Decision Time

It’s the fourth quarter with almost five minutes left in the game. You’re five points down. Your team is starting to mesh after a shaky time. It’s fourth and 2, 14 yards from the goal.

Do you decide to take the easy three points, trust your defense to get the ball back, and put your team in position so that all they need is another field goal to win?

Or do you decide to take a chance and go for broke now?

Classic risk/reward time!


There’s some of that going on right now in the cityhood question.  Let’s say you’re in Tucker and thinking that you can create enough argument and confusion that the whole city question will go away. Then maybe in a few years you can come back on your terms and do what you want. Well, maybe!

What can go wrong? Maybe the confusion you create just makes legislators fall back to a default party line. Then you lose everything you were arguing about; and a year later you lose Northlake Parkway and parts of Midvale by annexations. Then you might have the possibility of creating another Pine Lake or Clarkston.


On the other hand, maybe you can say “We may not get everything we want; what’s going to put is in the best possible situation for the future?”  Getting most of what we want puts us in a great position for the future. What’s the most feasible outcome?


We all need to stop thinking about what the “best” possible outcome might be.  We need to concentrate on WINNING.  The only relevant question is:  WHAT WILL SELL IN THE LEGISLATURE! What is the winning strategy?


Think about selling a complicated products or service when the customer would prefer that you go away. If you can convince the potential customer in one paragraph, you have a chance. If you have to waste any of your time explaining why you’re not doing the obvious thing, forget about it. No sale.


That’s where we are.


This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

RandyRand January 06, 2014 at 01:17 PM
When the voters are presented with LCA vs Dekalb status quo, we will choose LCA! And Yes, LCA will win in the Legislature as they have the ONLY majority sponsor. Interestingly, Tucker could have a majority sponsor in 2015 if they play their cards right! And by right I mean not alienating Fran Millar who offered to sponsor them in 2015! By By!
Longerthanu January 06, 2014 at 01:37 PM
Hate to break it to you Truth, but "most of the people" aren't even paying attention.
Jim Tackett January 06, 2014 at 01:41 PM
Not me. I'd never vote Lakeside. LCA is a self serving group that is not a true community-minded effort. Briarcliff is slowly winning the public, and it's a smarter plan for my wallet. It's pretty telling that there are only two LCA proponents left anymore on the Patch, Randy and Roberto. You guys keep up those rants and bad arithmetic though, they sure are helping the cause for the rest of us who want a better deal. Briarcliff or no city is the only logical choice right now.
Tom Doolittle January 06, 2014 at 02:02 PM
Longer's correct about "most not paying attention". However why would the support among commenters for Briarcliff/Tucker be a little greater than LCA on this news outlet?
Keith Hanks January 06, 2014 at 02:05 PM
Oh Randy... what's the right words, "bless your heart." See Briarcliff isn't afraid of Lakeside. The 'Lakeside is the only feasible solution' argument is dead. People that want cityhood over DeKalb's status quo do not necessarily want that city to be Lakeside. In fact the negative views of Lakeside are huge. Inside the perimeter people want an ITP solution. Outside the perimeter people want an OTP solution. That solution is Tucker. Telling Tucker to be a good boy and fall in line until 2015 makes no sense when Lakeside cuts 1/3 of Tucker's proposed map. People are not stupid. Good luck passing Lakeside in a general election, especially in the Tucker community.
TruthWillSetYouFree January 06, 2014 at 02:06 PM
Longer sadly you are right but if it a city comes to a vote i think more people will start paying attention. if its lakeside we vote for you will see any anti lakeside campaign (which i and i believe many others would donate to) that will expose the lakeside people for who they really are. Once the community not paying attention finds out lakeside is doing the bidding of the coleman talleys of the world and has no interest in our community other then to use it to profit they will vote it down. Shoot I'm not even sure its a given COBI can pass and they are at least decent people looking out for the community.
Keith Hanks January 06, 2014 at 02:11 PM
I'll give you a preview of what will be said to Republican leaders. If you want to support the most fiscally viable plan you can do that by voting yes on BRIARCLIFF. It is logical, follows Republican financial values and does so without the image of avoiding minority neighborhoods. If instead you want to associate your name to an inferior plan that comes with alot of baggage pick LAKESIDE. Maybe I'm overconfident, but I don't think "Fran Millar Blvd" will be getting created anytime soon.
TruthWillSetYouFree January 06, 2014 at 02:17 PM
Can any of the COBI people on here comment on if they have even heard from the Lakeside people since their study came out? Has COBI tried to reach out to them? LCA seems to have gone dark since the Tucker and COBI studies were released. Since LCA is a corporate sponsored organization run by professional politician types it concerns me they are up to no good. To hear they have been in communication with the other two efforts would be shocking yet encouraging.
Longerthanu January 06, 2014 at 02:36 PM
Tom, hard to say. We'd need more info. How many people here live in Lakeside/Briarcliff map and how many live in Briarcliff alone? And what percentage of the public at large reads the Patch, much less comments here? I will say this group is more much more involved and engaged than the general public.
Frannie D. January 06, 2014 at 02:37 PM
Wasn't LCA always designed to disband after the studies? Remember, LCA was "pretending" to be a non-city-advocacy group so that they could justify undue tax breaks for their large donors. (Tax dollars that the community could have used, were legally due, and that COBI and Tucker groups paid--but LCA had no ethical objection to using loopholes and obfuscation to keep that money in pocket.) Now, far as I understand it, they have to create a new entity so that they can "legally" advocate now. Is this not the case? I've been waiting to see their new "face" too....
RandyRand January 06, 2014 at 02:48 PM
How ironic for ”TWSYF the Hidden” to claim that he/she will “Expose the Lakeside people for who they are”! We already know who the LCA people are, they have been publicly transparent and active in bettering our community for decades! And of course there will be those who are vested in the Dekalb County status quo who will donate to marketing for anti-cityhood. COBI’s sponsoring legislator Mary Margret Oliver will likely lead that misguided effort after “COBI’s seat at the table” is retracted by she who must be obeyed!
RandyRand January 06, 2014 at 02:53 PM
@JimT, Not to put words in Roberto's mouth but he/she has been generally supporting anti cityhood efforts here and is NOT pro LCA.
RandyRand January 06, 2014 at 03:06 PM
@keith: My point in agreeing with Herman's Blog statement "The only relevant question is: What will sell in the Legislature" is to highlight the required PROCEDURAL feasibility which existed from the beginning of the process. Both Economic and Legislative Procedural feasibility need to exist for the cityhood effort to succeed. LCA uniquely has both while Tucker was offered Legislative help for 2015! As they say in Tucker, them are the FACTS!
Keith Hanks January 06, 2014 at 03:13 PM
@Randy do you agree that Fran Millar's sponsorship for 2015 should be for a proposed city of "New Tucker?" Seems like the current usage of "Tucker" wouldn't be relevant since Lakeside will cherry pick 1/3 of its land. Only comeback for Lakeside's map was that Kevin Levitas was so excited about a the idea of a city that he got a little lazy creating the map and just nudged some lines on his old GA House district map via his legislature days.
Keith Hanks January 06, 2014 at 03:17 PM
Randy, again, how does LCA sell to Republicans a plan that is not the most financially viable? LCA has less services, and does it via cherry picking commercial and excluding surrounding residential. Do you think Republicans want to be attached to the various controversies of Lakeside? Whether by design or not, heavily populated minority areas are being excluded and that's a cliche that Republicans don't need in the news. Ironically Briarcliff is able to be inclusive and still show better in its feasibility study and service offering. I see huge general election hurdles both inside the perimeter and outside the perimeter. These are just the decisions among two pro cityhood people. Think of what the anti-cityhood people will do to Lakeside ITP and OTP.
Jim Tackett January 06, 2014 at 03:27 PM
Hey Randy, know what, I may have confused Roberto with Roger Kennedy. Still getting names straight around here. Thanks for that catch, didn't mean to sully Roberto's name with an unwanted LCA connection. (wink, bazinga!)
Keith Hanks January 06, 2014 at 03:38 PM
Any Tucker 2015 legislative deal is a fools bet. The economics of what the 2015 city version would/could look would be radically different than what Tucker 2014 is presenting today. Then again, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe those that consider themselves Tucker residents would be fine with a 1 mile radius of a city such as Pine Lake.
Longerthanu January 06, 2014 at 03:42 PM
FrannieD, LCA doesn't have to disband until a proposal gets through the legislature and an election is set. That is the point at which extolling the virtues of their plan to the public becomes an effort to influence the outcome of an election under IRS code.
Longerthanu January 06, 2014 at 04:02 PM
Hey Keith, Briarcliff also excludes a heavily minority area that Lakeside does include in its map. So I'd be kinda careful with that one.
rwf January 06, 2014 at 04:39 PM
@Keith - Perhaps you need a refresher course in map reading before you start throwing flippant answers Tucker's way. Pine Lake was a vacation community, established in 1937, that is a rectangular barely 1/2 mile long. Better to refer to either Clarkston and Stone Mountain, both of which still maintain some of their original borders, which were originally based on a zero mile post and 1/2 mile radius, common for Georgia in those days. But here's a challenge for you, Keith: We all know where Tucker's zero mile post and 1/2 mile radius city limits would have been located back in 1915. Where would you have placed Briarcliff's back then? Where would you place it today?
Keith Hanks January 06, 2014 at 04:45 PM
@Randy, you got it. I'm the official one. Not hiding it in the least, even made a notation about it on my profile here. Briarcliff is not trying to be the equivalent of Lakeside, we've proven we're better than Lakeside. Lakeside has been all crickets since Briarcliff and Tucker announced their feasibility studies.
Frannie D. January 06, 2014 at 04:48 PM
Randy, you LCA folks really are mathematically challenged aren't you! The studies take into account expenses and revenues, per capita. The larger the area, the larger the liability AND the larger the revenues. Briarcliff's plan is superior because despite having MORE residents to support, (which was factored in) there is still a higher benefit to each person in the map. Your 5th grader can explain this further if you are still confused. ;)
Keith Hanks January 06, 2014 at 04:50 PM
@rwf fair point on the Clarkston and/or Stone Mountain comparison. That said, at this point I'm not drinking the historical emotional play. Tucker has had 100+ years to either officially or unofficially plop down some signs around town that say "Welcome to Tucker. Found in 18##" -- hasn't happened -- We universally know were the center of Tucker is. What we don't know is where the edges are. It is an emotional discussion that is unwinnable for all sides. I'll speculate if you ask 10 Tucker supporters where the cityhood borders are you will get 10 answers.
RandyRand January 06, 2014 at 04:55 PM
Several interesting points raised by Keith Hanks( COBI Board Keith?) require some further exploration! First, this whole which city is “MOST “ financially viable is at best a Straw Dog argument that has been contrived by COBI to project some relative equivalence with LCA. But Straw Dogs are just that and so let’s get to the facts. The Facts are the COBI boundary contains almost twice the population, more the twice the area, and over 25% less surplus per person when compared to the economic feasibility of LCA! But there are other high costs/risks involved with COBI. The racial diversity demographics favor LCA over the nearly twice as large COBI too! COBI has boundary bumped five or six existing cities and involved all their voters by restricting even minor growth through annexation. From a legislative perspective voters are viewed individually as votes, so let’s compare risks with that in mind: LCA is more economically feasible per voter, LCA is less intrusive or encompassing per voter by almost half. LCA bumps up against one existing city, Chamblee, and COBI land locks five or six existing cities. Those newly COBI bounded existing city voters represent a voter base twice as large LCA and equal again the size of COBI. The Republican majority will look these and conclude that LCA is: the most economically viable per voter, the most ethnically diverse effort, the lowest disruption risk to both the existing county and existing cities and their voters, and the only cityhood Bill sponsored by a fellow Republican. In poker they call what LCA is holding a winning hand!
Keith Hanks January 06, 2014 at 05:08 PM
@Randy the sad thing here is I should be the target audience of a Lakeside supporter. My view points allign with the the majority party, but yet I'm not a supporter of Lakeside. Why is that? I hold office in both local and at the state level for Young Republicans, yet I won't fall in line with the wishes of the sponsor from the majority party. Doesn't that seem odd? The Lakeside sponsor does a great job of being heavily visible at the county GOP level -- yet I'm not afraid to stand up and say the vision he is sponsoring is wrong and his approach stubborn. Asking Tucker to fall in line for 2015 is arrogant. I can be here for the next 50 years, few active in this discussion can make that claim. I have zero aspiration for Briarcliff elected office, not even dog catcher. I'm not going to play political games with the future of where I want to spend the next 50 years. I've got no temptation to personally corrupt me. I refuse to have regrets 50 years from now because I sat idle.
TruthWillSetYouFree January 06, 2014 at 05:53 PM
Randy since your friends with the LCA folks can we expect the official LCA advocacy group (not to be confused with the cough cough non advocacy group) logo to have a little smaller font "Sponsored By Coleman Talley" added to it?
Keith Hanks January 07, 2014 at 12:12 PM
Frannie / Brian / Todd / Randy - You all have good points. Here's the inside scope so you can continue to talk... little lengthy to read. My comment here is a combo of my Patch comments and what's being published on COBI's facebook. Does COBI want a deal with Tucker, absolutely. An agreement is the best path to defeat Lakeside in both the legislature + an agreement solves the cityhood question for the greatest number of people. As of 1/7 is there an agreement -- no. Missing this only plays well to Lakeside and their argument of establishing a city and then spending years and years on annexation discussions. COBI is positioning for a logical border -- anything but a logical border is going to be tough to defend in a general election -- and COBI will get alot of heat from people if they don't. If COBI doesn't settle on a logical border COBI deserves to get alot of criticism, especially from Lakeside supporters after the criticism COBI has had towards Lakeside's map. Tucker believes the border should use a CID (community improvement district). There is one already for Tucker and another one proposed (key word = proposed) for OTP/ITP going into Northlake's ITP commercial area and light industrial area. COBI sees this as cherry picking (taking commercial and not drawing in residential) just like Lakeside did with Toco Hills. Further a CID might be logical to Tucker, but isn't a justification for a city line as multi-city CIDs already exist between Sandy Springs and Dunwoody at the perimeter area. Tucker does not need ITP Northlake to be feasible -- math has been run on this. For sometime the discussion has been an emotional play on Northlake being associated with Midvale and Midvale being Tucker. Admittedly COBI has done a bad job in the past months projecting the voice of inside the perimeter and how those connected by sidewalks view this as part of their community. COBI compromised on Northlake once already. Initial maps went slightly OTP, taking Northlake Parkway, but COBI backed off knowing Tucker would want that area and wanted to avoid a dispute. COBI wants everyone to be successful, but is willing to hold firm. This messaging is a side of COBI many people are not used too and having the best financial results from the feasibility study has given COBI the confidence and justification to keep the border inside of 285. Take this comment however you want. No speculation, no hype -- this is the 1/7/14 reality.
Tom Doolittle January 07, 2014 at 12:25 PM
Since these are supposedly community groups, getting their supposed mandate from residents--information such as Keith's above is owed and due the public early and often. That is--IF the groups are allowed to purport their being actual representatives. I personally thought that opportunity was lost early on--and am just as happy not getting anything now--as it supports my contention that we actually need a process for appointing real representatives with credible mandates.
Brian January 09, 2014 at 12:14 PM
http://tucker.patch.com/groups/the-city-of-briarcliff/p/decision-time_1aa4dc66#comment-41064932 Not sure why all the comments from a given story don't run together.
Tom Doolittle January 09, 2014 at 01:06 PM
Truly is difficult and speaks to the problems associated with combining communities here. News organs are a microcosm of their communities.


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