Editor's note: Clayton Cole faces incumbent Tibby DeJulio for the District 5 Sandy Springs City Council seat in the Nov. 5 nonpartisan election. Below are profile stories on each candidate.
CLAYTON COLE PROFILE;
Clayton Cole said he is running for the District 5 seat on the Sandy Springs City Council to stand up for his community and others in the city.
“Over the last year or so, I became more involved in going to a lot of city council meetings and going through the process of finding what is going on,” said Cole, who is facing incumbent Tibby DeJulio in the Nov. 5 nonpartisan election. “The [planned] Gateway project [on Roswell Road] is going to affect our neighborhood, Meadowbrook. I just felt like the voices in the neighborhood weren’t being heard since the city was formed.
“I felt it was leaning toward siding with big business. I had spoken to some people who agreed with me. I felt now would be a good opportunity to run. I knew there were going to be some changes in office and knew [Mayor] Eva Galambos was not running for re-election. I thought Tibby DeJulio might want to move into that position. It didn’t turn out that way. I felt it was a good time to run and try to get elected.”
Cole, 43, is is a territory sales representative with Capitol Office Products. He earned a bachelor’s degree in arts and science from the University of Georgia in 1994. Cole and his wife Joy have two children: Avery, 5, and Margaret, 4.
He said fighting for neighborhoods is the first of his top three issues. “I want to make sure the neighborhoods still have a voice in what’s going on, still protecting their interests in Sandy Springs,” he said. “Some of the greenspace and park space issues are being addressed. I want to keep that going as far as improving the face of the city. I am concerned about the appearance of how the city is playing toward big business. I know there are building restrictions and height limits that have been overlooked and allowances that have been made for developers. I know there have been instances with tax breaks being given to businesses. [I’m for] keeping a check on how the larger businesses are regulated and how they’re going to affect the neighborhoods.
“I know Eric Bern, a photographer, who found out the city center project was going to include a road being built through his business. Improvements to the city need to be made, but there needs to be a check and balance.”
Cole said he has not received any campaign donations yet but plans to start raising funds soon.
TIBBY DEJULIO PROFILE:
Tibby DeJulio has served two terms on the Sandy Springs City Council, but he is not standing pat as he runs for re-election.
“In the last eight years we have made tremendous progress building and improving our city, but there is still much to be done,” said DeJulio, one of the original council members elected in 2005, when Sandy Springs was incorporated. “I have the knowledge and experience required to hold this position. I have been in a leadership position, as mayor pro tem for the eight years since the city was formed. Last year, while our mayor [Eva Galambos] was sick, I acted in the position of mayor for approximately two months.”
Before running for city council, beginning in 1987, DeJulio worked with Galambos when she was president of Citizens for Sandy Springs, the organization formed to get the city incorporated. There was speculation he would even run for mayor when Galambos announced in April she was not seeking re-election, but DeJulio said he never considered it.
“There were rumors, but honestly, I don’t have the time to be mayor,” he said. “It’s just a much more demanding time constraint. I am totally in support of [candidate] Rusty [Paul].”
DeJulio, 66, is a financial advisor with Wells Fargo Advisors. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Stetson University in DeLand, Fla., in 1971 and ’72, respectively, with the master’s degree focused on finance. DeJulio is divorced and has one adult son, Chandler.
He said his top three issues start with quality of life.
“We must work to ensure that our city provides the best lifestyle possible for each of our citizens,” DeJulio said. “We must ensure the safety of our children and all of our residents. We must provide up-to-date, state-of-the-art facilities and services for everyone in Sandy Springs and preserve and protect our natural treasures.
“With our economy improving, we are seeing increased interest in improving our housing stock. We must ensure that all redevelopment is keep[ing] the needs of our residents as its first priority. We must remember that we have a fiduciary responsibility to run the city as effectively and as efficiently as possible. We must remember that spending the taxpayers’ money is a responsibility that cannot be taken lightly.”
DeJulio had $6,532.40 net cash on hand through June 30, according to the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, and said he had slightly more as of last week due to some recent campaign contributions.