that we can already get in our homes though wired connectionsn without the risks or degredation of property values.

    Don’t believe that property values are affected by cell towers? Read here: http://www.getthecelloutatl.com/#!/2012/08/yes-cell-tower-will-lower-property.html

    Then report back to us with why you still think he should be re-elected, please.

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