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Lakeside Alliance Files Cityhood Bill

The placeholder bill, submitted Monday by Dunwoody state Sen. Fran Millar, excises a large portion of Tucker from the Lakeside City Alliance's previous map.

The Lakeside City Alliance finally had its own placeholder cityhood bill submitted to the state legislature Monday, but it arrives with one significant change – it's got less Tucker in it.

The alliance announced the bill's filing at a contentious cityhood meeting hosted by DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer at Tucker Middle School on Monday evening. Dunwoody state Sen. Fran Millar filed the bill hours after Decatur state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver filed another placeholder cityhood bill dedicated to residents of the Druid Hills and Briarcliff areas.

But the Lakeside City Alliance's new map excises much of Tucker from the proposal, including the Main Street Tucker area that was previously part of it. The alliance's last map included a huge chunk of western Tucker all the way south to Lawrenceville Highway. But the map still includes the Embry Hills area and areas around Pleasantdale, Evansdale and Livsey elementary schools – all part of the Lakeside High School attendance zone.

The bill was changed only under pressure from Boyer and Honey Van De Kreke, a founder of the Main Street Tucker Alliance, who asked that the area be struck from the alliance's map several weeks ago, said Mary Kay Woodworth, the alliance's chairman. Millar also told the alliance he wouldn't file the bill unless the map was changed, Woodworth said.

Boyer said she's still concerned about the remaining chunk of Tucker in the map. If the issue comes to a vote, she said, and that area votes against it, it still may not have the power to escape Lakeside cityhood if it's generally favored by voters west of I-285.

"It's a little awkward having a slice of Tucker like that," she said.

Many Tucker residents vehemently opposed the Lakeside cityhood proposal at the meeting, and Woodworth said she doesn't expect that to change. "Based on tonight, there will be strong push back," she said.

Neither bill could be considered by the General Assembly until next year. Until then, the alliance and groups such as The North Druid Hills Study Group can continue to debate the merits of cityhood to see if they want to move forward with a cityhood vote. The Lakeside City Alliance's map can also continue to be changed and edited up until the point it's considered by the legislature or withdrawn.

The new Lakeside City Alliance map includes about 63,000 residents, according to a statement the alliance released Monday night. The map includes a proposed governance structure for the city including council districts and a mayor.

“This is great news that Senator Millar believes that our community has the potential to become a city,” Woodworth said in the statement. “We now look forward to the results of the study to determine if a city can actually be viable.”

The alliance has already raised about $7,000 for the study by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia. It is state-mandated for any group considering incorporation and costs about $30,000.

Dill March 26, 2013 at 02:54 PM
Jonathan - Main Street Tucker was never on any of the LCA maps. The map continues to gerrymander about so as to include the Toco Hill shopping district, Emory Ortho & Spine and of course Henderson Park. The new map removed part of Tucker but not all so it is likely the debate over the merits of the LCA map is far from over.
DeKalb Guy March 26, 2013 at 03:38 PM
Hopefully Millar will be unseated next year. His own party is looking for folks to run against him. Enough said.
Tiger Mom March 26, 2013 at 04:31 PM
But Tucker High School's drive way was on their original map. Really? At least Mary Kay admitted last night that naming the proposed city "Lakeside' was the dumbest move they have made so far (her words, not mine). Maybe if LCA had met with Tucker residents BEFORE drawing up the map, choosing a name and submitting a bill that indeed divides Tucker, they would have saved themselves a lot of push back. The Briarcliff group was smart to choose a name that would not alienate either high school included in the new city lines. And before you say it doesn't matter about traditions, loyalties and school spirit, let me say firmly, it does matter, which is why the LCA is called "Lakeside". And why We Are Tucker.
honda550f March 26, 2013 at 05:01 PM
all of these new cities stem from "north of atl" legislators wanting to dilute control from ,atl ,fulton, dekalb, clayton(the airport),conservitives talk about local control but its just a cover for the state legislators to profit from the metro area's declining influence. their motives are money and not so veiled racism. divide and conquer...they already have us all arguing over imagined borders.
Jack Sartain March 26, 2013 at 05:05 PM
Cuty of Tucker sounds good to me
Jack Sartain March 26, 2013 at 05:06 PM
that'll be "City"
AEMW March 26, 2013 at 05:35 PM
"But the map still includes the Embry Hills area and areas around Pleasantdale, Evansdale and Livsey elementary schools –all part of the Lakeside High School attendance zone." Livsey is not a Lakeside feeder.
Cheryl Miller March 26, 2013 at 06:03 PM
Absolutely right, Tiger Mom. And, this new map makes me even more curious about what exactly is going on with the Tucker Parent Council? When I was at Brockett, we were led to believe that the school council and the parent council were the same thing. I wonder if Idlewood and Smoke Rise were told the same. We were told that the council meetings "rotate" so that the topic of discussion comes to your smaller group instead requiring parents to travel to get to meetings in other areas on school nights. I wondered why I was the only "Brockett" representative at the Tucker Parent Council in December when I saw Orson AND McMahan AND the regional superintendent Cynthia Brytson there and my child isn't even at Brockett any longer. I wondered why Womack called us "South DeKalb" at a meeting near Lakeside when we were also in his district but he apparently was unaware of it. I wondered why the parents of Idlewood who were also upset about redistricting that put them into the Stone Mountain Middle and High feeder system didn't show up for the meeting (which was announced without a time in the Tucker Patch until the last moment). I wondered why Smoke Rise wasn't at that meeting since they would be affected by the threat of making Livsey parents bus their kids to Smoke Rise after it closes.
Cheryl Miller March 26, 2013 at 06:11 PM
I wondered why select parents at the December Tucker Parent Council meeting talked about Livsey having to lose out on the roof repairs from SPLOST when the voters had approved it. (Thurmond stated that was incorrect, buy why didn't the regional super. know that?) Seems like a big fat set-up to me! They were lying to their own community to make them believe that the school system was going to bus them to Smoke Rise (which they cannot do because Smoke Rise is a charter and only has seats for the current capacity). And, no one wanted to hear me when I tried to tell them that the parents at Smoke Rise are also mad and upset because they have been chased out of their own neighborhood school and the money they raised for a playground was wanted to pay a secretary for overtime instead! They lost grant money because the principal played games with them, keeping them away from their own campus. Yet, none of them were at the Tucker Parent Council Meeting. Neither were the parents from Idlewood and they are very much supported by the Tucker community. Did anyone happen to check to see if Evansdale was allowed to stay within the Lakeside cluster, then did we get to keep Idlewood in the Tucker cluster? Otherwisde we just lost a big chunk of kids that would normally filter to Tucker High School.
Cheryl Miller March 26, 2013 at 06:11 PM
Will Livsey now be sent to Lakeside AND Midvale AND Pleasantdale kids, too? They are still setting us up to be under capacity so we must take more than our fair share of Title I transfers.
Cheryl Miller March 26, 2013 at 06:14 PM
Someone in the Tucker Parent Council needs to explain this because they are directly liable for what has resulted in a loss of millions of dollars for Tucker if this bill goes through. We need to file a Tucker bill immediately. This is not neighbor against neighbor. This is a strategic plan to take from us and it has been at least two years in the making. Put me on the stand under oath right now!
Blaine Milam March 26, 2013 at 07:29 PM
I think Thursday is the last day to file for consideration by the next Legislature, someone check me on that. Which means that if we dont file by thursday, not likely a possibility, it wouldn't be allowed a vote untill the next session, 2015. I would support such an effort for Tucker, even with the given opposition. Just putting forth a place holder bill would allow us to draw our own map, holding off Lakesides incursions.
concerned resident March 26, 2013 at 11:20 PM
Tucker residents need to carefully think about what they want. Do you want to be the primary provider for the remainder of the county, or do you want to be included in a similar social ecomomic group. I understand the pride/community feeling of Tucker. We can still remain the "Tucker" area of the City of Lakeside. Just like Cabbagetown is part of the City of Atlanta. I do not want to be the last area in North Dekalb with no incorporation, taking directives from South Dekalb. It is our choice. We need to do our due dilligence and find out what is best for the entire community before making a quick decision. Maybe the TCA needs to work closer with the LCA and create to options for everybody and not just their own personal agendas.
Ralph March 27, 2013 at 01:01 AM
Leaders in Tucker should wake up and realize it is time ti incorporate, either by joining the purposed city or forming another one. Forming a separate city will result in at least a two year delay with a vote taken in 2016 instead of 2014. A lot can happen in that two years. Time to wake up and make some realistic decisions.
Mater Mama March 27, 2013 at 03:07 AM
Cheryl Miller, your comments lead me to believe that you have been misinformed about parent councils versus school councils. A school council is comprised of the school's principal, elected teacher and parent representatives, and business supporters (if applicable). There is one per school and each school sets its own schedule regarding meetings. You should ask your prinicpal or school council representatives when your specific school council meetings take place. Tucker Parent Council is one of four DeKalb Parent Councils. The others being Dunwoody, Emory-LaVista, and Southwest DeKalb. Tucker Parent Council (TPC) adovcates specifically for Tucker area schools and all Tucker cluster schools are invited and encouraged to attend these meetings. TPC meeting information is sent to the principals of the Tucker schools, who then disseminate that information to their PTA/parents. If you did not receive TPC meeting information from your child's school, you should address that with your principal or PTA. Also, you can email tuckerparentcouncil@gmail.com to be added to their mailing list.
Katy B March 27, 2013 at 04:07 AM
I have been to many Tucker Parent Council meetings and seen parents from other schools there, particularly Brockett and Smoke Rise. Always. If you are not receiving notifications about these meetings, Cheryl, you do need to contact the administration and leadership at your school and find out why they are letting some parents know about these meetings and not others. In addition, Tucker Patch usually posts an announcement. TPC always posts announcements on their Facebook page, as well. I feel as if you are trying to throw Livsey parents under the bus as elitists, when all they've ever done is fight for their children, their school, and the Tucker cluster at large.
Cheryl Miller May 01, 2013 at 04:54 PM
But, honda, why would they want to harm our counties when we bring in so much money for the state in terms of tax dollars? I was wondering if the legislators were worried that the problems in the metro could affect their re-election campaigns, so inserting a city government would leave them higher up on the chain and less impacted by unhappy voters. When you say "declining influence" what do you base that on? Declining in terms of what? I'm sure the metro area still has the greatest economic impact in Georgia, right? But maybe a less than favorable reputation among the state legislators due to the school system problems and other corruption probes, but how would they benefit from a city forming when the city would not have any more control over the schools than anyone else?
Cheryl Miller May 01, 2013 at 05:22 PM
Mater, yes you are right to a point. I wouldn't say I was misinformed as much as I was completely uninformed. While I appreciate your providing the information because that might help others who also are unaware about what these councils are supposed to do, it is too little too late to benefit me. I took my child out of the public school system two years ago and don't know if we will ever return. My point was that it should not be up to the parents to have to seek out these groups to find out what is happening in the schools in our community. The group leaders need to be encouraged to do more with their titles than just hold meetings and type up minutes. They need to be accountable to our other civic organizations so that the information they gain from their meetings can be shared with the other groups to avoid a crisis like we are having right now.
Cheryl Miller May 01, 2013 at 05:28 PM
And, no, Katy, I am not trying to call anyone a name here. That's unproductive and pointless. What I am saying is that there has been an organized effort taking place to draw our students and our schools into an alliance with Lakeside and someone should have seen this coming before now. I would place the blame on the school system's administration or leadership before I would blame the parents, but I also think that a council with an objective to look out for all of Tucker's schools needs to have a bigger visibility in the community that it does now. The PTA has an entire table of information on registration day at every school. I never once received any information about these councils or what they do. I will tell you that you are wrong about the Patch as always announcing the meetings. The one I attended did not even have a time listed until the day of the event. And I have never met a parent with a child who goes to Tucker High School at any of these meetings. Why is that?
Cheryl Miller May 01, 2013 at 10:18 PM
Katy B., really? Tell me the name of a Brockett parent you have seen at one of the meetings because I know them all and I can tell you for certain that they are not attending because they are not being informed. You've been to a lot of these meetings? Why? Do you have a child at one of the Tucker schools? Which one? Were you at the meeting where at least one of the officers in the TPC agreed to advocate for a yes on SPLOST so that they could get a new roof? Because I must have missed that one, but I was at the meeting where that same parent was arguing with Ms. Cynthia Brytson about the fact that now that the SPLOST vote passed the school system is going back on their promise and saying that they cannot have the new roof and the kids will be sent to Smoke Rise. I even heard who made them the promise: Dan Drake and Barbara Coleman. I'm pretty sure that it isn't ethical and may not even be legal for these administrators to hold the promise of a new roof over leadership of the parent council in exchange for advocacy for a yes vote on SPLOST which will end up costing voters $450 million over the next five years. What do you think?
Cheryl Miller May 01, 2013 at 10:33 PM
If the TPC had Smoke Rise parents in attendance they would have heard that Smoke Rise currently has about 600 students and it is on the schedule to be torn down and rebuilt for 600 students. So, where are they planning on putting the Livsey kids? In trailers like they have the refugee students at Livsey now? If you were a parent and bought your house in the Livsey district because you heard it was a good school, and it is, wouldn't you be pretty upset if you thought that instead of walking or riding bikes to school in the pretty little community near the park, your child would be getting on a bus and travelling to another neighborhood and sitting in a trailer instead of a classroom all day? Being a parent in Tucker right now is not a very ideal position to be in. I wish it weren't true, but those are the facts. Will the new school system under Thurmond and the appointed board be better? I hope so, but we have a rep, who lives at Sagamore Hills and was the PTA President for the Lakeside cluster prior to winning the election. And, we have an appointed super district representative who lives near Lakeside. Just before the last election, neither would have qualified to represent Tucker schools but the district lines were shifted slightly and that places both of their homes narrowly within the acceptable boundaries of District 4 and 9. And I don't know anyone from Tucker who is planning to run for the school board in 2014. Do you?

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