One More Post About Brookhaven
By this time next week, we will know if the City of Brookhaven will be established. A lot of noise has been made. The competing claims made by NoCityBrookhaven (NCB) and BrookhavenYes (BY) are tough to sort out. There is a third committees registered with the State of Georgia, the Brookhaven Ballot Committee (BBC). BBC supports the new city. The role played by BY and BBC is a matter of speculation.
Chamblee 54 has posted five times about this issue in 2012. One way to chart the evolution of this issue is to review these posts.
Brookhaven Pie, published May 19, is a repost of Brookhaven Burger, posted May 20, 2011. Both have pictures of the Peachtree Road commercial strip in the pre Marta days. The city movement was in the planning stages. The post was made after a story at Peach Pundit. Here is a fun quote.
The story in Peach Pundit is a lively affair. People with reservations about this new city are given links calling them liberal crackpots . The author tells the tale of seeing a young man walking away with his lawn mower. He was not happy with the police response, and feels that an new city police force would do a better job.
The story spawned a festive comment thread. Instead of discussing the merits of a new city, the commenters discuss the pros and cons of confronting the lawn mower thief personally, as opposed to calling the police. There is one comment that begs to be quoted. I agree, creating government is not conservative. It is a conservative reaction to liberalism gone awry.
City Of Brookhaven was posted June 13. The mailers had started to arrive. … 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.
This mailer was from BBC. PG looked for a web site, and could not find one. The difference between BBC and BY had not been made clear. To PG, they were just the people who wanted a new city.
The other issues … taxes, financial viability, police protection … were being discussed at this stage, at least at the NCB and BY websites. The BBC mailers were personality based DeKalb county bashing. It should be noted that the BBC mailer was the first message to arrive in the mailbox.
Brookhaven Town Hall Meeting was posted June 29. PG attended a meeting at Cross Keys. The bathroom did not smell like cigarette smoke. A collection of officials from BY, and several other cities, were on hand to promote the new city. The point was made that a new city would not be a new layer of government, but a parallel layer controlling certain aspects of governance. The other mayors said that they had their own naysayers, and that their towns were running smoothly.
Letter About Brookhaven marked a return to the personal attacks. A Republican politician wrote a letter to various media outlets, where he compared DeKalb county CEO Burrell Ellis, and County Commissioner Kathie Gannon, to Barack Obama. When PG went to the website of Ms. Gannon, what he found contradicted most of what was in that letter. The website also referred to a county study about decreased tax revenues. This would tend to support the NCB contention that the new city would not have enough money to operate on.
Somebody Made A Mistake was where things got interesting. There was another BHO bashing mailer, which was denounced by Chamblee54. It was soon pointed out that the mailer was from BBC, and not BY. Apparently, this is an important distinction. (The original title was “Brookhaven Yes made a mistake”. That was changed the next day.)
At roughly the same time this mailer was going out, Brookhaven Patch published NoCityBrookhaven Outraises, Outspends Cityhood Proponents. This article had many of the same talking points as the BBC mailer. The issue stressed by BBC in this mailer was the source of financing for NCB. Apparently, a few Historic Brookhaven residents have been the primary contributors to NCB.
The Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, formerly known as the State Ethics Commission, has a dandy website showing the committee financial reports. There are reports about NCB Contributions, BY Contributions, and BBC Contributions The largest contributor to both BY and BBC is J. Patrick Hoban, CEO of Troncalli Motors, and a Historic Brookhaven resident.
The story at the Patch linked has a lively comment thread. Apparently, this has been going on for some time. A handful of people do the majority of the posting. Personal insults, threats, and name calling is part of the fun. Both sides are confident of victory. It is not known whether the pro city people in the comment thread are connected to BY, BBC, or both. The Patch has made noise about conduct and civility, but has not taken much action.
BY had a picnic at Ashford Park July 22. PG walked over to attend. He talked to J. Max Davis, the Chairman of BY. Mr. Davis stressed that the offensive flyer was not from his group. He said that he doesn’t know who is in BBC, and cannot control what they say. Mr. Davis did not denounce the mailer in this conversation, and evidently has not done so in public.
At this stage, it is coming down to trust and personalities. The financial claims made by BY and NCB are tough for a non expert to sort out. It is obvious that DeKalb county is poorly run, and not giving the Brookhaven area the attention it deserves. The question is, can BY/BBC do better?
Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library.”