Decatur, GA 30030 and 30032

1 Comment

  1. We as residents are being held with a gun barrel pointed at our head. The tactic is fear. We are being told that we will have to pay more taxes than the others in the county if we do not form a city. I say take the issue to court.

    What are the options in south DeKalb? Create a city, create multiple small cities, or maintain the status quo. The new south DeKalb city as proposed by the Concerned Citizens for Cityhood in South DeKalb would be smaller in land size than the city of Atlanta, and would include approximately 300,000 residents. The city would be approximately 90% African American. It would be largest in DeKalb by far, and it would be the second largest city in the State of Georgia.

    The largest city in DeKalb is Dunwoody and Brookhaven which has 46,000 and 49,000 residents, Both Brookhaven and Dunwoody already had significant economic development in their communities prior to their becoming cities in their own right.

    I do believe that south DeKalb could exist as a city or cities, but it will not be as the CCCSD portray it. The annexation laws should be made stricter, alternative forms of quasi-governmental communities should be considered, private residential associations communities and special districts could also be alternatives to cityhood.

    The CCCSD main rational is economic development, avoiding higher taxes and protecting assets. How is the CCCSD defining economic development, is it tax reduction? How will it achieve the economic development that it is portraying in their vision? The elephant in the room that some people want to ignore is that business investments tend not to be significant in areas that have a population of color over 65 percent.

    New municipalities can impact taxes, school districts, land-use, growth control, environmental regulations, elected representation and public utility services. New municipalities can lead to fragmentation and competition for financial resources between local governments.
    The process of forming cities should require a petition before an organization or person can represent themselves as speaking for the community or in the name of the citizens.

    There are a lot of unanswered questions that citizens in South DeKalb do not know about in terms of the form of government the new proposed city will have. What kind of mayor or city manager will this new proposed city have? Will the city council be strong? What kind ethnics review will be in the charter?
    There should be a way for citizens in South DeKalb opt out of the new city if it does not want to be a part of the shot gun city.

    I think the citizens of DeKalb would be better served if the CCCSD would file a court case against the county and the other cities in regards to the tax liabilities and pension obligations that are not being shared by all the property owners of the county. How can a new city such as the city of Dunwoody or Brookhaven not be equally responsible for pension and bonds that were already obligated prior to their cityhood make no sense.

    It would be equally appropriate if our political leaders in DeKalb ask the State Legislators to amend the annexations and consolidation laws to prohibit hostile takeovers, without the consent of the governed. Some states have laws that require the cities to make up for the lose revenue of the county.

    It seems that shotgun cities are appearing all over the DeKalb County. Who will pay the county bills once all the local communities become cities? I would suggest that the state Legislature stop this cityhood movement in the county. The county needs leadership on this issue. The citizens should not remain silent on this issue.

    Ed Williams lives in Decatur

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