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Transparency

A lesson in the need for transparency was delivered today in the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners conference room.

I just returned from a meeting with DeKalb County Board of Commissioners and the county CEO's staff in Decatur. The meeting concerned the recent move by DeKalb county which adjusted millage rates seemingly in favor of residents living in unincorporated DeKalb as opposed to those living in cities. This action was carried out in a manner which highlights the need for transparency in government. Mayors and city managers (and at least one commissioner) from nearly all the cities in DeKalb county were there to express, in a unified voice, their displeasure with the complete lack of transparency surrounding this millage adjustment. City officials countywide were taken by surprise when they woke up recently to find that the county had effectively raised millage rates on their residents without consultation or effective notice. Decatur Mayor Bill Floyd spoke for those taxpayers and municipal representatives in attendance when he addressed the county Finance Director with "I am not here questioning your integrity but....."  This highlights how immensely important openness and transparency will be in our new city.

I got the same sentiment from Brookhaven citizens who came to the forum at the Briarwood Rec. Center last Tuesday night. It was nice to meet so many people with earnest ideas and thoughtful questions about the future of our new city. Among the topics of conversation was, you guessed it - How our city can use transparency and open doors to avoid corruption and transparency problems we see so often in government. I am completely and without reservation committed to transparency and openness for the city of Brookhaven. If I am honored with being Brookhaven's first Mayor there will be no door installed in my office. Closed or executive sessions will be scarce and citizen input and presence during city business will be paramount. Our new city is based on the free market model of the private sector bidding and then the fulfilling of most city services. If we don't have elected officials who believe wholeheartedly in this public/private model with transparency as its anchor, we risk reversion to the status quo as demonstrated by today's meeting with the county.  

During last week's forum it was good to hear citizens discuss these and other topics like fiscal responsibility, economically-viable sustainability measures, and community building. It will only benefit all citizens when more people share their own ideas about what they would like to see in our new city. I encourage everyone to attend future meetings and post their ideas here on the Patch. Please send your ideas or questions to my still in process website at www.jmaxforbrookhaven.com

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

don Gabacho August 29, 2012 at 09:29 PM
"DeKalb losing DECA and Chamblee gaining DECA with this annexation..."---Bill Lowe Not with Chamblee's police.
HDM August 29, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Town drunk doesn't count, don
don Gabacho August 29, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Bill, Do recall: 6:58 pm on Saturday, July 28, 2012 "I gladly accept the title of 'troublemaker'. I should let you know that everyone opposed to the creation of a new city is also a troublemaker."---Bill Lowe Bill, you need to understand that Sam is "Mexican." In Mexico there is no greater offense than resisting, and being at all critical of, central authority. For that government's officials, and for those ingratiating themselves to that government, there is no greater denouncement as "troublemaker." Central authority has spoken. There is to be a City of Brookhaven. Welcome to the Inquisition now in America; particularly "Brookhaven."
don Gabacho August 29, 2012 at 10:08 PM
"Town drunk doesn't count, don'---Dean I didn't say Jacobs was running for Mayor. I said I was.
don Gabacho August 29, 2012 at 10:23 PM
PS: Dean, you never take your own advise: "Don't feed the trolls." I don't blame you. You'd starve to death otherwise.
Bill Lowe August 29, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Here's sort of an answer to my question about the meeting on Tuesday: http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/tax-questions-linger-in-dekalb/nRMWN/
AshfordObserver August 29, 2012 at 11:13 PM
At work today I created a filter that actually blocks donnie gosloucho posts. Life is good again.
don Gabacho August 29, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Adept at manipulating webpage posting. Eh?
don Gabacho August 30, 2012 at 01:48 AM
"Mr. Phil, it is amusing that you persist with this line of questioning. If you recall, at one time you were accusing me of having mammary glands and repeatedly insisted that I had them long after I told you I did not. What is the point of answering questions from such a person that is not satisfied with an answer?"---Hamburger You still don't get it. It ***really*** is an Inquistion. "Any answer to you is simply more fodder for your speculation!" It' not "speculation." It is a form of hazing to deflect from the critical issues---while, of course, defaming. In Mexico it is called "cantinflear.' "Did Rep. Mike Jacobs as you to run some interference here like he did Mr. Max?" You are still overestimating Jacobs. It's not even a matter of who is pulling his strings and his pulling Max's. It's not even a matter of who is pulling all their strings. It's a matter of who has that puppeteer by this short hairs...
don Gabacho August 30, 2012 at 01:50 AM
..."Your behavior of persisting with the same questions over and over has become stalker like." Yes. And if you're obstacle enough, you will be stalked from one forum to another with the same sensless, but always defaming, script. And, when not in a forum, they can and do, even without your being aware of it, put you in one. "Your behavior strikes me as odd and eerie . . . I have never had a stalker before, but in an oddly demented way I think I am beginning to like it!" No you won't. Just stalking is playing nice. There are ample legal grounds and avenues for taking those who are propelling this new governance, on our level, to task. Start with them and it will unravel from there. And it needs to start now. It can even start now by helping ourselves and Brookhaven Patch by not allowing these censors continue to succeed in smothering what they are censoring; and focus our discussions on that.
Brookhaven Maven August 30, 2012 at 01:52 AM
EPU @ 1:40p - Thank you for this post. J Davis is not likely to respond to any such question directly, in my experience of having known him for over 30 years. Note that he still has also not responded to the very valid questions from others about what the outcome of the meeting was. If J gets elected (God help us) expect more of the same.
Brookhaven Maven August 30, 2012 at 02:06 AM
To All - For the record, I am not a candidate --- for anything. Also not on the BOE, DKPD, DCSS, any DK Commissioners' office, and so on. Was not and am not part of BrookhavenYes, NoBrookhaven, NoCity.org, C$ND, or any other of those groups. Don't belong to any formal political party. I vote the person - not the party. I vote the logical, informed response - not the bill of goods. It's nobody's business how I voted on cityhood --- or any other candidate or issue --- unless I choose to make it so. I choose to use a pseudonym, because I don't want any personal or professional recriminations --- or to be boxed out of the future participation in city management. After some of the truths I've spoken, do you really think the people elected as our first governing body are going to let me into any council meeting --- if they know who I am? Not a damn chance!
Mavens aren't anonymous August 30, 2012 at 02:16 AM
From the age shown in his bio it would seem you have known Mr. Davis since Elementary school. Did he knock you down on the playground or something? Did he not answer your snarky questions as a child? You seem logical with some of your posts like the Skyland Park ideas but on others when you blame Jacobs for creating this "mess" show just how bitter you are against anyone involved in helping create the city. Your Skyland post shows how bad a job Dekalb has done with our parks but I guess you wanted " to work to change Dekalb from within". Other posts about yes people all being racists, etc. just how you are governed at times by irrational emotions.
Bill Lowe August 30, 2012 at 02:50 AM
BHOs are fun. There are a few good ones out there, obviously created by Lord Of The Rings fans..... There is the: Shire BHO---which paints everything perfect and happy go lucky---You'll never see anything negative online. Mordor BHO---Which makes everything online negative....has an option for negative based ads even. Gollum BHO---This one is so strange, It defies description. Take Gollum and turn it into a BHO and that is essentially what you get. Heh.
Eddie E. August 30, 2012 at 03:12 AM
As America's Greatest Living President once said, 'I feel your pain'.
don Gabacho August 30, 2012 at 03:47 AM
"BHOs are fun."---Bill Lowe If AshfordObserver and his fellows were sincere, all they'd have to do is take notice of the name at the top of the post and, if they don't want to read that person's posts, not read the post. No one is forcing them too. Since Day One they have not been sincere to instead attempt to tell others who to read, pressure Brookhaven Patch to "do something about it" and even come up with phony posters claiming the posts are "negative" and the poster will not be reading the Brookhaven Patch anymore. They do so to censor what is being said because what at least I am posting will defeat them. There is no use arguing with them. Point out how they are wrong. They don't care if they are wrong. Nor do they care that others will argue with them because they are supposed to be Republicans. They are no more Republicans than they were Democrats. They are only glad when others waste their time and everyone else's on their deliberate rigamarole while foisting off this new governance. They care nothing about whether this new governance is even in DeKalb county or any other. It's all a charade. And a very deliberate one. What it does have to do with is their selves, and their new governance, having to be stopped---PERIOD.
don Gabacho August 30, 2012 at 04:00 AM
Bill, Do you know of a brave lawyer who can frame ample grounds in whatever the legalese would be to take certain persons before the Georgia Bar Association and certain arguments before the Supreme Court of Georgia---despite the personal political persuations or ambitons of anybody? We can frame right here in this forum. In the open. No problem.
don Gabacho August 30, 2012 at 04:12 AM
"After some of the truths I've spoken, do you really think the people elected as our first governing body are going to let me into any council meeting --- if they know who I am? Not a damn chance!"---Brookhaven Maven If they knew who you were, and you really had said anything that would really cook their gooses, you be invited to what they say is a "Consul Meeting." I can assure you that, with what you have said and done so far, you are of no concern to them. You in fact help them by even allowing this new governance by thinking, like others, you can deal with them once this governance is set up.
don Gabacho August 30, 2012 at 04:33 AM
"From the age shown in his bio it would seem you have known Mr. Davis since Elementary school. Did he knock you down on the playground or something? Did he not answer your snarky questions as a child? You seem logical with some of your posts like the Skyland Park ideas but on others when you blame Jacobs for ..."---Mavens aren't anonymous So? You have identified the dissenter. Who appointed you City Secret Police Chief? Show me your papers!
Eddie E. August 30, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Bill, Before going wild with a new school system, shouldn't we FORCE the state to reinstate their half of education funding? I mean we can pick on anybody for being unable to do an appropriate job with half the money, but how would a new 'system' that started from broke be any better?
don Gabacho August 30, 2012 at 03:18 PM
"What's up with you clowns."---Eddie E. As early as: "don Gabacho 11:05 am on Sunday, February 19, 2012 The 'BrookhavenYes' event is billed RSVP which nowadays does not necessarily mean just to exclude. It can also mean to include and isolate an individual or individuals inside, within the invited peanut gallery, to be subjected to a video production producing video that, redigitalized and reedited, can have the subject talking to people the subject never met, saying things never said, doing things never done in even places never been. Inside a perceptible bully-pen/"capture stage." Even with an educated and vigilant crowd just outside viewing in; though now unlikely. As it is, it would be most wise not to venture off the sidewalk and inside anywhere past the public sidewalk itself, which, given surveillance nowadays, is probably being videoed too. Meanwhile do start educating yourselves to a new and most pertinent phenomenon around and about. Do an I-Net search using the following key words: "motion capture stage Texas." And, when you go, do go with video cell phone cameras and video cameras etc. Time to turn the cameras." High-time to get ahead of the eight-ball. No?
Jack of Kings August 30, 2012 at 04:01 PM
don Gab "Ignore" app does work! Thanks AshfordObserver.
AshfordObserver August 31, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Ben Franklin used pseudonyms. http://www.pbs.org/benfranklin/l3_wit_name.html BM no problem there. Especially since some here who use an alias here outed a private citizen who merely wanted to post something. There will be a new city just as surely as the sun will rise on 12/17. Im going to chime in at meetings too..maybe even run as a write in candidate.how will J Max handle that?
Eddie E. August 31, 2012 at 03:30 AM
Would jmax be 'Poor Richard' or just 'Poor Choice?
Grieg Ericsson September 03, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Vote YES FOR THE FUTURE OF BROOKHAVEN!!! VOTE NO TO JMAX DAVIS!
Common September 04, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Kind of funny coming from somebody who voted so that Brookhaven would never have a future. I guess you want No City Sandy or maybe someone form the European Socalist ticket.
HamBurger September 04, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Ms. Common, LOL! I am voting for Mr. J. Max Davis! I want to see him and his puppet master, Rep. Mike Jacobs sweat bullets when everyone finds out what a fraud their new city has become in the third year of cityhood and see their response to the J. Max lifestyle in their new city of Brookhaven! Hey! C$ND and Brookhaven Yes has controlled everything so far, let them continue to control their new city. Let those folks see what life is like in their neighborhoods and the the reception they receive from the extremely dissatisfied taxpaying citizens of their Brookhaven! Please pass the yellow mustard!
Common September 04, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Sounds like a good strategy. Make them prove it can work- if it works they will be too busy celebrating and continuing the success to care what you may have said. If it doesn't work you can say "I told you so" and run for office yourself.
Jack of Kings September 04, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Common--I applaud your efforts to be reasonable and rational with these posters with carpal tunnel syndrome, but their strategy is to exhaust all who disagree with their general assertion that everyone associated with bringing the incorporation of the City of Brookhaven are corrupt. Mind you, they have nothing but their opinion to "support" this charge, but that will not stop them from posting 20-40 times a day on Patch. What is unfortunate is that these posters monopolize the boards with repetitive postings that I, too, have found myself wasting my time going through theirs to find a few nuggets of wisdom by the occassional poster. I wish Patch could put a posting limit per day per poster. Maybe they would think twice before they post about the Mexican Government conspiracy, smoke filled rooms, and cheerwine.
don Gabacho September 05, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Corey Self, Yet again: You can still answer these questions here in public---given you have them in private: "Why don't we meet face to face to discuss this a bit more? I'll gladly walk you through how the citizens provided information to CVI for the study.---Corey Self; Comments B'Patch "What, and how much, other information was supplied to the CVI by the so-called 'citizens group' C4DK?" And while you're at it: 1) Just who paid for the CVI study? And where did they get the money? 2) Just where in the Constitution of the State of Georgia does it say that townships, somehow being prohibited, would require, as your fellow member of the so-called "citizens committee," C4DK, "State Representative" Mike Jacobs, declared would require a state-wide referendum to allow? "Q: How did UGA Carl Vinson Institute (CVI) come up with the numbers they used in the study? A: CVI has a great deal of experience with these types of studies. (See CVI Local Government Services page www.cviog.uga.edu/local-government-services) Generally, they look at the population of cities with similar demographics to estimate what the need would be for the new city. Neither C4ND nor Brookhaven Yes provided any numbers to the CVI as they were solely responsible for acquiring and analyzing all comparative data in the study. The non-partisan academics at the Carl Vinson Institute..." http://brookhavenyes.org/faq.php

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