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Drew Valley Residents Attend Cityhood Meeting

As city opponents canvassed nearby streets, BrookhavenYES held its latest informational meeting in Drew Valley.


Public safety and code enforcement were the main topics of discussion Wednesday night, as BrookhavenYES held the latest in its series of meetings and discussions on the issue of cityhood.

Between 25-30 people attended the meeting held at BrookhavenYES board member Byron Williamson's Drew Valley residence.

At the same time, several opponents of the proposed city canvassed portions of Drew Valley Road and Poplar Springs Drive.

"We just ask people who haven't made up their minds on the issue to read the proposed city of Brookhaven charter," said Eugenie Viener, a volunteer for AshfordNeighbors.org, which is opposed to the city. "All of our facts in opposition to the city come from the Carl Vinson Institute Study, and we'll be out here going door to door until the cityhood referendum vote on July 31."

At the meeting, Williamson said north DeKalb residents pay most of the county's taxes for its operations but receive less of the services.

"We've lived in the Drew Valley neighborhood for 10 years, and until six months ago, I had never seen a patrolcar in our community," he said. "None of the people who represent this area in DeKalb County government live anywhere close to here. These are serious issues."

Dunwoody Chief of Police Billy Grogan and Chamblee Mayor Eric Clarkson  attended the meeting.

Grogan said that salary and benefit packages are crucial in attracting personnel to a new police department.

"You're going to get a lot of applicants, but you have to be careful in screening those applicants," Grogan said. "In Dunwoody, we hired from many metro Atlanta police departments, including DeKalb County, Atlanta, Marietta, Cobb County and Smyrna."

A Brookhaven police department would be staffed by officers who have been trained and accredited by other departments.

Several residents also asked about code enforcement. The Drew Valley community backs up to several dilapidated apartment complexes along Buford Highway.

Grogan advised a new city to employ or contract out with a separate code enforcement operation, rather than rely on police officers to issue code violations.

"Police work is complicated enough, and there are all sorts of different complexities when it comes to code enforcement," he said. "You need personnel trained in those nuances."

Both Clarkson and Grogan said 911 response times in their cities range from two to six minutes, depending on the nature of the call.

"As a new city you'll have some great advantages in setting up your municipality in a very efficient manner, as opposed to DeKalb County's bloated budget," Clarkson said. "I was very vocal in my support of a city of Dunwoody, because I want to live near municipalities that share the same concerns and issues that we do."

not one of 60 June 07, 2012 at 12:10 PM
"I generally don't comment on here, I just write stories, and opinion pieces which happen to be total my opinion and not factual...." So nice to share your OPINIONS, MS COBB
Eddie E. June 07, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Did eric clarkson suggest when Chamblee might finally get a grocery store?
not one of 60 June 07, 2012 at 12:14 PM
http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2012/05/29/spcase-shiller-atlanta-home-prices.html
not one of 60 June 07, 2012 at 12:15 PM
http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/some-dekalb-homes-see-1453530.html TIME FOR MAJOR LAWSUITS......
not one of 60 June 07, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Did Dekalb say what they did with the 26 percent tax increase? At least a city can keep and use it money locally, and not building pet projects for the majority rules commissioners....and by the way I am 100 percent positive Boyer never gets any pet projects approved....
anon June 07, 2012 at 12:19 PM
I have to say the more I see the people in favor of Brookhaven comment on these stories the more disgusted I get and more likely to vote against it. I don't even live in Drew Valley but walk in there often and can attest to the police presence. It hasn't suddenly appeared in the last 6 months, it has always been there.
Eddie E. June 07, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Really, you must not be aware of the illegal stream buffer encroachment Comm. boyer had forced through to suit the whim of her largest campaign contributor. So much for your 100% positive nonsense. Like most of your posts.
Eddie E. June 07, 2012 at 12:31 PM
And, genius, that is just one example. Care to read the whole book?
Eddie E. June 07, 2012 at 12:32 PM
The truth is a hard thing for the jacobshaven crowd to overcome!
Joe June 07, 2012 at 01:07 PM
"I have to say the more I see the people in favor of Brookhaven comment on these stories the more disgusted I get and more likely to vote against it. " Ain't that the truth. This Not one of 60 is an uninformed, abrasive, closeminded fool who kan't evin spel. If he is remotely representative of the Yes side, I want NO part of that. And no cops on patrol in Drew Valley? Seriously? Anyone who lives/walks/runs KNOWS otherwise. For me, that's another of the outrageous statements of the Yes folks...add this one to "The finances are not in a precarious position", "This will NOT be an additional layer of government", and by deduction, "Most governments are bad, corrupt and inefficent...except ours". It's like the approval of Congress...only 14% approve of Congress, but EVERYBODY likes their guy, who they keep re-electing.
not one of 60 June 07, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Thanks Eddie, but how does that help me or the "Community". Libaray, Park, and so on! That is a personal favor which all politicians do, unfortunately! Also the reason I am abrasive is Dekalb county is so corrupt and so unwilling to make cuts and difficult choices its ridiculous. so most of the people anon or against tis either: work for Dekalb and are worried about pension and job cuts which is part of the real world, own strip clubs and bars, or have some other interest to want the county to control the area an dnot lcoal residents! End of story!
not one of 60 June 07, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Thanks Joe. No answers to the tough questions! Not part of any YES or NO group and don't use spell check! Wow! Such a moron! Don't like corrupt non responsive government! http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/dekalb-signs-fuel-controversy-1451119.html http://www.thecrier.net/news/article_85e6e096-3ba3-11e1-baa0-0019bb2963f4.html http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/soap-box-derby-track-1322779.html
Obj_Cerebrum June 07, 2012 at 01:36 PM
So that I am clear ("anon", "Joe" and similar), your vote(s) are being influenced by how other people vote? I can assure you that all "groups" or "sides" to this argument have unfavorable representatives or voices. Why not vote the issue(s), which ever way you favor?
not one of 60 June 07, 2012 at 01:38 PM
http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/dekalb-co-clearing-land-project-commissioners-say-/nPNWN/
Jackie June 07, 2012 at 01:38 PM
I agree with Jodi!! I always see Dekalb County patroling our streets in Drew Valley. I have not had any trouble with any of the county services.
not one of 60 June 07, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Just becasue you write a nice polite letter does not make it true! That's the hard truth for the NO people...sorry if I am mad, I AM! End of story! What really happened with the 26 percetn tax increase! Do we really need a soap box derby at this juncture??? Why is not Dekalb being more like San Diego and San Jose... http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57448189/san-diego-san-jose-voters-embrace-pension-cuts/
not one of 60 June 07, 2012 at 01:42 PM
And why do we need a soap box derby in economic tough times?! Can't we all agree on Dekalb has been very irresponsible? If we cannot agree on that then no discussion can even take place...
not one of 60 June 07, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Police patrols & garbage pick up are one thing! Thats great! What about new parks, libraries, community facilites, new paved streets, bikepaths sidewalks, and better landscaping and sign ordinances! What about using our tax money locally for "our own soap box derbys" or whatever the community wants? That's what makes and defines a Community. Hilton Head or Buford Hwy (no regulations, no code enforcement). Tax increase and no improvements or local dollars local!
Obj_Cerebrum June 07, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Sometimes, medicine goes down easier with a bit of sugar. Sometimes, people prefer it hard and bitter. To each his own. (not one of 60) That being said, it IS possible that facts, actual true and accurate facts, exist on both/multiple sides of the discussion. Some statements or claims may not in fact be true, but just because someone has a different stance or vote from your own does not make the arguments less valid. (not one of 60) On the same note, someones personal appeal to you does not make the argument any weaker or stronger, that is just working your emotions not your objective analysis. You're just falling prey to a version of marketing. (Joe, anon). ---------------------------------------------- 1) Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. 2) You saying it does not make it true. 3) "The more untrained a mind, the more readily it works out a theory that two things which catch its attention at the same time are causally connected." WL
not one of 60 June 07, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Good points. I accept I am not the only voice nor the only correct one. Just 100 percent upset at the current situation. Will a city fix everything, No. Will it be better. One can only hope. It will be represented by people elected by their neighbors - so the decisons and money spending will be decided locally and used locally which is why i think it is good. We will not be held hostage by the 4 votes or CEO veto that now currently exist for community based decsisions and spending.
Enuff Govt Already June 07, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Interesting to see the Dunwoody chief there in a city uniform; did he bring a city car or was he on city time? Is his opinion the opinion of the city? Is Clarkston expressing his opinion or that of the City of Chamblee when he says things like "bloated”? Does Chamblee have contracts with that "bloated" government to provide services that Chamblee does not? Any chance the city of Shamblees will ever return its millage rate to a 2004 level now that it has excess tax revenue? Public safety and code enforcement were the main topics of discussion. OK; Chief’s memo from Jan 18, 2012…”I am concerned about the long term effects of the high work load if our staffing levels remain stagnant…the higher work load will eventually deteriorate staff morale, increase turnover rates, increase staff fatigue, reduce officer safety, limit work production, decrease community interaction and result in incomplete investigations. In addition I am concerned about services our department does not offer but should…” If the memo indicates there needs to be more officers for Dunwoody then why is the Dunwoody model a solution for a higher crime area like Buford Hwy?
Enuff Govt Already June 07, 2012 at 02:06 PM
"We've lived in... neighborhood for 10 years, and until six months ago, I had never seen a patrol car in our community," Maybe 6 months ago was when you decided to start noticing. "None of the people who represe nt this area in DeKalb County government live anywhere close to here." The representative lives 5 miles or 12 minutes away, the BY pres lives 4 miles or 10 minutes away and the two commissioners live 7 miles or 16 minutes away. I don't see a serious problem. Try an email. No need for more govt.
Crayola June 07, 2012 at 02:35 PM
I'm against the City of Brookhaven because they didn't come to me first and massage my butt cheeks. And why are they having these secret meetings in all the neighborhoods? And why did they forgo at large voting for commissioners so that we could make sure these renegade neighborhoods didn't have too much power? We need uniformity! You will be assimilated resistance is futile! Without that what is the point? Just vote NO to a new city. Ok now can I get my check? By the way where do I pick it up? at the Pink Pony?
Joe June 07, 2012 at 02:47 PM
If "25-30" people attended the Yes soiree, why are there only a dozen or so in the pics? :)
Steve Walker June 07, 2012 at 02:53 PM
I have been in attendance at the exact same meetings that Jodi refers to and yes Dekalb County is very good about sending their Public Relations officers out to our meetings and as a result we will get a little bit of police presence for a short while. But they never stop the speeders, the stop sign runners, etc. And yes Al Fowler always says call 911 for ANYTHING suspicous. Just this past Friday, a neighbor had a car parked by her house all day with people in and out if it. McD's trash in the back seat and thrown into her yard out of this car. She called me to accompany her to check out the car. We called 911 and after a while a Dekalb Officer did show up and we were subsequently ridiculed and harassed by this Officer for calling. And when we yold her we part of the neighborhood watch program and had been instructed by Al Fowler to call any time on anything suspicious she didn't even know who he was. The folks showed up at the car and they awere AT&T U-verse door to door sales people. When we asked for their Dekalb County permit and they didn't have one the Officer didn't care and said she didn't know anything about the requirement for door to door sales people to have a permit. ..That was some real fine representation by the Police Dept Jodi speaks so highly of. They are great at meetings not so much when called upon to implement the practices that they preach at meetngs. I will vote YES July 31 for the City of Brookhaven and a more responsive and responsible police force
Steve Walker June 07, 2012 at 03:08 PM
and to continue......The Officer told us that this was the third call of the day on this same suspicous car and she still did absolutely nothing. We left instead of engaging with this officer any further as it obviously was going no where but down hill. The suspicious car remained for at least another hour. If this officer was representative of Dekalb's finest in support of neighborhood watch programs that they themselves promote Drew Valley is in trouble.
Eddie E. June 07, 2012 at 03:45 PM
All logical, factual positions. But expect vitriol because it doesn't play to the 'BECAUSE WE SAID SO' crowd.
Joe June 07, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Mr. Walker...after the unsatisfactory encounter with the Dekalb cop....what did you do to make it better? Call/write the Sargeant? Call or write your Councilman? Call/write the police chief? Or, is it just better to jump on the New City bandwagon and fix it that way.... Seems everyone is fed up with Dekalb, and the only way anyone sees to fix it is to launch a new city....
patrick June 07, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Sorry that a few people ,have a hard time reading about meetings that are known by those who have a hard time reading .Maybe if they went to the new library that Was voted foe SEVEN years ago, Or go to a county meeting about the Improvements at Brairwood Park , then maybe they could you Facts in their statements
Steve Walker June 07, 2012 at 09:36 PM
More shady shenanigans by Dekalb County CEO Burrell Ellis building a Soap Box Derby without project approval from County Commissioners or even a contract to do so. http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/dekalb-co-clearing-land-project-commissioners-say-/nPNWN/.

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