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Why I'm Voting YES On July 31

A Brookhaven resident explains his decision on the issue of cityhood.


Note From The Editor: The Forum is a new department designed to let you, our readers, express your viewpoint on any issue of the day. The issue of Brookhaven cityhood is dominating much of the dialogue of today, and over the next several days, we'll be running letters we've received on that issue in this spot, each day at 12 noon. Brookhaven Patch is your site, and we want everyone to take advantage of this opportunity for dialogue on any issue or topic on your mind.

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My partner and I have lived in DeKalb County for over 17 years. We were attracted to the area because of the modest home prices, low property taxes, good county services, and low crime. All of that changed shortly after moving to our home.

Over-development and poor planning has caused traffic to be some of the worst in Atlanta. The county has essentially ignored the pleas of its residents to widen the roads, improve traffic signals, fix choke points, and reduce congestion.

Property taxes has risen dramatically in the past year; over 25% with no approval from its citizens. The new city of Brookhaven will cap the millage rate at 3.35, nearly half of what we're paying now. And it will require the citizens to vote on any increase in that millage rate as a matter of law.

In the 17 years we've lived in the Brookhaven area, our street has never been resurfaced or even sealed. The storm drains are broken. Street signs and traffic signals go unrepaired. Park equipment is not maintained. Right-of-ways are overgrown. We are not getting the services we are paying for.

Most importantly, we need better police protection. Crime in our neighborhood was so bad that we had to hire off-duty DeKalb Police officers to patrol our streets. That costs my household $500 a year to supplement the police protection we are already paying the county to provide.

It's time to take local control of our taxes and our neighborhoods. Join us and vote YES on July 31st.

Tom S.

Tom Gilmer May 16, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Now thats just silly.
mcatl May 16, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Amen! Could not agree more. People working to make their Community more safe, more secure, financially sound and a much better place for all families to live.
mcatl May 16, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Nothing he said was silly. The anti-city websites: they are silly and non factual too, as well...
mcatl May 16, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Street repaving would be very nice; unfortunately it is confined to main arterial roads and not side streets where people live work and play!
Stan May 16, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Cutting to the chase of this Opinion Piece: 1) Traffic has increased 2) The tax millage rate was raised 25% + last year 3) The street has not been repaved in 17 years 4) The community feels a need to pay for a private security patrol @Tom Gilmer, what is it that you feel is silly ??
Tom S. May 16, 2012 at 06:53 PM
What part of that did you find silly? Feel free to elaborate.
mcatl May 16, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Vote yes!
Chris May 17, 2012 at 10:43 AM
Beware of DeKalb 'Burrell - come- lately' efforts to repave streets, fix parks etc. just before the election. Trying to make up for 17 years of neglect! Vote YES
mcatl May 17, 2012 at 03:01 PM
They can't. They don't have any money! Poor managment, if there is no city we need a CID immediatley! KEEP TAXES LOCAL. KEEP IMPROVEMENTS LOCAL. How do you think Peachtree's new sidelwalks were paid for: Buckhead CID!
mcatl May 17, 2012 at 03:25 PM
ALL: this is really about town planning and a CID. Community Improvement District. In a CID Localalities decide how to use the tax money. Now the majority of the leaders are in South Dekalb. Why do you think the Fulton cities fought for so long? Becase there roads and streets were pot-hole-ladden - among many other problems; it's mismanagment of funds. Also as to be a duplication of services NOT! Give me a list of every Dekalb police officer, fire fighter, planning official, code enforcement official, parks worker, public works official and any other worker or official with their rank, pay and benefits ...there are so many to list and it is so bloated. Please a LIST ANYONE $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ This wasteful spending could be used for LOCAL improvements: roads, sidewalks, street trees, parks, SO ON and ON! Dekalb is left to only manage: the Jail, Courts, MARTA, and Grady! All that power alone is very scary and corruption laden too!
Jim Eyre May 18, 2012 at 03:43 PM
and why did you sit back and let the power flow to the southside, only to blame it on someone else when not satisfied with the results.....leaders are influenced by community response..clearly the folks on the south side care more about their destiny than the folks now screaming to reclaim their own destiny...they elected strong leaders and, more importantly, held them accountable to their local causes. what we have is a problem created not by the politicians but by the citizens who failed to monitor their activities....history has a funny way of repeating itself so why should we expect anything better form a new layer of unattended politicians at the local level...sure we will be all excited and involved in the initial stages but I have no doubt we will we be having the same conversation about an unresponsive Brookhaven councilmen 3/5/10 years from now when the luster has long faded...go sit in on an "aged" city's - Chamblee or Doraville or City of Atlanta - council meeting and tell me it's any different than what you hear at a DeKalb commissioners meeting...a government runs amuck at ANY level when the people who elect the officials become complacent...get involved with the existing local government and change will occur.
HDM May 18, 2012 at 04:53 PM
As we all know, Jim, it is a numbers game. DeKalb is a large county, and much more density in the south.
not one of 60 May 18, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Does Jim know anything about how Dekalb Commision works or is elected. You cannot elect officials not in your District! It's the polar opposite reason of why the entire State of GA's major State Elected Offices are 100% white male republicans! Not at all saying that is necessaryily good by any means either.... As of 2010 the population of DeKalb County was 691,893. The racial and ethnic makeup of the population was 54.3% black or African American (53.6% non-Hispanic black), 33.3% white, 0.4% Native American, 1.5% Asian Indian, 3.6% other Asian, 4.5% reporting some other race, 2.4% reporting two or more races and 9.8% Hispanic or Latino of any race.[19]
Amanda Hugginkiss May 18, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Hello. We must rise above the transgressions of others through fellowship and good will. Find peace in your life. Welcome each day with an open heart. -a
Amanda Hugginkiss May 18, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Dean, As we age we ALL have more density in the "South". :) We must rise above the transgressions of others through fellowship and good will. Find peace in your life. Welcome each day with an open heart. -a
not one of 60 May 20, 2012 at 12:37 PM
AH: goodwill starts at home. Peace out!

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