City Of Brookhaven
There is a proposal to create a city of Brookhaven. On July 31, the matter will go before the voters. The proposed city is between Atlanta, Chamblee, I 285, and I 85.
There has been a fad for creating new cities in the North metro area. North Fulton has been divided between John’s Creek, Milton, and Sandy Springs. DeKalb county has the proposed Brookhaven, and Dunwoody. Brookhaven is the first of the new cities to be completely located inside I 285 (ITP).
PG has gotten mailings from those who say yes, and from those who say no. Neither mailer was printed at a Union shop. Both sides quote a feasibility study from the Carl Vinson Institute.
According to the yes website, “The 5 services the city will take over from DeKalb are : Police, Parks, Roads, Zoning and Code Enforcement. Fire, Water and Sewer, Sanitation, Schools etc., will remain with DeKalb county”.
According to Wikipedia, the new city would have 40, 456 people. The racial breakdown is 61.52% White, Hispanic 27.41%, 17.56% Black, and 4.88% Asian. The numbers for the registered voters are probably different, with many of the Hispanic people transient. DeKalb county is 54.3% Black, and county politics are dominated by the Black community.
The yes mailer has racial undertones. It has a picture of Dekalb CEO Burrell Ellis, who is African American. The headline read “What’s CEO Burrell Ellis doing with Your Tax Dollars? There is a quote from an “Email from lobbyist to DeKalb County”, with a line about fighting the proposed new city.
PG attended a meet and greet with Mr. Ellis recently, and the subject of the new city came up. Mr. Ellis thinks the finances of the new city would be precarious. The figures used in the feasibility study are from real estate values that have been declining. The new city will not have a much money as many think it will. This point is made by the no crowd. Mr. Ellis said that he thinks people are wanting a new city for the wrong reasons.
The issue of the new city having enough money to operate is key. The no people say it won’t, the yes people say it will. Brookhaven has more poverty than the other new cities, and less commercial areas. There are height restrictions in much of the area, because of Peachtree DeKalb Airport.
An important issue is taxes. The yes crowd say they will be lower. The no crowd says they will be higher. The millage rate will be set at 3.35, and an increase would require voter approval.
Franchise fees will be a factor in the money. According to the no website, “Franchise Fees are the taxes charged to utility companies for the use of the public right of way for utility poles, pipes, and cabling. We already pay 1.2% on our GA Power bill now, but do not on landline phone bills. Incorporated cities such as what Brookhaven could possibly become, are allowed to charge the utility companies higher percentages than counties. As a result the utility companies pass that extra charge along to the consumer. Georgia Power and landline phone bills will be where we see the increases.”
Another big issue is police. The yes people say “DeKalb county assigns 3 to 6 patrol officers to the entire area of Brookhaven. The city of Brookhaven will increase this number to a minimum fo 8 to 9 officers at all times.” The no people say that the new city should have 83 police officers, and that the budget calls for 53.
Chamblee54, despite the name, is west of Chamblee, and is part of the proposed new city. There have been features about Brookhaven recently, including vintage pictures. The election on the new city will be July 31. All affected voters are encouraged to study the issues, and make your opinion known. The spell check suggestion for Brookhaven is Brokenhearted. Pictures today are from ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”