Cityhood panel appointed
This story has been updated.
Three groups vying to become DeKalb County’s newest city had until Nov. 15 to present a map to the state Legislature that resolved their differences.
Two of the groups – Lakeside and Briarcliff – met that deadline and proposed creating a city of LaVista Hills, which combines the maps proposed by both groups. But they were unable to reach a compromise with supporters of creating a city of Tucker, leaving both groups with overlapping map boundaries.
Now the state Legislature will sort it out.
On Wednesday afternoon, House Governmental Affairs Committee Charwoman Rep. Amy Carter, R-Valdosta, appointed five members to a Cityhood Subcommittee on Governmental Affairs.
The members are:
– Rep. Buzz Brockway (R-Lawrenceville), Chair
– Rep. Barry Fleming (R-Harlem)
– Rep. Mark Hamilton (R-Cumming)
– Rep. Howard Mosby (D-Atlanta)
– Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur)
“At the outset, I was very hopeful that the DeKalb cityhood proponents could come together and agree upon boundaries for the proposed cities. Unfortunately, their efforts failed to result in one, unified map,” Carter said in a press release. “I am following through on the pledge to appoint a five person subcommittee of state House members to draw a map for the proposed DeKalb cities after stakeholders couldn’t come to an agreement on their own.”
The committee will be responsible for creating a map by Dec. 31.
Mary Kay Woodworth with LaVista Hills Yes told Decaturish, “We look forward the next phase of the process that the House Governmental Affairs Committee put in place. We are pleased that Representative Carter appointed legislators who are familiar with DeKalb County and the region, and look forward to presenting our best evidence to support the boundaries for the City of LaVista Hills.”
Michelle Penkava with Tucker 2015 said, “We are confident that this five person subcommittee of State House members will bring about a solution that is fair and respectful of our long-standing and recognized Tucker community while allowing our neighbors in other areas to achieve their own vision of local control. We are thankful for the time they are committing to ensure that Central/North DeKalb will have two successful cities that will benefit generations.”
The cities of Decatur and Avondale Estates are also working on annexation plans that they will present to the legislature. While the maps of the new cities don’t intrude on either city’s plan, they’ll be keeping an eye on the panel’s work to make sure it stays that way.
“There were no surprises there,” Avondale Estates Mayor Terry Giager said when asked for his opinion about the panel Carter appointed. “We knew that Mary Margaret Oliver would be in it. The other people I haven’t heard about, but they’re relatively close and I think will do a good job.”
We’ve reached out to the mayor of Decatur for his reaction. Check back for updates.