DeKalb NAACP blasts county’s request to limit creation of new cities

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt January 22, 2018

DeKalb County Georgia. Source: Google Maps.

The DeKalb County branch of the NAACP has a major beef with the DeKalb County Commission’s request for a three year moratorium on annexations and the creation of new cities.

Commissioner Jeff Rader says the county’s desire to curb the creation of new cities and annexations is not new.

The request for a moratorium was approved by the commission on Friday, Rader said. At the commission’s regular meeting Tuesday, Jan. 23, there’s a resolution asking the county’s legislative delegation to introduce a law that would require a vote by residents living in unincorporated areas of DeKalb County on any new cities, meaning residents not in a proposed city would have a say on whether a new city is approved. The county also wants the legislature to give the county commission the authority to approve all annexations by other cities.

Here’s a copy of the proposed legislation:

2017-1457 12.6.17 Exhibit 1 to 12.6 (1)

The DeKalb NAACP says the county’s position is a “blatant act of hypocrisy and discrimination.”

“While the NAACP is not taking a position for or against the creation of any new DeKalb city, the organization says that the citizens of unincorporated DeKalb should be allowed to exercise their right to vote on the issue,” the NAACP said in a press release. “According to [DeKalb NAACP President Teresa] Hardy, the NAACP noticed that the citizens of the new mostly white cities of Brookhaven, Dunwoody, and Tucker were permitted to vote whether or not to become a city, and their efforts met absolutely no opposition from neither the commissioners nor the General Assembly. Once the mostly African American citizens in Stonecrest wished to incorporate, they were met with stern opposition, which was finally overcome.”

That statement, however, does not appear to be supported by the facts. According to Reporter Newspapers, commissioners approved also approved a resolution seeking a moratorium in 2011. Brookhaven incorporated in 2012.

Rader said this has been the county’s position for several years.

“I don’t know that you can really say the commission has not brought this up before,” he said.

Rader said the legislation would be tailored to only apply to DeKalb County. He said annexations and incorporations affect other parts of the county.

“Those annexations have a substantial impact on surrounding areas,” Rader said.

For example, a recent annexation of Emory University and surrounding properties by the city of Atlanta will remove about $2.5 million in revenue from the county school district, something that has prompted county school officials to threaten the city of Atlanta with litigation.

Here’s the full statement from the DeKalb NAACP:

2018 NAACP Response to Cityhood Moratorium PRESS RELEASE 12218

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