Cityhood panel appointed

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt November 19, 2014
DeKalb County Georgia. Source: Google Maps.

DeKalb County Georgia. Source: Google Maps.

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.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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  • underscorex

    “Buzz Brockway”? Really? Really? Wasn’t he a member of GIJoe?

    • Jim

      “Buzz Brockway” — that’s his porn name.

    • Brad

      C’mon, it’s Georgia. We’re lucky it isn’t someone named “Bubba” or “Pug.”

  • DHer

    “We are pleased that Representative Carter appointed legislators who are familiar with DeKalb County” Apparently geography is not MK Woodworth’s strengths. Majority of members from outside DeKalb.

  • DecaturNotDecatur

    Two of the five rep’s cover districts with areas directly affected by the proposed new cities. One of the rep’s district is in Gwinnett, a direct neighbor (and I would hope knows a little of Dekalb politics just a one from Fulton would).

    So, that makes 3 of the 5. A majority.

    So, not only do you show geography isn’t one of your strengths, but you can’t include civics or a command of English as a strength either.

    MK Woodworth never mentioned a majority of legislators familiar with Dekalb. Nor did she say legislators who resided in Dekalb. She said, “…appointed legislators who are familiar with Dekalb County and the region…”. Which makes here assessment valid.

    • Jeff Boatright

      Hey, you win the intertoobes today, award being “Missing the obvious.”

      Why should 3 of the 5 be from outside of Dekalb? Could it be that that is what it took to ensure a Republican majority on this committee? Or to ensure that the majority of the committee is rural and not urban?

      • Abigail

        Take a look at the committee list. That’s the available pool of people for a subcommittee. Now, come up with a list of committee members who live in DeKalb. That’s the answer to your question. Obviously. Although I’m sure it’s more fun to speculate on a conspiracy than to deal with facts, it really isn’t useful or enlightening. But whatever floats your boat.

  • DecaturNotDecatur


    • DHer

      I don’t care how you parse it, her assessment in wrong in multiple ways. (BTW is she still telling people, Lakeistan is going to have their own school system?)
      The majority of the sub-committee are not from DeKalb. If she wanted to say that it was acceptable to have people from DeKalb or the region she should have used the word “or”. The fact is that representatives from Augusta, Cumming and Lawrenceville are just that – representatives for other people, not those people being affected by their decisions. They have no accountability to affected voters. Hardly democratic or representative government. The entire process for creating cities is ludicrous. Having a majority of the decision-makers from outside the county contributes to the clusterf**k.

      • notapunk

        It’s a subcommittee. The candidate pool was extremely limited. Sheesh.. Nothing like blind hatred. Maybe some outside eyes are what’s needed in this kiddee pool. Bring on the grown ups.

        • DHer

          It’s about self-determinization and a democratic process. Not having a solution imposed by people who are unaccountable to any of the affected citizens.

          • notapunk

            You had your chance, not once, but TWICE. And you blew it. Now, if the people don’t like what they’re handed, they can vote NO. That’s the democratic process.

          • notapunk

            Oh, and by the way, it’s self-determination, not self-determinization.

          • Y’all keep it polite and civil, please.

  • LaVistaHillsResident

    DHer (or Broussard, McGregor, Lorenz, whomever you are), DecaturNotDecatur beat me to the punch. Geography and grammar are not your strong suits. She said “….familiar with DeKalb County and the region.”

  • Thanks, Dan, for keeping us up-to-date on these developments. Yours is the first source I go to for annexation and cityhood news.

    • Glad to hear that. I went to a meeting in Laurel Ridge last night and four or five people were there looking at some of our earlier stories on their phones. Pretty dang cool. 🙂

  • travelingfool

    I am concerned that the areas left out of all the various areas that are either seeking incorporation or annexation will not have sufficient commercial land to tax and our taxes will go up. This will force us to either get annexed into one of these areas or increase our taxes. I’m fine with the various cities wanting to incorporate, however, they are doing so at our expense.
    If they want to incorporate that should have to pay higher taxes and not be able to do so at the expense of those of us in unincorporated areas.
    There should be some consideration for us and so far there isn’t any.

    • Jeff Boatright

      And there lies the rub, the elephant in the room that none of the incorporatists want to honestly discuss.

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