Clayton’s quality of life improving in small doses

The Clayton County Board of Commissioners recently voted unanimously to ban solicitation of donations on county roads and highways.

According to the Clayton News-Daily, the new ordinance states “no person shall stand in or enter any street, roadway or highway for the purpose of soliciting money or anything of value.”  Exceptions are solicitations made by uniformed public safety officials, such as members of the fire, police and sheriff departments.

I am sure I’ve just been lucky, but I have not encountered solicitors much in my area of Clayton.  Or maybe I tend to tune certain things out given my origins (any New Yorkers out there remember the squeegee guys?).  The one time I gave someone train fare, I watched him immediately turn around and continue soliciting others for money, so that did it for me.  Now if I’m unsure of where the money will end up, I don’t even pay attention to the pitch.

But the BOC was right, this practice wasn’t safe for anyone – the solicitors nor the public.  I am particularly happy for those residents who felt threatened or were just simply disturbed and annoyed by solicitors.  And anything that eases the burden of our public safety departments is also a plus since they are busy enough.

What do you think of this ordinance?  Was soliciting a problem in your area?

In addition, Election Day (Nov.  3) is again upon us and one hot ticket will be the Jonesboro city council race.  The Clayton County Wide Homeowners Association, Inc. will host a political debate for candidates vying for three City of Jonesboro council seats on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 7 to 9 p.m. at the Firehouse Museum, 103 West Mills Street, Jonesboro, in the Community Room.  City of Jonesboro voters will have an opportunity to meet, listen to and question the seven candidates seeking to represent them.  Call 404-396-2706 for more information.

Absentee voting has already begun and advance voting will begin the week before Election Day (Oct. 26-30).

You might want to check out the Georgia Voter Guide produced by the League of Women Voters of Georgia.

53 comments Add your comment

Clayton Parent

October 12th, 2009
10:14 am

I haven’t encountered any solicitors in my area as well. However, I wonder if this affects those little league teams that ask for donations in parking lots and intersections? Personally, I think it’s a dangerous practice and team coaches should be more creative (and responsible) with their fundraising efforts. Hopefully, this new ordinance will help.

Good Riddance

October 12th, 2009
11:09 am

That was “Simply Stupid & Lazy”! Parents had kids out panhandling for recreation league football, baseball, basketball teams. It was really bad on Mount Zion Prkwy & Mount Zion Bvld. Then you had jackleg preachers out soliciting so-called drug rehab assistance in churches. Yes right!


October 12th, 2009
11:15 am

I am glad they will be gone. One small step.

Sgt Rock

October 12th, 2009
11:46 am

I feel this ordinance is on small step in the right direction.

Not only does this type of fundraising present a negative image of the county, it is a public safety issue when you consider individuals let alone youth walking in traffic especially during peak drive-time.

I have seen individuals soliciting money for years in the county. It is not just a recent occurrence in today’s economic climate. While never personally experiencing negative behavior I often questioned the validity of those soliciting funds never trusting their “organization” though it may have been legitimate.

Other than Public Safety officials (Fireman’s Boot Fund as an example) I have never given to any street panhandling group due to this lack of trust.

When I am sure of the legitimacy of a charitable group or fundraiser, I give without question and would suggest my fellow citizens do the same. Supporting local organization and fundraisers betters all of us in Clayton County.

In the meantime when I see this illegal activity in the future (I’m sure not every group knows about the new ordinance) I will be sure to report it immediately to the Clayton County Police for enforcement by calling the E911 Center’s non-emergency number at 770-477-3550.


October 12th, 2009
12:07 pm

I’ve seen and been approached by panhandlers at the corner of Hwy 54 and Battlecreek in Clayton County, and on Hwy 138 near I-75. I’m happy that the commission has voted to eliminate this annoying activity. It’s not safe for drivers, the panhandlers and I surely wouldn’t want my child to beg from strangers in the street. In addition to the safety issues, the trash they leave behind is disgusting.


October 12th, 2009
12:13 pm

Good ordinance. I don’t give panhandlers any donations because I can never trust that they are actually who they say they are or that they are actually raising money for what they claim.


October 12th, 2009
12:38 pm

This is a good deal! It was getting out of hand. I wonder if some of them were just people looking for a quick buck.


October 12th, 2009
12:46 pm

I’ve seen them from time to time at the same intersection, Battle Creek & 54. They have always appeared to be collecting fora cause, not panhandling per se. The FD uses this intersection for burn victims group they support and I guess others followed suit. They don’t appear to be endangering anyone but I just ignore them and they move along looking for brighter prospects. I wouldn’t say its a huge quality of life issue of any significance but I won’t miss them. They do ocassionally slow traffic up a bit


October 12th, 2009
12:56 pm

Will this mean the Shriners will not be able to solicite funds this way for the very worthy purpose od the Shriners Hospitals?

Reasons to name things after dead people

October 12th, 2009
4:17 pm

So they named a school building after Eddie White. Nothing to do with partisan politics I’m sure. I guess they thought the name I Voted To Give A Politically Connected Developer Millions Extra On A Fishy Land Deal was too hard for the children to remember.


October 12th, 2009
4:42 pm

To Jonny: I asked Commissioner Wole Ralph about the Shriners, and here is the answer:

“Yes, according to chief staff attorney Michael Smith it will apply to shriners. He indicated there was no way to write the ordinance and discriminate against differing nonprofits.”


October 12th, 2009
5:09 pm

If the school board had picked the most popular name for the school that became Drew High School – “Reasons to Name” you would have gotten “Land Deal High”. Thank goodness it is not carried by popular vote. Now get over it.

Congratulations to Eddie White and Truett Cathy for the BOE naming buildings within the School System after each of these men. These are fine men and good friends, both having contributed greatly to the Clayton community and school system.


October 12th, 2009
8:20 pm

I would love to see commissioners do something aboutmultiple familes living in single family homes. I don’t know if an ordinance is required, or if you simply need them to enforce existing laws. It gets ridiculous when four or five adults and God only knows how many children live in a three bedroom house. I know Gwinnett approved an ordinance limiting the number of people in a single family home and other counties have followed. I also think something absolutely needs to be done about the homemade and other signs posted throughout the county, as well as the litter that is pervasive. We should actually enforce the no littering laws and fine people accordingly. I see people throw trash out of their car windows all the time and on occasion have notified police after getting their tag number. There will never been enough resources to pick up all of the litter, so attack the problem by going after the culprits. And then, we can say the county is improving our quality of life.


October 12th, 2009
9:49 pm

Good move. Those jack leg organizations were in poor taste. The dudes always looked strung out or on parole. I have been here since the early 80’s and I believe the county can correct itself with proper management and oversight.

Lady Virginia

October 13th, 2009
12:38 am

Yes, dear ladies, I think that “Land Deal High School” or “John D. Stephens High School” or “Ericka Davis Illegally Signed The Contract High School” or “Norreese Haynes Exposed This Mess High School” or “Elrin Bell Doing John D. Stephens’s Bidding High School” or “Solid Rock High School” or “Rock of Ages High School” or “Flint Rock High School” or “Deborah Benefield…I Got Your Back High School” or “It’s All About Money High School” or “Eddie and Truett Are Connected At The Hip High School” or “Traffic Is A Nightmare High School” or “The Worst Possible Location High School” or “Let’s Help John D. Unload A Bad Piece of Land High School” or “Clayco Business As Usual High School” or “Was Crandle’s Hand In This Deal High School?” or “Can’t We Blame This On John Trotter High School” or “The Wind Has Gone High School” would be very appropriate. Drew? O. K. He was an African American. But, he was a great medical man. But, his connection to Clayco? Heck, I’d rather see the school named after Charles Grant (but he already has a part of the interstate named after him), James Jackson (but he already has an elementary school named after him), C. W. Smith, Gerry Anderson, Barron Banks, Ben Marsh, Wade Starr, Sr. or Jr., Leonard Tate, M. D. Roberts (but he already has a middle school named after him), Eddie J. White, Dr. Glenn Dowell, Representative Darryl Jordan, Senator Valencia Seay, Wallace Norrington, Eula Ponds-Perry (but she already has a school building named after her), Oscar Blalock, Synamon Baldwin (although she has only been in the County about five or six years), Cornelius Henderson, McAllister Hollins, Arthur Powell, Gail Davenport, Gail Hambrick, Artansa Snell, Sandra Scott, Lee Scott, David Scott, Janice Scott, Jewell Scott, Bob Hartley, Michael King, Joe Hairston, Nedra Ware, Bishop Bobby Newton, and or Miss Janie Mae. But, when you have people on the school (and the Californian Supe) who have just moved to Clayco, then, yes, you have to grab a name from the historical figures of African American History. Wade Starr High School…Home of the Rocky Stars! This would have been ingenious and a good name. But, these board members do not have the breadth of understanding of Clayco.


October 13th, 2009
7:42 am

I’m afraid I won’t miss seeing the Shriners along the roadways either.

Glad To Hear This

October 13th, 2009
7:45 am

I have seen fundraisers standing in intersections at Mt. Zion Road/Mt. Zion Parkway, on the I-675 exit ramps onto Rt. 23/42, and other locations in the county and have long thought that no one could possibly raise enough money in a coffee can to cover the costs when (not if) one of these people gets hit by a car. I have enough to keep track of while driving to stay safe. I don’t need an unpredictable person standing in the road trying to get my attention, no matter how worthy they think their cause might be. Not to mention, I’m not about to open my window to you when I don’t know you. I’m sure the Shriners have other, more effective fundraising methods at their disposal – and if not, it’s time to develop some.

Big Papi

October 13th, 2009
9:12 am

BRAVO! You brain dead parents that stand on the side of the road while your little darlings dart in and out of traffic. Stop pimpin’ your kids! Suck it up and pay another fifty bucks in registration fees. Cut back on the cigarettes,lottery tix, Lex,coupes,beamers & benz, the Henny and deluxe Direct tv packages and you’ll have the bucks in no time. Why should the govt have to tell you that having your kids running in and out of traffic is NOT a good idea. What lesson is being imparted to your kids by receiving something for NOTHING? Make them work for it. As for the argument: We’re supervising them.
NO, you can only helplessly watch in horror as they get run over.
This is a great ordinance. I just pray it will be vigorously enforced.

jimmy (conservative brother)

October 13th, 2009
10:51 am

I admit this was a good idea. The previous commissioners addressed this issue by severely restricting the activity after numerous people were hit by vehicles while soliciting in the roadway. Most roadways now are simply too busy and to have anyone standing in the roadway while soliciting is too dangerous. We need our police and fire departments concentrating on other things besides responding to those who put themselves in harms way for a buck.
Now we need to concentrate on these people who are attempting to cross major roadways like Tara Blvd, Hwy 85 and Riverdale Rd.


October 13th, 2009
12:53 pm

Great news! We need to remove the “Calcutta” feel from this county before we can attract a better class of business or resident.

name game

October 13th, 2009
10:48 pm

Are the people who run give em the boot paying tribute to John Trotter by renaming their site the Clayton Advocate, in honor of John Trotter’s the Teachers Advocate?


October 13th, 2009
11:05 pm

I hate to hear the demise of the Marta in CC, though I never used it..I know public transportation is the way to go…Wish it was like DC and went where I wanted to go

Bad Luck

October 14th, 2009
12:12 am

The “Plutocrats” has convinced “Your” elected officials to “Nix” the mass transit system thus moving your county back to 1990s. Now that “Progress” or is it “Regress”? You elected officials work for the “Few” not the “Many”! Better luck in the 2010 elections!

Jimmy conservative brother

October 14th, 2009
9:42 am

Bad luck, we live in a representative government and the commissioners listened to the people they represent. If this decision did not come over night. The commissioners have been hearing from their constituents for some time but not listening. Now they are forced to listen because the revenue stream has dried up.
All over the people have wanted to rid the county of C-Tran but many can’t show up in protest at the commissioners meeting like the union organized groups the past few weeks. These people have contacted their commissioner via e-mail, phone, and through web sites like this one and the commissioners have been forced to finally make a decision which does represent their constituents.

Peggy Sue Davis

October 14th, 2009
9:55 am

Hmm, Clayton reverting back to the 1990s??

Let’s see…a Top performing World Class School System, check
Low crime rates and responsive code enforcement, check,
A desirable family location, check
Increasing property values, check
Never on the news 24-7 with negativity, check
Clean communities, check
Nuclear families with parents who monitor their children, check

So, what’s the problem again?? LOL!


October 14th, 2009
3:16 pm

I just love myself some Jimmy and Peggy Sue. You guys, ROCK! Good ideas, Thanks


October 14th, 2009
9:08 pm

Peggy Sue Davis, Peggy Sue Davis, Jimmy conservative brother! To bad your pipe dream was “Short-lived”! Now, your black elected officials fells the “Pressure” form the “Darkside”, like I said earlier, “there will be a mass transit system in Clayton county whether C-Tran, MARTA or any other system! Funded in Feds or State. You guys had a swallow victory! HaHaHa!!


October 14th, 2009
9:11 pm

Peggy Sue Davis, Jimmy conservative brother, your dream was short-lived! Welcome back to 2009!

Son of Oppressed 1810

October 14th, 2009
9:34 pm

Clayton county being so racist as in selling the kids accreditation and ridding the county of mass transit are now trying to “Cash In” on Michelle Obama ancestors slavery to save the Cotton Mill and CoToon gin areas. What a difference a Century makes!


October 14th, 2009
10:42 pm

Your elected officals are “Afraid to accept Obama’s Stimulus Money” to keep C-Tran or MARTA in Clayton county! Your black elected officals are “Afraid” the white few and not worried about the black many! Remember Nov. 4, 2010!


October 14th, 2009
10:47 pm

Plutocracy = governance by wealthy, a wealthy social class that controls or greatly influences the government of a society, to include Clayton’s Government!

Lady Virginia

October 15th, 2009
2:21 am

Girls, leave Clayton County now! Leave it now! Eldrin Bell is running Clayton County. Enough said? Amen.


October 15th, 2009
8:19 am

This is long overdue. It was to the point that they were out at Flint River Road and Tara Blvd. daily. The next good thing to do is to remove Eldrin Bell and the rest of those yahoos. Clean up that eye sore Riverdale while they are at it. I mean how many check cashing, beauty supply store, package store, and laundromats can you have in one county. Good Grief!!!


October 15th, 2009
6:47 pm

Now this up the Police to enforce the ordinance; good luck.


October 15th, 2009
6:51 pm

Hope the Police does a better job at controlling gun fire in this county; which also is a county ordinance.


October 15th, 2009
6:53 pm

Blogger and Bloggerette, please join the “Protest” to keep the C-tran rolling! Thanks for your interest and participation!


October 15th, 2009
6:57 pm

I only hope that the police does a better job, as they do at controlling gun fire in this county; which the commissioners also passed.


October 15th, 2009
7:00 pm

I only hope that the police does a better job, as they do at controlling gun fire in this county; which the commissioners also passed.Post it.


October 15th, 2009
7:01 pm

I only hope that the police does a better job, as they do at controlling gun fire in this county; which the commissioners also passed. There are too many Cheerleaders on this forum.


October 15th, 2009
8:17 pm


I’m glad C-Tran is gone. C-tran is a waste of money. The day after the commissioners voted to end C-tran I notice three buses on Tara Blvd and only one had a single passenger and I past three bus stops with only 4 people. I saw one sitting near Mt.Zion with no passengers at the bus stop.

So you can protest but I doubt it works because its such a waste of money.


October 15th, 2009
8:35 pm

4 people total for 3 stops

Lady Virginia

October 16th, 2009
2:42 am

John Trotter is responsible for the removal of the C-Tran in Clayton. John Trotter is responsible for Clayton County’s demise. Yes, dear, this evil man has ruined Clayton County. He got Dan Colwell fired, and this is the reason that Clayton County is in ruination. John Trotter. Yes, he is responsible for Dan Colwell getting fired as superintendent. Dan could have held back the flood of Black people coming into Clayton County. Dan was our last hope. Yes, John Trotter is responsible for all of the Black people controlling Clayton County now. He is responsible for the thugs from Atlanta running and ruining Clayton County…most of all Eldrin Bell!!!


October 16th, 2009
11:40 am

LV – It’s not “black people” that have caused such a drastic down turn for Clayton County. There is plenty of blame to go around. Past county commissioners had a hand in this, as well as, those that replaced them. I think we’ve now got a group of commissioners that are at least capable of making the right decisions. Atlanta’s well orchestrated removal of their poor to C.C. has not helped matters either. Any community would have a tough time attracting businesses when the majority of its residents are poor, uneducated and sometimes lazy. These traits are not solely characteristic of “black people”. I’ve got plenty of neighbors that I’d swap out in a second for a neighbor that cares about the community, no matter what color he is! As for John Trotter, I think you give him too much credit. From what I’ve read he seems to be just a mean and vengeful old man. I don’t waste my time thinking about him. However, our schools are another issue. Their improved performance is the only way to fix what has broken.

nuff said

October 16th, 2009
1:32 pm

until we get a capable superintendent that cna improve our school system, these small steps are just that- SMALL STEPS.

Rev Billy Bob Whiskey

October 16th, 2009
5:54 pm

LV — you sound like Trotter trying to stir things up. Yes, it was Commishs Crandell and Bray who sold out our county to the develoers with “pocket money” for the 2 commishs and families. The developers put in large quantities of sub-standard housing with the blessing of these 2. Then when ATL started booting out of the housing project – there we sat, unprotected. Easy decision for those getting booted out. Clayton was close enough – and with public transportation.

But as much as I dislike JT – he is but a wart on the big toe of life – not very dangerous, but aggravating as HE–. It is apparent JT has a lot higher view of himself than everyone else does. He did have a large portion of the blame for firing Colwell, but it was time for a change. Do not put all the blame for Clayton on him. I am sure someone does love him – hmmmmmm – maybe his kids.


October 16th, 2009
10:09 pm

It’s hard to depend on “Small Steps”, when you’re treading in waste deep sludge. There is no hope for Clayton County; it’s reputation far exceeds it’s prosperity and outlook for the future.


October 16th, 2009
11:21 pm

These so called “Small Steps” is back peddling towards us in wrong direction. I wouldn’t call falling in a deep hole “Small Steps” towards the right direction.


October 19th, 2009
8:12 pm

Quality of life IMPROVING in Clayton County? We should all be realistic and more aware about this article: the school system continues to be in disarray (instead of standardized tests, look at the unconcerned parents); our county commissioners do not reasonably care for the maintenance of the county (simple road fixes and red light additions); and most of all…not being aggressive enough for rail lines. Common sense, 21st century ideas not being utilized.


October 20th, 2009
2:50 pm

I like Clayco the way it was in The 90’s, maybe clayton county need to do what Dekalb is doing, I know we did not take any stimulus but they are offering police officer’s,firefighter,s credit to buy foreclosed and empty homes in the neighborhood. That will give a perfect warning to those who do not belong. And make neighborhood’s again a wonderful place for families as well as safe.


October 24th, 2009
3:45 pm

Clayton can see we are improving – small steps will hopefully lead to strong brisk walk to where the county was, could and should be in relation to our neighbors, our schools and our safety/security.


October 30th, 2009
12:20 am

Clayton County has gone to the dogs Riverdale Cops need get of their ass and arrest people for real crimes instead of bothering helpless drivers to fill riverdales coffers. Bus service ending, because sorry ass county officals crying about a million dollars they pay to marta. They steal that much in a year. Code enforcement trying to find issues with property owners, so they write summons and bleed taxpayers dry. Then you vote the same bunch of fools into office year after year. clayton has gone to the dogs. One of the worst county in GA Plain and Simple

Happy Driver

November 3rd, 2009
8:35 pm

I’m SO happy to hear about this (even a few weeks after the fact)!!! Every day, I have to navigate between panhandlers, freelance preachers, youth sports teams, and homeless people at dangerous intersections: where Old Dixie Highway merges with Tara Blvd., at the I-75 on- and off-ramps at Hapeville, on Hwy. 54 and Forest Parkway in Riverdale… if it’s a high-volume intersection, you WILL be hustled. Whether the cause is worthy or legitimate is irrelevant to me, I do NOT want to be solicited. I get that all day long at Five Points. In fact, much of the time I don’t have any money at all myself, not even for a Coke. The same couple of guys beg at the off-ramp–yet they are within walking distance of a number of day-labor hiring offices. The thing that gets me most of all are the adults whose total lack of leadership and common sense results in their telling the local kids’ football team to beg for donations using their helmets, etc. I was in the band, Girl Scouts, etc. and we EARNED our money for trips, uniforms, and so on. We did NOT have Helicopter Mommy “sell” our Girl Scout cookies for us in the office. We DID get up off of our teenage behinds and wash cars for $5, work hotdog stands at the football stadium, and sell Christmas ornaments in order to fund band trips, sailing trips, and other major events. I worry that, by teaching kids to beg, we are teaching them the worst combination of entitlement and learned helplessness possible. When the kids sell hotdogs instead of shake cans, I support their efforts wholeheartedly and generously. Please, adults, take this message to heart. Earning money is different than begging for money. If you teach them this behavior, don’t be surprised when they come begging you for cash without having done their chores!

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