Officials with DeKalb cities will attend LaVista Hills fundraiser

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt August 19, 2015
City of LaVista Hills map with six council districts. Source: www.lavistahills.com

City of LaVista Hills map with six council districts. Source: www.lavistahills.com

This story has been updated.

Elected officials with nearly every city in DeKalb County are expected to attend a fundraiser in support of a referendum on creating a new city of LaVista Hills.

The proposed new city will be on the ballot this November, along with a proposed city of Tucker. If approved, the city of LaVista Hills would have a population of more than 65,000 people.

The fundraiser is being hosted by the LaVista Hills Alliance, a group that is separate from LaVista Hills Yes and is focused primarily on raising money for the cityhood initiative.

The fundraiser is being held on Aug. 26 at the The 57th Fighter Group Restaurant 3829 Clairmont Road
Atlanta, GA 30341, beginning at 5 p.m. The suggested minimum donation is $500, and the event is closed to the general public according to Mary Kay Woodworth, who is heading up the LaVista Hills Alliance group.

“This is not a public event, it is a fundraiser,” Woodworth told Decaturish via email. “As you know, invitations to fundraising events normally are sent to perspective contributors as opposed to public-information meetings, which are advertised in various ways but not usually via an invitation. Any contributions that we receive will be reported in a publicly available document.

“We would, of course, welcome your contribution to our effort. There is a great deal to do to inform voters in advance of the November referendum vote, and as an all-volunteer group, we need to raise money to communicate information across the entire footprint of the proposed city, so we appreciate those who are willing to support this endeavor.”

For the record, Decaturish was not invited to this event. We will not be taking an editorial position on any of the upcoming cityhood referendums, local elections, or ballot measures and will not contribute funds to any candidate or cause.

Here is the invitation forwarded to Decaturish:

Mayor Michael Bodker, Johns Creek
Mayor Eric Clarkson, Chamblee
Mayor Mike Davis, Dunwoody
Mayor Deborah Jackson, Lithonia
Mayor Mike Mason, Peachtree Corners
Mayor Rusty Paul, Sandy Springs
Mayor Donna Pittman, Doraville
Mayor Ted Terry, Clarkston
Mayor Pat Wheeler, Stone Mountain
Mayor Rebecca Chase Williams, Brookhaven
Commissioner Patti Garrett, Decatur
Senator Fran Millar

Invite You to a
Fundraiser Benefiting

The LaVista Hills Alliance
Get Out The Vote Efforts

Wednesday, August 26
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The 57th Fighter Group Restaurant
3829 Clairmont Road
Atlanta, GA 30341

RSVP: Patti Peach

$500 Suggested Minimum
All contributions appreciated.
Please call for sponsorship opportunities.

Checks may be made payable to LaVista Hills Alliance, Inc.
And mailed to:
Attn: Patti Peach, 3452 Essex Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30339

Decatur City Commissioner Patti Garrett said she was invited to attend by former Decatur mayor Bill Floyd, who is now executive director of the DeKalb Municipal Association.

“The cities in DeKalb in particular were invited to participate to indicate support for allowing the residents to have a say in whether or not they want to become a city,” Garrett said. “That’s the extent of the information I know … It’s an event to support their efforts in terms of being able to get the support, to get the people to support having that choice, making that choice.”

Garrett said she would not be paying $500 to attend the event.

“They probably will have different groups and organizations that are paying the fee,” she said. “I am not paying the fee. I’m just going as an elected official supporting the right of the people to make that (decision).”

It’s unclear who will be attending the event aside from the elected officials listed on the invitation. Garrett said she was told “vendors” were invited, but said she didn’t have any additional details.

Floyd said he was asked to invite officials from cities and he obliged.

“They wanted to present their case for helping them fund their program to support it, and they wanted to know if they could get some mayors to speak in support of their program,” he said. “That’s kind of what I did.”

Floyd said he did not have a list of invitees.

“I don’t know,” he said when asked who is on the guest list. “I’ve not been involved in that part of it all.”

Notably, there is no representation from Avondale Estates on the list of elected officials attending the fundraiser. Floyd said he reached out to Avondale Estates Mayor Jonathan Elmore, but didn’t receive a response.

Sen. Millar said he’s anxious to attend the fundraiser, pointing to allegations of corruption within DeKalb County government.

“I think there’s a real sense of frustration,” Millar said. “Unfortunately, county government seems to be more and more polarized now with a new commissioner being elected. It seems to be evolving to a north south battle once more.”

 

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

View all posts by Dan Whisenhunt

  • Garrett is naive. This is not about “letting citizens have a say” in becoming cities. This is an event explicitly supporting the cityhood initiative. If she wants to support that, let her support that. But she has now given LaVista Hills cash and an endorsement, as an elected official in Decatur, of their cityhood proposal.

    Millar’s participation makes this explicit. And Millar’s racism is well-known, having been displayed as recently as last year.

    Follow-up please.

    • notapunk

      Dan (and I do mean to ask Dan, not Dana),
      Did Patti Garrett indicate whether she plans to donate to LaVista Hills Alliance? Did she indicate whether she’s endorsing their effort? Does she even plan to attend the fundraiser?

      • She said she won’t donate but will attend

        • notapunk

          Thank you, Dan. I had a feeling that was the case.

    • Bernie

      Dan, your allegation that Senator Millar’s “racism is well-known, having been displayed as recently as last year,” is as inaccurate and offensive as it is defamatory. Both LaVista Hills groups (Yes and Alliance) are friends and mentors of the City of Stonecrest Alliance in its efforts to create a city whose residents will be 96% African-American. And without Senator Millar’s support the City of Stonecrest bill, S.B. 208, would not have passed the Georgia Senate in March with just one dissenting vote. The leader of the Stonecrest City Alliance, Mr. Jason Lary, is African-American; he knows several of the members of LaVista Hills Yes and LaVista Hills Alliance personally, and he is firm in his belief that neither they nor Senator Millar are racists.

  • Marjorie Snook

    “Garrett said she was told “vendors” were invited, but said she didn’t have any additional details.”

    Huh. I wonder why vendors might go to a $500/plate fundraiser for a new city….

    • RAJ

      Easy one Snookie……When you consider the services to be provided by LVH(Parks,Planning,Police &Public Works)these services(except police)will be provided by the vendors some of whom will be at the event. Brokenhaven and most new digital cities are operated by vendors as opposed to Dekalb Strong’s support for bloated,inefficient,corrupt DeKalb County style government. Most of the vendors already do business with the cities in attendance and this is really the start of an interchange of information between existing cities, vendors and LVH, something that the leadership(?)of LVHA needs desperately; also not a bad idea to start off with a good relationship with your neighbors! Cityhood is about modestly improving our quality of life in the above mentioned areas,all the rest we still have to suffer thru with DeKalb County Government…see today’s sentencing of Elaine Boyer’s husband!

      • Marjorie Snook

        We just disagree. I think shaking down vendors for campaign cash is bad. You think it’s fine. Agree to disagree.

        Meetings to “exchange information” don’t come with a $500 cover.

        • RAJ

          They don’t have to accept the invitation…..hardly a shakedown the likes of the former leader of DeKalb Strong Burrell Ellis!

  • Mark Snyder

    As a resident of DeKalb
    County who was swept into the Lakeside (now LaVista Hills) map with no
    community input until well after the fact, I continue to marvel that those
    pushing this initiative struggle to find local support for their city. If the desire for cityhood was a surging
    mandate, funds would be forthcoming for citizens. Instead LVH is sponsoring a fundraiser
    outside of its map and targeting “vendors” from outside the map as well. They
    even had to go outside their local community to find a bill sponsor in the
    legislature who was from Dunwoody. Why
    is the majority of money to fund their campaign not even coming from their
    prospective residents, but instead big name donors and a law firm well known
    for making millions off of new cities.
    This effort has never been about the community but is only about what
    the group’s founders want to do because “they know what’s best.”
    Brookhaven passed by winning one precinct.
    LVH is banking on the same with the people outside the perimeter who fear
    they will be pushed out of Lakeside High School if they don’t support this
    city. If we don’t turn out to vote down this
    effort, those of us inside the perimeter will find ourselves in a city we didn’t
    overwhelmingly support by the votes of less than 5,000 people living miles and an
    interstate away.

    • Factivist

      Foul ball, Mark – the co-sponsor of the LVH bill was Rep. Holcomb, who lives in the LVH map. He and his constituents want this to happen.

      How about full disclosure — according to your online information, you are a lobbyist yourself. Is DeKalb County now paying you to try and defeat the referendum? If so, you should go for the big bucks — they paid over $250,000.00 to one law firm to try and defeat the legislation in the 2015 Session, plus roughly $500,000.00 salaries and expenses for the county’s year-round lobbying corp. For that matter, I wonder how much the county is paying the “community organizers” who run DeKalb Strong for their services – either above or below the table?

      • Marjorie Snook

        The $250,000 is a lie that the Brookhaven supporters have told over and over despite having no evidence AND the fact that it is absurd on its face. Brookhaven no was clearly not a $250,000. The ethics complaint they filed was dismissed, since it was all fabrication.

        And again, with not a shred of evidence, you make up out of whole cloth an accusation that DeKalb Strong is county-funded somehow. Of course, there’s no truth to that and your can’t provide any basis for your assertion. I suspect you know it’s completely untrue, but simply don’t care, if you think the lie will help your side.

        • RAJ

          DeKalb Strong is just a rag tag collection of political hacks like MS, PK and a collection of others supporting a failed County government. None of the so called reforms they claim to have passed in the legislature in March have been implemented five months after the fact. Nancy Jester could not draw blood from the HR Dept when she ask in a committee meeting when the RFP was going to be issued for the Internal Auditor….probably never! How a group like DeKalb Strong(?)can continue to support the status quo in DeKalb just baffles,and amazes me!

  • jo

    They will be asking for donations from prospective clients of a new city and of the current cities. A lot of quid pro quo. Donate to LV and get a little extra business with these cities. The very fact that politicians are attending a closed meeting with vendors seeking to do business with cities should raise GIANT red flags. LV Alliance should publish their invite list and a list of donors. Talk about NON-disclosure and influence peddling!

    • HB

      They did post the invite list, and have said theyll also publish the attendance list after the fact.

  • Mark Knowles

    Fragmentation of the county serves no purpose. The cost of local government is mushrooming without any additonal benefits. Our comparable communities – Athens, Augusta, Columbus, Macon – have seen considerable efficiencies by consolidation. This group of leaders should be helping us consolidate and lead us to the future of governance. Not to the past of isolation and fragmentation.

    • RAJ

      The” cost” of local government in this case is accompanied by the millage rate funds that come with services being transferred from the County and this includes “administration”…mayor & city council none of which are highly paid.

      • Mark Knowles

        Not true. Let’s call for a comprehensive study countywide to determine the impact of the fragmentation since 2006 versus comparable Georgia counties. This type of study will help citizens make informed decisions.

        • RAJ

          We don’t need no stinkin study to tell us that we need better service from our Government.

        • notapunk

          There are only three: Fulton, Gwinnett and Cobb. Last study I saw comparing DeKalb to any of those counties found that DeKalb had twice as many employees as Cobb serving roughly the same size population.

      • Russell Carleton

        I think there he’s talking about overall administration. City council and mayor would draw very small salaries (they could probably sue for being paid under minimum wage), but you have to factor in the cost of the city clerk, city manager, IT, finance, legal, etc. All the paperwork people.

  • Factivist

    OMG! Mayors of DeKalb cities, members of the DeKalb Municipal Assoc. supporting the efforts of a new city in the county, and LVH learning from them?? The sky must be falling! Don’t we have bigger things to worry about?

    Dan, I think it is beneath you to serve as a mouthpiece for the “DeKalb Strong” nuts on trivia like this. I am personally MUCH more concerned by the fact that people who live outside the LVH footprint represent us at the county and we have no voice. I am more concerned that none of the legislators who represent LVH at the Capitol live in the map, except one – Rep. Scott Holcomb, who was co-sponsor of the LVH legislation, HB-520.

    I am also REALLY concerned about all the county politicians who live outside LVH and are stealing us blind. Now that’s something to get upset about and do some investigative investigation on.

    • Cashew

      What’s nuts is piling on more government and elected officials thinking that somehow helps ease the issue caused by government and elected officials.

      • HB

        What’s nuttier is defending Dekalb, who have been crushing the integrity of our county for 10 years, giving us the title of most corrupt county in the south. They are stealing our money. Cityhood gives us some control of some of our own money. You get the opportunity to elect honest folks who care about your neighborhood and will manage your money better. Its all up to YOU to choose who you want to lead. This is a good thing.

        • Eva Shaw

          Cityhood won’t give you anything but higher taxes and the county will still be in charge of services and revenue. We would do well to put our effort into cleaning up the county level corruption rather than forming another group of bureaucrats feeding at the public trough. Do the math!

          • notapunk

            I did do the math and I didn’t find any big tax hike. In fact, my business taxes would be lower in any of the existing “new” cities.

          • Russell Carleton

            Business taxes would go down. What would happen to residential taxes?

          • notapunk

            My residential taxes would be lower in any of the existing “new” cities, as would the ad valorem taxes on my (older than 2012) cars, according to existing online calculators.

          • Russell Carleton

            I assume you mean Brookhaven and Dunwoody, both of which charge a “sticker price” millage of 2.74. Lovely for them, but you can’t copy off their homework. If LaVista Hills were to set its tax rate at that level, would it be able to meet feasibility?

          • notapunk

            I’m sure a city council will set taxes at a rate that covers expenses. Whatever rate they set, shave a mil off that for residential taxes.

            A new city could even raise my residential property tax and there’s no way it could come close to the $1,700 hike in the school tax I’m hit with this year. If my city taxes are a little higher, it’s still a win if services are improved. We all just got hit with a sanitation tax hike and we were made to believe getting **8 ounces of services for the old 12 ounce price!** was a great thing. It was all wrapped up in shiny new packaging — a big green trash can. Lee May’s certainly learned a corporate trick or two.

            When it’s all over, the differences we’re talking about between city and county taxes we’ll pay are minor. We’re focusing on the change in our front pocket while our wallets are being rifled by an underperforming school system. If your property wasn’t reassessed this year, get ready to get slammed next year. That’s the only way the schools can increase taxes. They’ve hit their millage rate cap and there’s no HOST or assessment freeze to shield you.

          • Russell Carleton

            Indeed! The city would have to set a rate that covers expenses. Now the question is if it can cover those expenses without (as you point out) yet another tax increase. I respect that you’re willing to say what’s going to have to be the city’s campaign slogan. Yes, it’s probably going to be more expensive, but we think it’s worth it.

            And while you’re shaving, remember that when the county sets its rate, knock 57 percent of it off for residential taxes.

          • notapunk

            Russell, I did a head-to-head comparison of my current DeKalb County tax bill and what my bill would be under LaVista Hills. In the very worst case — the very highest possible rate of 5 mils allowed in the charter — my residential property tax bill would be (are you ready?)

            $44.46 higher!

            Yep that’s a bank-breaker alright. Plus, I’ll bet that $44.46 that the tax rate will not be 5 mils right out of the box.
            Let’s say the initial rate is 3.7 mils. Then I come out ahead by $58.45. Not a big difference either way. But add it to my business tax savings and I’m well into the “win” column. So, I don’t find the “higher taxes” argument to be convincing in the least.

            The “chickens are outlawed in the charter” and “vegetable gardens are illegal” arguments don’t work either. Those are straight-up BS.

          • Eva Shaw

            Did you include the $8,000,000. cost of added police to your estimate?

          • notapunk

            Eva, we’re talking tax rates and limits. We’re not talking budgets.

          • Eva Shaw

            What’s the difference at this stage of the process?

          • notapunk

            If you want to claim to be a “player,” bring your A game.

          • Russell Carleton

            Are you using the 7.64 rate from 2014 as your baseline or the 6.14 rate from 2015?

            On a $200k house, in 2014 (7.64 millage), you would have paid $226 to the county (and $270 to the city at a millage of 5.0), a difference of $44. I’m assuming that this is roughly where you began your figures.

            In 2015, a $200k house would pay (at a 6.14 millage) $182, and again, at a 5.00 millage for the city, would pay $270, a difference of $88.

            At a city rate of 3.7, you’d pay $179 (you save $3 over the county’s 2015 charge), so we’ll call 3.7 our break-even rate.

            Now… the city — based on the version that the CVI envisions — which is what advocates are selling and which is based on budget data from Smyrna and Dunwoody — is feasible only if you can raise $13.4 million from revenue lines linked to property taxes. Even letting you use the surplus to offset that — and now you only have to raise $11.7 million — at a rate of 3.7, the city would come up short. It would raise about $9.2 million, which is $2.5 million off, and that’s even after accounting for the increase in the 2015 property tax digest.

            To raise that $2.5 million, it would have to pump up the rate to 4.54. On your $200k house, you’d pay $238 to the city (vs. the $182 you’d pay to the county). The city is $56 more expensive (plus the increased costs of franchise fees). So, for the same services, the city is 30 percent more expensive on just the property taxes.

            Alternately, they could pick 3.7 and cut $2.5 million from the CVI vision of the city. But if that’s what they want to do, then they need to be clear about what’s being cut.

            As a business owner, you would certainly see your business tax rates decline, and for you, that would probably be a net gain for you. For those of us who don’t own businesses, not so much.

          • notapunk

            I compared it using my 2015 tax bill. Same assessed value, same county tax rate.

            CVI is outdated. It’s somebody else’s homework. Those numbers are no longer “real world.” They were a snapshot in time to show the legislature at the time.

            I don’t have a $200,000 house. And freeze assessments vary. The only way to know how you might be affected is to compare different scenarios of city tax rates head-to-head with your own current tax bill. That’s what I did. YMMV.

          • Marjorie Snook

            Barbara, that’s not the worst-case scenario.

            The worst-case scenario is that, confronting the fact that there is not realistically enough revenue to deliver on all the promises being made, the following happen:

            1) City leaders run to the legislature to get them to raise the millage cap in the charter
            2) They cut back on services (fewer police, raiding the parks money for overhead costs)
            3) They task the police force with generating revenue
            4) They work to increase density, over the objections of neighborhoods (as has happened in Sandy Springs and Brookhaven) so they can balance their books.

            Probably some combination of all three is likely.

          • RAJ

            Big difference…WE get to decide how and where the money is spent and not someone else!

          • Eva Shaw

            That is exactly what will happen and when the going gets tough, some of the major organizers will bail. That has been their habit historically.

          • TRRickman

            Ok Eva, so what is your strategy? I keep hearing over and over again that “we just need to clean up what we have” But that’s not a strategy, that’s rhetoric. Lay out an action plan like the cityhood initiative has done so we can see which one is more feasible.

          • HB

            Eva respectfully, it appears you do not yet understand how this works. We shift some funds to local control, we don’t add one on top of the other. But you GAIN a local representative, one who lives in YOUR neighborhood and understands and fights for YOUR area needs, and has a more direct voice to address the Dekalb machine. Cityhood is a positive, proactive step and so far, the only means proposed toward beginning the corruption clean up we all want…it IS the pragmatic first step. Look to the trajectory of Decatur over 20 years. All accomplished via city vision. Despite Dekalb.

          • Eva Shaw

            Your argument is moot. Decatur has been a viable destination since the 19th century. LH doesn’t have any definition or recognition as a city and it never will. It will struggle to define itself forever. Cityhood is not an intelligent shortcut to good and fair governing. Cityhood will dilute the vote and muddy the effort for sound and fair government. We will be able to solve the county level problems but it will take time and WORK An overnight solution is not available and cityhood is a step in the wrong direction.

          • HB

            I have to guess that you haven’t lived here that long. If so, you would remember what Decatur looked like in the 70s and 80s. It was a depressed area. It was only the city leaders and their long term planning that turned the area into what it is now. Had there been no localized vision, Dekalb itself would never have achieved this–or even have tried. Cityhood allows us to concentrate focus on particular areas. We need this kind of leverage and a centralized think tank to form and acheive a great future for the Emory area.

            By the way, it is a straw man (and a talking point of the opposition that they hope some will parrot) to say there is no history in North Druid Hills (essentially what LVH is, and what they should have called it.) Quite a bit of it, including Civil War era and prior. Not the thread for that though–Google has the info.

          • Eva Shaw

            Born in Georgia, raised in Atlanta, resident of DeKalb County since 1961. That makes me a player. All small towns were dreary little cross roads after the economic distress of war and political malfunction (Nixon). Trying to compare LVH with Decatur is like comparing Atlanta and Lilburn. I would love to see the spirit of a Jim Cherry in our school system however, we must work with the system that exists and make it better with hard work and inspired thinking followed by accountability.

          • RAJ

            Suspect that neither you nor I are young enough to reform DeKalb County government unless you get busy soon, I’m doing more than my share!

          • Eva Shaw

            Please keep up your good work but don’t do the baby/bathwater thing and not be cognizant of the future implications of fragmentation. Dealing with the DeKalb County people will be a challenge on every level. My option is only to play the “wish I had” game.

          • notapunk

            That’s some pretty bold talk there, Eva. “Forever” and “never?” If you look at history, Decatur wasn’t really a viable destination in the mid-20th century. It was losing population and it was pretty much a near-death, sleepy little stop that the intown Atlanta folk made fun of until just a few years ago. Remember when downtown featured a pretty ugly car dealership? It was right on Ponce. And there weren’t any destination restaurants, unless you count Buck’s.

          • RAJ

            ES is probably one of those millennials who wandered into your neighborhood off of Buford highway and you have to remind them when to take their trash to the curb for months and months!

      • Eva Shaw

        Bravo, well said with a few words. LVH is a “neighborhood” of subdivisions and not much revenue producing commerce. (No courthouse, No railroad, No main street, No history, No future) The leaders of this move continue to sidestep providing real numbers related to cost of a city. They continue to make promises without an unbiased study to support the “rhetoric”.

        • notapunk

          Eva, Eva, Eva. So no one mistakes your rhetoric for fact, only one city in any county can have a courthouse– and that is the county seat. Does that mean that Avondale Estates is not a city? You really need to broaden your horizons and learn the ways of the world.

          • Marjorie Snook

            Someone tell the Avondale Estates Municipal Court that they don’t exist. http://www.avondaleestates.org/court_services.html

          • notapunk

            And exactly where is its “courthouse?” Oh, that’s right. Avondale Estates doesn’t have one.

    • I serve no one except my readers. My job is to report news. I find it interesting that our local elected officials are attending a private fundraiser for a new city, and suspect other people will, too. If DeKalb Strong holds a private fundraiser featuring elected officials, I’ll report on that as well. I got no dog in this fight.

      • Factivist

        How’s about if they hold any kind of fundraiser or accept contributions of any sort? Since they are called an “independent committee” under state law, they are required to report any and all money given to DeKalb Strong. The public has a right to know who is funding their fight to help DeKalb’s corrupt gov’t keep a stranglehold on our lives, our neighborhoods, our families, and our pocketbooks.

  • RAJ

    I haven’t had a companion to study with recently……so tell me more!

    • Factivist

      RAJ, you funny guy! 🙂 I’m just wondering what happened to that great battery of yard signs you had a while back — I love the one you’ve got now, just want to be sure those others were put to good use too.

  • Mark Knowles

    How do we know DeKalb is beyond that point? Where are the studies? The fragmentation is leaving pockets of areas that will see cost continue to escalate. It is clear that DeKalb taxpayer’s cost of local government has not only significantly outpaced the other Georgia areas but has also outpaced other much larger consolidated metropolitan areas nationwide. Pretending there is some magical bean in DeKalb that makes us so special that we should have to pay 50% more than others to get traditional and fairly mundane local services does not serve our long term service delivery requirements. Voters are not being provided information to allow sound choices to be made.

  • HB

    Why on earth are some of you guys fighting to keep throwing YOUR tax dollars away? Why do you WANT the bloated, crooked hands of Dekalb stealing your money? Literally, stealing your money. And mine. You are foolish to believe you are going to kill the graft machine. Dekalb is laughing and thanking Dekalb Strong for their naivete.

    Give us at least some control of our our own money please. And to anyone who is cynical about ‘new’ govt (and who are ironically not cynical about defending the thieves in charge now)…government is us. ELECT good people from your neighborhood. Yes, there really are good people out there. This is your chance to pick representation you LIKE. Wake up folks, this is our chance to improve our area.

    • Russell Carleton

      Where do the boundaries of “Our”-land end?

      • notapunk

        On a practice field for a sport few people in metro Atlanta attend and a team that will be defunct/sold to another market in a few very short years. That apparently is not “our” land and we have no voice in the deal.

  • Mark Knowles

    Fortunately, we have 8-10 years of data that can be analyzed to determine if DeKalb County taxpayers are paying less countywide than they were in 2006 for the same service delivery requirements. If we as citizens were considering a realignment, or reorganization of local government services as a whole, then we could learn from this study and reformulate service funding methods. Yet, our path seems to be one of dismantling without regard to the service base as a whole to achieve greater efficiencies in only select subsets.

    • notapunk

      So, why isn’t anyone doing the math on that? Are we getting as much, or more, for our money? Were we getting a reasonable deal in 2006? Or were we getting screwed then?
      The number of services the proposed cities want to take over and the tax dollars to fund them are actually quite small compared to the overall county budget.

      • Marjorie Snook

        Because doing the math doesn’t necessarily suit many folks’ political ambitions. It was stated at the most recent Alliance meeting I went to that people should try to avoid doing any math for themselves and just trust them that everything should work out ok. “You are not going to be as good at this as CVI, so don’t ask questions” was the message.

        • notapunk

          So why aren’t your group doing the math? Why isn’t DeKalb County showing us the math? Is it because it doesn’t help your cause?

          • Cities Are Bad

            Dekalb Strong is carrying the ball as the only oposition and does not need to do math to show that cities are bad. Dekalb County needs people like Dekalb Strong to show the dumb people how things should be done and how the county just like the confedearacy will rise again to its former glory. Vote no against all of this crazyness and keep DeKalb county functioning as it has been for over a hundred years.

          • notapunk

            Sure, that’s the ticket! Just say “cities are bad” and “the South shall rise again.” Sold! Who needs facts? Who needs numbers? Just combine phrases you’d use when talking to a 2-year-old and a redneck and you’re good to go!

          • HB

            I am *pretty* sure that fella is doing satire… But I suppose you never know anymore.

          • Marjorie Snook

            We are, and we are going through it all with a fine tooth comb. It is complex, and no one is paying us $45 grand to do it.

            But the simplest math is easy: currently, DeKalb gathers $32 million in taxes from this footprint. LVH will raise $36.5. So, a $4.5 million increase, before the government starts ballooning a la Brookhaven.

          • notapunk

            You’re leaving out millions of dollars that DeKalb County collects from this footprint in fees and taxes. That $32 million figure is property tax only and is not the whole picture.

  • Cities Are Bad

    As someone who used to live up North, I can tell you directly cities are bad. Unincorporated areas are the best. Since living around Atlanta, I have noticed that cities do not allow personal freedom with property ownership as the unincorporated areas do. I have many friends that were brought into these new cities that are being told how to maintain their own property. They have had to move most of their cars that were legally parked in their own yard to public storage because there was no driveway leading to the back. They aren’t allowed to store anything related to work outside anymore. It makes it hard to run your business when you can’t even park your truck at your home anymore because it is called a commercial vehicle. This is meaningless to most of you in the expensive houses because you have not had to work with your hands. Some of us are not going to tear down our houses and build mcmansions and we don’t want those things coming into our smaller home neighborhoods. The County will protect us from this type of thing because we vote for them and they listen to us. City leaders don’t care about the regular folk, they just want to have their rules about paint on your house and cars in the grass and trucks with your company name on them being visible in a neighborhood at night. Cities are bad and this can be stopped. Atlanta does not need to be as big as Chicago or New York, and we don’t need those big city problems coming to our quiet old neighborhoods.

    • RAJ

      you probably would much happier if you move back to your slum in the NORTH, we just don’t like to live the way you live UP NORTH…thank you very much!

      • Eva Shaw

        Honey, where ARE your manners. Yo mama would whip yo little butt for being so rude.

    • notapunk

      Ah, a true Hillbilly in Yankee’s clothing. You gotta love that. Props True Grit! All of the things you fear and revile are already here, under county rule. A county here is like a county nowhere else.

    • Marjorie Snook

      There are many ways to use code enforcement to force out working class people. And as you can see, the kind of people pushing these new cities have nothing but disdain for the kind of people of have tools and work trucks.

      • RAJ

        Once again …pure BS from a flaiming A+ hole liberal….this stuff just kills me…my grandparents were so poor that my mother had to sell grapes door to door from my grandfathers vineyard in what is now downtown LA….I still have the scale used to weigh the grapes…yet the house was always up to code, the model T pickup always had a up to date tag and was properly parked in the alley beside the house and the outside was free of trash and debris thanks to the efforts of myself(12 year old) and four aunts and uncles! Yes if you must ask…I am a DeKalb County trained code enforcement volunteer and since we all agreed to follow County codes when we purchased property(includes landlords)people who did not read the fine print like(MS and CAB)should have NO complaints and are welcome to move elsewhere!

    • Factivist

      You ARE joking, right? There are reasons why metro neighborhoods are zoned “residential.” You’re either a jokester or somebody who needs to move out into a rural area somewhere – so you can “park in the grass.”

  • RAJ

    Easy one…..Read the CVI study, but keep in mind that the “study” is only good on the first day of operation of LVH, all else depends on how the City Council votes moving from day one. On the other hand, if you really need detailed projections contact my friend Alfie Meeks Phd at GT and he can provide you with the info you request at your expense.

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