Sunday, October 18, 2009

Wolff In Sheep's Clothing?

Courtesy Beacon Media

Bernard Wolff, candidate for Milton city council District 1, could be in violation of a city ordinance he may be sworn to uphold if he is elected on November 3.

By John Fredericks / STAFF

Bernard Wolff, candidate for Milton city council District 1, could be in violation of a city ordinance he may be sworn to uphold if he is elected on November 3.

Wolff, running against incumbent Councilwoman Karen Thurman and backed by Milton council members Julie Zahner-Bailey, Alan Tart and Tina D’Aversa, has at least two active businesses registered with the Georgia Secretary of State. County documents list these as for profit corporations under the names: Carbon Credit Producers, Inc. and Wolff Investments, L.P. Both have Wolff listed as the company’s registered agent and show his home address- 1000 Lackey Road, Milton, Ga. - as their official business address.

Neither has a valid business license filed with the city. Milton law requires all businesses that operate in the city to have a business license, including home-based ones.

When asked if Wolff’s failure to abide by Milton statutes governing business licenses was a legitimate campaign issue, Thurman said, “Yes, in my mind it is, because if you are operating a for-profit business in Milton you have to obtain a business license.“

Thurman maintained that failure to do is like thumbing your nose
at the city. She added, however, that voters would ultimately
determine how important an issue for Wolff it is.

Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood, a Thurman supporter, wasn’t so eager to jump on Wolff for his non-compliance status, however. “It’s not like he is operating a retail store, and he simply may not have been aware that he needs to get a license for each of his businesses,” said Lockwood. “From what I can gather he basically takes business mail at his house and talks on the phone.”

Lockwood admitted that city’s code enforcers don’t typically search for home-based businesses operating without a license. “If we happen to stumble onto one we act accordingly, but its not like we pro-actively pursue it,” Lockwood said. “Much of this is on the honor system,” he explained.

Lockwood said a bigger campaign problem for Wolff was the fact that he has sold a large chunk of his land to Chatham Properties, a developer, while campaigning against development. “This contradiction in action VS. campaign jargon needs to be reconciled with voters.” Lockwood said.

Wolff said he was not aware of the violations and would resolve it immediately if he was not in compliance.


Another matter distracting Wolff in the middle of his maiden campaign for public office involves a series of internal family disputes he is embroiled in. Wolff’s brother, Dr. John Wolff, has initiated several lawsuits against his brother claiming Bernard Wolff violated various stipulations of the family trust, and is, among other things, behind on his rent payments for the home he lives in, which court records show is owned by the Trust.

Dr. Wolff has filed a petition with the Fulton County probate
court to have his brother removed as the family’s Executor/ Trustee.

In an email obtained by The Beacon to his brother, Bernard Wolff threatened to initiate a counter lawsuit for libel and defamation of character. The candidate also claimed that the timing of the petition filing was politically motivated by his sibling to exert added pressure on him to cave in to his demands during the election cycle.


Anonymous said...

Wow is this really true? Julie must be freaking out right about now!

Anonymous said...

She may not have time to find a replacement canidate while this one crashes and burns!

Anonymous said...

I would assume more than half of the people living in thw city of Milton are doing some type of business out of their homes with the economy the way it is today. I am not voting for him but think about the can of worms this opens up to you or maybe one of your neighbors who is trying to make a living!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Damn Bernie, maybe you should have stuck to farming.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember the impassioned plea below that took up full page spreads in the newspapers just prior to the last election?

All that's missing is mention of the apparent unscrupulous, illegal and unethical activities taking place with City Hall at the dead of night - snooping in offices, the search for 'incriminating' documents.

It's really difficult not be troubled by it all - one has to wonder exactly what and who are the driving forces directing the path of our council and city at present.

Certainly it appears that the many whispered and alluded to serious indiscretions of Thurman, Lusk and company are forgiven and forgotten. Bailey, D'Aversa and Tart are now the target baddies.

All this for the good of all Milton? I think not!

" A letter from Mayor Lockwood

Dear Citizens of Milton...

Today, I envision a Milton....

I write you to ask for your support in overcoming the three biggest threats to our vision.

We must first control the cost of living.... .

Secondly, increased traffic congestion....

Finally, our identity as a city is threatened. To me, being a part of Milton means being part of a special area with roots dating back nearly 100 years. It means having a strong downtown district with a city hall and libraries within our city limits. It means protecting and celebrating our historic sections while creating crime free neighborhoods for our new residents. It means preserving our farms and open land as much as possible. It means making Milton unique and distinct from our neighbors. It also means overcoming the negative press from the Atlanta Journal Constitution and USA Today based on the personal agendas of certain city council members.

These are just a few reasons that the AJC characterized the city of Milton as having a "dysfunctional council": Four council members pushed forward a resolution to remove a Mayor's Assistant position from our budget, knowing full well that if they had been successful, it would have negatively impacted customer service response and resolution intervals for our citizens in this crucial first year.
Four council members decided to hire an "organizational psychologist" at taxpayers' expense against the will of the mayor, staff and other council members.
Political appointees/associates of certain council members continue to bring frivolous ethics complaints against me, other council members, and our appointees. It has costs the city thousands of your tax dollars.

Four council members supported, and allowed the passage of key, behind-the-scenes changes to our city's charter without any previous discussion with the mayor, staff or other council members.

Highly valued, key employees have left the city's staff due to politics. Among other things, these political antics have cost us time, productivity, and considerable tax dollars. I need your help to put an end to this. I need your help to focus our energies and financial resources on moving forward, responsibly and aggressively, towards our mutual vision for the City of Milton. I am concerned with and opposed to extending sewer in Milton. The groups requesting it earlier this year have filed a request to re-open the issue just after this election.

Julie Zahner Bailey, Burt Hewitt and Alan Tart share my concern and will work with me, on your behalf to implement our vision. Please stand with me by casting your vote for Mrs. Bailey, Mr. Hewitt and Mr. Tart on November 6. Vote for the principles of responsible growth, reduced congestion, and a positive local identity. Vote for keeping control of our future in our hands, not in the hands of special interest. Vote for candidates who will work to reduce crime, preserve our lifestyle, and who hold high the virtues of character and professionalism.

Milton needs Julie Zahner Bailey Alan Tart, and Burt Hewitt on our City Council. Milton needs you and your vote on November 6. Let's move forward!

Joe Lockwood, Mayor"

Anonymous said...

The Joe Lockwood letter is two years old. Why are you publishing it now?

So Bernard Wolff has family problems. Who out there doesn't? As for being a registered agent, that does not mean he is operating a business out of his home.

Check your facts.

Anonymous said...

What does this guy actually do for a living?

Anonymous said...

Can we still get a write in julie clone?

Anonymous said...

Probably same playbook, same cast putting out same lies about some of the candidates.
Maybe we should examine who is involved and how they profitfrom Julie's candidates?
Last time was a campaign of lies and character assasination, but most important, promised success.
Fast forward two years, outcome still crappy. Same voices come out, claiming nonsense in the name of Julie's block.
Hope everyone decides on the merits, based on truth, but for god sake don't listen to idiots repeating defamatory warnings, year in, year out.

Anonymous said...

So, does this explain his claimed slow response to a domestic 911 call at his house? An argument with his brother?

Anonymous said...

You people never cease to amaze me with the levels you will sink to in order to promote your pro-growth stance. You are not going to be happy until you totally destroy Milton, and I hope you enjoy looking back down your path of destruction as you count your profits.

I am Ms. Thurman and the Mayor are all aware that LP is a family trust and I cannot imagine that Milton or anywhere else would require a family trust to have a business license. If Milton does require that they need to fix their ordinance because that is insane.

Is Ms. Thurman now going to be the business license police, what will be next? Will she start going door to door to see if she can find anyone earning a dollar without a city of Milton business license? Is she going to bust the kid down the street that walks a few dogs? Let’s not forget all of the children that babysit – they will need a license as well.

I think Ms. Thurman should tone down her criticism of others unless perhaps she lives in a glass house and her life is laid out like an open book and it turns out she is the perfect one she professes to be.

Anonymous said...

Did Ms Thurman break this revelation?
Does she claim to be perfect?

Oh, sorry to interrupt your hysteria. Incidentally, no one in Milton is pro-growth. Continuum ranges from retro-growth, to zero, to direct unavoidable growth.

Please be intellectually honest if you are equipped to do so.

Anonymous said...

Carbon Credit Producers?
Oh sh**, we got a genu-eye-ine Al Gore in our midst. At least he served more legitimately than John F-in Kerry, super liberal and gigolo.
Thanks for your time in the service, now go get your biz licenses.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the mayor and Ms. Thurman should pay for good consultants so they don't have to tarnish their reputations with quotes to the Beacon.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe Karen thinks she has the right to say anything about this. She approved landscaping businesses WITH variances that have been operating illegally for YEARS. And Joe, Mr. Spoils System 2008-9, having the same person who was paid $40k to find and hire sewer manager Beckett, Marie Garrett, be on his failed bank's board along with Steve Beechum, his side kick. People that live in glass houses should not throw rocks.

Anonymous said...

OMG! Are you saying someone actually approved "landscape variances", and didnt shut down a citizen's livelyhood?

Please tell us more "O trusted one with a weed whacker".

Anonymous said...

It's not about shutting down someone's business but about complying with legal ordinances & allowing variances for demonstrated hardship.

Anonymous said...

And, above all, keeping Bill Zahner's lawn business going.

What good is power if you can't be a bully, anyway? "Give us a hug..."

Anonymous said...

A 10 foot variance, for example, does not sound significant at all...that is until it is a variance to a property that borders on your own - especially if it is your home.

When your only protection through the ordinance is a 25 foot landscape buffer, you'll recognize very quickly the detrimental impact of 15 foot buffer.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you people get off your lazy butt's and DO SOMETHING about "it" (whatever "it" is your all crying about over and over and over again)! You all sound like a bunch of little old ladies with nothing better to do than gripe, moan and stab the other in the back rather than getting out there and making a difference yourselves. Put your miney where your mouth is!

Anonymous said...

We get to be lazy because JZB and her sorority sisters do it all.

Anonymous said...

End of Story - Can't trust a guy whose own brother "HATES" him.

Anonymous said...

Brother, what planet do you live on?

Anonymous said...

I agree, may not get along always with the siblings or siblings-in-law but would not have anyone go public in my family to halt the election or have a "domestic disturbance". Kinda trashy - or they deserve to be upset.

Anonymous said...

Siblings and Fredericks should stay out of the press.