Group opposed to cityhood process visiting Capitol

Posted by Decaturish.com March 17, 2015
Closeup of the Georgia State Capitol. Photo by Connor Carey. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Closeup of the Georgia State Capitol. Photo by Connor Carey. Source: Wikimedia Commons

A group that’s calling for a timeout to efforts to create new cities in DeKalb County is planning a visit to the state Capitol Wednesday.

DeKalb Strong is organizing a group visit to the Atlanta delegation lunch at 12 p.m. Wednesday in the Coverdell Legislative Office Building to speak out against proposals for Atlanta to annex parts of DeKalb.

Marjorie Snook, president of DeKalb Strong, said it’s an opportunity for people who haven’t previously been involved in the legislative process to meet lawmakers since many of them will be in the same place at the same time.

“We are trying to empower citizens to get involved in their government and let their voices be heard. So much of this process has been driven by special interests. You don’t have to be a lobbyist to go down to the Capitol and talk to your elected representatives,” said Snook.

She said it sends a message to the delegation when people are engaged.

The group has been supporting three DeKalb County reform bills. State Senator Elena Parent, SD-42, is sponsoring two of the bills. She said at a cityhood and annexation townhall meeting on March 12 that Senator Fran Millar, SD-40, of Dunwoody is, in her words, holding the bills hostage and freely admitting to doing so in order to get an unrelated local bill to go through.

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  • whodean

    Dekalb citizens won’t be Snookered by this group out to good us down, chained to the incompetent and corrupt Dekalb county bureaucracy.

  • Mark Lancaster

    I not against cityhood and annexation…. Only the underhanded efforts by MMO and other legislators trying to to push their agendas under the radar without answering the many, many questions surrounding their efforts I’m all for letting the CITIZENS vote for what they want, but only when we all know what the ramifications will be. Too many issues still unclear. Moratorium until the lines are clear and what will happen with the schools. So many people are affected who won’t even have a vote in the process…….

  • notapunk

    Nothing happens with the schools under cityhood. So, why let’s just go ahead and vote on that and move forward with whatever the people decide. Next.

    • coconut

      Any school properties annexed into CoA will no longer be available for use by Dekalb County Schools. Every single one of the students that attend those schools whose residences do not also fall within the annexation area will be displaced. How is that “nothing”?

      • notapunk

        That’s not cityhood, coconut. That’s annexation. Different issue. Please don’t confuse the two. The waters are muddy enough as it is.

  • Invisible Man

    The Best Laws Money Can Buy. A Letter to We the People

    The impact of all these cities on DeKalb County has not been studied. The cityhood bills should be tabled or killed for the session.

    The Carl Vinson Institute feasibility reports should be more thoroughly reviewed. There are several omissions in the report and the demographics in the comparison of the cases are significantly different and the findings are questionable and suspect at best. One of the principal cities used in the study is not representative of the demographics of Greenhaven or Stonecrest. And the study does not take in to account the impact of the cities to DeKalb County.

    The cityhood bills have not matured, the bills have been in circulation less than a year, and have not had the properly discussion in the community. While other cityhood bills have spent years being discussed in the community.

    The cityhood bills have several issues related to boundary conflict, and these bills would limits future growth of other cities that have been around for more 100 years, such as Decatur, Lithonia, and Stone Mountain.

    The proposed city of Greenhaven is too large. It would be the 2nd largest city in the state, and it would be as large as many of the counties in the state of Georgia.

    Who does the State represent? The good thing about America is that we have self government, and the bad thing about self government is that nobody knows what the laws are being written in their name until it is too late.

    Our lawmakers, so called representatives, are making deals with the devil in order to get what they want while forsaking the people who they claim to represent. It is not good public policy to pass bills on the basis of a favor or like in kind. It
    would be nice if bills were passed on their principle and own merit and not passed because of quid pro quo. Law making is a messy process, and citizens are the loser in the end.

    Lawmakers might understand the impact of their ways if they lived under the laws that they passed. It seems like it was yesterday, Déjà vu, Rome burned; and let them eat cake attributed to Marie Antoinette. Instead the lobbyist, consultant, and donors get the representation and audience with the lawmakers.

    I believe this, because I have seen, the ways of the lawmakers and what I have seen I do not like. The citizen should have more input at the front end when the ingredients are being added, and not just at the ballot.

    There are some that believe that local government is the best form of government. It might be that no government is better, Lets contract out the government and get rid of the lawmakers, it would be a more effective process to text, Google and Facebook. We could tell Apple’s Siri what we want, and then we could use Price
    Waterhouse Cooper to tally the ballots. I think having a homeowner association,
    city, county, state and federal government is too much government. There are too many people masquerading as representatives,
    acting in our best interest. I do not think this is what the founders had in mind.

    Making the case, just look at the City of Atlanta. Detroit, Liberty City, Gary Indiana, Ferguson Missouri, East Saint Louis, and Washington D.C. These cities have many communities in despair. Sometimes more is less. Do not support Cityhood in DeKalb County.

    HB613 – Greehaven
    SB221 – Greenhaven
    HB539 – Stonecrest
    SB208 – Stonecrest

    Ed Williams

    Concerned Citizens Against Cityhood
    in DeKalb
    Ccegdekalb.blogspot.com
    Facebook.com/ccegdekalb

  • Invisible Man

    Peachtree Corners was one of the principal cities used to compare Stonecrest and Greenhaven in the Carl Vinson Institute feasibility study. The Peachtree Corners demographics is completely different from Greenhaven or Stonecrest.

    The city of Peachtree Corners was incorporated in 2012 had a viable business sector prior to becoming a city. The city did not create the businesses, the private sector did. The businesses can support the city with a zero city tax rate for homeowners.

    The City of Peachtree Corners operates on franchise fees and business
    license fees. The limited-service city has a zero millage rate so property owners pay no property taxes to the city, but do pay a county property tax. This why I say that you cannot compare the cities used in the Carl Vinson feasibility report with Greenhaven or Stonecrest. The demographics are different. Although the city is authorized to collect property taxes of up to one mill a year, the city operates solely only on business licenses and other fees and without levying any property taxes. The largest city in Gwinnett County

    The economy of Peachtree Corners is largely driven by the concentration of businesses, particularly engineering firms and information technology companies, located in the city’s nearly 8 million square feet of office space varying from low rise to mid-rise office buildings located in campus settings. The evolution of Peachtree Corners as an Atlanta-area office submarket began in the 1960s with the development of Technology Park, metro Atlanta’s first successful office, research and development center.

    Peachtree Corners was one of the principal cities used to compare Stonecrest and Greenhaven in the Carl Vinson Institute feasibility study. The Peachtree Corners demographics is completely different from Greenhaven or Stonecrest.

    Peachtree Corners was used to calculate cost ofservices by the Carl Vinson Institute but it should not be used for anythingbeyond descriptive data. Limitations to the study. The Peachtree Corners situation cannot be generalized to other
    cities. Three main reasons why the study feasibility study findings should not
    be generalized (1) population sample was not random, (2) sample was not large
    enough (3) and demographics was completely different.

    Below is information that is posted on the city’s
    website (www.peachtreecornersga.gov).

    • City Size: 17.37 square miles
    • Population (2013): 38,550 (The City’s population
    is almost 5% of Gwinnett County’s total
    population and expected to grow to 40,594 by 2017)
    • Median Age: 33.9 years old
    • Land Use: Single family homes occupy 43.6% of the
    City’s land area; Commercial uses occupy
    17.5%; Parks occupy nearly 3%; and 7.4% of the
    City’s land area is undeveloped
    • Number of Housing Units: 16,167
    • Housing Occupancy: 58% owner occupied; 42% tenant
    occupied
    • Median Home Value: $292,200
    • Average Household Income (2010 ): $94,812. (Over
    one third of households earn more than
    $100,000 per year
    • Average Household Size: 2.6 people
    • Education: 60% of the population has a college
    degree
    • Racial Composition: Caucasian (49%) ;
    African-American (19%); Hispanics (15%); Asian
    (8%); Other races (9%.)

    ccegdekalb.blogspot.com
    facebook.com/ccegdekalb

  • Invisible Man

    http://ccegdekalb.blogspot.com

    Peachtree Corners was one of the principal cities used to compare Stonecrest and
    Greenhaven in the Carl Vinson Institute feasibility study. The Peachtree
    Corners demographics is completely different from Greenhaven or Stonecrest.

    Peachtree Corners was used to calculate cost ofservices by the Carl Vinson Institute but it should not be used for anything beyond descriptive data. Limitations to
    the study. The Peachtree Corners situation cannot be generalized to other
    cities. Three main reasons why the study feasibility study findings should not
    be generalized (1) population sample was not random, (2) sample was not large
    enough (3) and demographics was completely different.

    Below is information that is posted on the city’s website (www.peachtreecornersga.gov).

    The other governments compared with Stonecrest were Peachtree
    Corners, and Smyrna See Table https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6rHTsNOsLE_XzFGUEtlLURlbFk/view?usp=sharing

  • Invisible Man

    The proposed cities of Greenhaven and Stonecrest would be one of the most segregated cities in America over 90% African American concentration

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6rHTsNOsLE_XzFGUEtlLURlbFk/view?usp=sharing

  • Invisible Man

    The proposed cities of Greenhaven and Stonecrest would be one of the most segregated karge cities in America over 90% African American concentration

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6rHTsNOsLE_XzFGUEtlLURlbFk/view?usp=sharing

  • Invisible Man

    Lets talk. A city does not create businesses. A
    business looks for a good business climate, location, customers, cheap
    labor, educated and dependable workforce, low taxes, and low crime rate.

    The
    reality is that most of the businesses in South DeKalb are not owned by
    African American, and/or African Americans do not own the property in
    which the business operates. Many of the businesses in South DeKalb
    except for the government jobs and jobs in schools, hospital and
    doctors office, judicial and law enforcement are low wage jobs.

    The proposed cities of Greenhaven and Stonecrest would be one of the
    most segregated large cities in America over 90% African American
    concentration. None of the cities used in the Carl Vinson Institute Study had a similar demographic, not even Atlanta.

    Hwang
    and Sampson, two researchers found that by the late 2000s, racial composition
    did in fact have a significant effect on a neighborhood’s chance of improvement
    and ultimate gentrification. The neighborhoods that saw the most
    improvement met a minimum threshold proportion of white residents—about 35 percent—and
    a maximum threshold of black residents—about 40 percent.

    These
    researchers found that the difference in reinvestment levels between
    neighborhoods of 35 and 45 percent black residents was more than twice
    the gap in extent of gentrification between neighborhoods of 5 and 15 percent
    black residents.

    Don’t
    Believe the Hype.
    The city of East Saint Louis is what South DeKalb “Greenhaven” could look like
    if the cityhood bill is passed for South DeKalb. Crime and corruption on
    steroids. Quality of Life and small town values will be lost if the
    cityhood is promoted in DeKalb. We are a suburb of Atlanta. We live
    here in unincorporated DeKalb because we do not want to be in an urban center.

    There
    are border issues with the proposed city of Greenhaven and the City of
    Lithonia, Stonecrest, Stone Mountain, and Decatur. In addition, there
    are several serious tax issues that should be resolved with DeKalb County as it
    relates to all these new cities attempting to avoid their tax obligations.
    Passing these cityhood bills will create greater issues with DeKalb
    County pensions and bonds accounts. The tax and funding inequity will
    ultimately in up in court, Particularly since many lawmakers appear to be
    ignoring their fiduciary responsibility with allowing the new cities to avoid
    the pension and bond payments to the county.

    The
    Carl Vinson Institute report was a feasibility study and it only evaluated the
    financial viability of the proposed new city. The report was based on minimum
    city services: Parks and recreation, zoning, and code enforcement. The
    report did not include and qualitative data or resident interviews. The
    study did not use similar city demographics to compare costs, and the report
    did not consider the impact of the new city impact on the DeKalb County as a
    government. The report does not validate the necessity or efficacy of
    forming a new city. The report did not consider the views of the
    residents of the affected area.

    The
    Communities and Neighborhoods did not have the opportunity to opt in or out of
    any of the boundaries of the proposed cities. We are being told that we only have
    the ability to say Yes or No at the end of process during the referendum.
    This does not make any sense. We should have some say so at the
    front end of the process, to rather communities are included in the new city
    boundaries. What if, where you lived, this was done to you? A group
    of people, that have not been elected by anyone, drafts up a city proposal,
    creates a boundary map, and creates a charter and then ask the state to
    sanction it. You would be outraged, like I am.

    There are disputes over which
    neighborhoods should be included in the boundaries with Decatur, Lithonia and
    Stonecrest and other communities. There should be a timeout in order to
    keep this frenzy from becoming a nightmare for everyone.

    Save Us from Ourselves

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6rHTsNOsLE_XzFGUEtlLURlbFk/view?usp=sharing

    ccegdekalb.blogspot.com
    facebook.com/ccegdekalb

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