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Five Questions With Ben Vinson, Chair, Brookhaven Commission

The head of Gov. Nathan Deal's Brookhaven commission says the group aims to complete its work by Nov. 6.


Editor's Note: On Aug. 31, . Ben Vinson, an attorney at McKenna, Long & Aldridge, chairs the group of volunteers before the mayor and city council take office.

1. What will be the commission's first task or set of tasks?

Vinson: Establish a regular meeting schedule and location so the public is aware and can attend. Devise a system of committees to research and make recommendations on the primary aspects of the city (location of city hall, key staff positions, plan for service delivery). Involve commission members and citizens with the committees. Eventually produce a written report with recommendations on each aspect from the committees and the commission.

2. How often will the commission meet?

Vinson: Weekly or biweekly, depending on need.

3. Will the commission meet in public or private, or a combination of both?

Vinson: The full commission will always meet in public and provide notice of same.

4. All of the races have crowded fields of candidates, meaning that runoffs are almost inevitable after the Nov. 6 election. Does that put even more pressure on the commission

Vinson: The commission will aim to complete its work by Nov 6, so the possibility of runoffs will not necessarily add more time pressure for now. But there might be added importance to the role of the commission should several council seats and the mayor’s race go into a runoff. We are prepared to continue work as needed and assist with transition to mayor and council.

5. What role will the commission play after the city officially begins operations on Dec. 17, 2012?

Vinson: When mayor and council take office the commission by law will cease to exist. I predict each commission member will be willing to provide explanation and assistance as desired by mayor and council in the future, but technically our role will end when the city officially begins.

don Gabacho September 11, 2012 at 02:48 AM
"it appears if Rep. Mike Jacobs and Governor Deal have placed you gentlemen between a rock and an extremely grounded hard spot."---Hamburger They did not have to accept.
HamBurger September 11, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Mr. Phil. you realize what you are doing to GuruLileDrucker’s candidacy, right? He is on your side and you are eliminating him from action with your continued, personal attacks on me. I wonder, what if someone had access to Brookhaven Yes’ email list? What would happen if I shared that Drew Valley GuruLikeDrucker email? You think some folks would finally begin to think about Brookhaven Yes and their underground activities? And, you are a marketing professional? Very glad I am not your client in the real world! Please pass the yellow mustard!
Brookhaven Maven September 11, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Mr. Gokce -- Even though there are thousands of residents of the Brookhaven footprint who don't rely on computers (e-mail, web sites, on-line media such as the Patch, or blogs) to keep apprised of goings-on, there are many more thousands who do. In your earlier post, you mentioned maintaining a media list, but few people I know subscribe to the Crier or the Reporter or the Champion. Please consider --- at least for this first commission meeting --- asking not just Mike Jacobs and Elena Parent to blast their e-distributions, but also ask Tom Taylor, Jeff Rader, Bob Lundsten (since Ms. Boyer doesn't appear to actually even know how to compose / send and e-mail), Kathie Gannon, and any other elected person who has any part of the Brookhaven footprint in his or her district to do so. Many of the candidates for mayor and council have web sites and are starting to build e-distributions for their supporters. You should ask them to post and blast the notification, as well ... especially those who have listed past HOA officership as a qualification for their candidacy. Certainly, they have access to their neighborhoods. Don't forget Stan Segal, J Davis, and other C$DK participants. They should be able to activate their e-lists. Don't forget Jim Eyre, Laurenthia Mesh and other people who built e-lists opposing cityhood. I would think someone would have had the foresight to buy the BrookhavenGa.gov domain name. Shouldn't be a problem posting something there, as well.
Kim Gokce September 11, 2012 at 03:02 AM
@don Garbacho: "If so, do explain." ... _| ̄|○ ... I bow down before you. Bastante. No mas.
Kim Gokce September 11, 2012 at 03:14 AM
@Maven: "BrookhavenGa.gov" "e-lists" I think you all you have listed are good "networkers" to propagate the meeting notices. I will certainly make public comment at meetings for such to encourage them to pick up and circulate the notices. I do not have direct contact with all these movers'n'shakers but will reach out to those I have info for. Again, I think the best model is for individuals and organizations to subscribe to a central notice publishing source and I will encourage my peers to support setting up such. Regarding .gov site, these sites are only issued to government entities after a "certification process" confirming bonafides. This type of process would likely be under the auspices of the seated, elected officials of the City once it is operating. The Commission has $0 budget and cannot enter into any contracts on behalf of the City - only elected officials can do that to my understanding. That said, Internet real estate alternatives may be within the scope of the alternatives and reports the Commission can put in front of officials to help them with a fast start.
don Gabacho September 11, 2012 at 03:22 AM
"I will continue to...refrain from enjoining in argument regarding opinions of personalities, conspiracies, or delicacies." "Conspiracies"? As in mine? How many times must links such as these be posted? Five Questions With Hope Bawcom, District 3 ... - Brookhaven Patch brookhaven.patch.com/.../five-questions-with-hope-bawcom-district-... 3 days ago – http://brookhaven.patch.com/articles/five-questions-with-hope-bawcom-district-3- ..... Mesa Directiva del Instituto de México, Charlotte Carral, y ... Dunwoody's Police Staffing Woes Are a Sign for ... - Brookhaven Patch brookhaven.patch.com/.../dunwoody-s-police-staffing-woes-are-a-sig... Feb 9, 2012 – Brookhaven Patch ...... Mesa Directiva del Instituto de México, Charlotte Carral, y ... Carral, y el Coordinador de eventos del ... de terminar el ... Reactions to the City of Brookhaven Vote ... - Brookhaven Patch brookhaven.patch.com/.../reactions-to-the-city-of-brookhaven-vote Aug 2, 2012 – http://img854.imageshack.us/img854/5656/charlottecarralphotos.jpg ... your cohorts to have demanded of Brookhaven Patch to block oppostion ... politics - marvinarrington marvinarrington.com/tag/politics/page/77/ Feb 17, 2012 – Mesa Directiva del Instituto de México, Charlotte Carral, y el Coordinador de ... Each week, Brookhaven Patch provides you with a list of health ...
don Gabacho September 11, 2012 at 03:23 AM
2012 » February marvinarrington.com/2012/02/page/41/ Feb 17, 2012 – Mesa Directiva del Instituto de México, Charlotte Carral, y el Coordinador de ... Each week, Brookhaven Patch provides you with a list of health ... HB 636 Scheduled for Debate Today usaslate.org/.../hb-636-scheduled-for-debate-today... - Translate this page 19 Feb 2012 – Mesa Directiva del Instituto de México, Charlotte Carral, y ... Article source: http://brookhaven.patch.com/articles/hb-636-goes-to-house-floor- ... Ellis to Senate: Delay Cityhood Bill usaslate.org/georgia/ellis-to-senate-delay-cityhood-bill.html Feb 18, 2012 – Mesa Directiva del Instituto de México, Charlotte Carral, y ... Article source: http://brookhaven.patch.com/articles/ellis-to-senate-delay-hb-636 ... politics - Georgia Slate Sites georgiaslate.com/tag/politics/page/731/ Feb 18, 2012 – Each week, Brookhaven Patch provides you with a list of health inspection ... Mesa Directiva del Instituto de México, Charlotte Carral, y el ... Which doesn't include the links also to the employees of the Secretary of Public Education of the MxGov involved in our elections and referendums too. You have put me into the position of having to ask you that in all your work in civil affairs, have you ever had any relations with the MxGov's "Instituto de Mexico"? The Dalton project? Do you know the Instituto de Mexico's Charlotte Carral?
Brookhaven Maven September 11, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Mr. Gokce -- I wasn't suggesting that you (individually or corporately) send a separate notice out to those folks on a regular basis --- just for this first meeting. I wouldn't want people to criticize the commission for not using every known avenue to get the word out on such short notice. For the subsequent meetings, I'm sure a better means of notification will have become available. If nothing else, the "propagators" will likely keep an ear to the ground and update folks on their own in the future. -- The Maven
Kim Gokce September 11, 2012 at 03:35 AM
@don Gabacho: "You have put me into the position of ..." _| ̄|○
Kim Gokce September 11, 2012 at 03:40 AM
@Maven: I didn't taken it that way - I simply think it is a good idea to pick up myself and encourage maximum circulation of the notification. I share your concern for wide engagement and information flow!
don Gabacho September 11, 2012 at 03:40 AM
"@don Garbacho: 'If so, do explain."... _| ̄|○ ... I bow down before you. Bastante. No mas."---Kim Gokce Your ungentlmanliness is no explanation. Officials and employees having and using still untold numbers of our voter registration forms for our elections and referendums---past and present---is a fact. What are you going to do about it?
Prissy Mae Millendorf, Brookhaven Socialite September 11, 2012 at 03:43 AM
To the respectful gentleman Mr. Gokce: You are to be highly commended for your efforts thus far to serve on the Brookhaven commission. I believe that you will continue to serve us all very well in the establishment of our wonderful community. While there may exist a few discontents, let us look upon them with the significance of a fart of a flea. I encourage you and the other four committee members to begin & continue your great and meaningful work. There are many individuals that I have spoken with who extend our support. We are YES & NO voters who now want the best for our city. In fact, we expect the best and know you do also. Fond regards to you & your lovely wife, Ms. Millendorf
Kim Gokce September 11, 2012 at 03:55 AM
@don Gabacho: Pues, you leave me no choice mi querido gringo. I am here to talk about the process of the City of Brookhaven and the Commission's role in said process. I am not qualified to address your passions nor will I engage in a dialog about it. I am of no use to you except as a object of your monologging. Your follow-ups will be object-less monologging as I am cowardly tapping out - no hard feelings and best of luck in your mission. I'll offer what little truth I have on Brookhaven process but por el ultimo vece, no mas, senor, no mas.
Kim Gokce September 11, 2012 at 04:09 AM
@Ms. Millendorf: I appreciate the confidence and the gusto. If we share in your eloquence, I am sure we are to fare well. Far in advance of the vote I told my wife that my only hope was that the debate would increase civic engagement in the end city or no city. Working thousands of hours volunteering in our community over the years has made me rather a sober citizen - there are few who truly have what it takes to do something productive. The fact that the rewards are slow and often painfully obtained is no deterrent to me and my wife. I have coined my own phrase on this subject: "There is nothing more powerful than personal testimony and there is no more powerful personal testimony than action." On that note, I take my leave with a thank you and a decisive move towards bed. Sweet dreams of action for the weeks to come!
HamBurger September 11, 2012 at 04:15 AM
Well . . . I must say, looking at this thread, Mr. Ben is a very smart fellow . . . Mr. Ben, would you like a special hamburger with thin sliced onions, pickles, and yellow mustard with a Cheerwine?
HamBurger September 11, 2012 at 04:26 AM
Ask and ye shall receive Rep. Mike Jacobs email . . . Regarding the Brookhaven Commission . . . http://repjacobs.com/2012/09/10/brookhaven-commission-to-hold-first-meeting/ Now Rep. Jacobs, you have your new city. Think you can handle making changes to DeKalb government and schools? Or, in two years from now do we need to find someone that can? Maybe you are you a one trick pony? Please pass the yellow mustard.
don Gabacho September 11, 2012 at 05:12 AM
"I have asked you about your opinion about some damn good Mexican cuisine and you have ignored me! Any thoughts about Zapata?"---Hamburger Honestly, as I told you before, I do not eat at Mexican Restaurants. And not just because I refuse to feed their owners' already fat horses in Mexico. "Or, a familiar stellar Buford Highway or surrounds suggestion? Hey! I may not be able to read the language, but I can read the pictures!" Honestly. I can't---and won't---eat the pictures as if I could then tell you what the photographed food tastes like. What I do suggest is, when passing by a construction site at lunch time, stop and get some home-made Mexican food being sold from a vendor's car trunk. The food can be as good as it gets, the company is just fine and you won't be feeding any fat horses in Mexico. "Zapata http://zapataatlanta.com/" It looks good. I can't taste looks though. "I am not certain about yellow mustard on those tacos, but if it they need it, I have it!" The only time I've seen Mexicans in Mexico use mustard, along with cole slaw, it's on the worse perros calientes ever manufactured. Then, as with most anything else (including ice cream), enough chile on it that you can't taste anything else anyway.
don Gabacho September 11, 2012 at 05:25 AM
'I am not qualified to address..." Your constitutional obligation for holding a public office. Then why have you accepted a pubic office? BTW, I've always taken Ms Prissy Mae Millendorf, Brookhaven Socialite to be quite the satirist.
David Stuart Lane September 11, 2012 at 12:00 PM
At what point does a gadfly become an actual hindrance to effective communication? I wonder about the motivations of those that spend a great deal of their personal time looking for the solutions to mysteries that seem to escape most people. - Are these folks disheveled, muttering, zombies living among us, barely noticed, usually pitied? - Or are these people who have a desire to sell an idea, but won't ever disclose their true motives? - Or are they simply daft, bored, shut-ins with no life of their own? For instance, poor don G seeks redress from his/her/it's belief that the Mexican government is conducting US election fraud and wishes the nascent City of Brookhaven to take action. These people are living among us! In another bizarre case, the long lost heir to the French's mustard fortune has finally surfaced in Brookhaven. Will the French family send their private white-coated psych docs to retrieve this oft misunderstood member? Stay tuned. Brookhaven: The City to Dizzy to hate.
Albie Alright September 11, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Kim, Humble pie in Brookhaven is actually Minnie's Pie.
AshfordObserver September 11, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Kim: There are plenty of people who will offer to help volunteer, work, and get hands dirty doing what needs to be done. They will be at as many meetings as there will be. As you probably see from delving into this moshpit of irregulars, there really is nothing to be gained by engaging the trouble makers, most of who won't tell you who they really are. I've turned a new leaf and will add to real conversation on here only, and not stoop to the sewer of those bomb throwers.
Grieg Ericsson September 11, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Phil, My name is not important as you will find out soon enough. I am however, (as J Max could not have said it better), one of your "neighnors". And I am proud to say that I am, (as Russell Mitchell so eloquently states), a "Repbulican".
Grieg Ericsson September 11, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Mr. Lame, It has come to my attention that the French's mustard company is a publicly traded company and therefor your attempt to confuse the good people of Brookhaven will not work. And please, do not spread your fixations regarding French members on to all of us.
don Gabacho September 11, 2012 at 03:50 PM
"I wonder about the motivations of those..."---DSL Why "wonder" or have anyone else "wonder" when all you have to do is search B'Patch's archives? The only "wonder" here is your expectation that anyone must be your librarian. "...that spend a great deal of their personal time looking for the solutions to mysteries that seem to escape most people..." There is no "mystery' here other than why the links amply provided "escape" you. "Are these folks disheveled...usually pitied?" Are you for real? "Or are these people who have a desire to sell an idea, but won't ever disclose their true motives?" Again, no one is your librarian. "Or are they simply daft, bored, shut-ins with no life of their own?" Why is it so important to you to protect the MxGov with your bile instead of our own elections and referendums---and, thus, "lives" of your own neighbors and fellow citizens---with any decorum you can muster? "For instance, poor don G seeks redress from his/her/it's belief that the Mexican government is conducting US election fraud..." Officials and employees of the MxGov having and using our voter registration forms is sufficient onto itself to compel remedy---as belated as you will still have it. Why? What are your "true motives"?
don Gabacho September 11, 2012 at 03:54 PM
If you insist on "fraud" also, as the links indicate, the MxGov's incorporation papers, as its Instituto de Mexico, was eventually granted the license to operate "to promote culture." The original incorporation papers somehow issued, btw, left the "purpose" blank. A veritable blank check. "...and wishes the nascent City of Brookhaven to take action." As anyone and everyone holding public office the City of Brookhaven's office holders are Constitutionally bound "to take action" no matter how you must then anticipate that that must then make them "zombies" too. "These people are living among us!" Get a life. Your proactive indifference is not to dictate mine. "Brookhaven: The City to Dizzy to hate." "Hate"? I "hate" no one. Are you so "daft" to be implying a government to be a "race"? Opposition to the governments of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, must then have been "hate"? Racist? Just who is "daft" here? Do people who think so, or attempt others to think so, actually "live among us"?
Grieg Ericsson September 11, 2012 at 04:05 PM
AO. Who are you and what office are you running for? - Phil
don Gabacho September 11, 2012 at 04:07 PM
"I've turned a new leaf and will add to real conversation on here only, and not stoop to the sewer of those bomb throwers."---AshfordObserver "New leaf"? From whose script? "Troublemakers"? The US Constitution is a "bomb"? "Stoop"? You have already stooped so low that you'd have to look up to see down. Where can you possibly go from there?
Mark Lawson September 11, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Kim: I am new to this site having been told about it by one of my grown children. Thank you for taking the time to respond to some of the people here. I would like to attend the meeting that is coming up and would like to make more meetings as well. I hope that there will be some kind of place that will be on the WWW to let us know about goings on. I do know that you can get a free website at a place like wordpress.com to put information up for the new city. It may not be great but it sure seems like a lot of people on here are wanting some kind of central place right away. Best, M K Lawson
AshfordObserver September 11, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Me run for office? No thanks. I don't have skeletons in my closet. I have a storage facility with multiple floors/retina access and thumbprint technology.
Kim Gokce September 12, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Mark: I will be strongly petitioning my fellow commissioners to leverage digital communications to the fullest. Communications is my one self-proclaimed skill and I will do my utmost to ensure only turtles sleeping in Peachtree and Nancy Creeks may miss a message from the Commission.

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