SRO Crowd Attends Brookhaven Cityhood Q&A

BrookhavenYES hosted the meeting Thursday night at Cross Keys High School.

Officials from four neighboring cities participated in a standing room only town hall meeting hosted by BrookhavenYES Thursday night.

The event, held at , included the mayors of Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Decatur, Chamblee and Johns Creek, along with four additional city employees.

The meeting, held in a Q&A format, allowed neighbors to voice concerns, ask questions, and gain some insight into what has been successful in other cities who have recently incorporated.

Each of the mayors opened the meeting with an introduction and their perspective on the positive side of cityhood.

"We truly believe cities are the way to go," said Mike Davis, mayor of Dunwoody. "At some point a county gets too big and isn't able to provide the kinds of things you want in your neighborhood. It has to start giving some of those local services to local people."

Some of the biggest concerns related to an email that was recently sent out purporting a city of Brookhaven would have before it even opened its doors. This information was disputed by J. Max Davis, president of BrookhavenYES.

"The statement is false; the city is not going to start out with a deficit," he said. "When you have a city the revenues you get just don't come from property taxes, and in fact only a quarter of the revenues come from property taxes. DeKalb chose to focus only on the property tax portion and asked the Carl Vinson Institute to update their study.

"A day and a half later the county finance department released a HOST adjustment, and the city will actually start off with a $1.1 million surplus."

Throughout the question period there was an overarching theme of concern in regards to taxes going up and adding another layer of government, which all the officials seemed to agree would not be the case.

"It's not a heirarchy. The cities and the counties both receive our authorities from the state of Georgia," said . "In no way whatsoever is a city a layer of government. It is another form of government that is much closer to the constituency that it serves."

Several of the officials rejected the idea that taxes would go up with  incorporation, explaining that taxpayers will continue to write one check, which will be distributed between the city and DeKalb County, and that in their respective areas they have kept their millage rates lower than they would have been had they stayed unincorporated.

When asked about the seemingly low commercial tax base in the proposed city, Davis said it would have a commercial tax base of 28 percent, as opposed to unincorporated DeKalb, which currently has 21 percent. 

"We have a very healthy mix of commercial to residential. There is a lot of commercial hidden in this area that people don't realize," he said.

Other topics briefly touched upon were zoning, animal control and attracting new businesses to the area.

HDM July 01, 2012 at 05:43 AM
Can you imagine a nocity meeting? It would be all gloom and doom with their personal attacks and attempts to spread FUD. They realize it won't work.
Bill Lowe July 01, 2012 at 08:44 AM
Shhhh. Don't tell anyone, but I have asked a few that do border the new city. Have not asked all of them, but the answers certainly were interesting. I just want to hear the Yes folks view on why these other city elected officials are there.
Bill Lowe July 01, 2012 at 08:55 AM
Mike Jacobs has done his job with the creation of the city. He got the bill passed through the government. His part is done now and you won't see much of him until after July 31st......maybe. I would guess distancing is the word that is most commonly used to describe his absence. Either that or he is playing catch up to all of the bankrupt people and businesses he had to put on hold while he was in session/selling cities. He may be out trying to collect promised donations from the Yes folks to the republican party for his re-election. The outcome of the vote will determine whether you see him spending money on his campaign or not. A smart man would definitely wait and not waste money on a impossible venture. Do not worry though, there are others who want to sit in the similar chairs and play with friends that run in the same circles. It will be interesting to see if they are still visible after July 31st as well....or if they slide back to obscurity where they belong. Patience. And some sleep. I know it is a dirty thought, but a Waffle House burger plate would really hit the spot right about now. heh.
Max July 01, 2012 at 09:26 AM
@Hamburger I am involved as a DeKalb resident, and have already answered your question. You have lobbied for DeKalb County since early March, every day. Who is paying you? "I am deeply concerned about the direction that DeKalb County continues upon, and am exercising my civic duty to be involved in making the County and the best it can be." Only a professional lobbyist is able to parse language like yourself. You will recall early on, that I called you on this technique. Try as you might, Brookhaven incorporation is centered on the premise of local control being a more effective method of governance, and not about me.
Be Good To Your Brothers July 01, 2012 at 09:34 AM
To the "Bills", May you always have the wind at your back and please don't give up hope. This too shall pass. I'm praying for us all in these uncertain economic times. It is of utmost importance that we proceed as a community with unity and with much trepidation and the first business we need to get to TODAY is repairing the giant tear we now have in our community by coming together and thanking the Lord for what He hath given us. We are stronger together than apart. We all have too much at stake to guess our way through. Be good to your brothers, for you are your brothers keeper, and we are all brothers in the eyes of the Lord.
Max July 01, 2012 at 09:38 AM
"Most people want something in return when they give something." Sadly, Bill, your thinking is far too cynical. Many more people think about "pushing it forward, of giving back to the community." Why does Tyler Perry commit acst of unnecessary kindness without the expectation of return? Why does anyone get involved, why you? Faith is marvelous, hope will not be denied, and charity is good for both heart and soul. If this City becomes a reality, get involved - early on. If not, keep in mind what has occurred - Many of the facts discussed are not going to change until YOU, dear readers, actually get involved.
HDM July 01, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Nice again the integrity of anyone associated with the Brookhaven movement has been challenged with absolutely no evidence. Thus continues the insidious personal attacks and FUD slinging by those parties, but th voters will not fall for these dirty tactics.
Max July 01, 2012 at 03:03 PM
You are judged by the company you keep: NoCityEver! 1:36 pm on Sunday, June 3, 2012 Our strategy is working brilliantly! Thank you to the No City leadership in developing the perfect strategy! You Brookhaven Yes folks are falling right into the rabbit hole. We have successfully painted you as the racists and homophobes as you rant about South Dekalb and it enables us to keep the Latinos in Buford Highway, the proletariat in Ashford Park and the Brookhaven wannabes in Silver Lake far away from our brand and association with a name that is reserved for only the folks who live within a 1/2 mile radius of the Capital City Club. You all are now perceived as the racists not us! Love it when a good plan comes together!" A scary lot, bent of keeping the status quo. A paid group of County apologists and beneficiaries of apartment loving, sanctuary providing, masters of deception. I am appalled that such blatant anti-American tripe would be tolerated in Brookhaven.
Max July 01, 2012 at 03:11 PM
On this day your words have special meaning. This marvelous land of the free is born from the cauldron of dissent; Democracy is neither pretty or neat. Allowances for free speech and even the rending of community based on important policy decisions is all part of the American experiment. Remember the first strike, a hidden, HamBurger chose to personalize this matter. I have traveled this road before, I know the way. Each and every post I make would make my Mom proud, I have nothing to gain but the knowledge that I helped provide a credible counter-point to misinformation, FUD, and lies. For small minds, 'who' is important, for most, 'what' is important, for leadership, 'vision' is paramount.
HDM July 01, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Have no fear, in a short time after incorporation Brookhaven citizens will have a greater say in our community and will never want to return to the old disfuctional model of yesteryear, like our Sandy Springs and Dunwoody brethren we will be better off
Booyah July 01, 2012 at 04:38 PM
I was at the fair as well this evening, and without being disrespectful I thought your outfit was fetching, although a bit too much exposure for my taste. I thought this was a charitable event. If it was political, as you now claim, I want my money back.
Be Good To Your Brothers July 01, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Brother Max, There is only ONE who judges me and God looks over me and all those who seek Him. If you all turned your anger into positive energy and fellowship, we would all be better off. Why is it that the city Yes people are so ready to lash out and lash out uncontrollably? If you seek the truth, the the truth will set you free my brother. And then and only then will you truly be at peace with yourself. Be good to your brothers, and also be good and true to yourself. It's a good feeling brother.
Be Good To Your Brothers July 01, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Dean and Max, Please do not assume the position of the ordained and impart your ill will upon the children of the Lord. For this should be let up to God almighty as He is the ONE who will guide us to the promised land. Truth and honor, goodness and love. Those are the things that it appears your faction needs a healthy heaping helping of. I will not attempt to judge you as He will judge you soon enough. Please be good to your brothers for you are your brothers keeper. And if you have some spare batteries, there are a couple of Yes brothers who are in need for their calculators. I am certain they will appreciate your kindness, brother.
HDM July 01, 2012 at 06:23 PM
BeGood, you raise a great point, personal attacks against neighbors, be it from either side of the cityhood debate are unchristian-like of those persons who are making them. Hopefully both contingents will learn to stick with the issues rather than casting aspersions upon each other, as it only reflects poorly upon the caster.
Dr. Jeff July 02, 2012 at 01:10 AM
This is interesting news. Mr Good, you use your view of scripture to impugn folks in the YES camp by labeling them as creating division. You state that we are all brothers and sisters & should be coming together, not broken apart. Your earlier posts state that members of the NO camp had experienced hostility, sign damage & vandalism. You indicated YES folks had engaged in personal attacks, etc... And, that the NO folks weren't doing anything like that. So, if you want to build a stronger brother- & sisterhood, then why weren't we made aware of the meeting? Or, is this behavior akin to the pastor in the pulpit telling his/her congregation what to do & then failing to follow the golden Standard? Furthermore, to use the excuse that NO folks were afraid of having meetings b/c of retributional fear is a contradiction to what has just occurred. Perhaps you may not be aware but the AJC on-line printed an article in the DeKalb local news section stating YES folks were complaining of harassment from DeKalb county watershed mgmt for having YES signs too close to the county easement while allowing NO signs to stay within the easement. Plus, YES folks are continually called & labeled horrible things by others using incendiary language (from the NO camp, opposing state legislators, county residents). Perhaps if you were more an example of the Christian love you espouse, I might have more respect for you & your comments. I realize none are perfect with the exception of the One.
Dr. Jeff July 02, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Mr. Good, I am one of His children.... You are using selected Scripture to impart and then you indeed judge others if they think, do, or say something to which you do not agree. I've read every comment you've made?... At first you are encouraging and conciliatory but then you turn judgmental. I've witnessed your type of "ordained" before, especially with regard to not judging the ordained. Utilizing the Word in this way is usually demonstrated within cults as a mechanism to control the masses. I, for one, will call out this type of behavior! And, I do not intend to engage in Bible dart board. The Word is intended to unify without being used as a tool to castigate others. I lovingly pray that His peace, unconditional love, & self-control abide in you in a merciful way.
Be Good To Your Brothers July 02, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Dr. Jeff, Thank you for reading what I have written. My hopes are that we DO unify and through fellowship we can all be as one in our communities. Then we shall have the power to make a difference. My message is of peace and hope and in finding the good and fighting evil. For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
275? Maybe 27.5 Soren July 02, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Nice try. Taste of the world? How many registered Brookhaven voters were there. Maybe 11. Was kind of a silly event and if it was a "no city rally" then the city passes with 80% of the vote. You didn't just decide to vote no and Hamburger wasn't at the Thursday forum either. Ya'll are gettin' a little silly.
Be Good To Your Brothers July 02, 2012 at 03:41 AM
All, I was wondering what Resident 30319 was talking about. It struck me as strange but now that 275 has posted now I think I understand. The No Fellowship Rally was at Peachtree-Dekalb Airport which was a group event sponsored by SKY. Sorry if I confused anyone. Could you please clarify what was the "fair"? And FYI, although it was really really hot today, the smaller Tubing for Truth in Brookhaven outing was a huge success and really fun. It's amazing we fit 62 people in that bus! The cool Chattahoochee provided some much needed cooling power! I have posted the photo's to our blog. Bill, great sermon today my friend. I know that God will lead us through this. Look forward to seeing you all at the Fireworks for Freedom rally Wednesday at 9:00. And all, although I am posting here, please continue your "radio silence". There is no point getting beat up on. Let's be good christians and help this forum cool down some in hopes the personal attacks cease. We will be reaching out to the city hood supporters crowd in the coming weeks for a joint fellowship event in hopes we can all come together to heal and unify our community. Remember, Be Good to Your Brothers, for you are your brothers keeper.
Benton Buster July 02, 2012 at 05:14 AM
Isn't it interesting that Mr. Benton's north dekalb website hasn't posted the video of the Brookhaven Yes town hall? He filmed it just like the other hearings and meetings that he posted with his stated interests of keeping the citizenry informed. I wonder why he hasn't posted his complete and unedited copy of this meeting?
Benton Buster July 02, 2012 at 05:16 AM
Does anybody know what rally this carnival barker is talking about?
Eddie E. July 02, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Why would anyone want to watch such boring nonsense. Besides, I think I have reached my lifetime limit of hearing eva galabos' voice without severe physical harm.
Be Good To Your Brothers July 02, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Sir, What carnival? Please don't confuse the terminology. The NO fellowships I have attended are not "rallies" perse. I may have misspoke earlier. They are focused on a positive message and building a unified community. This city hood proposition has divided our community so much. These people only want to bring those in the neighborhood that want to be neighborly and good to each other and respect each other together to share a smile and good times. I cannot understand why so many people are so angry at each other. It's really unsettling. There are so many questions and so much misinformation out there. After all, the economy will hopefully get better down the road. Maybe then would be a better time to venture into it once we know better what the future holds for our economy and our well being. I for one think it is too risky to vote Yes. Until the decision to vote Yes is a complete no brainer, without any doubt, then I see it as a huge risk in an uncertain time. I have no ill feelings toward anyone. I choose to put my faith in the Lord. That is the only certainty I know. Be good to your brothers, for you are your brothers keeper. I love you all.
HDM July 02, 2012 at 02:18 PM
"too risky" is part of the FUD campaign, don't fall for it, brother.
HDM July 02, 2012 at 02:19 PM
More personal attacks, EzE? This reflects poorly upon you. "Boring nonsense" are the facts, and the truth will set you free.
HamBurger July 03, 2012 at 12:37 AM
275, one of the more interesting speakers was the old fellow that had lived in Chamblee and moved to unincorporated DeKalb. He was extremely agitated with all of the municipality folks in attendance on the stage. He moved from Chamblee because of high taxes and repeatedly called them liars when they said property taxes would not increase. I have no personal knowledge of this man or his experience, but he seemed exceptionally agitated and said so to all including J. Max Davis. He called all of them liars . . . Makes you wonder about his personal experience . . . Special hamburger anyone?
not one of 60 July 03, 2012 at 01:22 AM
http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/print-edition/2012/06/29/100m-project-proposed-for-sandy-springs.html The future of Buford Hwy
HDM July 03, 2012 at 01:29 AM
It is a shame that some of our more distinguished citizenry have been led astray by the FUD slingers
HamBurger July 03, 2012 at 01:43 AM
not, smart developers with cash purchase on a down economy and if they have not done so are in the process of doing so. Eventually they develop or redevelop on the come (don’t get to excited Clayton). Look how long this took to develop for Sandy Springs and no plans yet. Developers plan years in advance. It will be longer for Buford Highway. Check out this map of Buford Highway restaurants (expand and pan as required) and you will see where the actual commercial areas are. http://tinyurl.com/d8thr2m I love my special hamburgers, but there is plenty of exceptional food from around the world available on Buford Highway!
HamBurger July 03, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Mr. Dean, sorry I missed you, I would have shared some of my Cheerwine with you! By the way, has anyone told you, intellectually, how much you add to the conversation? I mean with that F. U. D. stuff and all? Very enlightening . . . Please pass the yellow mustard!


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