Open Letter to the Tucker Civic Association

A letter about the possibility of incorporation for Tucker. Why not?

Dear Tucker Civic Association Leadership,

I read recently that the Tucker Civic Association studied the potential of incorporating the city of Tucker sometime around 1996 or 1997. I was wondering if you have any reports available to the public regarding the findings of this study? If so, how could I go about obtaining a copy?

Separately, is your association currently involved with any type of study or movement that would allow for the incorporation of Tucker into its own city, especially in light of the recent accreditation issues with DeKalb County Schools? If so, how would someone go about joining any committee or study group or participating in the discussions?

I have been active in the issues surrounding our schools and have serious concerns about my property value as well as the decline in general of our area as a result of abuse within the school system that has sent an unusually high number of the county’s most difficult students to our schools, forcing many of our neighborhood families out. It is harming our way of life and is likely causing realtors to steer their clients elsewhere if they have children as one must also factor in private school education to the cost of living here.

If you were to look at the schools in Tucker, you would think we are a community living in poverty, which is not at all the case. Many of us have worked hard to afford to buy homes in this area and have been disappointed to learn that our neighborhood schools are not serving our neighborhood children. This fact is harming the community's ability to stay cohesive as many of us must all send our children to different schools all over the county. This is not by choice, but by necessity.

In addition, several Tucker schools were selected unfairly for cell phone towers which are known to reduce property values and suspected to be harmful to the health and safety of children and people who live nearby. Again, there has been no concentrated effort to inform the Tucker residents when these issues are taking place and we believe our community is being harmed as a result.

We are very interested in looking at the costs associated with incorporation as much of the infrastructure has already been designated with that purpose in mind. Tucker would be the third largest city in DeKalb County, behind Brookhaven and Dunwoody, which have already incorporated.

It makes sense that many of us would want to at least look at this option again at this time. Thank you for any information you can provide. 

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Cheryl Miller February 14, 2013 at 07:50 AM
Guy, I think you are helping make my point by mentioning Midvale and Livsey. Two great Tucker schools that will be closed according to the new master plan being followed by the school system.
Guy Midvale February 14, 2013 at 01:15 PM
Ms. Miller, Again I have to point your your factual errors. Neither Midvale nor Livsey is going to be closed in the next 5 years. Midvale wasn't even considered in the latest "reorganization" proposal. I think Livsey will be closed before the 2018-19 school year, but Midvale can not be closed. When Livsey closes many of those students will have to go to Midvale which will make it overcrowded. This is because Smokerise is going to be rebuilt to hold 600 students instead of the 900 students Dr. Atkinson wanted to put there. https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dekalb.k12.ga.us%2Fwww%2Fdocuments%2Fnews-and-info%2Fpress-releases%2Fpublic-hearings-for-phasing-out-of-instructional-facilities.pdf
Cheryl Miller February 16, 2013 at 03:32 AM
No errors to correct. I saw them on the decommissioned list as having zero students enrolled for the 2016-17 school year. They will likely go to the new megaschool that will replace Pleasantdale. I will find the link to the document and post it for you. Livsey has been through the "almost going to close" process twice now so they are already aware that it will happen eventually. I was surprised about Midvale, so maybe that was an error on the report, but it would make sense is Pleasantdale will hold 900 and currently has 600, doesn't it? Livsey are intended to be bused to Smoke Rise. That leaves Brockett, unfairly named as a Title I and also on a previous closure list but saved by the neighborhood parents who are now being forced out in one way or another. Smoke Rise parents went through the same thing and they even converted their school to a charter but that didn't help. It was written up in the AJC Get Schooled blog. And your other item about no cell towers in Tucker was not a correction. There was a cell tower planned for Brockett where I was an active and involved parent. I helped organize the effort to stop it. There was also one planned for Smoke Rise, which many people have told me is considered part of Tucker as many of our residents are in the attendance zone. Then, the same is true for Jolly, also on the list and very near the border of Tucker but technically in Clarkston.
Cheryl Miller February 16, 2013 at 03:37 AM
Smoke Rise also feeds to Tucker Middle and Tucker High. We just recently lost Idlewood to the Stone Mountain cluster against their will. So that is about 600 fewer students for the Tucker "cluster." They would have been replaced with students from Evansdale, which is actually located in Tucker, but they complained and were listened to so they will stay in the Lakeside family for now. So, you can see how the school system has an odd way of picking and choosing which schools will close or open and who goes where and it has little to do with the population estimates. I am guessing it is more to favor one area over another based on where those connected folks want to send the people with money or chase others out of. I think we are being dominated by the real estate market which is trying to rebound from the recession. How do you see it?
Cheryl Miller November 21, 2013 at 04:22 PM
An update to my earlier comment about having "lost" Idlewood to the Stone Mountain cluster against their will. I have been told that the plans to redistrct Idlewood did not actually go through in terms of attendance zone, however we did lose them in terms of their voice in the voting community for a school board member. The Idlewood Elemenary School precinct was changed at the last moment so that those voters would participate in a vote for the school board candidate in District 6, who ended up being Melvin Johnson. How does it makes sense to vote for an elected official in one district but send your children to another district? But, then again, how does it make sense that our elected school board officials are being told that they don't really represent us based on the district that voted them into office any longer and should only represent the entire school district once they are elected?


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