House Committee Gives Instructions to DeKalb Cityhood Proponents

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: Betsy Lynch, betsy.lynch@house.ga.gov

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 (404) 656-0311

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ATLANTA—Today State Representatives Mike Jacobs (R-Brookhaven) and Tom Taylor (R-Dunwoody) met with Briarcliff, Lakeside and Tucker cityhood proponents to discuss directions issued by House Governmental Affairs Committee Chairwoman Amy Carter (R-Valdosta) for DeKalb County cityhood boundary line proposals. The House Governmental Affairs Committee oversees legislation in the Georgia House of Representatives involving the creation of new cities.

“Tom Taylor and I worked with Rep. Carter, Chair of the House Governmental Affairs Committee, to develop a process for DeKalb County cityhood proponents to follow as we approach next session,” said Rep. Jacobs. “Our goal for this process is to encourage all stakeholders to engage in conversations now about cityhood boundary lines and to ensure any remaining disputes are resolved prior to 2015.”

The directions for drawing cityhood proposals are as follows:

Each of the three DeKalb County cityhood proponent groups (City of Briarcliff Initiative, Lakeside Yes, and Tucker 2015) will have until September 5 to identify one authorized signatory for a compromise boundary map.

• DeKalb County cityhood proponents have until November 15 to come to a mutual agreement on city boundary lines and submit the agreed upon map bearing three signatures from the authorized signatories to the House Governmental Affairs Committee.

• If an agreement cannot be reached by that date, House Governmental Affairs Committee Chair Amy Carter will appoint a panel of five state House members to carry out the task of drawing city boundaries for the proposed cities. The panel’s sole charge will be to produce a boundary map no later than December 31 by majority vote of the panel.

• Either the agreed upon map by cityhood proponents or the map drawn by the legislative panel will be the only acceptable version that the House Governmental Affairs Committee will consider.

“This process Rep. Jacobs and Rep. Taylor developed gives cityhood proponents in DeKalb County the best chance for successful passage of legislation that will allow new city proposals to go before the voters for consideration,” said House Governmental Affairs Committee Chair Amy Carter. “There is a need to bring order to this process and the directions outlined to the stakeholders today will accomplish just that.”

For more information about the House Governmental Affairs Committee, please CLICK HERE.

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8 Responses to House Committee Gives Instructions to DeKalb Cityhood Proponents

  1. howdy1942 says:

    I am very hopeful that Lakeside, Tucker, and Briarcliff can find a mutually acceptable solution. Becoming a city will allow those who live in these communities to have a much more powerful voice in the affairs of the Dekalb County School System. The voices at the State Legislature calling for new educational structures and change can only grow louder and louder. As I said on another post, real change in the Dekalb County School System will never from within. It will always be centrally controlled and its decisions imposed on large segments of Dekalb County that don’t agree with them.

    For one, I think that these three bodies can agree on boundaries because I think that each of them recognize the importance of becoming a city.

  2. Frustrated Dekalb Parent says:

    Does anyone know if the intent is for Lakeside and Briarcliff to combine into one city or to be two separate cities?

  3. There is no way they could manage to get along well enough to become one city. Have you seen the “Tucker Now” Save Us From Lakeside website? What will probably happen is Tucker will officially become a city (most everyone thought that it already was a city!) and the area of Druid Hills that is $$$ will annex with Atlanta, leaving the rest of “Briarcliff” to merge with Lakeside for a city…. but – we will have to wait and see.

  4. Tucker Mom says:

    The web site you linked to, “Tucker Now,” is the Tucker 2015 web site, and I don’t see “Save Us From Lakeside” anywhere on the site. Other folks have started web sites and FB pages called “Save Us From Lakeside,” but it’s not the same group of people. I only bring this up because the vibe is completely different.

  5. thedeal2 says:

    The Save us from Lakeside website is created by a somewhat loony, outspoken lady who lives in Tucker and was on top of the cell tower issue. She has branched out, and she doesn’t carry much weight with anyone serious because her tone is so abrasive and confrontational. Her website should, in no way, be compared to any more professional cityhood websites or initiatives.

  6. You are right Tucker Mom! “Tucker Now” appears to be a less emotional site.

    There are quite a few Tucker sites — Here are a few more on the subject >>

    The City of Tucker Initiative: Save Tucker From Lakeside City>> http://cityoftuckerinitiative.blogspot.com/2013/07/save-tucker-from-lakeside-city.html

    Lakeside City Save Tucker – Facebook>> https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Tucker-From-Save-Tucker-From-Lakeside-City/183189991829215

    Get the Cell Out (Tucker) >> http://www.getthecelloutatl.com/2013/03/save-tucker-from-lakeside-city-alliance.html

    No to Lakeside >> http://notolakeside.com/

    From Evansdale >> http://www.evansdaleporch.net/smf/index.php?topic=4984.0

    Lakeside >> http://lakesidecityalliance.org/

    Bottom line: It seems that Lakeside tried to scoop up much of what has long been considered Tucker into their boundaries and didn’t make a lot of Tucker friends in the process. It will be a surprise to us if these two groups come to a compromise. At one point, we even weighed in with a post with our own suggestion >>

    Tucker’s BriarLake, GA

  7. howdy1942 says:

    @Frustrated Dekalb Parent – You have asked a really great question about whether or not Lakeside and Briarcliff propose to become a single city. If that is the case, then this new city would include the Toco Hills Shopping Center and North Dekalb Square. Tucker will need some strong business to support its tax base and maybe, just maybe, a compromise could be reached on Northlake.

    One solution I would propose is to place Lakeside High School at the center of one square and Tucker at the center of another. Expand the size of that square until they touch and see what those boundaries might be. But we truly need to reach a solution that the people who live in the respective cities will support and minimize any friction between people.

    At the heart of the whole cityhood effort is the Dekalb County School System. Dunwoody and Brookhaven strongly want to control their own schools. So does Druid Hills. And, no doubt, that will become a priority item with Lakeside and Tucker when they become cities. Fix the Dekalb County School System and you fix many of the issues that are driving the cityhood efforts.

    The “charter” proposal now being presented in various communities by the DCSS is a hurried attempt by the DCSS that is not well thought out, requires “innovative” charter petition that must pass the muster with the central office, and will retain all control of the schools in the central office. That is a non-starter. In contrast, the Druid Hills Charter Petition seems to be well thought out and it is well-written. Charters such as Druid Hills appear to me to be a reasonable compromise. The Dekalb County School Board continues to be the governing body, but the people in Druid Hills have a managing group that has a budget based on the per-pupil funding for Dekalb County, hires their own teachers and principals, and determines the extent to which it will have an administrative staff. This charter has the latitude to manage its schools and would be accountable for student achievement. The Dekalb central office would be involved to the extent that the governing body in Druid Hills would desire. I know of no specific reason that has been given by the Dekalb County School Board to reject this petition.

    The rejection of the Druid Hills Charter Petition is symptomatic of what I consider to be wrong with the Dekalb County School System. There is an elected majority on the Dekalb County School Board that represents areas south of US 78 won’t approve anything requested by those who live north of US 78. They seem to fear some loss of funding and that is not the case. Fund all schools equally – the same – that seems fair. I would even go one step further – I, for one, would consider some reduction in the per-pupil funding for schools that are considered to be strong schools in order to provide additional funding for those schools who are now considered to be underachieving schools. I have long believed that we should reduce the classroom size in those schools and pay outstanding teachers bonuses or at a higher level to teach in those underachieving schools. But I am also a strong believer in giving teachers complete control of their classrooms, fixing the responsibility for student achievement with the teacher, and paying teachers who excel accordingly. And have discipline standards that are enforced allowing those students who want to achieve to have the opportunity to achieve in a safe, clean learning environment.

    I would welcome your comments and suggestions and not just a “thumbs-down”.

  8. gzhampton says:

    Medlock Park could come its own City if it wanted too.
    Druid Hills could come its own City if it wanted too.

    Cities are distinct from counties, in that they are formed by charter and able to control
    their own laws and borders. They have 200 or more people in them.
    Cities can qualify by having at least 3 of the following:
    -Public safety or law enforcement
    -Storm water collection or disposal
    -Fire protection and fire safety
    -Electric or gas utility services
    -Road and street construction or maintenance
    -Code enforcement (building, housing, plumbing, electrical, and other)
    -Solid waste management
    -Planning and zoning
    -Water supply or distribution or both
    -Recreational facilities
    -Waste
    -water treatment
    -Library
    -Public safety or law enforcement

    County is a division of the State and its admministrative authority stems from the state legislature.
    The County has to provide the following services for City and County people:
    -State Court
    -Health Services
    -Probate Court
    -Public Assistance and Family Services
    -Superior Court
    -Emergency/disaster management
    -Magistrate Court
    -Property tax appraisal
    -Juvenile Court
    -Tax appeals/board of equalization
    -Coroner or medical examiner
    -Tax commissioner
    -Superior Court Clerk
    -Elections and registration
    -Vital Records
    -Sheriff
    -Jail

    The County can provide other optional services who instance the following:

    -County law library
    -Libraries
    -Cooperative Extension Service
    -Cable TV/cable franchising
    -Law enforcement: county police
    -Animal control
    -Law enforcement: dive team
    -Road and street lighting
    -Law enforcement: investigations
    -Airports
    -Law enforcement: drug task forces
    -911 Services
    -Fire protection
    -Public transportation
    -Senior services
    -Planning & zoning
    -Water supply
    -GIS
    -Water quality
    -Building inspections
    -Sewage collection and treatment
    -Economic development
    -Solid waste collection and treatment
    -Public housing
    -Erosion and sedimentation control
    -Ambulance/paramedic services
    -Stormwater management
    -Street & bridge maintenance and construction
    -Public hospitals / support for hospitals
    -Parks & Recreation

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