Let's do some Fact-Checking on the Incumbent's statements:
The incumbent voted against City Hall. Mostly False. The incumbent stated in a mailer that she was "proud to vote 'NO' on the no-bid city hall contract" without mentioning that she voted YES to a change order for the same Architect that received the no-bid contract, and YES on several other occasions to move the project moving forward. She has also touted how much she supports the project (go to minute 11:55 here).
- June 14, 2022 Voted YES to ground lease. See link here.
- June 28, 2023 Voted YES to authorize Contractor to award contract for early release and design. See link here.
- June 28, 2023 Voted YES to change order NUMBER 6 to the no-bid Architect. You read that correct, change order 6!
- June 28, 2023 Voted YES to authorize Contractor for early release packages.
The City Hall Financed through a CID and City businesses are willing participants. False. This is another misrepresentation from the incumbent (see minute 12 here). Brookhaven's Special Services District (SSD) is not a Community Improvement District (CID). The Buckhead CID the incumbent likes to use as an example is one where the business owners opt in. To build their "Taj Mahal" with private elevators for elected officials and 60% event space (i.e., empty space), Brookhaven imposed a tax on small businesses through an SSD. The City did not bother to consult them and the ones I've spoken to are not happy about it. The City's inhospitable environment for small businesses has claimed many victims, most recently Lucky's Burgers and Brews in Town Brookhaven, where many others have also perished. This is because of the high cost of doing business in Brookhaven, which according to Lucky's owners, is higher than Rosewell! In summary, no, the new City Hall is not being built with something like a CID and no, the City's businesses are not on board with it.
The incumbent is a Democrat/The incumbent is a Republican. No one knows. The incumbent sent a mailer to Republican voters only (see image below) touting her conservative values. This comes just two years after her very publicly switch from Republican to Democrat because of her "values". You can read all about that here. Indeed, while canvassing, we've heard from Democrats who have been given the impression the incumbent is a Democrat and from Republicans who have heard from her that's she's the only real conservative and that Michael seeks "to diversify the Council" - apparently a bad thing. In local elections, party affiliation should not matter, but dishonesty and bigotry do. Michael is as an independent with an unwavering commitment to serve our community without partisan bias. His campaign is built on the foundation of truth, collaboration, and respect for every citizen's voice, regardless of their political leaning. On the Endorsements page, you can see that he is supported by both Democrats and Republicans because he has worked with Democrats and Republicans alike when they have been able to find common ground and he has done so transparently. As you consider your choice for the City Council, think about the kind of integrity and consistency you want in a leader. Michael is committed to being a uniting presence in Brookhaven.
Michael had a conflict of interest (COI) while on the Planning Commission. False. These accusations are unfounded and misleading. Michael has never been a city employee and is not (yet) an elected official. There has never been an actual or even an apparent conflict of interest as to anything he has done.
For over seven years, Michael volunteered on the Planning Commission, a body that operates independently of city contract decisions. The Commission does not engage in bid evaluations, procurement processes, or contract management, and its members, including Michael, have no capacity to influence such contracts.
No city rules were ever breached by Michael. His professional association with a large, international engineering firm was well-known to the City, and his non-involvement with the inconsequential $13,000 surveying contract with his firm's Transportation group is well documented. For perspective, Michael is an executive in his firm's Water group, which builds $100,000,000+ water and wastewater treatment plans.
This tempest in a teacup is a manufactured controversy tantamount to removing a Coca-Cola vending machine from City Hall because an employee from Coca-Cola's accounting department sat on a volunteer city commission or board. In times when honest discourse is paramount to fostering a thriving community, it's disheartening to witness elected officials and City leaders lean into false accusations and dishonest tactics. It appears that Michael's commitment to bring fresh perspectives and champion transparency at the City has struck a nerve. He will not be deterred.
Michael is anti-development/Michael is pro-development. True'ish? We have heard from voters in Murphy Candler that the incumbent has told them Michael is pro-development and from voters in Lynwood Park that the incumbent has told then that he's anti-development (you really can't make this up!) Development is inevitable for successful cities like Brookhaven. Additionally, old infrastructure and buildings eventually have to come down and be replaced. As he states in the home page, Michael will advocate for fiscally sound, sustainable development that puts our community's needs and priorities first.
In stark contrast, the incumbent seemingly prioritizes the interests of developers who don't even live in our community and at the expense of neighborhood interests and safety. In Michael's neighborhood, Lynwood Park, the incumbent championed a development on the corner of Osborne and Windsor, featuring 7,500 sq ft of restaurant space with only 22 parking spots, between two homes, with egress into narrow and residential Victoria Street, and altogether disregarding the Master Plan for that intersection. To put it into perspective, Avelino's, our beloved local pizzeria and the style of business Lynwood expected, is only 1,500 sq ft with 17 parking spots. Michael proudly opposed this development, because the project will needlessly create parking and traffic issues at Windsor, Osborne Rd., and Victoria St. that will hinder safe walking for families, obstruct access for emergency vehicles, and exacerbating the infrastructure and speeding issues that already plague Lynwood.
That the incumbent had already cut a deal with the developer at issue was apparent when on the last hearing, when she supposedly came up with a "new" idea on the spot, a lengthy and complex one that she had to proposed by reading from a piece of paper, that did not comport with the recommendations of the Planning Commission, and to which, without asking any questions, ALL incumbents, including the councilman now running for Mayor, agreed to without asking a single question.
The incumbent recently stated that she stands for "protecting our single-family residential neighborhoods and parks from density.” You can read that statement here. As you can see from what she did in Lynwood, this claim is far from the truth. Her brand new campaign priority and false claims that Michael favors unchecked development, are nothing but a scare tactic to alarm the residents of Murphy Candler, who are already experiencing significant problems caused by the incumbent's push to turn their neighborhood park into a regional attraction, and who fairly fear further changes. Michael stands and will continue to stand with our neighbors in Murphy Candler and their plight to have a voice in City Hall and be treated with respect.
Lynwood Park's sidewalks cannot be repaired. False. Lynwood Park residents have been navigating around the same broken sidewalks for decades. The incumbent's response? A series of increasingly far-fetched excuses. Initially, the use of eminent domain was cited as a hurdle — an unnecessary complication for a project involving existing walkways. Then, bizarrely, a neighbor was told that a trip to Washington D.C. was required to change laws for sidewalk repair. Now, her supporters on Nextdoor claim the delay is due to extensive planning requirements. Eight years for planning? It begs the question: Is this inefficiency or ineptitude?
The situation in Lynwood Park highlights a critical issue: the gap between promises and action in local governance. Sidewalk repair, a basic municipal responsibility, does not require a law change in D.C. or endless planning. It's a straightforward task of removing and replacing concrete segments. This extended delay reflects a lack of practical understanding, a problem all too common when those without relevant engineering or construction expertise attempt to address simple infrastructure projects. This is why we need a civil engineer like Michael, with experience with municipalities and construction project management. Michael has a "concrete" plan for our City's broken sidewalks.
The incumbent is the only fiscally-conservative candidate. False. As you have seen in the other sections here, the incumbent has a record of needless spending. This is apparent not only from her voting record with the City, but also from her own campaign finances. Despite raising less than Michael as of the first two disclosures, she spent over a third of her funds - $22,000 - on a cop commercial that has only aired on Facebook. Michael's campaign disclosures show that he walks the walk. Michael and his team of volunteers have been extremely creative and responsible with the dollars they have received from their generous donors, just like Michael will be with your tax dollars.
The City can never make 1,000 people happy. False. You read that statement right! At the Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum, the incumbent said: "I don't think we're ever going to get a thousand really happy people" when discussing citizen engagement. You can see for yourself at minute 21:54 here. When he becomes your City Councilman, Michael will always strive to make more than one thousand people happy, to build consensus, to bring us together, and, importantly, will not dismiss the voices of a thousand people with a laugh. Notably, over 1,900 people unhappy with the incumbent voted against her. For a runoff, we only need about a thousand of you - let's show the incumbent that a thousand people is a lot and should be heard!