Dirty Campaigning by Womack – Lakeside and Briarlake are still on the cell tower list 

Some of you may have received a phone call from a person identifying himself as John Boyer, campaigning for Womack.  This person who says he is John Boyer is spreading a rumor that Lakeside and maybe Briarlake will not receive cell towers.  THIS IS NOT TRUE as of today (Wednesday, August 15, 2012).

No Briarlake Tower.org (NBT) has verified (with Elaine Boyer’s office, Nancy Jester, and DCSS Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson) that this claim is a deliberate falsehood.  As of today, (Wednesday, August 15, 2012) Lakeside and Briarlake are still on the list presented by Paul Womack to receive cell towers on their school campuses.  Lies are being spread by the Womack campaign.  We MUST put a stop to this.  Please vote this man out of office.


  • Womack falsely told concerned stakeholders/community members that the cell towers were not a done deal and further approvals would be required.
  • Womack was condescending to concerned stakeholders/community members who indicated that they had not received any information about the cell towers.

District 4 Voters:  Please come out on Aug 21st and vote for Jim McMahan in the runoff.  YES!  You may vote in the runoff even if you did not vote in the primary.

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22 Responses to DIRTY CAMPAIGNING …

  1. Whoshelpingthekids says:

    Elaine Boyer’s husband’s name is John. Do they live in Womack’s district- thought they lived in Stone Mountain.

  2. GTCO-ATL says:

    How does spreading a rumor that Lakeside and maybe Briarlake will not get towers help Womack’s campaign for re-election?

    For one thing, Lakeside wanted a cell tower. If they are not getting one, then that would mean that Womack failed to deliver the cell tower to the one school that wanted it. He should lose the election for that alone!

    As for Briarlake… I would be insulted by the “maybe” part of the message. After all the protesting and what they have been through, how could a last minute “okay, I worked it out so you won’t get the 150′ death tower that I first tried to sneak past you,” possibly be worthy of a vote?

    And, regardless of whether or not any tower goes up – this wasn’t the business of the district. Womack’s obsession with the cell towers kept him from doing his job as the Chair of the Budget Committee. That led to the little oversight that $100 million in cuts were not being made while he was playing master deal maker and sneaking around with the telecomm guys.

    McMahan deserves to win this seat for so many reasons. I hope everyone is motivated to get out and vote on Tuesday!

  3. GTCO-ATL says:

    sorry… when I say “Lakeside wanted a tower,” I am talking about the principal and the booster club. The neighborhood, like everyone else’s, was not informed and many of them came forward later to sign petitions just like the rest of us in order to state their objections.

  4. justwatch says:

    Boyer is a hired political campaign hand.

  5. dekalbite2 says:

    @Get the Cell Out

    “How does spreading a rumor that Lakeside and maybe Briarlake will not get towers help Womack’s campaign for re-election?”

    Because people in the Briarlake area are very mad about this cell tower. They did not and do not want it and their anger is aimed at Womack right before the election. If the rumor is that there is now no tower being built, this takes a lot of the anger away from Mr. Womack. The implication is that Womack listened to the community and thus a tower will not be built. Of course, later after the election, it will be built, but by then Womack will be in.

  6. Tucker Guy says:

    dekalbite2 at 11:34

    That is the way I figured it. The Briarlake parents, grandparents, and neighbors, are mad as heck. Womack probably got twenty-three votes from that precinct and is hoping to do better in the runoff by saying there won’t be a cell tower.

  7. dekalbite2 says:

    @ Tucker Guy
    All the while knowing there will be. What do you call that?

  8. RoseDennis says:

    Folks was busy stirring up the pot with the North Dekalb, South Dekalb nonsense, you all didn’t see that old guy selling your children’s health for a shekel. I want to say “serves you right” but that may be too harsh. I fear and sympathize for the kids as this situation may create confusion and disruption in their learning. But I will say, to the parents, especially the ” North Dekalb” parents who stirred up the racial pot and is still doing so….you failed miserably as a parent. You were so entrenched in racial vitrol, you failed to recognize the going-ons in your school and community as you claim to do. You allowed this man to make a back door deal with the phone company-where he secured himself a solid amount of retirement money, by selling your children’s health and welfare, your residential community’s health and welfare, by allowing erection of radiation emitting cell towers in a residential area. He is just as bad, or even worse than those Dekalb School official who were indicted for fraud etc. You all failed as parents and residents. So blinded and entrenched in hateful racial nonsense, left your children open to this despicable man. Money is nothing, but your child’s health and welfare is priceless. You should have been paying attention and taking better care. You all failed as parents and residents. If these cell phones are erected, I pray for your children.

  9. Gene Wise says:

    Cell towers is a separate issue from managing a billion dollar/year school system. I’ve watched cell towers for 20 years and never found where one was proven to cause damage to anyone – that isn’t true for high-voltage transmission lines running all over the place, including near schools. We don’t need an inexperienced member who agrees with Womack but would do it with less friction with other board members. We’re just talking about two years until a complete redistricting and nobody could learn about all the facets of a large school system in that length of time.

  10. Dad of Two says:

    Rose, I’m just curious about who you are considering to be the North DeKalb in your story? I’m afraid it is much worse than you are suggesting. The two schools that did all the talking – one for and one against – likely knew the whole time that they would not be getting towers. They were used as bait to tempt Cunningham into selling out his schools just so they could get the same treatment as the North. He took the bait and has not even figured out that the schools do not need a cell tower in order to use the wireless technology in their computers to access their much faster fiber optic network that’s already been paid for and installed at all schools by SPLOST II dollars.

  11. The Deal says:

    @RoseDennis, I’m tempted to use the term troll for your post. If there’s been any problem related to geography, it’s the poor BOE choices made in the southern end of the county. The “north” actually has its hands tied by the continuous 5-4 votes on the board. The idiots are in charge, and no one wins.

  12. PublicSchoolDad says:

    I do not know that there is any way to convey how disturbed I am by the bigoted filth that you’ve spewed onto this board. What gives you the right to judge a person or communities motivations simply based on color? Every day I try to protect my children from nasty hate filled comments like yours, and every day it gets harder. You should consider the depth of your own flaws and offenses before you start judging others. You are the worst kind of bigot.

  13. Dekalbite2 says:

    @Gene Wise
    ” I’ve watched cell towers for 20 years and never found where one was proven to cause damage to anyone – that isn’t true for high-voltage transmission lines running all over the place, including near schools”

    Why don’t you try to tell that to prospective buyers of your house when the school in your neighborhood has a cell tower? Reducing your number of prospective buyers will always devalue your property, and make no mistake – many prospective buyers with school age children will not want a cell tower next to their children all day.

    Instructional space should never be given up so a company can make a profit. The business of a school system is student achievement – not ensuring that TMobile increases their bottom line. The $4,000,000 over 30 years that the Central Office (NOTHING for the schools who bear the burdened the ll towers) is only $133,000 a year – the price of ONE non teaching Central Office employee’s annual salary. Why not cut one Central Office person and then the budget is the same as the cell towers? The negative property decline alone will negate this minuscule increase in revenue since the school systems run mainly on property taxes.

    The students at Briarlake will be losing either their playground where they take Physical Education classes or their outdoor classroom (built by the parents) where they have their Environmental Studies classes.

    This is wrong for the community and wrong for kids. Paul Womack and the rest of the BOE who voted for these cell towers could not have been thinking about instruction which is really their MAIN job.

  14. Ella says:

    There was a meeting at Lakeside to voice your opinions against the cell phone towers. There were only a few people in attendance. I voiced my opinion loudly and sent the board research from other countries. I do believe that there really has not been sufficeint research on the topic and I think it is sad that this past.

    I will give our last superintendent credit. He was a Health and PE major and he did his homework several years ago and would not agree on putting the cell phone towers on school property up for a vote. I see the connection from the individuals on the board pushing the issue back then to the individual who worked the deal and pushed the issue this time. The difference was the school superintendent was temporary and she let the school board member run with the project. I had all kinds of emails back from the board and administrative staff trying to explain to me it was not dangerous. After reading all the research myself I feel it is absolutely not worth the chance with our children in all parts of the county.

  15. The Deal says:

    Ella, the reason why there were only a few people in attendance is because they relied on the PTAs to disseminate the information. Some PTAs were in favor and, therefore, didn’t advertise the meetings very well. In addition, the flyers only said the meetings were going to be held at schools 1, 2, and 3. It didn’t say the meeting were about placing towers at said schools. In addition, that was the spring of those charrettes, and people were used to meetings designed for the entire county being hosted at various schools. The entire communication piece was and has continued to be evasive at best. Just wanted to clear up the part of your comment where you say only a few people were there.

  16. Dekalbite2 says:

    Much of the Briarlake area is retirees. Retirees pay property taxes and in this area many pay the school portion as well. This large group of the community was not informed. I have not spoken to one yet that is not incensed about the cell tower at Briarlake. The greatest asset for most of them is their home. They do not want to see it devalued. In addition, most of them sent their children through Briarlake. They understand the vlaue of having a playground (now slated to be taken away by the cell tower). What did Paul Womack do to ensure the retirees who make up so much of the community could give their input? Absolutely nothing. Or are retirees only wanted for the mi,lionss a year they collectively pay in school taxes – content to be uninformed about the heart of the community?

  17. Ella says:

    I totally agree. There actually were a few retired individuals there the night of the meeting at Lakeside.

    there were not more than 5-10 individuals in attendance. The meeting date was sent out on Sunday to the PTA and the meeting was early the next week deliberately. There were many activities in the community that night also so you would have had to miss other important community and school activities to have even come to the meeting. It was definitely advertised poorly This is taking in account the Lakeside Parents. I am not for sure what happen in the surrounding schools.

    You are so correct that this does affect property value.

    There was a great deal of emphasis from the individuals present and the school board members that this was needed for emergencies for the school, and also that it was needed for better cell phone service for the neighborhood.

    I was a minority at the meeting in opposition. When I wrote the board about my feelings I got a nice email back from one of the assistant superintendent totally ignoring the research I sent them. I will see if I can go back and find the email I sent and the email that was returned to me by the assistant superintendent.

    This was actually requested of the board 12-15 years ago by a Lakeside group that one of the school board members is well connected with. I honestly thought this was one of the reasons he ran for school board. I now suspect it even more. . The individual may have played some games with the community to get what he/she wanted but I would not be shocked if it did not cost him\her the school board seat that he/she holds.

  18. dekalbite2 says:

    I assume you are talking about the tiny memorial park on the corner of Oak Grove and La Vista where they tried to put a cell tower. The community got wind of it and defeated it.

  19. GTCO-ATL says:

    @Ella, “The individual may have played some games with the community to get what he/she wanted.”

    What is it that this person wanted in your opinion? Better cell coverage? Money? Why would anyone want a cell tower to be placed near kids unless they actually work for the cell carrier and it is just business? We’ve heard that Verizon coverage is fine, but ATT needed better coverage but couldn’t get a tower of their own because the area is saturated already. So, are you saying they put us through all of this simply because of a business rivalry?

    Curious to hear what happened 12- 15 years ago … what stopped them? The only FCC permits on file for both those school addresses are from the timeframe you are speaking of. If that is the case then the Briarlake tower will go practically on top of the school if not on top completely and Lakeside’s will be by the baseball diamond literally sharing the property line with a resident. (at the other end of the street that dekalbite2 mentioned).

    @dekalbite2 – “Because people in the Briarlake area are very mad about this cell tower.” Yes, we know all about Briarlake. We are the ones who alerted them. http://www.getthecelloutatl.com/2011/09/opinions-divided-over-cell-towers-at.html#!/2011/09/opinions-divided-over-cell-towers-at.html

    My question was how would a rumor like that actually help Womack’s campaign for re-election since his one big promise to Lakeside was to get them a tower and now the “rumor” is that they will not get one? By the way, we’ve reported here numerous times that Lakeside does not have a signed contract. If they did, Womack would not be able to change the terms on his own without a motion to reconsider and a new board vote. Do you have any idea how mad those other parents would be if Womack made some kind of deal with one PTA or school and ignored the ohers?

    @school watch… So, No Brairlake Tower LLC was able to confirm a cell tower question with Boyer, Jester and Atkinson? Not sure how they could confirm it was a “deliberate falsehood” unless they know who the person was and what their intentions were.

    By any chance did they happen to say what they (Briarlkae LLC) were doing about it?

  20. GTCO-ATL says:

    @school watch

    “Womack falsely told concerned stakeholders/community members that the cell towers were not a done deal and further approvals would be required.

    You have this a little mixed up. Womack told his fellow board members there would be more time (to encourage the yes vote), he told the concerned citizens that it was “a done deal.” (to dicourage any efforts to fight).

  21. Dekalbite2 says:

    “Curious to hear what happened 12- 15 years ago … what stopped them?”

    My bad – the area that was proposed for a cell tower around 12 or so years ago was on the corner of LaVista and Clairmont – the triangular sliver (2 acres) of green space between Pinellas Trail and LaVista (not Oak Grove and LaVista like I stated in my previous comment). This green space is a Tiny park called the Carey Hansard Park, a memorial founded by donations from the community around 17 or 18 years ago, named for an Oak Grove student who passed away from cancer the prior year.

    The cell tower was very controversial. The Pros said it would pay for the upkeep of the park and would be disguised as a tree. The Cons did not like the idea of a cell tower in the Oak Grove community. It would have been in very close proximity to Pinellas Trail homes. I don’t remember how it was defeated, but there are only 6 homes on Pinellas Trail. I’ll bet at least one of their occupants was around in that time period and remembers how the cell tower was defeated.

  22. no duh says:

    DeKalbite2 “Much of the Briarlake area is retirees. Retirees pay property taxes and in this area many pay the school portion as well. This large group of the community was not informed. I have not spoken to one yet that is not incensed about the cell tower at Briarlake.”

    Then why do retirees keep electing Womack???

    I hope the Cell Out ppl are campaigning door to door throughout the Briarlake area to convince these retirees (who come out in droves to elections, especially when their Republican brethren on are the ballot) that Womack is not their best bet.

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