Meeting on Tucker, LaVista Hills today in Senate committee

Posted by March 19, 2015
The Georgia State Capitol. Photo by Ken Lund, obtained via Wikimedia Commons

The Georgia State Capitol. Photo by Ken Lund, obtained via Wikimedia Commons

Groups for and against cityhood are planning to attend a state Senate committee meeting Thursday about the cities of LaVista Hills, Tucker, and South Fulton.

LaVista Hills YES and DeKalb Strong are both encouraging supporters to show up at the Senate State and Local Governmental Operations Committee Meeting at 4 p.m. Thursday in MEZZ 1 of the Capitol building.

DeKalb Strong’s notice said, “We do not know if anyone will be allowed to speak–at the previous Government Affairs Committee meeting, the legislators on the committee seemed to have little interest in listening to voices from our community. But it might turn out to be an interesting hearing!”

DeKalb Strong’s email (excerpt below) also updated events at the Capitol Wednesday. The group planned to attend an Atlanta delegation lunch to oppose Atlanta annexation efforts. It said the group was caught by surprise when it learned there was actually a hearing.

Atlanta annexation
We were not given advance notice that there was going to be a hearing. While we knew there was to be an Atlanta delegation lunch, it was only when we arrived at the building that we realized there was a hearing, and people were giving testimony on Atlanta’s annexation of Druid Hills High School. Supporters of annexation had clearly been given notice there was going to be a hearing with testimony.

Even with no notice, there were more speakers AGAINST the annexation than for it. The arguments made against this scheme were powerful, and I think made a real impact on the members of the Atlanta delegation. Many thanks to the DeKalb Strong supporters who came out and gave testimony with zero preparation!


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  • Darren

    So did Decatur fail to file a bill for annexation this year?

  • Ann Thompson

    Can we have a little more than a rehash of what is on the DeKalb Strong Facebook page? They are getting paranoid over there.

  • Concerned DH resident

    More sour grapes from DeKalb. Good riddance. Cannot get into Atlanta fast enough. Nothing will help our community more than becoming a part of thriving Eastern side of the city. Most opposition isn’t coming from residents of the annexation area.

    • DecaturNotDecatur

      True, most opposition doesn’t live in the annexation area. And that’s the point. TIA’s annexation desire adversely affects more people that live outside the area. More people live outside the area and use the resources that TIA want to take take than inside the annexation map. Hence the opposition.
      Funny how that works.

    • Susan In NoMansLand

      “Good riddance?” If you hated DeKalb so much, why didn’t you buy a house on the Atlanta side of Druid Hills to begin with? Oh right. The lower taxes.

      Your schools will be destroyed, no matter the outcome. I wish you could understand what a mess you will be making for your students. I had the opportunity to talk with some Druid Hills cluster teachers today, who once again echoed their feelings of uncertainty & fear at losing their jobs from all this. One made the point that EVEN IF (big huge giant IF) all the teachers really are able to keep their jobs at their schools, but in APS instead of DCSD, the transition from DCSD policies, rules, curriculum programs (yes, the state has the same curriculum, but each district teaches it differently), etc. would be a HUGE disruption, and it would be the STUDENTS who suffer. EVEN IF (big huge giant IF) all the teachers went with the schools, the schools would STILL be unrecognizable from what they are now. So, all these TIA folks who think everything will just magically fall into place & somehow **improve** by moving into APS are just dreaming.

      Frying pan, meet fire.

      • whodean

        Fraser, uncertainty and doubt.

      • DH

        I’ll take the fire.

        • DHguest

          And pay a lot more for the privilege of being fried while lots of people lose their jobs and schools.

    • Susan In NoMansLand

      Not to mention, you won’t just “becoming a part of thriving Eastern side of the city.” You’ll become part of the city that let its infrastructure go so much that their water bills & sewage fees are astronomical (But lucky you — that won’t apply to the DeKalb side of Atlanta because DeKalb has done a better job with watershed.). You’ll become part of the city spent so much time trying to keep the Falcons in Atlanta that they didn’t notice the Braves were sneaking out the back door into Cobb because after 2 decades, the city STILL couldn’t have any sort of economic development around Turner Field. You’ll become part of the city that has tried & failed & tried & failed & tried & failed again to make a go of Underground Atlanta. You’ll become part of the city that had high hopes of making the former Sears warehouse a city-run mixed-use community known as City Hall East, which didn’t actually happen until the city FINALLY gave up running it & sold it to private interests. Thriving, indeed!

      • DHH

        1) the Braves are dead to me
        2) Atlanta is getting an MLS team (please call it Terminus Union -that name is badass)
        3) Ponce City Market is going to be flat out awesome
        4) Grant Park and Ormewood Park are taking off in a major way and the neighborhood around Turner Field will likely do better with the Braves gone
        5) Kirkwood has gone from being untouchable to being too expensive for some
        6) Underground Atlanta has a chance of becoming something good
        7) Beltline!
        Thriving, indeed!

        • Susan In NoMansLand

          Right. And most of those things are thriving only AFTER the city government gave up and sold to private interests. That was my point. Yes, Ponce City Market, now that the City is no longer involved, IS going to be awesome. But for well over a decade, City Hall East was supposed to attract those same tennants, but failed miserably & cost the taxpayers tons of money. That’s the point. Whatever the City of Atlanta touches, turns to lead, not gold.

          • DH

            Yeah…even taking into consideration all your [hyperbolic] comments, I still rather be annexed by Atlanta. Dekalb county is mostly governed by people who are uninterested in reform. Only now that municipalization and annexation are a real possibilities do they talk of reform, example: the Mays and Bowers dog and pony show.

          • MAC

            Many have been witness to the blows and passions being exchanged, which have evolved personal opinions for or against annexation, which is one thing, into an ugly Atlanta-is-Better-No-DeKalb-is-Better tit-for-tat, which is a childish something else all together. After all of this annexation and cityhood business does whatever it is that it’s going to do, two truths will remain: one, DeKalb County will have to make necessary changes to accommodate the reality of newly-formed cities throughout its boundaries…or face the climate of a population angry that they didn’t achieve a desired outcome through this process; and two, DeKalb County, though structurally separate from Atlanta, is conceptually an extension of metropolitan Atlanta. To wish for the success of Atlanta at the expense of DeKalb (or vice versa) is absurd. The metropolitan region reflects ALL of us, no matter how far on or from the line we reside. The regional elitism that has come out of this drama is tragicomedy.

          • DH

            This process is messy, no doubt about that. But if your advocating for change – or the status quo – you must necessarily argue that X is better than Y.

          • MAC

            DH, there are more variables at play here than your binary X and Y. Binaries are always overly simplistic. Let’s be clear: a defense of DeKalb is not by default an advocacy for the status quo any more than an advocacy for cityhood constitutes an outright rejection of the county. Agreed, this process is messy, but that doesn’t oblige us to be messy in our conversations and exchanges.

          • DH

            Binary thinking is simplistic which is why in my posts I have been clear that my criticisms of Dekalb county were about its political leadership and their longstanding inability to reform. Dekalb has lot of good things going for it and conversely Atlanta has a few problems of its own. Now as for the tone of my posts which I believe you find unbecoming, well what can I say? Sometimes I can be a bit pointed. But with all due respect, if I think I need to be a bit dry in replying to the likes of Susan, whom I think any reasonable person would admit is a ranter, well sorry Mac but you’ll just have to deal. Feel free to dress me down whenever you feel it’s necessary, but I don’t think the tone of my posts are way out of line.

          • MAC

            DH, while my original post was in response to the “exchange” that had been bantering about on this string, I think you’ve personalized my comments. Honestly, I’ve not put sufficient stock in your comments to find them “unbecoming” or least of all feel the need to “dress you down.” It’s not that deep for me. My chime in is a GENERAL advocacy and appeal for constructive and intelligent dialogue on this topic, not directed to you specifically and not in defense of Susan, who doesn’t need to be defended.

            I simply noted that the exchange between you and Susan devolved into an absurd space that sounded almost as if some invisible annexation WALL would be erected between the two areas such that those who end up on the Atlanta side will somehow have greater “ownership” of and access to the Belt Line or to Ponce Market than those left trapped on the DeKalb side of the Berlin Wall–hence my comments about the reality of our metropolitan identity. At the end of the day, what will stop a DeKalb resident from going shopping at Ponce or an Atlanta resident from grabbing a bite to eat at Toco Hills? Nothing.

            I’m glad that you and I share in common a rejection of simplistic binaries because when it’s all said and done, where one lives (either in the deliberate selection of a home OR in a rare, but fortuitous fluke of annexation), is rarely ALL of one thing (good) or ALL of another thing (bad). There will forever be a mixture of pros and cons in the arena called “home.” It’s only our point of view about home that makes it more or less palatable.

          • DH

            The ponce city/belt line posts were between DHH and Susan. I’m DH. I think there’s no problem here. Enjoy your weekend.

        • Susan In NoMansLand

          And Beltline! = continued fight between Kasim Reed & APS. Won’t it be awesome when Druid Hills High can get caught up in that boondoggle, too?? Yay team!

  • Guest

    Is there a report from the meeting? I heard that Lavista Hills proposed a new map?

  • Po The Chick

    What is important to note is that despite TIA having the same amount of time to muster supporters as Dekalb Strong did (after having been notified of the time change by Dekalb Strong I might add) there were 50+ TIA supporters in attendance and maybe 8-10 DK Strong. There is a quiet crowd of potential, informed voters who are willing to take the time to go to the capitol with 10 hours notice, in the middle of the day, to speak on behalf of annexation. The legislators noticed.

    • Susan In NoMansLand

      You mean, because they are affluent enough to take the day off work, while those opposed have to pay the bills?

      • DHH

        Probably not appropriate to toss in the “class warefare” grenade into this discussion. I am sure that folks on all sides who attended needed to make some arrangements. Money for childcare was exchanged in our household.

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