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Transparency Should be the Bedrock of Brookhaven

Mayoral candidate Sandy Murray writes about transparency in the creation of the City of Brookhaven.

As we put together a fully-functioning city that begins operations on December 17, 2012, one of my concerns is that too much information has been kept (intentionally or not) from residents about the process of creating our city.

The dearth of information on the newly-created task forces is just one example of the lack of transparency that exists right now in Brookhaven. The task forces were initially created to provide input into how best to set up the City of Brookhaven. Unfortunately, these task forces were set up in secret. They continue to meet with little or no public notice. Concerned citizens have been unable to attend and participate in these meetings, primarily because they don’t know about them.

The procedure is not standard for new cities in the metro Atlanta area. According to Oliver Porter’s book Creating the New City of Sandy Springs - The 21st Century Paradigm: Private Industry, the city of Sandy Springs had open and publicly announced meetings at least a year prior to its creation so that citizens could attend and provide input.

Surprisingly, it is not even clear which task forces exist in Brookhaven. Questions remain about who set up the task forces. How does a Brookhaven resident join a task force? Why hasn’t proper notification been given to Brookhaven residents about when and where task force meetings take place? There are many questions without answers.

I was also surprised to learn that only one mayoral candidate, J. Max Davis, has been invited to attend task force meetings. It has come to my attention that at one recent meeting, Mr. Davis announced plans for a potential city project. For us to begin planning city projects without an adequate system for genuine public input is not the kind of transparency we want.

Moving forward, I call on all citizens to unite and demand more transparency in the work of the task forces. Only together will we have a Brookhaven in December that reflects the wishes of our entire city.

I’m running for Mayor of Brookhaven because I want to give our citizens a choice. The people of our city don’t deserve “business as usual” in government or a done-deal organized behind closed doors. They deserve a city government that works for them and is answerable to no one but the citizens.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Booyah September 04, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Is this lady running for Mayor or State Representative, it's not clear or transparent. If she is on both ballots does she get to pick which office she wants 'after' we vote. How many times has she run for public office?? Has she ever won anything??
Common September 04, 2012 at 02:40 AM
"It has come to my attention that at one recent meeting, Mr. Davis announced plans for a potential city project". Using hearsay to attack someone publicly doesn't bode well for Murray's campaign. I hope she can back it up because this type of gossipy behavior shows how she would act as mayor.
Brookhaven Maven September 04, 2012 at 02:47 AM
Ms. Murray original post @ 9:21pm -- The task forces and the yesser committees don't have any power. As a mayoral candidate, I'd have thought you knew that. Were your call for open meetings and a means of public input directed toward Governor Deal's commission, I would agree with you wholeheartedly. THEY are the ones who will make recommendations to the newly-elected mayor and councilpeople. Questions have been raised in other posts on this forum asking whether a means for interested citizens to directly contact the commission will be provided, whether any public (input) meetings will be scheduled, and calling for the schedule of such meetings (if any) to be published far and wide using multiple means of contact. You recommended your readers to DEMAND transparency. To whom do you believe such a demand should be addressed? No one is in charge!
Grieg Ericsson September 04, 2012 at 11:22 AM
J Max, as someone said earlier (Carl?), go watch TV and eat a gallon of ice cream and spare us your "obfuscations".
Grieg Ericsson September 04, 2012 at 11:28 AM
If you do not think that there are regular meetings behind closed doors - with some of your elected officials - you are crazy. Mike Jacobs, for one is neck deep in framing out this city and is exercising the same level of openness he displayed when the city idea came about in the first place. There may be no figurehead who is publicly appointed specifically for Brookhaven yet, but do not be so naive to think that the planning is not taking place.
HamBurger September 04, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Ms. A Resident, now, with these comments, you are showing us just how uninformed you truly are. Please, keep up with the rest of us. If you do not understand what is going on, instead of risking looking ignorant, ask questions. It is far better than making your uneducated guesses. Please pass the yellow mustard!
HamBurger September 04, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Mr. Grieg, oh yeah, those meetings are happening with regularity by the head puppet master. However the citizens committees to help with city development are a complete sham. Please pass the yellow mustard!
Honestly September 06, 2012 at 05:32 PM
It is not hearsay! I know the people who were there.
Honestly September 06, 2012 at 05:34 PM
You should read Oliver Porter's book on starting up Sandy Springs. It clearly says that their task forces were open to the public and accepted public input. Everything in Brookhaven is in secret. Who set up these task forces? Demand that they make them open.
HamBurger September 06, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Gee, I wonder how those citizen task forces are working out . . . City backers looking for volunteers to plan startup http://tinyurl.com/6qtp6tl While you are waiting for your committee appointment, would you like a Cheerwine and a special hamburger?
HamBurger September 06, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Mr. John, I am all confused for the necessity of the Brookhaven Yes citizen groups and the Governor’s Committee, Rep. Mike Jacobs already knows what he wants his city to look like. He will give direction once the elections are over. Those are some very dilly dills!
Booyah September 06, 2012 at 07:08 PM
BurgerBiggie likes to post obnoxious and rude comments, but to his credit he is extremely ineffective and to be ignored.
Honestly?? September 06, 2012 at 07:11 PM
" I know the people who were there." The definition of hearsay.
John Q Public September 06, 2012 at 07:54 PM
A Resident = Non Sequitur
HamBurger September 06, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Mr. John, I am Mr. HamBurger and I am from FUD, Georgia. Or, is that Jacobsville, Georgia . . . Please pass the yellow mustard!
Jack of Kings September 11, 2012 at 12:16 AM
A Resident? Would you consider a candidate posting on these threads under an alias a worthy elected official if he/she does not divulge their identity prior to the election in November? I would appreciate your opinion.
HamBurger September 11, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Mr. Phil, here is a funny article for you, Mr. GuruLikeDrucker has an article in the Patch and he participates in the conversation below. Hey! By hook or crook! http://brookhaven.patch.com/articles/the-brookhaven-name-resonates-with-everyone Special hamburger with thin sliced onions and pickles and yellow mustard coming right up!

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