DeKalb County

Brookhaven mayoral race heading to runoff, candidates make their pitch

BROOKHAVEN, Ga. — The mayoral race in Brookhaven is heading for a runoff since none of the four candidates won 50%-plus-one of the vote. The two leading candidates, John Park and Lauren Kiefer, face a runoff Dec. 5.

Channel 2′s Bryan Mims spoke with both Park and Kiefer after the Tuesday election.

Park, 49, is a software engineer. He served on the city council for nine years and has lived in the area since 2007.

“I have a record, a record of accomplishments,” he said. “And I also have a reputation of working not only with my fellow council members but with the community.”

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Kiefer, 56, is a former lawyer who owns a software business with her husband.

“I have the knowledge and experience and connections inside Brookhaven and in broader metropolitan Atlanta to make sure we can actually get things done.”

She’s critical of plans to build a new $78 million city hall by the city’s MARTA station.

“I think it’s excessive, and I think that for $78 million, I think we could have done something better,” Kiefer said.

She said the plans for city hall have lacked public involvement and transparency.

“It’s not enough to say we’re open and transparent and point to our website that says we’re open and transparent – you actually have to be transparent,” Kiefer said.

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But Park said the new city hall is a critical investment for developing what the city lacks – a downtown.

“And it’s not just our city hall, it’s the start of our city center master plan that was decided with substantial public input two years ago,” he said.

Kiefer also said the recent effort to annex Toco Hills, a business and residential area in unincorporated DeKalb County, was flawed and lacked transparency.

“I was not in favor of any of it from start to finish,” she said. “It was shrouded in secrecy.”

But the effort failed. The leader of the group pushing the annexation withdrew the petition after claims that some of the signatures were forged.

Park said he supports anyone who wants to be annexed into the city.

“I want to welcome all the surrounding residential areas into Brookhaven into a logical, fair service delivery area.”

Park received 43% of the vote in Tuesday’s election and Kiefer won 30%.

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