Posts Tagged ‘incorporate’

Incorporate South DeKalb, Pt. 2

March 14, 2011 1 comment

I have written in the past about areas of South DeKalb being incorporated into a city or city lite (providing zoning, planning, code enforcement). Well it looks like South DeKalb is on it’s  way to being the only unincorpoarated area in the county. Doing my daily jaunt around the local blogs, I found this post at the DeKalb School Watch blog. The post talks about incorporation and annexation of neighborhoods around Chamblee and Dunwoody, especially those sandwiched between the two cities. Mike Jacobs, who represents the area in the Statehouse, wants to make it easier for his constituents to basically secede from DeKalb County and take more control of their own destiny from DeKalb County government,  Here is part of the actual posting from Mr. Jacobs site:

As the Dunwoody Crier has noted, my interest in annexation is driven by “increasing discontent with DeKalb County Government: rising tax bills, fewer services, inefficient government, and a lack of confidence that things are going to get better at the county.”

Police response times in Chamblee and Dunwoody are far lower than those in unincorporated DeKalb. Dunwoody is planning major improvements to their local parks. Chamblee and Dunwoody are both conservatively managed and are experiencing budget surpluses. And in stark contrast to CEO Burrell Ellis’ constant drumbeat for higher property taxes, Chamblee is considering cutting its millage rate this year.

It simply is not true that incorporation into a city necessarily means that your property taxes will go up. Many cities are actually able to deliver better services and a lower tax burden than can be found in nearby unincorporated areas.

Another option that might be worth exploring is the incorporation of a new municipality altogether, perhaps a City of Brookhaven that could reach as far south as Buford Highway or even I-85. Of course, such an option would require interest from neighborhoods south of Windsor Parkway such as Historic Brookhaven, Ashford Park, Brookhaven Heights, Brookhaven Fields, and Drew Valley.

It is sad to say, but I doubt we could get a representative from South DeKalb to even explore the feasibility of such an idea

This is what happens when local control is given to residents

September 9, 2010 Comments off

Dunwoody: How a new city is finding its way  |

I am putting myself on the record as being an advocate of all areas of DeKalb incorporating into separate entities especially South DeKalb. I am not in favor of the entire unincorporated areas gaining city-hood. Incorporation and annexation of specific areas gives people better control of issues that are most pressing to them. The problem with the present unincorporated areas is that there are 600 thousand plus people who have no local say as to what happens in the areas in which they live. Take for example a recent board decision to allow a gas station to be built on Covington Highway near Redan Rd. Of seven commissioners, two voted against it. the other five gave approval for an 8th gas station between there and Wesley Chapel Road, a scant 2.5 miles. This was approved, because those who voted in favor know nothing of the area that they make crucial decisions for. Residents don’t need that many gas stations or liquor stores or any other eyesore establishments that do more harm than good. If that area were incorporated as part of a larger city, then you would have people representing the area who know the area and care about how many businesses of a particular type opens up. This is one reason why Dunwoody left the county, more local control over their daily lives. The citizens are happier, and much better off.

Incorporating DeKalb not the way to go

August 17, 2010 1 comment

I attended a community forum held by DeKalb County and CEO Ellis. The forums are a chance for citizens to give input on what the county can do to better serve it’s citizens in the next five years. This was the second of five to be held in various parts of the county. The biggest concern from many in attendance was public safety which is at the top of my mind as well. The one issue that came up that peaked my curiosity was the talk of annexation, and incorporation. One person stood up and made a statement about the possibility of Tucker pursuing incorporation. The speaker warned that another situation like what happened when Dunwoody decided to incorporate would cause even more harm to the counties coffers and hurt South DeKalb specifically. Others spoke of the possibility of cities in DeKalb annexing more of the unincorporated parts of the county, again shrinking funds that provide services to unincorporated citizens. Some spoke of incorporating the rest of DeKalb in order to stave off the cities taking more residents, and other areas incorporating. The CEO spoke in favor of exploring city-hood as an option that would bring additional resources to the newly created city. Many in the crowd seemed to fear the result of more incorporation or annexation in DeKalb. I for one am not against the cities expanding their boundaries if that is what the citizens to be annexed want. More local control of public safety, zoning, and other issues works beetter than having out of touch commissioners decide what an area needs, and they do not live work or even drive through the area. I have also expressed in a previous post that certain parts of South DeKalb should consider incorporation. I cannot fathom that a city of DeKalb would be any more responsive to it’s citizens than the present government is. More money and more resources will not equal quality service or responsive government. A government that is closer to the people has proven to be much more responsive, and do a better job for the citizens living there.  Given the option of incorporating the rest of DeKalb, and having an incorporated South DeKalb, I would go for the latter. That way I know the people who represent me at least has an idea of what needs to be done to increase the quality of life in my neighborhood. That’s not to say I would not be for incorporating DeKalb if that were the only option, but it is definitely not at the top of my list.

There are three forums left see the dates and locations here

Incorporate South DeKalb

August 4, 2010 3 comments

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.