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Drew Valley Completes Cityhood Project

The effort took weeks to complete and may be one of the most comprehensive Q&As about cityhood to date.


What began as a simple fact-finding effort into the pros and cons of cityhood has resulted in a collaborative document almost 40 pages in length that is available for anyone to read and download.

The project was initiated by Drew Valley residents Tom Damon, Sara Root and Anand Thaker. Byron Williamson from BrookhavenYES and Jodi Cobb from NoCityBrookhaven - both of whom also reside in Drew Valley - represented their respective organizations in the project.

Interested Drew Valley residents were allowed to submit three questions for the questionaire. The organizers compiled the questions and then sent them to Williamson and Cobb, who had three weeks to answer them. 

Damon, Root and Thaker compiled the answers and then sent the document, complete with the answers, back to Williamson and Cobb for reviews and revisions. Those revisions have been included in the final document.

"We were inspired in organizing the project because we were on a fact finding mission ourselves," Thaker wrote on the Drew Valley cityhood fact project website. "We also recognized there were others with great questions and people who could provide good answers to them here in Drew Valley."

HamBurger June 10, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Fumble a bit on that keyboard, did you? Please pass the yellow mustard!
HamBurger June 10, 2012 at 08:30 PM
The Other Dunwoody (Paved With Intentions) has an entry entitled “Brookhaven Police Department” which encourages new city voters to examine the Dunwoody Police Department Five Year Staffing Recommendation. Makes you want to look a little closer at the Vinson study. Makes you wonder just how much more budget creep will be required due to government creep. Makes you wonder just how realistic the Vinson study really is! TOD – Brookhaven Police Department http://tinyurl.com/72esjog “Take a few moments and read the recommendations for yourself. Then ponder what it really means in the context of Brookhaven.” http://tinyurl.com/7rjpykb There is a lot of data to absorb, but the information is very detailed and gives insight into the needs of a police department. Compare the demographics of Brookhaven and Dunwoody and you may conclude Brookhaven’s PD will have greater demands, thus greater budget requirements. Man! What a nice cool summer day to be grilling some special hamburgers!
Eric H June 10, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Ok Hamburger, I've still got more questions, but for now I'll just keep an eye out on that issue (i.e. file it under issues I need to get more info on).
HamBurger June 10, 2012 at 08:37 PM
“E Pluribus Unum”, when you ain’t got noth’in, I guess that is what you do . . . Man! Don’t let anything stop you from enjoying a Mr. HamBurger special hamburger!
HamBurger June 10, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Mr. Grieg, STILL laughing . . . Special hamburger to you!
Burgee Unum eddee June 10, 2012 at 08:54 PM
E pluribu ..... Uney - yew . Uni- yew U so funny "Bi- partisan support" in the Dekalb delegation? U live in the same make believe world as burgee- ed. Just work harder Mike. Make those hard core, race-baiting Dems in the Dekalb legislative delegation work with you to have Dekalb county show Brookhaven a little more fairness. Get them to hold your hand while you work together to eliminate the 1000 excess county jobs and bring financial discipline to he fixable Dekalb bureaucracy. Even Ms.Parent knows this is sheer fantasy. Keep sayin' it though and maybe one day all your dreams will come true uni- yew. Uni- yew and Burgee tew Ez Ed and stinky poo Cha cha cha and a rah rah rah Biddley bop and a sis -boom -bah!
"E Pluribus Unum" June 10, 2012 at 08:59 PM
HamBurger...there you go again. Confusing folks with logic, experience and data. It's hard for any clear thinking, reasonable, logical person not to come to the conclusion that taxes and expenses are going up in any new city. Efficiency, better control, a more ethical, transparent city government is the sizzle Yes organizers are trying to sell...but there's no meat (or hamburger) behind their product. They are using age old tactics of describing "nirvana" while demonizing county government officials and South Dekalb residents as the root cause of all problems. You know, if they occassionally took MJ to task for proviiding poor leadership, not showing a capacity to work and make a real difference for the community, than I might give them a reasonable benefit of the doubt. No...their tactics have earned them zero credibility. Keep the coals burning.
Eric H June 10, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Thanks Eddie. Re: first point - taxes. Yes I would still be interested in the cityhood concept if the taxes were slightly more. But i'm not saying taxes will be more. The Vinson Budget has a lot of funding in there that's well above DeKalb's current levels such as the road paving/sidewalk budget and Parks budget.. But yes it really comes down to point 2 which we disagree on, and I can't say you are wrong. As I've stated before I am thinking this could result developments that conform with the Brookhaven LCI principals to accelerate. 1. because of the local control which I do think is possible in districts of approximately 12,000 people and 2. because I think a city could make the area more attractive to developers. I'm also in agreement with the folks involved with the Parks who are flustered by the County. Many of the staff are great folks but there are still issues, the latest illustration being a behind closed doors decision to spend money to install concrete driveways in the ball parks and between 2 parking lots instead of replacing old and unsafe playground equipment. I'm not saying which project has more merit, its just that the constant promises by the county to "next time" let the community know before a decision is made has once again been forgotten. There are reasons I do hate to hear: the shipping money to South DeKalb, then again I also hate to hear the Dunwoody Reject line from the other side. Both demonstrate an over simplification.
Deborah Anthony June 10, 2012 at 09:15 PM
For those of you trying to locate the Brookhaven Ballot Committee, here is a link to the information on file with the Georgia secretary of state: http://corp.sos.state.ga.us/corp/soskb/Corp.asp?1901244.
Eric H June 10, 2012 at 09:19 PM
And by attractive to developers, I mean developers who get how to do it right. I've watched Chamblee do it right for years now, in part because its easier for the staff to implement and effect development guidelines. And thus far I've been impressed with Dunwoody's work. And this proposed city has even more "Smart Growth" talent or people that understand the concept than those other North DeKalb cities and I think this talent will be even more empowered by a City of Brookhaven. Granted If that department got taken over by the talk radio fear mongering on U.N. Agenda 21 we are skrewed http://www.theblaze.com/stories/is-the-soros-sponsored-agenda-21-a-hidden-plan-for-world-government-yes-only-it-is-not-hidden/ But thankfully those folks are so misguided by believing what they hear on talk radio or Faux News that they haven't infected the process and prevented sound science and reality winning out (yes land, development and its supporting transportation systems are a science - granted an often neglected or ignored science in Metro Atlanta).
Eric H June 10, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Link didn't work for me but its easy to find by selecting "starting with" and typing in Brookhaven. You get a long list but its alphabetical . Says they were formerly Committee for a Better Brookhaven.
Eric H June 10, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Not to be confused with abetterbrookhaven.org which is the website for the Brookhaven Peachtree Community Alliance aka Better Brookhaven, a different group entirely.
Grieg Ericsson June 10, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Thanks Deborah. These folks are part of BrookhavenYes.
"E Pluribus Unum" June 10, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Should we be surprised Grieg? Of course not...answered my own question.
Eric H June 10, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Grieg just curious but can you tell me how you know? Unfortunately the corporate records only list a designated agent but no one else.
Grieg Ericsson June 11, 2012 at 12:07 AM
Typical John Garst fodder.
Burgee Man/woman? June 11, 2012 at 12:10 AM
I don't recall you doing the same search for no city groups. Knew you were never just an objective concerned citizen just trying to sift through the facts.
Grieg Ericsson June 11, 2012 at 12:13 AM
That's a racist statement and it has been reported to the Patch. Apparently the IP address associated with this account is guilty of other offensive posts as well. It is being dealt with by the NY Patch office. The advertisers on Patch are upset by these attacks.
Stan June 11, 2012 at 12:50 AM
What is the big deal? The State Ethics Commission lists Mary Ellen Imlay & Jodi Cobb as officers of the No City committee. And J Max Davis & Chris Elsevier as officers of the Brookhaven YES committee. This is public record and how both sides accept contributions. This is how it should be.
Grieg Ericsson June 11, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Like getting Mike Jacobs to help you do a mailer and Robo Calls through his connections with a particular company that does his mailers and Robo Calls. Also, there are those who know first hand that someone inside a certain Yes organzation told others to create pseudonyms "like I do" and post on the Patch. Geez.
Grieg Ericsson June 11, 2012 at 03:42 AM
Mr Stan, There were several posts that were very very crude nd demeaning that were responded to. Those were removed and thus mess up the conversation.
Eddie E. June 11, 2012 at 03:57 AM
EPU, Just watch, if this nonsense passes, (and if it were followed by the unfortunate consequence of 66% one party rule in the General Assembly) the proponents will be jumping on the train to add yet another pointless county. One election year allows us to stop two stupid ideas at once!
Eddie E. June 11, 2012 at 04:00 AM
True, but I'm still waiting on the contributors list from C4ND, you know, our wonderful neighbors who started this mess and put our property values in peril. Care to offer it up?
Eric H June 11, 2012 at 07:32 AM
I'm still waiting for the contributor list to ALL the groups. Yes and No. Though at least its not as bad as the Superpacs thanks to the Republican Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. Bright side is it looks like there will be lots of stimulating of economy with all the spending.
"E Pluribus Unum" June 11, 2012 at 10:18 AM
Eric, please reread Eddie E.'s comment again. The NoCity folks didn't start this boondoggle. The spot light and burden of proof should be on the ones who are playing loose with our future. Who are these folks and what is their motivation? If they have nothing to hide, if they espouse transparency and accountability, than this is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate it.
Eddie E. June 11, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Eric, While you have spent an enormous amount of keystrokes attempting to mythologize the 'Dun-Jilted' idea, riddle me this, Prior to the Dan Weber Rush To Incorporate Dunwoody, when did you EVER hear anyone suggest even in passing the notion of incorporating a city? Such a suggestion at a party would have produced a belly laugh. One need look no further than the running-in-place consistent with the City of Chamblee to see what a fool's errand it would be. so tell me again how the 'Dun-Jilted don't exist and has nothing to do with the argument? Also, as the developing shortcomings of Dunwoody finances and capability to provide services are revealed on a daily basis, tell me why waiting to determine if long term viability of the rushed municipalities is a bad idea. If people are concerned about modification of parks (which, since my kid is grown is of somewhere between 0 and 5 on a scale of 50 for me), then set about a dedicated fundraiser and cooperate with the entity that currently OWNS the parks to accelerate any planned improvements. Incorporating forever to solve a handful of nit-picky problems makes no sense to me whatsoever.
Eric H June 11, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Eddie by "attempts" you mean the poll's i've cited and links I've provided to articles vs. the talking point "belief" held by the most ardent No City folks? And thus my comment above "There are reasons I do hate to hear: the shipping money to South DeKalb, then again I also hate to hear the Dunwoody Reject line from the other side. Both demonstrate an over simplification." So because the idea was not discussed before Dunwoody that's the reason you, Jodi and Bil L feel the motivation for this movement was because we were jilted by Dunwoody (and a power grab by a select few)? Was Dunwoody jilted by Sandy Springs? Ok here is what's going on. 1. Sandy Springs was 25 years in the making. But when it happened it opened the doors. 2. Dunwoody went through it fairly quickly. 3. Chamblee annexes everything up to 285 4. Proposed Brookhaven reacts to main complaints and redraws lines to not do a land grab. 5. Numbers indicate that Brookhaven is not taking an excessive portion of the tax base. 6. Chamblee proposes to annex south so that a neat and more efficient map layout is established that does offer real opportunities for DeKalb to right size itself. 7. DeKalb Raises my county taxes because of their refusal to right size enough. Bottom line, I see Dunwoody is working as is Chamblee and Sandy Springs. And the numbers for Brookhaven are surprisingly good. Do I lack Creativity? Yes. But learning from others does not equal jealousy.
Eddie E. June 11, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Eric, With each passing day and each new stone unearthed, the numbers as provided in the CVI study don't work and are not likely to improve. It might have been nice to give the Carl Vinson folks more to work with from the start, but if you want a cooked study you give them cooked numbers. In short, there will never be any revenue 'surplus' from day one and the very strong likelihood is a huge DEFICIT that would be impossible to overcome if the fantasy 'cap' remains. The police funding is inadequate and intentionally so to stick with the tiny, fantasy budget. The park numbers were another fantasy and primarily a fund to rob to make up for inadequate police services. There is no organic support for this plan as is demonstrated by just about every poll yet published. If that reality doesn't give you pause, then I don't know what you seek.
Annie G June 12, 2012 at 05:17 PM
There's nothing we can do to effectuate change with the county except take control over some of the most pressing issues by forming a new city. South DeKalb will always out vote us and will elect officials that continue to do pet projects in their area like soapbox tracks at a cost of $100k while Briarwood park folks are left hanging. All these calls for community actions are useless. OUr communities have been working toward getting some love from the county for years for nothing. It will never change.
Enuff Govt Already June 13, 2012 at 10:30 AM
Schools “schools would benefit indirectly because the type of people who will probably move into the City of Brookhaven”..just a reminder Realtors refrain from exaggeration, misrepresentation, or concealment of pertinent facts related to property or transactions. The third sentence I don’t get ; I’m still re-reading it. “”some of the best schools in the state are in Dunwoody, Roswell, Milton, Alpharetta and Johns Creek, all cities, but within unincorporated county areas”????

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