A week or two ago Representatives Elena Parent (D-81) and Mike Jacobs (R-80) exchanged viewpoints on the formation of new cities in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The Jacobs editorial was soon followed by an editorial authored by DeKalb CEO Ellis. I did not see my reason for supporting Brookhaven in any of those editorials - not that I expected to. The problem is that we have a county operating with an obsolete economic model and we don’t have a way to change the model.
We continue with the same economic planning and budgeting because our basis of operation is not changing. The bureaucracy, and its inertia won’t let it. We can’t reduce the cost of county operations because we are up against politically charged discussions of reductions in county staff, reductions in benefits, loss of police or fire services, garbage pickup once every two years and the like. Unfortunately, the only way to make the county work is either to change something, or continue to increase our direct and hidden tax burden. This fundamental change, that we cannot make, happens in city formation.
With city formation, and for one set of services, we deconstruct our legacy paradigm using contracted services, fewer employees, contribution type retirement programs, and better responsiveness through a shorter and leaner chain of command in all services and in city management. I don’t want to continue to operate the way the county does, I want the county to operate the way new cities do, and the City of Brookhaven will.
Larry Danese is a member of the Board BrookhavenYES and a longtime community activist in DeKalb County.