Legislation Allows Time for County to Partner with Communities

A reader supports legislation to temporarily stop the creation of new cities and annexations.

By Tim Cairl

Ever invited friends or family over for dinner and planned out an entire meal? Set off to the grocery store; list in hand, only to discover that several key ingredients were missing? This is the position in which our local communities may find themselves in only a few short years.

The surge in local incorporation efforts has led to a cookie cutter approach to cityhood. This rolling and cutting of the county tax base is dangerous to the security of our school systems and support services such as 911 and police as well as sewer and water services, just to name a few.

Legislation such as HB 22 introduced by State Representative Mary Margaret Oliver (DeKalb County) is attempting to force local elected leaders, developers and communities organizations to the discussion table. Incorporation is coming to DeKalb County, and we can learn a few lessons from our sister county to the west by taking our time in deciding how resources should be divided, how communities should not be divided, and how to keep the best interest of all our citizens in mind as our county is divvied up.

For the sake of our local neighborhoods, our children’s education and the safety of our homes, let’s not get to the end of this incorporation exercise and realize we’ve missed an opportunity to do this process in a thoughtful and deliberate way.

Cairl is a DeKalb County resident.

Herman Lorenz February 05, 2013 at 01:42 PM
That law has nothing to do with "best interest of all our citizens ". It is an attempt to STOP people from having their best interests in mind. If people in one area feel like it would be best for their community to create a city, it's their right to do so. And in the long run that applies to everyone in the county. Some people may feel differently about their area -- that's their right and more power to them!
Michelle February 05, 2013 at 03:33 PM
Good points Herman. If the county was capable of handling it on itt's own we wouldn't be here. Our "leader" is facing charges", our schools are facing losing accreditation, our credit rating is in danger of moving downward, our home values will take a huge hit if we continue in this direction. The old saying "if it ain't broke don't fix it" I think we need to apply the saying " it is broke and our elected officials can't fix it so let us try" we can't possibly do any worse and I believe we could do a lot better.
Max Baerman February 05, 2013 at 08:11 PM
At what point will Dekalb county seek to resolve complaints verse attempting to take away the voters options?? At present, I want to stay in unincorporayted Dekalb. The more they want to take away my options(cityhood), the more I want to leave. BOE, DCSS and Dekalb government are a disgrace right now. Dekalb should be spending their time making Dunwoody and Brookhaven happy with the direction of the schools. If they leave leave Dekalb County Schools, the tax burden in the rest of northern Dekalb will be so high, the rest of us will have to leave too.
Amy Power March 29, 2013 at 02:32 PM
Dekalb County is a mess. Everyone knows it. Everyone knows why. Election after election the Negro Network of Dekalb votes in the same Administrators. They only stop when those administrators are sent to jail, and only then because they can't run for office from prison. City hood is the only way to separate ourselves from south Dekalb. Of course south Dekalb doesn't want that. They don't want the gravy train to end.
Tom Doolittle March 29, 2013 at 08:06 PM
Not sure about the motivation behind the Oliver legislation, but I do like the prospects for legislative review and change. (I actually have heard some say that the bill not having a map means it is aimed at forming a DeKalb City. I can't see Oliver favoring that--none of her constituents do--, unless as a threat to get other things accomlished).


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