Mark Niesse

Local government reporter

Mark Niesse covers DeKalb government. He previously covered Atlanta schools and worked for The Associated Press and The Daily Report.

Latest from Mark Niesse

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s election video under investigation
 The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office is investigating a Facebook video in which Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed encourages people to vote and says he voted Tuesday for Keisha Lance Bottoms for mayor. Channel 2 Action News reported Wednesday that state law prohibits solicitation of votes within 150 feet of a polling place. In the...

Posted: 10 days ago

The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office is investigating a Facebook video in which Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed encourages people to vote and says he voted Tuesday for Keisha Lance Bottoms for mayor. Channel 2 Action News reported Wednesday that state law prohibits solicitation of votes within 150 feet of a polling place. In the...
DeKalb voters approve sales tax hike for roads and infrastructure
 A decisive vote approving a new sales tax increase in DeKalb should be seen as a “transformative moment” for a county government trying to recover from years of crisis and controversy, county CEO Mike Thurmond said Wednesday. The sales tax hike, from 7 percent to 8 percent, won with 70 percent of the vote, sending the government...

Posted: 10 days ago

A decisive vote approving a new sales tax increase in DeKalb should be seen as a “transformative moment” for a county government trying to recover from years of crisis and controversy, county CEO Mike Thurmond said Wednesday. The sales tax hike, from 7 percent to 8 percent, won with 70 percent of the vote, sending the government...
Election 2017: DeKalb passes sales tax hike and property tax break
 DeKalb voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved raising the county’s sales tax rate to 8 percent, which will bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to fix crumbling roads and make infrastructure improvements. The special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) was part of a broad tax referendum that will also lower property...

Posted: 11 days ago

DeKalb voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved raising the county’s sales tax rate to 8 percent, which will bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to fix crumbling roads and make infrastructure improvements. The special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) was part of a broad tax referendum that will also lower property...
Election 2017: DeKalb sales tax increase approved
 DeKalb County voters overwhelmingly approved a sales tax increase and property tax reduction, according to final ballot counts. The sales tax hike, from 7 percent to 8 percent, will bring in more than $100 million annually for road repaving, fire station repairs, police vehicles and other infrastructure through a special purpose...

Posted: 11 days ago

DeKalb County voters overwhelmingly approved a sales tax increase and property tax reduction, according to final ballot counts. The sales tax hike, from 7 percent to 8 percent, will bring in more than $100 million annually for road repaving, fire station repairs, police vehicles and other infrastructure through a special purpose...
Pastor Lee May starts home-grown church after quitting DeKalb politics
 He’s now known simply as Pastor Lee, presiding over his start-up church from the stage of a high school auditorium. In his last career, as CEO of DeKalb County’s beleaguered government, Lee May once touted park improvements and pothole patching as avenues for improving the quality of life. Now, he hopes to help others change...

Posted: 16 days ago

He’s now known simply as Pastor Lee, presiding over his start-up church from the stage of a high school auditorium. In his last career, as CEO of DeKalb County’s beleaguered government, Lee May once touted park improvements and pothole patching as avenues for improving the quality of life. Now, he hopes to help others change...
Investigation results: DeKalb commissioner sexually harassed assistant
 Audio recordings and text messages validate allegations that DeKalb County Commissioner Greg Adams sexually harassed an assistant, according to an investigative report prepared for the county. The report said Adams called his assistant “sexy, beautiful and intelligent,” sent her a late-night text message inviting...

Posted: 17 days ago

Audio recordings and text messages validate allegations that DeKalb County Commissioner Greg Adams sexually harassed an assistant, according to an investigative report prepared for the county. The report said Adams called his assistant “sexy, beautiful and intelligent,” sent her a late-night text message inviting...
Report finds DeKalb Commissioner Adams sexually harassed employee
 DeKalb Commissioner Greg Adams violated the county’s sexual harassment policy by telling an assistant he found her “sexy,” requesting photos of her in a bikini and inviting himself to her hotel room at 3 a.m. during a government conference, outside investigators hired by the county have concluded. Ashlee Wright, who worked...

Posted: 18 days ago

DeKalb Commissioner Greg Adams violated the county’s sexual harassment policy by telling an assistant he found her “sexy,” requesting photos of her in a bikini and inviting himself to her hotel room at 3 a.m. during a government conference, outside investigators hired by the county have concluded. Ashlee Wright, who worked...
Election 2017: DeKalb voters decide on sales tax
 It will become a little more expensive to shop in DeKalb County if voters approve a 1 percent sales tax, part of the county’s most significant tax overhaul in 20 years. The sales tax increase from 7 percent to 8 percent would raise hundreds of millions of dollars for road repaving, fire house construction, police cars, sidewalks...

Posted: 18 days ago

It will become a little more expensive to shop in DeKalb County if voters approve a 1 percent sales tax, part of the county’s most significant tax overhaul in 20 years. The sales tax increase from 7 percent to 8 percent would raise hundreds of millions of dollars for road repaving, fire house construction, police cars, sidewalks...
Sales tax on ballot would repave DeKalb’s broken roads
 As she’s driving across DeKalb County, Rhonda Mangum tries to avoid the jarring impact of frequent potholes in her path. But it’s even harder to dodge the large metal plates covering them up. “My husband had to stop just to make sure we didn’t bust our tire,” said Mangum of the plates on Rainbow Drive, near...

Posted: 19 days ago

As she’s driving across DeKalb County, Rhonda Mangum tries to avoid the jarring impact of frequent potholes in her path. But it’s even harder to dodge the large metal plates covering them up. “My husband had to stop just to make sure we didn’t bust our tire,” said Mangum of the plates on Rainbow Drive, near...
MARTA buses might jump ahead of new trains in DeKalb
 For decades, commuters in suburban DeKalb County have been pleading for MARTA to expand eastward along I-20, but that train won’t be coming down the tracks anytime soon. Even a recent long-shot pitch to lure Amazon’s second headquarters to the Stonecrest area won’t make rail happen. It now appears that if DeKalb taxpayers...

Posted: 19 days ago

For decades, commuters in suburban DeKalb County have been pleading for MARTA to expand eastward along I-20, but that train won’t be coming down the tracks anytime soon. Even a recent long-shot pitch to lure Amazon’s second headquarters to the Stonecrest area won’t make rail happen. It now appears that if DeKalb taxpayers...
Medical college in Chamblee allegedly involved in bribery scheme
 Each time a DeKalb County employee sent a student to a college for medical career training, federal prosecutors say he received a $100 bribe from the college’s president. But which college was paying the bribes? Emails obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution show that Malik College President Rashid Malik said he was blackmailed...

Posted: 19 days ago

Each time a DeKalb County employee sent a student to a college for medical career training, federal prosecutors say he received a $100 bribe from the college’s president. But which college was paying the bribes? Emails obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution show that Malik College President Rashid Malik said he was blackmailed...