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Parent, Jacobs Support Proposed Two-Year Cityhood Process

A bill now before the Georgia General Assembly would solidify the process a community must take before it becomes a city.


Two Brookhaven lawmakers are lending their bipartisan support to a bill that would formalize the road to cityhood.

State Reps. Mike Jacobs, R-Atlanta, and Elena Parent, D-Atlanta, have co-signed HB 671, which stipulates that communities wanting to become their own city go through a two-year state legislative process.

Both Jacobs and Parent agree the law would not affect the prospects of a Brookhaven cityhood vote in 2012.

HB671 was pre-filed before the current General Assembly convened by state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur.

“The bill codifies the process that we already use,” Jacobs said. “And it’s a good process. It’s the same process Dunwoody followed when it became a city, and the same process that Brookhaven is following.

“It’s a fair process, and it’s important for proper notice to be given to the public and for an academic institution to crunch the numbers and perform the study,” who is the main legislative sponsor for a city of Brookhaven.

The bill is also being supported by state Rep. Tom Taylor, R-Dunwoody.

If passed, communities wanting to become a city must have a bill introduced in the first year of a legislative session, and to have a financial and feasibility study performed by an independent entity. A legislative vote could then follow in the session’s second year.

“Creating a city is obviously very important and a difficult undertaking,” Parent said. “The process needs to be thoroughly studied and vetted. The community needs time to discuss it and make sure all its citizens are informed.”

For her part, Parent still believes the Brookhaven cityhood momentum needs to .

“At least my constituents think it should slow down,” she said. “Creating a new city isn’t something you should do half-cocked.”

Oliver, the bill’s sponsor, believes communities throughout the entire metro Atlanta area have cityhood on their minds.

“We’ll be in the municplization process for the next 20 years,” Oliver said. “We don’t have a formal process yet in place that is satisfactory.”

Frustrated Incorporated January 22, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Both Jacobs and Parent agree the law would not affect the prospects of a Brookhaven cityhood vote in 2012. “The bill codifies the process that we already use,” Jacobs said. “And it’s a good process. Really?
Joe January 23, 2012 at 03:19 PM
With these politicians, I feel like I am looking at a Far Side cartoon with deer painting bullseyes on their sides....If I get this right, Jacobs is saying that a more thorough and deliberative process is good, but it won't be used now, only next time. I don't care about next time; I care about this time. If it's good then, it's good now, Mikey. I don't know which I am more excited about voting on...the cityhood issue or the next District 80 election.
GuruLikeDrucker January 23, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Sorry if this cityhood thing caught some of you off guard, but this has been an active discussion in the Brookhaven neighborhoods for much longer than two years. In fact, this process started shortly into Vernon Jones’ administration and has involved discussions with those forming the City of Dunwoody, the City of Chamblee, and exploring several other options for taking local control of some of the resources and decisions that were being mismanaged or ignored by DeKalb County. For those that would suggest that we should try to fix what we have, believe me your late to that argument too. Prior to exploring cityhood, many of the involved neighborhood groups attempted to address areas of concern (low police presence, sidewalk maintenance, park maintenance etc.) by attempting to establish positive lines of dialogue with DeKalb County Government. DeKalb County constantly turned a deaf ear to even our most basic concerns. This isn’t a knee jerk reaction to some perceived injustice, it’s the end result of many years of exploring options and attempting to work within the current system.
Frustrated Incorporated January 24, 2012 at 12:07 AM
County police have and deploy vast resources to Buford Hwy. Dedicated Gang Unit, Narcotics Detectives and under cover officers, Strike Force, DUI Task Force and dedicated traffic enforcement unit. Brookhaven would not be able to equal that level of law enforcement.
Kathy Veitch January 24, 2012 at 05:26 AM
I have lived in the Drew Valley subdivision for since 1989 and have kept up with goings on in Dekalb County. I, like many in this area are shocked by the sudden push for citihood. Perhaps the neighborhoods you speak of did not include Drew Valley. So.... late to the conversation or not, our input and wishes deserve the same respect and should hold the same weight that any of those who have had the time to consider this for a longer time. I am sorry that your dissatisfaction with the county's services is so great that you think more government is the answer. Frankly, I think that the county does a pretty good job. Here in Drew Valley, our garbage is picked up regularly, when I call the police they respond, the fire department is here within minutes and our sidewalks and sewers, while under renovation at the present moment seem to work! Maybe you should just move a few blocks to the Drew Valley side of Brookhaven, where Dekalb County seems to be working for us.
Enuff Govt Already January 24, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Vernon is gone, police presence is up, sidewalks have and will be built and the parks have been upgraded. The sky is not falling and better alternatives; like resurrecting the Township Act should be explored.
GuruLikeDrucker January 24, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Too many promises, not enough action... Too little, too late. We are happy you got your sidewalks and your park was "upgraded", our neighborhood is still waiting for the County to fix our sidewalks and show some interest in maintaining our parks. Our DeKalb police force is kind and helpful when they arrive, but the thief knew he had at least 30 minutes to load-up his car before the police could drive across the county to check on our house alarm. E.G.A., we all know you are focused on policing Buford Highway, but have you seen the improvement on Savoy since Chamblee PD took over? Local government run by local neighbors, that's what we demand and it's what we are going vote on.
Enuff Govt Already January 24, 2012 at 05:37 PM
It's also your park, sidewalk, etc. It's too much too soon. The CVI document had too many estimates and assumptions for me. Creating a city based on innuendos (police driving across the county) or before anyone even reasonable knows the cost is a recipe for very bad government. My preference is for the township act to be resurrected and passed. It would protect the area from annexation, zoning-planning-permitting-code enforcement would be handled locally and the expensive items of public works and police left to the county where an economy of scale will keep the cost lower.
don Gabacho January 29, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Interesting observation. Coupled to the overly-departmentalized DeKalb police department, for only one example, committed more to enforcing illegal residence than the law, the customized fiefdoms that police departments of cities along Buford Highway, and now obsessed with expanding their jurisdictions, have long become serious detriments to the community at large. There is remedy. Beginning with what our Congresspersons should have always been doing, the removal of the Mexican Consulate from the county, state and indeed nation.
Chuck Konas January 30, 2012 at 02:00 AM
The irony here is that the supporters don't like the representation they have in Dekalb County, but they don't have any problem with imposing their will on somebody else. As long as they are in the majority, I guess its OK. Doesn't anybody see what's wrong with that? If you're unhappy with Dekalb County, then move. Leave the rest of us alone.
Justin Turner January 30, 2012 at 02:43 AM
@BH Resident - re: "they don't have any problem with imposing their will on somebody else" This statement is particularly applicable to Rep. Mike Jacobs... as he is the one that demanded the Dresden East neighborhoods annex into Chamblee.
Booyah January 30, 2012 at 04:01 AM
@Rep Parent - Is Justin Turner correct that Mike Jacobs is forcing DECA to be annexed to Chamblee. How can he force you to support that? How is Justin privy to such information and we are not? What if we don't want to be in Chamblee?
Frustrated Incorporated January 30, 2012 at 06:01 AM
Guru how did the thief know he ha 30 minutes?
GuruLikeDrucker January 30, 2012 at 02:39 PM
BH Resident Democracy isn't really a new concept. If your choice is to stay unincorporated and within DeKalb County, you will have the opportunity to vote. If you aren't within the proposed boundaries, then you get to keep your representation and the benefit of knowing your tax contribution to DeKalb County will pay for the services you receive from the County
Justin Turner January 30, 2012 at 03:34 PM
@Resident 30319 - Residents of our neighborhoods (dresden east, Clairmont Terrace, et.al.) asked Parent to submit the proposed Chamblee Annexation legistlation, after a meeting between Rep. Jacobs, Chamblee Political leaders and certain members of DECA (Dresden East Civic Association). It is my understanding that during this meeting, Rep. Jacobs indicated that in order for him to remove the disputed commercial property, Dresden east neighborhoods needed to annex into Chamblee. In short, Rep. Jacobs is attempting to impose his will on the entire unincorporated North Dekalb area. Unfortunately, i was specifically not allowed to attend this meeting, as I was deemed too "adversarial" by Mike Jacobs (I guess because I disagree with him?)... so I learned this from our DECA representative who attended this meeting (not first hand knowledge). Also, if you live in 30319, I don't think the Chamblee annexation legislation affects you.
Justin Turner January 30, 2012 at 03:40 PM
@Resident 30319 - Sorry, couldn't resist adding my favorite quote from Rep. Jacobs, given the discussion topic. Apparrently there is an "I", in Brookhaven. Rep. Mike Jacobs (9/30/11, Brookhaven Patch): “The citizens group ultimately may roll the study area back, and I ultimately may decide to go with a smaller set of boundaries.”
don Gabacho January 30, 2012 at 04:07 PM
"Thirty minutes" certainly was a stretch; particularly when a DeKalb patrol car is almost always parked in the lot of a Dresden conveniece store demonstrating, of course, equal protection of the law and Fiesta Plaza features a Homeland Security office managed by the DeKalb police, equipped with computers giving constant notice of known or potential criminals and staffed to remind one of the story when bikers had their girlfriends working in local police stations to warn of impending actions.
GuruLikeDrucker January 30, 2012 at 08:39 PM
@don Gabacho - Your comments never fail to confuse me. I'm not sure how to respond to anything but your first point. I wouldn't be surprised if a cop is coming all the way from Dresden Drive to respond to an alarm at my house. You might believe that is acceptable, but it only reinforces my concern. @Frustrated Inc - That a thief would know that he has more than 30 minutes would suggest a trend, DONT YOU THINK? (emphasis intended)
don Gabacho January 30, 2012 at 10:08 PM
I do not know where you live. Wherever it is in DeKalb County, I certainly do not believe a DeKalb patrol must require "thirty minutes" to arrive from Decatur to it as your statement implied. I was thinking of the recent home invasions in "Drew Valley" and very eventual arrest of individuals living alongside Drew Valley on Briarwood. In either case, only moments away from the DeKalb patrol car. As far as my oftentimes being oblique. It is because I have to.
Frustrated Incorporated January 31, 2012 at 02:44 AM
Very brilliant Guru. But you are wrong. I will leave it at that.
Chuck Konas January 31, 2012 at 02:56 AM
@Guru Why should I have to vote to defend a system that I bought into almost 30 years ago. I do live in the proposed boundaries and am fine with it. If you're not then move but leave the rest of us alone.
GuruLikeDrucker January 31, 2012 at 06:00 PM
@ Gabacho. Based on your comments, I suspect your Mexican neighbors use the term gabacho frequently when speaking of you.
don Gabacho January 31, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Given Guru's penchant for saving his more unsavory comments in posts that cannot directly be responded: "Rep. Parent moves to annex Dresden East to Chamblee...I am sure... don G...will suddenly see all of the advantages of 'cityhood', all of the noise from those concerned about the wealthy neighborhoods stealing resources from DeKalb County..." Despite my stated concerns regarding the forming of any new city, or expansion of any city, when offices of the "obsessively corporatist" Mexican Government direct even the registration of voters for US elections from our own neighborhood? Again: http://bit.ly/nkqBuS http://bit.ly/odEZbI http://bit.ly/nWDzCU What do you have against new proposals regarding governance being free from---at minimum---such "conflict of interest"? Likewise, our tasking our representatives to move immediately to have the Mexican Consulate responsible removed from even our own neighborhood? Likewise, our own representatives being so tasked? The next general election will be the most important since the 'Battle of Atlanta.' Re: Your "gabacho" (meaning gringo) insinuation: "Mexican neighbors" here call me by the full term "don Gabacho" just as Mexicans did when I lived in Mexico. It is a term of genuine respect. Excluded, of course, are the same "officials and employees" of the Mexican Government residing and working their offices nearly simultaneously here and in Mexico. "Clear enough"?
don Gabacho January 31, 2012 at 10:30 PM
"don Gabacho - Your comments never fail to confuse me." Try not regarding yourself a "Guru."

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