Rumor: Tucker & Lakeside to Combine?

What will the local highway signage look like in the next few years? Governor Deal is potentially weighing in on wanting to combine two cities (Lakeside and Tucker) to create a "Northlake" city.
What will the local highway signage look like in the next few years? Governor Deal is potentially weighing in on wanting to combine two cities (Lakeside and Tucker) to create a "Northlake" city.
Rumor has it there’s a potential combined city in the works that merges the Lakeside and Tucker proposed cities. I’ve heard it been referred to as “Northlake,” but that could just be a descriptor.  Lakeside is on the record for regretting the name Lakeside (as a marketer I can say it has a lot of negative brand equity, dangerous for a general election). Tucker has always held tight to the name Tucker as a nod to history and a rally for community pride (high brand equity if they can get the logistics of the city plan right since so many are surprised to learn Tucker isn’t already a city).

Did Governor Nathan Deal just step in?
Part of this rumor includes the feedback that the Governor stated that Lakeside and Tucker needed to come together as an all or nothing thing. Normally I’d brush rumors aside until I have more evidence, but I’m hearing this from several people and you cannot discount Senator Millar has a perfect record when it comes to winning cityhood creation.

As a disclosure, I’m writing this at 10pm on Tuesday night two hours getting back into town from a business trip.

Fran Millar Blvd?
I dusted off an old visual from a few months ago and reworked it. It’s made to cast some humor on the very serious topic of cityhood. History is always being created and it is the victors that put in the recent entries into the history books. This should be a concern to those that enjoy seeing “Tucker” on I-285. I personally believe there’s a potential for a “Fran Millar Blvd” somewhere in the area and Sen Millar would not turn down the honor. I also believe the “Tucker” signage on Exit 37 on I-285 goes bye-bye if Tucker doesn’t find a way to formally exist as an official city.

Those following the cityhood discussion likely know that Lakeside, Tucker and Briarcliff all overlap to various degrees in the Northlake area.

Outcome of Two Cities Combining as a Solution:
With a short timeline in the legislative session that contains so many potential outcomes, two cities combining has always been on the radar though a lower probability on the list of likely outcomes. For example, a giant ITP/OTP city (in this case potentially pulling from Lakeside and Tucker) has been suggested by many, including legislators. Keep in mind ITP Lakeside at this point strongly mirrors the latest versions of Briarcliff (Briarcliff recently deferred some of its southern border to existing cities, Decatur, Avondale Estates, and Clarkston with published annexation plans). Most notable ITP Lakeside does not go nearly as far as Briarcliff in the Emory / Druid Hills area. Also notable is that OTP Lakeside has extreme overlap with Tucker’s proposed plan, more lately when Lakeside updated its map recently.

I suspect we’ll hear more details in the next 24-48 hours (before everyone goes to bed Thursday 2/27).

What does “Northlake” (aka Lakeside / Tucker hybrid) look like?
I don’t have map or a stronger overview to offer for what a “Northlake” (aka a Lakeside / Tucker hybrid) could look like. Also don’t have crucial details on what the city services would consist of, or the framework of the city charters, which is the recipe and guidance for first generation city council members to build on. For example, Lakeside was looking at a stronger list of services, similar to Briarcliff, where Tucker was looking at an extremely light city starting point. Borders might overlap, but those are two very different cultural views on how cities should function. Most notably, Tucker was not creating its own police force initially, but stated it would be on the radar in the future potentially.

Hoping some additional insight might bubble up in the Patch.com comments (this will be posted on both North Druid Hills / Briarcliff Patch and Tucker Patch).

Comment thread is open...

Disclosure: Keith Hanks is a member of the COBI Executive Board. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of COBI. Keith is a resident of Decatur zip 30033 within incorporated DeKalb. His professional background is marketing and he has worked on over 200 marketing campaigns ranging from Fortune 100 companies to local small business within metro Atlanta.
Longerthanu March 06, 2014 at 01:33 PM
For those who can't attend the Briarcliff/Lakeside hearing, it's streaming online here: http://www.house.ga.gov/Streaming/en-US/Channel/gahln606
Tom Doolittle March 06, 2014 at 03:03 PM
Longer--that's a good idea. "Perceived Expectations" such as "independence" needs to be disected early and often along with all of the other things that have gotten conflated with more general sweeping assertions like "local control", "government closer to the people" and "DeKalb corruption" (which people only know via the news reports, and those are very specific, such as the water/ww utility). These amount to throwaways, essentially given a pass by "consumers", then other things are attached via "whisper down the lane". I don't think there's a purposeful tactic there, but happens by natural course--a narrative if you will. My emphasis would be to show how these things likely lead to very high expectations and a degree of "buyers remorse", a much greater threat to a new jurisdiction than "remorse" is to a long-standing one. I'll still have a problem with the process and have one salvo left on that since it forms one complete side of the debate in the General Assembly, so can't just credibly discarded as superfluous (in fact has been agreed to by cityhood proponents, but not considered practical because of the artificially established timetable). However, because the pre-referendum period is over--and the referendum is nearly upon us, I do think its time to get ahead of the curve and start speculating on aspects of how the city operations will look and be received by the public once in place. Public reception and PERCEPTION will be directly related to trust issues associated with the margin of victory--and therefore "legitimacy" and "mandate". However, I am reluctant to do so only for one reason. We've heard from folks that don't think treatises like these are very valuable, amount to "negativity" and attacks on the writer, rather than debating the content. Also--if someone isn't "black and white" or "pro or con", rather than articulating the complexities of the situation--it really doesn't generate much interest.
Longerthanu March 06, 2014 at 03:59 PM
No matter what anybody writes, there's somebody ready to attack. Heck, I got questioned for laying out simple facts above... Sentiment that I've heard articulated by people for a city-- and people against a city. Gotta have thick skin around here.
Enuff Govt Already March 06, 2014 at 04:46 PM
What’s a new city to do? Why not build a monument to gov’t and while we are at it destroy a citizen or two. The city of Sandy Springs in using eminent domain to seize one of the area’s oldest existing businesses. Why? The politicians want to build their gov’t building there or as they stated the location is needed for a future civic facility. The Mayor’s reasoning, “we’ve embarked on a project where we’ve spent over $20 million in taxpayer money…couldn’t put the project at risk.” The business owner, “The main thing is the city is taking prime real estate for government use.” Be careful what you wish for.- http://www.reporternewspapers.net/2014/03/04/sandy-springs-council-votes-allow-city-file-eminent-domain-master-kleen-site/ Or try the Brookhaven way, lease a city hall of 24,000 sq ft for 6 employees, a part time mayor and 4 councilmen. Rent a different building of 16,000 sq ft for the police and a rent a third space for a city court facility.
Tom Doolittle March 06, 2014 at 06:59 PM
Enuff--there are a few aspects of the Sandy Springs project that are interesting: (1) It shows how difficult it is build centers of new cities in typical suburban areas (crossroads, I guess)--is possible that new suburban cities shouldn't have traditioanl city centers. (2) the city center project is a public/PRIVATE project--so essentially they aren't taking private property solely for a public good (which the traditional use of eminent domain didn't envision as government centers)--dubious "taking" for a new private concern. If new cities were indeed a dollar for dollar trade with county government or "no added government" or "closer to the people (the business owner is not a "people", but the new private developer is), you have to wonder what the new cities would be like with those as their top priorities. Then, along the lines of what we really should be identifying right now--what are the things that voters did NOT anticipate when they voted for cities? Point being--FORM A CITY--but know what you're voting for ahead of time. Start making a list of the winners and the losers--its always a zero sum game. Is that any worse than county government? Maybe not, except its your own neighbors making the decisions.


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