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Community volunteers seek Berkeley Lake Council seats

BERKELEY LAKE — Five men are vying for three city council seats in Berkeley Lake.

Scott Lee, the only incumbent among the bunch, said Berkeley Lake has had a rough time in the past several years, after a historic flood damaged the lake’s dam, causing major construction and an increase in taxes when federal officials balked at paying a portion of the cost.

“While the crisis certainly stressed the relationship between factions of the community I believe the study documenting the financial impact of the lake and the subsequent passing of the bond referendum give testament to the cohesive fabric of Berkeley Lake,” Lee said, adding that his top goals are retiring the bond debt and reducing the millage rate.

Like Lee, many of the other candidates began their civic service by volunteering with their homeowners associatio or in other endeavors.

“I am a candidate for city council as an extension of the community service that I have done for many years,” said Rod Hammond, a retired executive who has served on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission since 2004. “I led successful annexation efforts to extend Berkeley Lake to commercial tracts bordering the City. These annexations have helped to reduce taxes on property owners and strengthened the financial well-being of Berkeley Lake for the foreseeable future. I would like to expand the city’s capacity to support economic development and reduce commercial property vacancies in our area.”

Chip McDaniel, who has been very active in Berkeley Lake Homeowners Assocation, started a social networking group for the local residents to help people get to know each other.

“I will seek to increase community involvement from all the areas of our city and I will listen to make sure we are serving all our residents,” McDaniel said of his ambitions for the office. “I will encourage all residents to participate in city and community activities and to ‘give back’ in ways that can strengthen our city and improve our way of life. I feel that community involvement is the best way to maximize the city’s ongoing efforts to provide a beautiful, friendly and secure place to live, and that it is the key to maintaining and even improving the quality of life that our residents enjoy today.”

Pekka Ignatius also aims to get people more involved in their community.

“My top goal is to encourage all to provide their input and to participate in activities that improve the feeling of unity within the city,” said Ignatius, who also names traffic as a top issue. “I believe it is in the best interest of Berkeley Lake to have a city council with representation from all parts of the community. I also believe that I can bring a fresh perspective to the city council given my professional and personal background which includes having lived and worked abroad and in other states.”

Engineer Jeff Morgan also says he has a fresh perspective to help the city council.

“I just want to apply my knowledge, talents, and energy toward the betterment of my local community,” he said.

Berkeley Lake City Council (Top three vote-getters)

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Rodney Hammond

W. Rodney Hammond

Age: 67

Education: B.S. from University of Illinois; PhD and MS in Psychology from Florida State University

Occupation: retired as a senior executive at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; adjunct professor at the University of Georgia.

Political Experience: member of the Berkeley Lake Planning and Zoning Commission since 2004, including two terms as chair

Family: Wife Andrita; adult son


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Pekka Ignatius

Pekka Ignatius

Age: 58

Education: Master of Science in Engineering, Helsinki University of Technology

Occupation: Vice President of Human Resources, Andritz Inc. Roswell

Political Experience: Berkeley Lake Finance Affairs Committee; Board of Governors of the Scandinavian American Foundation of Georgia.

Family: Spouse Lorrie; daughters Jessica, 30, Linnea, 27, and Nora, 24


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Scott Lee

Scott R. Lee (i)

Age: 55

Education: Associate of Arts, Oxford College of Emory University

Occupation: Technical Sales for Cisco

Political Experience: Incumbent City Councilman

Family: Wife Kay; Sons Austin, 27, and Alan, 24


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Chip McDaniel

Jack W. “Chip” McDaniel, Jr.

Age: 50

Education: BS in Industrial Design from Georgia Institute of Technology

Occupation: Technical Marketing at Automation Direct

Political Experience: none

Family: Married; two adult children


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Jeff Morgan

Jeffery Allen Morgan

Age: 53

Education: BS in Marine Biology from Univ. of South Alabama; Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from Auburn University

Occupation: Engineering/Sales Management

Political Experience: None

Family: Wife Alina; two daughters, 5 and 3