Incorporate South DeKalb
The county is poised to have a population that exceeds three-quarters of a million people, with a vast majority of them living in unincorporated DeKalb. Recently we have seen a spate of new cities created that gives citizens more local control of their tax dollars and issues that are important to them. Public safety, zoning, and recreation are just a few issues that citizens should have more control over. The issues are at the heart of many problems in South DeKalb. Today, DeKalb has 5 commissioners that represent an average of 150,000 people. The other two each represent roughly half the citizens of the county. How can they possibly reflect the desires and wishes of so many people who have different ideas about what direction the county, and specifically their neighborhoods, should go. They cannot do it. Someone has to be left out. That is why South DeKalb should incorporate. If the three zip codes that make up the heart of South Dekalb (30032, 30034, 30035) were to incorporate it would have a population of around 135,000 people. That would be the upper end. It could actually settle at about 100-120 thousand if the lines do not follow zip code boundaries exclusively. Geographically speaking it would be similar in size with other Incorporated cities in the metro. Roswell and Sandy Springs would be roughly the same size by land area. If incorporated, it would become the second largest city in the metro and the 5th or 6th largest in the state. But beyond the numbers, South DeKalb is culturally and economically bound by common desires that are unique to it. It has it’s own identity (good or bad) and it’s own desires that are separate than other parts of the county. This is not a knock on the county, or other cities, it is a plea for reasonable people to be able to determine their own destiny. Other citizens in DeKalb have that ability. Dunwoody, Decatur, Chamblee, Doraville, and Stone Mountain are all making decisions that improves the quality of life of it’s citizens. We in South DeKalb are at the mercy of a county commission that has to work for far too many residents on far too many problems. Some of those problems would be best handled locally by people who know intimately the ares in which they live. I know their are people reading this think that it is insane to want to incorporate parts of South DeKalb. Many will point to a lack of a strong tax base to get a city up and running. Others will say you will have to raise taxes to make it work. Those are the same questions that Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, Milton and Chattahoochee Hills all faced. They now are their own separate entity. South DeKalb may not have the wealth of those places, but when does wealth determine whether or not citizens can for their own government when the one they are under is not responsive to their needs. I say do it. Incorporate, and take control of issues that matter most.