Poll: Brookhaven's First Elections

Who are you supporting on Nov. 6?

Qualifying is over for Brookhaven's first-ever city elections, with the mayor's race and all four city council races fielding three or more candidates.

So tell us who you support on Nov. 6 by taking our Patch poll today.

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Steve Walker August 27, 2012 at 01:05 PM
.......and don't forget this little line out of the article: A similar complaint in Gwinnett County prompted years of legal wrangling that only ended when the county agreed to pay its 15 cities $32 million for, in essence, double-taxing municipal residents. .......Watch out Dekalb County...take a lesson from Gwinnett when they tried the same tactic.....it cost them $32 million !!
John Q Public August 27, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Hey Steve, Totally different. But as I am certain you have done your research you already knew that. JQP.
Jack of Kings August 27, 2012 at 01:32 PM
JQP- I do not want to rehash the referendum, BUT, to say that "This is where we find ourselves now with 3/4 of the city foot print voting no and 1/4 of the footprint voting yes" is really a classic spin job. Come on. So what? So the the NO votes were more spread out but still numbered 20% less than the Yes votes? Huh? So it is more meaningful that voters on big lots are more informed than voters in, say, higher density townhomes, condos and apartments? Surely you did not mean that, JQP. But that is what you mean. So all potential new cities of the future should know (and accept) that if you dare leave the County, you will be punished with bogus service increases. The County better reevaluate this strategy (which they may be forced to as the scandal becomes more of a political football), lest they find out that the cities decide that the "new" costs for certain services can be done cheaper if the new cities took them over. This is a financial power play. If anything has underscored that I was correct in voting for the city is this Burrell Ellis play to influence the referendum. The County knows that there are a few other areas in the County that could go to referendum on incorporating into a new city. Nothing would please the County more than to make it more difficult for the City of Brookhaven to have a harder time to dissuade other potential areas from pushing for their own city.
HamBurger August 27, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Mr. Steve, both you and Ms. Hunt, the AJC writer need to do some research. In the case of Ms. Hunt maybe she should just go talk to her associate Mr. Anderson. This is just one example of how pitiful media is in Atlanta. And, how uninformed some citizens can be. Compare this quote from Ms. Hunt’s piece: “A similar complaint in Gwinnett County prompted years of legal wrangling that only ended when the county agreed to pay its 15 cities $32 million for, in essence, double-taxing municipal residents.” To this piece on what actually happened in Gwinnett: http://tinyurl.com/9khct8a “Georgia's second-largest county has begun paying its 15 cities back for essentially charging them for services the cities already provided.” They are not similar, they are completely different. This is the second time you have made this uninformed connection between tax issues in Gwinnett and DeKalb. Please do your research before posting again. And, just think, you actually vote . . . Please pass those delicious thin sliced onions!
John Q Public August 27, 2012 at 01:48 PM
So you are saying that we will get everything that was promised to us and it won't cost us more? Is that correct? PS. I voted for the city, sir. Because I think with the right leadership we can have a good go of it. Problem is we have to get the right leadership. I was shocked to see how the votes fell. That north of Windsor parkway decided it. And not even to mention the area always know as Brookhaven said no thank you. Really disturbing. But it is what it is. The areas North should have been annexed into Dunwoody but unfortunately try said no thank you. Oh well. I'll keep on being the idiot and you enjoy your genius. If the ears were moving faster than the mouth you might learn something.
don Gabacho August 27, 2012 at 02:03 PM
"It's very very clear. DekCounty and Atlanta are the last bastions of old time Democrats, big govt and cronyism."---AshfordObserver Thus you admit the invention of a so-called "citizens committee," its so-called referendum, the new undemocratic governance imposed, the disruption of our neighborhoods and even endangerment of our lives has been political. At minimum, between the "cronyism" of two political parties. Issues that are all currently being side-tracked by the demands of domineering parents over the relative gee-gaws of sandboxes and swings.
don Gabacho August 27, 2012 at 02:18 PM
"No votes for you."---AshfordObserver And how are you going to see to that? Or is this just another famous "turn of phrase"?
don Gabacho August 27, 2012 at 02:25 PM
"It is my opinion that the billing of services was increased before the referendum was a last ditch effort by the County to help defeat the City of Brookhaven."---Phil Say what?
don Gabacho August 27, 2012 at 02:33 PM
"So the the NO votes were more spread out but still numbered 20% less than the Yes votes?"---Phil It was "spread out" because the neighborhoods, including those that voted No, were disallowed from voting to be even included or not in the so-called referendum. "Huh?" No "huh" about it. It's called gerrymandering.
HDM August 27, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Gwinnett County illegally charged it's cities too much for services, exactly what the DeKalb Democrat bureacracy is doing, no amount of burgergrease spin changes that fact.
HDM August 27, 2012 at 03:14 PM
John Q Public called the Dekalb Democrat bureacrats, he knows their canned lies by heart.
Steve Walker August 27, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Hamburger the two articles say the same thing just different verbage... Also your Mr. Anderson said: "This sort of funding tension is nothing new for metro Atlanta. Decades of financial hostility between Fulton County and its northside residents over perceived service inequities gave birth to incorporation movements for Sandy Springs, Milton and Johns Creek. "
Ben Podgor August 27, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Please visit my web site: http://benjaminpodgor.com/one.html Put my name into Google in quotation marks "Ben Podgor" and "Benjamin Podgor" You should get about 2,000 pieces of info. If you are led to LinkedIn you will get a full profile. I believe all the candidates have enthusiasm for the job. But check their qualifications. The mayor has no vote, unless there is a tie. It is a cerimonial job. The county should not get away with overcharging for services that they supply. We can audit, audit, audit. I believe that we can get better service and a reduction in taxes if this is done properly. Ben Podgor
HDM August 27, 2012 at 03:35 PM
"The county should not get away with overcharging for services that they supply." Good point Mr. Podgor, if Brookhaven is going to be overcharged our elected officials should look into eventually taking over even more services from the corrupt DeKalb Democrat bureacracy.
Steve Walker August 27, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Dunwoody is now considering taking over Fire Services for this very reason. The County increased Fire Services to them so much that they (Dunwoody) feel they can now provide the service at a savings to their citizens.........
HamBurger August 27, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Mr. Steve, Gwinnett County was taxing municipalities for the same services that the municipalities were taxing their residences for. DeKalb County has surcharged municipalities for the services the municipalities elect to contract with DeKalb for. Big difference between the two and I am surprised that you insist they are the same. I am not saying I like it, however, I can understand on the business side why this is being done. You have some folks associated with Brookhaven Yes that are attorneys, put them to work. I would love for my future taxes to maintain or be lower, however, we have added more government to our area and that is not the direction we are headed. As for Dunwoody and their fire department, this might be more than they can effectively handle and they might end up sharing with another city or two. Something for you to keep your eye on. Please pass the yellow mustard!
John Q Public August 27, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Thanks Ben. Love the site. Less is more and love the color yellow.
John Q Public August 27, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Hope they aren't relying on that tasty Dekalb County water.
HamBurger August 27, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Mr JQP, I understand there is a committee already working on developing Brookhaven’s own water system since DeKalb first announced millage rates for services contracted by municipalities earlier this year. Just south of Ashford-Dunwoody Road there are two flat fields on both sides of Nancy Creek. The right side will be developed into the Brookhaven water purification plant and the left side will be the Brookhaven sewage treatment plant. Silver Lake and Murphy Candler Lake will be piped for supplemental water sources during the summer when the creek is low. The committee initially wanted to put these plants on Peachtree Creek in the south of the new city, away from the north part of the city, but the terrain was not suitable. As you can imagine, this really irritated a bunch of folks in the northern part of the new city, and that battle is not over yet. You know, the “not in my back yard” thing . . . There was a lot of concern initially when this committee was first formed as to how they could acquire land for such a large project. Then one of the attorneys associated with the new city familiarized the committee with eminent domain! No problems, man! Please pass the yellow mustard!
Eric H August 27, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Yes Yes, the added bonus of taking water from Murphey Candler lake and the Nancy Creek is that even after filtration the water will have extra protein from the goose droppings and minerals from the runoff from 285 and various Dunwoody parking lots. Seriously though DeKalb's tax hike this year on those who live in Cities, which apparently represents a unilateral and unexplained change to intergovernmental agreements did not effect the water rates.
HamBurger August 27, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Mr. Eric, yet . . . Please pass the yellow mustard!
Eric H August 27, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Hamburger True. And BTW, I hear you on Gwinnett being different. But is it entirely? Though I believe the DeKalb can't charge different rates to its citizens merely on the basis that one citizen lives in a city and another lives in an unincorporated area. My understanding was that Sandy Springs lost their lawsuit against the City of Atlanta in part because the citizens of Sandy Springs are not citizens of the City of Atlanta that provides the water and sewer services. So my understanding, and I am assuming somethings now since I haven't researched all this, is that the DeKalb should be charging fees based on the cost of delivery. This is why they had to go through the exercise of changing the allocation of the overall millage rate. In other words everyone is still paying the same rate for fire service. The question is does the higher rate raise more money than what the fire services cost in order to give the county money to cover the deficit in the police budget caused by that dramatic reduction in millage rates. The county apparently feels it can't charge different rates to its citizens based on where they live. Perhaps they just corrected the error. But the fact that no one really knows I think is a very poor reflection on DeKalb's accounting practices. Every major department should have its budgets and financials on line and a millage line on the tax bill.
Eric H August 27, 2012 at 05:32 PM
So to go back to the Gwinnett being different than what's happening here. From the February AJC article this quote. http://www.ajc.com/news/gwinnett/gwinnett-to-pay-millions-1336919.html "Three years ago the dispute wound up in Superior Court. Last September Enotah Judicial Circuit Court Judge David Barrett ruled that city residents don’t have to pay for services that primarily benefit residents of unincorporated Gwinnett." If it turns out that the DeKalb Millage allocation is fictional and really the Fire Department millage is inflated to cover the deficit in the Police Department millage rate then we are in essence paying for both. Granted this requires an extra step, that being running the numbers or getting a good accounting reporting system. Seems to me that this should be easy enough to figure out and if we get more itemization of the various departments or services on our tax bills that will only result in more transparency which is a good thing.
John Q Public August 27, 2012 at 05:43 PM
The issue was that Unincorpoated Dekalb was footing the bill for those special services that were being utilized in the entire county BUT that cities were somehow not paying their fair share. Now the entire county pays the same and is not shouldered by the Unincorporated portions alone. Spreading the costs to everyone who utilizes the services. I am aware that there was a great deal of consideration to utilize Silver Lake for the city's water purification and reservoir. The Corps and the EPA are still looking at this but the costs are somewhere around $7.4mm. I spoke to the owner of the parcel on the left side of JF as you go up the hill and he says that he contemplated a conservation easement to the state and that the county who owns the land on the other side of the street to create the reservoir. This is would of course be with the cooperation of Sandy Springs and they are warming up to this. This project would be much less costly as the colonial pipeline has agreed to help subsidize some of the costs. Pretty ingenious if you ask me.
Eric H August 27, 2012 at 06:17 PM
John Q what does your first paragraph mean? All of DeKalb, city and unincorporated were paying the same millage rate for the services they got. And they still are. The question is was the adjustment to the millage rate an actual reflection of the costs of providing those services. Unfortunately it appears DeKalb did not discuss this shift with the cities and I can't find the documentation, reports or numbers that serve as the basis for the shifts. And btw, when I talk about further itemization i'm looking at the General Operations account. It represents the largest line item on the county bill because it has way too many things lumped into it. That number should be broken down to provide more transparency. The general operations line item is by far the largest item on the County portion of taxes and represents over 1/3 of the county tax bill in unincorporated DeKalb. The next highest item was the Police line item, which was almost half of the General operations budget.
HamBurger August 27, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Mr. Eric, regarding tax bill specifics and the details of inclusions in the various line items for cities vs. unincorporated DeKalb, we are really spinning our wheels just guessing. I would make a call to the tax office and see if they can provide you with greater detail to your questions. If they give you the run-a-round, just tell them you are an attorney . . . Please pass the yellow mustard!
Eric H August 27, 2012 at 07:18 PM
No, me having a one on one phone call is not the transparency I am talking about. DeKalb should be able to post monthly and annual financial reports like the City of Dunwoody does on their Website. I should be able to go on line and see what the revenues and expenses of the Sheriff's office is, of the CEO's office, of the Commissioners' office, etc. etc. And anyone should be able to look at their tax bill and see what portion of their taxes are going to fund the Jail, the CEO's office, the Commissioners' office etc. etc.
B.Demosthnes August 27, 2012 at 08:05 PM
JQPublic voted for the city? Maybe his avatar wanted to but his real body certainly did not based on his past posts. The county screwed around with the millage to influence the vote-period. It was coordinated with the no city group and emails and their last pre-election mailings show it.
Larry Danese September 03, 2012 at 07:08 PM
AshfordObserver/Corey Self - Sorry that I am coming late to this series of posts. Observer is likely just copying Self, but if you have something that shows I am/was a member of a "No Group," could you please share it with me? (Unless you are quoting April Hunt, who also has this reported incorrectly.) The comment or observation is not correct. I am a strong supporter of the city and was secretary of the BrookhavenYES Board up to the point that Representative Jacobs changed the city charter from the Dunwoody model to a DeKalb County model. I did not support that change. I felt that it was best for the group to continue with those that subscribed to the 4 district plus mayor model. I can easily defend the choice that I made. I fully support the formation of Brookhaven and Patch published my editorial on why we should form this city. Now, I will work to make it work.
Common September 04, 2012 at 12:15 AM
I seem to remember Larry D quitting Brookhaven Yes, trashing them in an editorial and then palling around with Laurenthia Mesh and her no city group.


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