One More Post About Brookhaven

Posted in Georgia History by chamblee54 on July 26, 2012

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.”

7 Responses

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  1. Anonymous said, on July 27, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Thanks for the summary, it is interesting and perfectly reasonable. I will say that I am not a part of any of the groups though I will be sending an email today to volunteer for the first time to make phone calls for Brookhaven Yes.

    I would point out that there is also Ashford Neighbors that filed a disclosure report, I don’t believe they are connected with No City Brookhaven. But they are a No group. There is also what I call a despicable item thrown on driveways designed to look like a newspaper. It is published by Dolly Purvis who apparently has been involved with certain DeKalb Democratic events. I call it despicable because it portrays itself as a driveway newspaper but its really an several articles advocating against the city with some other non descript articles and advertisements from a couple businesses that I can only assume were not aware of what the 2 or 3 editions of the paper would be. I think that effort may be connected with the Ashford Neighbors group but I don’t know.

    I have been following this and I sincerely do not think the board of Brookhaven Yes is involved in the mailouts by the Brookhaven Ballot Comittee. Are their common contributors? Yes. Are there people involved with C4ND on the BBC Yes. Is BBC shadowy? a little. Might some people on the Brookhaven Yes board or volunteering for them agree with the flyers, yes.

    As a Democrat who is supporting President Obama I don’t like the Flyers. But I think there is an issue regarding the racial overtones. I mean for Republicans who is the most prominent Democrat? President Obama. And who is the most prominent and powerful DeKalb Democrat? CEO Ellis. Who is most associated with the 26% tax hike? CEO Ellis. Who is perhaps the most disliked DeKalb Democrat? Vernon Jones. So if you are going to do a flyer trying to point out that the opposition to Dekalb is largely based in Democrat Circles, including active participation by CEO Ellis’ administration to help stop the City it seems to make sense that you would identify those 3 people.

    No City has taken great umbrage when the connection between DeKalb Government and the No City movement working together was made – why use our tax dollars to fight us? The release of emails obtained by open records request show that umbrage was fake by some or based on lack of knowledge by others. has the emails.

    Bottom line, The City of Brookhaven will have 4 council members each elected solely by the respective precincts. While I don’t deny district 1 could have a rabid republican, district 4 I bet will have a Democrat. In other words the Brookhaven Council will not be Brookhaven Yes Version 2.0

    • chamblee54 said, on July 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      Thank you for stopping by.
      Either I did not receive the Dolly Purvis newspaper, or I threw it on the pile with the other free newspapers that I receive. I don’t know what to say about that.
      BTW, if the new city would ban free newspapers, that would be a good move. A certain percentage don’t get picked up, and get washed into the street during rainstorms. They are then run over, and the paper mache is spread over the road. It is ugly.

      • Eric Robert said, on July 27, 2012 at 1:34 pm

        Sorry about the above anonymous post, for some reason I apparently fogot how to post through Facebook.

        I can’t find anything on Google about the A: Times News other than this page that reference a headline from the 2 paper issued by them.

        I hear you about driveway newspapers that don’t get picked up. Though I do like the Crier and the Reporter as long as I have my grain of salt with me. The internet has great access to news, but I don’t always look so its sometimes good to be able to skim a paper quickly while eating in the kitchen.

        Btw not sure if you’ve seen the latest development. Apparently a receipt by Open Records Request of emails between the Brookhaven No and DeKalb County. Its not on point regarding the main issues of will the City be a better steward of that narrow stream of Tax dollars that they will take responsibilty from DeKalb for. But there’s an issue of use of tax dollars by DeKalb, should staff or resources still be devoted to this? Or the issue of the umberage the No Folks took at the suggestion that there was a connection.

        The Emails reveal DeKalb County Government’s active role in No City effort.
        One of the emails show that the recent uptick we’ve seen in county responsiveness to long unattended issues in our area is not genuine but a calculated move to squash efforts to create a city. That email is a list of basic stuff that should have been happening for the past 10 years,

        If the list had been written at any other time I would be say Thank You! Great Job! But the fact that its seems to be a calculated move to stop us from creating a City makes it very troubling and the list does serve as a sample of the past neglect.

        Its been well known that more incorporation or annexation was coming down the pike once these unincorporated islands or peninsulas were created by the incorporation of Dunwoody and Annexation by Chamblee up to 285. Too bad the county didn’t try to embark on an “increased presence” campaign 2 years ago.

        It’s also evidence of the connection between No City and the disingenuous release by DeKalb County that only updated the CVI numbers with the Property Tax reduction while ignoring the HOST increases and other increase in 75% of the City of Brookhaven’s revenue stream.

        A City of Brookhaven will have a surplus plus have funding to provide increased services, but more importantly I think it will be more responsive and thus will do a better job of deliverying the services they are responsible for.

  2. Eric Robert said, on July 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Just to be clear on my comment regarding whoever being elected to Mayor or the 4 council positions. Of what I know to date I’m comfortable with any member of the BrookhavenYes board being elected to the position of Mayor or Council. But that’s an analysis we can make and decide after between July 31 and November.

    Also did a Key typo in a the below sentence, my apologies.
    So if you are going to do a flyer trying to point out that the opposition to BROOKHAVEN is largely based in Democrat Circles, including active participation by CEO Ellis’ administration to help stop the City it seems to make sense that you would identify those 3 people.

  3. The Morning After « Chamblee54 said, on August 1, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    […] the overall supply runs out, then this fancy new city will be a ghost town. Chamblee54 has been critical of the marketing for the proposed new city. That DeKalb County has room for improvement has not […]

  4. Pink Pony | Chamblee54 said, on June 17, 2013 at 9:11 am

    […] this time last year, PG was following the effort to create a city of Brookhaven. It was a nasty affair, with racially charged mailers, legal complaints, and enough mud slung to […]

  5. District 2 Candidate Debate | Chamblee54 said, on October 23, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    […] of concern for PG. During the election to create the city, a group sent a series of controversial mailers out. PG wanted to know if Mr. Nama was connected to the Brookhaven Ballot Committee. When you […]

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