Greenhaven cityhood meeting planned
Citizens looking to create a new south DeKalb County city called Greenhaven will hold a meeting later this month to discuss what that could mean for the approximately 300,000 residents in the proposed city’s boundaries.
Concerned Citizens for Cityhood of South DeKalb will hold a meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 6 p.m. at the DeKalb Covington Library, located at 3500 Covington Highway, Decatur, GA, 30032.
‘The Concerned Citizens for Cityhood of South DeKalb, Inc. (CCCSD) will hold a cityhood meeting to address questions from the community regarding cityhood in South DeKalb County,” a press release announcing the meeting says. “The meeting will provide information on the proposed city of Greenhaven and address questions from the community.”
Want to know if you’re in the proposed city? You can look up your address on this map:
The proposed city of Greenhaven would include everything in DeKalb south of U.S. 78 up to I-285, excluding a proposed city of Stonecrest, and everything south of Memorial Drive on the other side of 285. A proposal to put the city on the Nov. 3 ballot was unsuccessful in this year’s Legislative session, but it could come up again in 2016, particularly if the proposed cities of Tucker and LaVista Hills are successful. Voters will decide both proposals tomorrow, Nov. 3.
Cityhood supporters say joining Greenhaven would be a boon to residents. The group’s top five reasons for incorporation are:
1) Tax money will be spent directly on residents of the city instead of being distributed throughout the county.
2) Economic development targeted at improving south DeKalb.
3) Protecting south DeKalb from having to pay a disproportionate share of the county’s pension liabilities. The new cities that have formed, like Dunwoody and Brookhaven, aren’t required to support those pensions. The burden on unincorporated areas would likely increase with the successful incorporation of Tucker and LaVista Hills. According to a recent Atlanta Journal Constitution article, the county is researching a way to make the distribution more equitable and will present its recommendations to the county’s legislative delegation.
4) Government that’s more responsive to residents by creating a city council with members representing a smaller portion of the population than county commissioners. Greenhaven estimates 1 council person would represent 49,000 residents as opposed to one county commissioner for 140,000 residents.
5) A city charter that includes term limits, an ethics board and external auditing.
Not everyone is on board with the idea. The East Lake Foundation is working to move all of its assets out of the map for a proposed city of Greenhaven and into the city of Atlanta to avoid having them split between two cities if Greenhaven is successful.