Clayton on the upswing?

Dare I say, again, that Clayton county is improving in small doses although an AJC quality of life survey suggests otherwise.

Freaknik is a good example since until recently, I don’t recall county officials taking much of a proactive approach to anything that could have a negative impact (in many cases some former elected officials were Clayton’s own worst enemy!) I was in college during Freaknik’s heyday but never experienced it in person and if you go solely by news coverage, it looks out of control. After hearing that Atlanta issued no permits to party promoters, I wondered if they’d end up in Clayton somehow since events were planned outside of the perimeter.

It was good to see CCPD Chief Tim Robinson, Sheriff Kem Kimbrough, and other Clayton officials publicly shut Freaknik down here early last week before it even got started, although Clayton’s curfew in and of itself should have kept kids away (children under age 17 must be off the street from 11pm-6am Sunday-Thursday; and 12am-6am Friday-Saturday).

Further, while C-Tran’s demise was a nightmare for riders, it was the fiscally responsible thing for our Board of Commissioners to do for the sake of the majority. Hopefully SB 1393 will pass so it can be federally and/or state funded as is normally the case.

I also think some issues addressed in the survey were a bit unfair. For example, a licensed practical nurse stated, “The jobs I find are $2 [an hour] less than in Atlanta,” as opposed to Clayton.  My job pays more in Atlanta too as opposed to Clayton. It also pays more than it would in Cobb, DeKalb, Fayette and any part of Fulton county that is not considered Atlanta proper. I don’t care what state one resides in, jobs in a major city usually pay more than anywhere else within the state.

For the record, this blog isn’t meant to be an invitation to trash Clayton county, although I’m sure some will take pleasure in doing so.  But I still subscribe to the fact that life in Clayton is slowly improving.

Your thoughts?

65 comments Add your comment

jakeinjboro

April 19th, 2010
11:17 am

Anthony Shorter

April 19th, 2010
11:41 am

What are the concrete indicators that life is improving in Clayton county? Please give examples.

Donald

April 19th, 2010
12:45 pm

Kim;

I guess you are taking a positive attitude towards our county, and it is something we should all do. It would probably makes us feel better as a whole about the county where we live. I have personally seen some steps (incrementally small, but steps nevertheless..) towards progress. We are starting to have residents rise up and say “enough is enough” to corrution, drugs and criminal elements, people are organizing clean-up projects and I have noted that in my neighbor, the thuggish residents are getting a lot more uncomfortable because of increased police presense.

I was also surprised by our Sheriff coming out publicly against Freaknik…This was a no-brainer for me, but I admit it is controversial for a lot of our residents (Most of the ones that are responsible for the current condition, anyway…). I think we are slowily but surely moving in the right direction. I just don’t wan’t this to be a “false start”…We need to take this momentum and channel it into some real reform for this county through the limiting Section 8 rentals & setting up economic development zones so we can attract working, middle-class families.

We are so close yet so far away…! Law-abiding Clayton County residents…let’s wake up and take back our county!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mbox

April 19th, 2010
12:56 pm

improving? well when you’re at the bottom its hard to go down. even dead cats bounce

me should

April 19th, 2010
1:38 pm

Once you hit the bottom the only way is to go back up, so “dur” the county is moving up slowly.

Spectator

April 19th, 2010
2:44 pm

I proudly agree that Clayton shows signs of promise. A good board chair (not Eldrin Bell and definitely not LEE SCOTT) is crucial. You scratch my back politics for PERSONAL gain must go.

It was encouraging to see Clayton County be proactive oppose to reactive. I hope they will continue in that spirit as Atlanta continues to close projects. I hope they will continue in that spirit when the housing market recovers. I hope they will continue in that spirit as Gwinnett threatens to deport illegal immigrants and the illegal immigrant move out of Gwinnett.

In history, we emerged from the dark ages by strengthening education and cultural outlets. I suggest Clayton do the same. Why do we not have an outdoor concert schedule that will attract FAMILIES!!!!!!

Absolutely disguisting....

April 19th, 2010
3:09 pm

I was horrified at the way Clayton County’s public safety came out against Freaknik unnecessarily. First of all their insatiable need to go on TV and ultimately politicize the whole situation was clear. Just another negative thing to be thrust into the news about! All for the politicians. It is time that those who have this need to criminalize our youth try something new. Enough negative media already!

Clayton Resident

April 19th, 2010
3:24 pm

I was shocked to see the sherriff on TV last week telling the freaknik crowd to stay away because I expected some of it to spill over into Clayton because let’s face it that’s been the pattern in past years.

The person who wants concrete examples can’t live in Clayton, but aside from what’s already been said here’s a few more things we dumped a lotta trash elected officials in the last election who are making a difference. Dumping Ctran is a good step to probably sending certain folks back to your county (my guess is Fulton or Dekalb). I already see a difference in my neighborhood since Ctran left.

I’ve seen a few small businesses opening around the county which will hopefully lead to future economic development.

CCPS has a ways to go but so does bthe entire state so …

Although it’ll take a few years Riverdale is rebuilding & will be an attraction instead of a news sound bite.

Small steps lead to bigger & better.if residents aren’t hopeful & involved why should anyone else be? Its gonna take time but I see something I haven’t seen in years here progress!

Mojo Mist

April 19th, 2010
3:53 pm

It’s a false perception to believe we’re on the upswing. Many also have the same false perception nationally regarding the economy. A slower rate of decline than previously observed does not equal upswing or that things are improving. That doesn’t mean good things aren’t happening. Hopefully, they’ll eventually contribute to improvement but we’re a long ways off from seeing it.

Donald

April 19th, 2010
6:00 pm

Mojo Mist,

I know it is hard to really see the good in Clayton especially with all the negativity surrounding us…(believe me, I know). Too be honest, somedays pessimism overwhelms me about my community. But Kim is right, we as a county have been beat down too long, it’s time for our county to start a return to decency and hopefully some pride in our communities.

It has to start somewhere…Maybe an upswing is too strong of a term but the freefall decline has seemingly leveled off a bit…We are on the cusp of either falling back or marching forward and hopefully snowballing into some great things for Clayton County.

It took time for us to be turned into the Atlanta Metro area toilet bowl..it will also take time for the inner jewel that is hidden deep within our county to shine again…

Think positive…C-Tran is gone…

Slow Progress

April 19th, 2010
10:11 pm

There are signs of progress, but a couple things have to change. There are way to many section eight renters. Renters do not as a rule, take pride in there homes, or there neighborhoods. They do not have roots. The other problem is that Clayton Counties tax base. Clayton County is loaded with older 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s homes which are loosing taxable value rapidly. In addition, many of the newer homes built in the last fifteen years here are already showing signs of falling into disrepair. Add to that foreclosures(more rental properties). It will be many years before this county recovers, but yes it has started to turn that corner. First the county must loose its bad image.

Rhonda

April 19th, 2010
10:36 pm

Yes, Clayton County IS on the upswing! Yes, just by baby steps, and yes, there is only one direction it can go. I have lived here for 25 years in the same house, and I want all the naysayers to know that I am praying for Clayton County, I pray for GOD to bless this county even now, and I KNOW that there are countless others who are praying with me. :) This was a wonderful county many years ago, and it can be wonderful again! Thanks to the people who were in charge of the water authority 50 years ago, we have one of the most progressive, top of the line water authorities in the world. Did you know that people have come here from Australia and Japan to see how we recycle our water? Do you know that a few years ago when the state of Georgia was in an official drought, that Clayton County was NOT? But we went along with the drought rules anyway ;)

The next thing we need to work on is our education system. We most definitely need to fire all of the incompetent teachers that are working here. Because of the recession, there are MANY good, competent teachers out there dying for a job, why don’t we give THEM a chance???

We need to vote for politicians who have integrity and honesty, and who have their constituents at heart! Stop voting for skin color! Start voting for honesty and integrity, no matter what color it comes in!!!!!!!

say what?

April 20th, 2010
10:09 am

Clayton is moving in the right direction. In my s/d, the last section to be built in the late 90s now has every home occupied. One or 2 renters in this portion, but it brings stability to our section, which can spread to the rest of the s/d which was built in the 1950/60, then a 2nd phase in the 1980s.

Now is the time for the county to pass better code enforcement rules. My biggest pet peave is parking on the grass. No cars on what is to be grass/yard space-period. If someone can see what you park in your backyard, then it has to go. On my street with 9 homes, we came to the area because of the model home that was years ago on the cover of the ajc homefinder. It was a beautiful home with a beautiful GREEn yard. Now it is nothing but red dirt, that looks like a cesspool when it rains. Instead of trading a vehicle when they purchase a new vehicle the older cars go the back and sides of the house. But code enforcement rules say that as long as a non working car is not in the front of the home, it is acceptable.

We need to come up with rules that are sensible and will go a long way for the beautification of the community as a whole. Upgrade code enforcement.

Roach

April 20th, 2010
10:41 am

It’s true the county is edging forward. We made some good changes in the last election, but competing political machines are still trying to feast on tax dollars and sacrifice the county’s future for the sake of their own commercial interests. We have a huge stock of starter homes which are never going to provide a strong tax base, built by the politically connected. The schools at best are just getting by. A long way to go, but not quite as far as a few years ago.

19&41

April 20th, 2010
12:02 pm

The county is slowly improving. the government appears to be showing signs of a backbone and is developing the ability to responsibly say no when the situation merits. I agree with many posters here that code enforcement has to increase and maintain it’s presence. If fines accompany violations, it is a department that could sustain itself. It will go a long way to improve the perception of our neighborhoods and bring responsible homeowners here.

Donald

April 20th, 2010
3:44 pm

Well, there you have it…

Not Smart

April 20th, 2010
9:13 pm

It was not smart for every police to go chasing Freakniker! Whike they were doing that people got robbed! check out the crime in the county while they were out! Senseless!

MY EYES DECEIVE ME!

April 20th, 2010
9:17 pm

OMG! LOOK WHOSE BACK!

I just read on the Clayton Advocate that Victor Hill was spotted at the BOC meeting tonight!
OMG! Does this mean he is seeking to run for office this term? Or is he gearing up for a 2012 appearance?

ASimpleTruth

April 20th, 2010
10:55 pm

I heard the former Sheriff, Walking Small was at the BOC meeting. LOL!

code guy

April 21st, 2010
9:27 am

say what better tell the code enforcemennt officer to read the code!!!!!

Sec. 62-205. – Off-road parking or storage of unlicensed or inoperable vehicles, trailers or equipment.

(a)
The owner, occupant or person in possession of real property within a residential zoned district shall not allow vehicles or trailers of any kind to be parked thereon without current license plates, unless such vehicle is parked within a fully enclosed garage or carport attached to the residence.
(b)
The owner or occupant of real property within a residential zoned district shall not allow any vehicles, trailers or other motorized equipment to remain in an inoperable condition for more than 30 days unless such vehicle, trailer or other motorized equipment is parked within a fully enclosed garage or carport attached to the residence. It shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section for a vehicle or trailer to be without one or more wheels or tires, or be in a state of disrepair for more than 30 days.
(c)
The owner or occupant of real property within a residential zoned district shall not allow any vehicles or trailers to be covered so as to obscure the license plate unless such vehicle or trailer is parked within a fully enclosed garage or carport attached to the residence.
(d)
The owner or person in possession of any real property may be punished as provided in section 1-12 of the Code of Clayton County for violation of this section.
(e)
After giving proper notice of a violation and five business days thereafter to correct the deficiencies, the county shall have the authority to enter the property and bring it into compliance with these regulations by impounding any vehicle found parked on the property in violation of this section. The expense of such county action shall be charged against the property owner, become a lien on the property, and be collected by the same means, process and manner by which taxes are collected by the county. The impounded vehicle may be reclaimed by the vehicle’s owner who shall be responsible for payment of the towing and storage fees, otherwise the vehicle shall be disposed of in accordance with state law.

Jimmy (Conservative Brother)

April 21st, 2010
9:51 am

There are small signs that Clayton may be on the rise again, however concerned citizens must stay ever vigilant to keep our elected officials honest. Commission CHAIRMAN seems to be stuck in the days of old where he looks for every way to get his hands on Federal dollars when we have seen what happens when those dollars run out (C-Tran).
It was refreshing to see Sheriff Kembro and Chief Robinson come out against Freaknic. The gathering originally began as a way for black college students to gather on spring break. Freaknic got a bad reputation when local, non-college students began to use it as a way to further expand their criminal enterprises. To keep with that tradition local idiots had an out of control party at the VFW post Off Tara Blvd and police had to shut it down.
There was a time when this county had a reputation for not tolerating criminals. I hope we can get back there.

Lenwood

April 21st, 2010
10:29 am

Aleck Cohilas adn Wade Star in charge??? on the rise??

sam

April 21st, 2010
12:23 pm

thanks to our stand strong commissioners. we only need a new chairman!the sooner the better!i can also see better things ahead since c-trans demise.

man on the street

April 21st, 2010
5:14 pm

Our commissioners are not strong – but three are united – Right, Mr. Starr

Nemesis

April 22nd, 2010
2:34 am

@Virus! I heard that too. And they go Phishing on the Advocate for photos and info they can steal. LOL

Sick of it all!

April 22nd, 2010
8:25 am

@ Double Action…. What are you talking about ? Who said Blacks weren’t welcome ? Freaknik wasn’t welcome. There’s a difference. I attended Freaknik when it was still a college spring break picnic. We, then college students, actually were able to have a fun, enjoyable time. Most citizens of metro-Atlanta had no clue that it was even happening. It became something else when non-college locals & large numbers of out of state visitors started getting involved. Then the picnic became a freak show. People started being vulgar. Idiots took the party to the streets instead of keeping it in confined, designated areas. I personally saw several cars with young ladies riding around stark naked. Idiots were stuck in traffic, so they decided to party on the expressway. They cranked the music up and had one big party on the roadway. Ambulances were unable to get to hospitals or calls. People were in cars openly drinking. Sex acts were being performed in the open. Fights were breaking out. That’s just some of what I saw trying to get to work one weekend during Freaknik. So to say that Blacks weren’t welcome was a bunch of Double Talk. What wasn’t welcome was chaos!

Monica (Conservative Sister)

April 22nd, 2010
10:04 am

Upside:I see signs that Clayton County is improving. I was a resident of Clayton eight years ago then moved to Henry thinking the grass was greener. It wasn’t. I have now bought a house in the Lake Spivey area (which is Clayton County too) and in my opinion “this is the best kept secret”! Now since the demise of C-Tran it has made the county even better. “Old Town Morrow” has greatly improved the appearance of the South Lake Mall area. We just need more small businesses in those shops. Clayton County Development Dept. already have plans underway to build a “live,work,play” development on 138(Lake Spivey Pkwy). We will have our own Atlantic Station. The design and layout is very impressive. I am sure many businesses and new residents(that we want and need)will want to be apart of this.

The downside: Eldrin Bell needs to go! He has been responsible for Clay Co’s debacle from the beginning. Developers wanted to come in tear down the swap meets and flea markets that were bringing the community down and build high rises to bring in more businesses. Bell put that on hold for another 3 or 4 more years (for whatever reason). He also welcomed the Atlanta residents in that had to leave Atlanta (thanks to Shirley Franklin) with Sect.8 passes and then bused them around with C-Tran. Did anyone else find it crazy how he was the only that wanted to keep C-Tran? And we were in the hole!! This is why our property values are so low. I am glad the majority won and we will continue to win. This county will be back on the map before you know it.

19&41

April 22nd, 2010
1:12 pm

Eldrin Bell has been in office because he was running against Lee Scott. We need a candidate to run this time to vote FOR, not the lesser of the two evils. Whoever are the powers that be in the parties in this county, needs to find some good people to run for office.

30 Yrs in Clayton

April 22nd, 2010
1:20 pm

I have lived in the same home in Clayton for 31 years near Morrow High School. Shortly after we bought our home the shopping district on Mt. Zion was built, Southlake Mall was well patronized. Businesses were flourishing, churches were adding on space, Clayton State was expanding, hotels were going up, various types of businesses were all hiring at decent wages.

Then Atlanta was awarded with the Olympics. Other metro counties welcomed developers, great jobs and upwardly mobile residents. Clayton County instead welcomed the poor and huddled masses from Atlanta, displaced when the city decided the housing projects sat on land that would make more money handed over to developers for expensive condos and tourist attractions.

Now we all pay the price for that. Educated middle class people are simply not going to live in an area with a poverty level over 30% – and as they moved out, more section 8ers moved in. Now our poverty level is over 70% in most Clayton schools and that high or higher in many parts of the county.

My home is in tip top condition and is now worth less than the day I bought it 30 years ago and I am forced to fight the traffic to work in Atlanta because even before the economy took a nosedive jobs requiring education had left Clayton. I often thing about turning my back on Clayton as well.

Just take one look at development in other areas of Metro Atlanta where major highways intersect – Most especially 400 & 285 and at 75 & 285. There is absolutely no excuse, why this county should not be teaming with high rise office complexes, world class shopping and eateries. WE made the decision to not only be left behind but to give up the great things Clayton already had.

So those of you crowing about Clayton turning a corner. Let me tell you. We were already there and heading upward. It didn’t have to be like this. You think about who you voted out in the 90’s and who you voted in. My fellow Clayton residents demanded a county government that catered to poor blacks and stuck it to middle class whites. Well you got it.

bigdogears

April 22nd, 2010
1:58 pm

Just wait until the new regional transportation bill passes and it sucks out more of whatever life is left in the county’s business economy. Mark my words; it will be a boon for Atlanta, MARTA, DeKalb and Fulton Cos., but only a burden on us.

Donald

April 22nd, 2010
3:42 pm

30 Yrs in Clayton;

I can honestly say I feel your pain…I think the path to the current state of Clayton County has been beaten like a dead horse. Even the transients all know we are the bottom the barrel in virtually every area.

That being said, we can either wallow in this filth or we can all join together and bring our county back to respectability. I said earlier, that upswing might be too strong a word, but at least we aren’t free-falling anymore into a bottomless pit. Change has to start somewhere and it starts with us.

I’ll make it plain..You really have this bottom-line option: 1) Abandon your house (since you can’t sell anything in Clayton…) and move to Fayette, Cobb or Henry Counties, or 2)Stick around and try to make things better.

If you stick around here, as I have decided to do, here are somethings we can all contribute:

1) Vote!Vote!Vote!Vote!
2) DO NOT TURN A BLIND EYE TO LAWLESSNESS! If your thuggish neighbors are selling drugs, report them to the police. After a couple of SWAT raids, they will move somewhere else (Hopefully Fulton or Dekalb County).
3)If they don’t want to cut their grass or pick up the trash in their yards, call Code enforcement..
4) Get involved with community efforts! Volunteer at something or somewhere.
5) Call your representatives, call your Senators, & call your Congressmen when something is not right or somebody is trying to cram BS down our throats (C-TRAN, anybody???).
6) Start saying good things about Clayton. I know that’s a difficult task, but we have to start feel positive about where we live. It is only then that other people will take notice that mayvbe some good things are happening here.

Think Positive…C-Tran is gone! Clayton County will rise by 2014!!!!!!!

dogman

April 22nd, 2010
4:11 pm

Monica – sorry sister you are partly wrong. Eldrin may have welcomed those from the projects in ALT during and after the Olympics -while the Black ATL officials closed them down. But is was Commissioners Bray and Griswell that gave the sole of Clayton to the developers of high occupancy apartments and sub-divisions where they were allowed to put 8 houses on an acres of land. Their greed – do the research – and fat pockets is what opened the door wide for the influx of ATL’s poor and ne’er-do-wells.

Nemesis

April 22nd, 2010
5:49 pm

@ double action. What are you spouting about NOW/ Where in my post were you mentioned by name? You really do need to get that paranoia checked by your doctor.

30 yrs in Clayton

April 22nd, 2010
9:41 pm

Donald, thanks for your reply. You are, of course, correct. We have stayed because we love our home and quite frankly love our neighborhood. My little neighborhood is actually doing great. Houses are small but generally well cared for. Most of the kids in this small neighborhood are more concerned with getting to college than jail.

We are active in our community and vote vote vote. We always did. We are trying to fight for this area, but it’s incredibly frustrating when we see the result of the voting, time after time. I’m impressed with what the City of Morrow is trying to do – and I believe Lake City is actually making an effort. Our school board and our police and sheriff offices seem to have worked out a few of the kinks created by the first rounds of what I consider to be racist voting by my fellow Clayton county residents.

I do hope the people of Clayton begin to understand that the only way to move forward is with both economic and racial diversity.

bigdogears

April 22nd, 2010
11:02 pm

dogman: You hit the nail on the head. It took the inept and corrupt Bray / Griswell Commission to start us on the road to ruin. Our 2004 elected officials helped them along mightily. Now here we are in 2010. We’ve got some awesome elected officials in our DA, Solicitor General, Judges and Sheriff. Our commssoners are a mixed bag. I hope we make it through this ut in the mean time, please pick up some trash!

STUPID MAN 1957

April 22nd, 2010
11:17 pm

Clayton county has been on an upswing for along time now. However, the conservatives/republicians don’t think so! They’re wishing for 1976 and less; when minorities were seriously and silently targeted for being that (being minority); and prosecuted unfairly because of that “an other”! Cleaning their houses for a quarter a day! Progress mean mass public transportation, fair jobs act, and fair and impartial contracting and purchasing in Clayton’s government! Clayton county have an 89% black population with less than only 1% black contractors working for the county government! The majority pays the majority of the taxes in the county, however, the minority (those folks) gets all the money! That how they control the all your elected officials! It’s real “SIMPLE”. Live and learn!

jimmy (conservative brother)

April 23rd, 2010
10:27 am

Stupid Man 1957, I do wish for 1976 again. My father owned his store then. Next to his store was one of the few barber shops (black owned also). My fathers best friend was a supervisor for Walker concrete which even at that time was one of the largest businesses in the area and oh yeah…he was black . The 1st black cop hired by Clayton County could stop by and community police before that term was coined.
In 1976 as a 5 yr old I could walk with my older brothers and our friends friends from one end of this county to the next and not be hustled by police, panhandlers, or gang members. In 1976 I could go to a school in this county that was considered one of the nations best and get a good education.
In 1976 I knew black people who had success in various walks of life. We all lived in this county and we were proud to live here. Were things perfect? No. There isn’t a perfect place on Earth. We watched this county change in a negative fashion. When schools went from receiving national praise to loosing their accreditation. When County government goes from being flush with revenue to being millions of dollars in the hole. When you go from being a good place to live to the butt of jokes. If that is what you call progress… you can keep it.

Mojo Mist

April 23rd, 2010
10:30 am

DoubleAction,

I have to say that I agree with you 100% on your last post. Your statement “with the present day beliefs that it much better than it was, we will continue to live in the past.” is dead on and is why significant improvement is so far off in this County – if it even is to occur. Clayton County leadership and the majority of residents are satisfied with barely getting back to mediocrity. Our county, our schools, our businesses, our communities – they aren’t playing to win, they’re playing to “not lose”. My belief is until hard decisions are made and things are put into motion to stop the significant social decline that is still occuring in this county, it won’t get better anytime soon. Clayton County has nothing to offer potential homebuyers and more of the type of people we need living here. And by that I mean stable, educated, employed, and involved families that put a premium on the things that matter. We don’t need anymore apathetic residents. We have way too many as it is. As I’ve said before, we’re not improving. Our freefall has only slowed. It’s a false perception.

Enough Already

April 23rd, 2010
11:20 am

Stupid Man. Why do you intentionally dumb down your posts so that you sound as if you’re uneducated? I take offense to the fact that you write this way because that’s the perception of how you see those in Clayton County and particularly that you do it with the belief you will somehow sway those who read this blog to favor your posts. You’re so transparent. Write normally and if you have good ideas, tell us them. But most of all be yourself, everyone else is taken.

man on the street

April 23rd, 2010
12:32 pm

You are aptly named “1957 MAN” When the voters of this county thought – “now we gonna get ours” They voted strictly on race. Yeah – we see what that did for the county in the last 10 years.. At least – some have matured and the last election was better.

30 Yrs in Clayton

April 23rd, 2010
12:35 pm

STUPID MAN 1957 – If you don’t think there are enough black businesses represented amongst county contractors then start a business that does it better and cheaper than “whitey” can. Or run for county office, or use the open records act and media to shed light on black owned businesses that bid for the jobs and COULD have done it better and cheaper than “whitey”.

Your goal is to get any white people with any money out of YOUR county? Is this really the way my neighbors think? Is this really the thoughts of people around me when we spend our money in our own neighborhood? I hope you are the oddity here but if not, then maybe I SHOULD consider selling out at a big loss and moving on…………..

How sad. How very very sad.

Donald

April 23rd, 2010
3:34 pm

STUPID MAN 1957;

That’s a good one….! How can you with a straight face say Clayton County has been on an upswing for some time…? I mean, I think we have leveled off and all for right now, but for several years this county has been in a nose dive to the bottom of the septic tank. I will give you just a snippet of what has transpired in the past ten years (gathered from the Georgia Statistics System at UGA):

1) The percentage of Clayton County residents living under the poverty level has gone from approximately 8% in 2000 to an estimated 16% in 2010. We also have the lowest per capita income in the metro area.

2) Violent crime has gone up over 30% in (in proportion to the 26,000+ population) since 2000. Clayton County now leads the metro area in per capita violent crimes.

3) Economic activity except for the County, State & Federal government has left or virtually ceased in our county. ValueJet was really the last viable entity.

4) Clayton County lost its School Accreditation last year…Is there anything else to say????

5) We lead the metro area in teenage pregnancies and we also lead in the highest percentage of single family homes (no father).

6) Nearly 40% of our young men ages 17-25 are under the supervision of the Court System (Jail, probation, parole, work release, etc…).

I could go on and on but that would depress me and probably a lot of other folks. The fact is we haven’t been a stellar community. However, now is the time to step up to the plate and make Clayton County respectable. First order of business is to get your head out of the sand and look around you. Clayton County needs a lot of help that only we can do….it’s call personal responsibility and it is infectious…..

Clayton County will rise in 2014!!!!!!!

Please!

April 23rd, 2010
5:16 pm

Relax. When the county has hit rock bottom, all your properties will be bought up (except Lake Spivey), bulldozed, and turned into high end homes, where you will not be able to live, because you can’t afford to! It will happen. Its not ever going to be like it was “in the old days” again.

maxx4955

April 23rd, 2010
5:23 pm

Donald,

I notice that you are pretty good at rattling off stats and number…you sound like the typical couch potato that yells at the players on the field or court but you never played the game yourself. So what, Clayton County has had its share of hard times..who hasn’t. I’ve lived in this county for 16 years and I love it and have no plans on moving. You see..when I hear folks like you and the other haters that write on these blogs criticing and belittling the hard working folks that live in the county, I often wonder..what’s your point. It ain’t like you are actually going to do anything to help improve the conditions of the county..because more than likely you don’t even live in this county. You just like sounding like you know what’s going on about everything. Well.. you don’t. Do me and the rest of the people that’s trying to make a difference in the county..keep your FoxNews/TeaParty sounding stats to yourself.

Mojo Mist

April 23rd, 2010
6:25 pm

maxx4955,

You have no idea who does what, did, or is going to do so to give a blanket statement like you did is pretty uneducated and reckless. “So what, Clayton County has had its share of hard times..who hasn’t”. Really? You think Clayton County is the norm? Donald gave some objective facts and not only did you not refute them, you say “so what’? LOL! And we wonder why Clayton is where it is today. “The world is a dangerous place. Not because of the people who are evil; but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” – Albert Einstein

Donald

April 24th, 2010
9:40 am

maxx4955,

Amazing how defensive folks get when you hit them with the truth…I don’t drink FOXNews tea or MSNBC koolaid, and I will not stop posting till Clayton County is a decent place to live. As a hard working person and tax-payer in Clayton (I live south of Jonesboro near Irongate), I am entitled to my opinions, just as everyone else is. As for outreach, I have not seen you at any clean-up efforts or Clayton BOC/BOE meetings…or have I???

teacher4all

April 24th, 2010
3:00 pm

@Rhonda

I to am a Clayton County resident. I have lived in Clayton County for nine years and I am also a teacher in Clayton County. I have a personal view daily of our school system. Trust me the problem does not start with the teachers. The issue is with the communities that surround our schools. Our parents/stakeholders are no longer active in the school or in the lives of the children that they send to us to educate. Countless times over the past several years, Clayton schools have taken a brow beating in the media especially with the accreditation crisis. Let’s not forget many great teachers stayed right here in Clayton County Schools and we taught our students with enthusiasm and love even when we were being raked over the coals by the media, state and country. Many teachers left the system and that was there choice. You say you have been a resident of Clayton County for many years but when is the last time you have volunteered of your time to go in and help out in these schools to see for yourself what changes need to be implemented and who needs to go? I’m sure there will be many qualified teachers who will be in search of jobs. But believe me when the economy gets better I would not be surprised to see many of these same teachers run for the hills to other school systems because that is where they wanted to be in the first place. I would much rather have a teacher in my child’s classroom who has a commitment to my child’s community and school than someone who has simply come for a job. I hope you would feel the same.

maxx4955

April 24th, 2010
3:16 pm

Donald,

Maybe we have met…can’t say for sure but one thing is certain. Talking alone hasn’t never gotten anything done. Enough of the blame game..It’s up to every responsible person in Clayton to make the county a better place. I’ll continue to do my part and you do the same.

MorrowDude

April 26th, 2010
9:35 am

Some of the good things in Clayton County:

Clayton State University
Spivey Hall
Southern Regional Medical Center and access to top physicians and medical care
State Farmers Market
Museum of Aviation
Hartsfield-Jackson Airport
Clayton County Library System
Clayton County Water Authority
Olde Town Morrow and redevelopment of Southlake Mall area
National Archives
Georgia Archives
An ACCREDITED school system
Easy access to Atlanta’s cultural and sport venues
Arts Clayton
Clayton County International Park and Atlanta Beach
Melvin L. Newman Wetlands Center and Lake Shamrock
Reynolds Nature Preserve

I’m sure there must be more. Some people weren’t aware of the good things here. I say we must build on the positive in 2010. Certainly there are problems and bad things in every community, but we do have some things others would covet.

Donald

April 26th, 2010
11:47 am

MorrowDude;

Great post and we will rise again!!!!!!