As we put together a fully-functioning city that begins operations on December 17, 2012, one of my concerns is that too much information has been kept (intentionally or not) from residents about the process of creating our city.
The dearth of information on the newly-created task forces is just one example of the lack of transparency that exists right now in Brookhaven. The task forces were initially created to provide input into how best to set up the City of Brookhaven. Unfortunately, these task forces were set up in secret. They continue to meet with little or no public notice. Concerned citizens have been unable to attend and participate in these meetings, primarily because they don’t know about them.
The procedure is not standard for new cities in the metro Atlanta area. According to Oliver Porter’s book Creating the New City of Sandy Springs - The 21st Century Paradigm: Private Industry, the city of Sandy Springs had open and publicly announced meetings at least a year prior to its creation so that citizens could attend and provide input.
Surprisingly, it is not even clear which task forces exist in Brookhaven. Questions remain about who set up the task forces. How does a Brookhaven resident join a task force? Why hasn’t proper notification been given to Brookhaven residents about when and where task force meetings take place? There are many questions without answers.
I was also surprised to learn that only one mayoral candidate, J. Max Davis, has been invited to attend task force meetings. It has come to my attention that at one recent meeting, Mr. Davis announced plans for a potential city project. For us to begin planning city projects without an adequate system for genuine public input is not the kind of transparency we want.
Moving forward, I call on all citizens to unite and demand more transparency in the work of the task forces. Only together will we have a Brookhaven in December that reflects the wishes of our entire city.
I’m running for Mayor of Brookhaven because I want to give our citizens a choice. The people of our city don’t deserve “business as usual” in government or a done-deal organized behind closed doors. They deserve a city government that works for them and is answerable to no one but the citizens.