How about Delaying the Cityhood Question; Maybe We Should Wait Until Next Year

Sometimes "SLOW" really means something else
Sometimes "SLOW" really means something else

There has been a lot of discussion – particularly among Democratic legislators -- about just forgetting this whole question until next year (or two years, or four years…).  What does that mean?

That’s like asking if it’s OK to skip a year of school. Your child will only be a year behind where they could be. What would that mean in the grand scale of things? Well, actually it means a lot!


It’s like saying “I’m going to start my diet tomorrow, or next week, or next month.”  Or, “I’m going to start exercising (fill in some date in the future)”. It’s a way of saying “I really don’t want to do anything.

Ask it the other way around: Would I like to get started now on park improvements, sidewalks, and street improvements, and better policing; or maybe it would be OK to wait another year; or to some future time.

And exactly what does it mean to say, “Let’s wait for a while”?  Are you suggesting that something will change; or maybe that people won’t care in the future. Or maybe Jupiter will be aligned with Mars…

There is a famous quote of Bobby Kennedy “If not now, when?”


One possible “advantage” of delay has been described as “Let’s do a coordinated plan of creating cities throughout DeKalb County, so that everyone can have the advantages of their own cities.” But some areas, and some people, feel the value of a city for their communities; and some don’t. Some communities think it’s a bad idea. Suggesting that the County government, or the State legislature, knows what’s best for the individual communities is one of the reasons people want to create cities. We have a better idea of what’s good for us! And maybe other areas of the county have an idea of what’s good for them.


Another problem with the theory of delay is that it probably won’t work. There is a city proposal out there sponsored by a Republican legislator in a Republican-controlled House and Senate. If all the Democratic legislators sit by and say “Let’s delay our proposals”; then the Republican proposal (Lakeside) will pass, and everyone else will be delayed for several years. And in fact, it will be difficult for any other city proposals to work in the future, because Lakeside will take significant amounts of the commercial property. That’s a death wish by those legislators for areas outside of the Lakeside map.

I say:  Let’s get working! We’ve got a lot of work to do in our area; the time to start is now. I don’t want to look at this in five years and have to say: “Well, we still haven’t done anything, but maybe things will get better some day.”


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newsydon November 09, 2013 at 01:41 PM
great comment. procrastination is rarely a good thing; and particularly bad when it's important for your future. Michelle Henson has been doing no one any favor by preaching this stuff. delay of proposals outside of lakeside means lakeside is what we get -- like it or not. and talking about doing something in the future is typical politician-speak. some people want one thing; others want something else. so i'll do nothing so no one will vote against me! real leadership!
Jeff Bragg November 09, 2013 at 03:00 PM
Some of the opponents of cityhood pair their calls for a moratorium with the argument that existing cities need to coordinate their plans for future annexations. If you look at the old Georgia law blocking the formation of new cities within several miles of existing cities-- and study current proposals from some Dekalb legislators to revive the ability of existing cities to block new cities-- you will see that it will become almost impossible to create new cities in DeKalb anywhere within 2.5 or 3.5 miles of existing cities. Except... when the old cities "agree", i.e., extract a big price. Perhaps a "compromise" (extorted surrender) regarding commercial properties in the no-go zone. Study the DeKalb map, see what a 2.5 or 3.5 mile no-go zone does to all four of the current cityhood proposals. Conclusion-- a moratorium serves mainly to give cityhood opponents time to pass legislation permanently blocking cityhood. Analogy-- It's as if someone robbing you asks you to delay exercising your right to self-defense until after the assault is over. Jeff Bragg
Marv Peck November 10, 2013 at 09:01 AM
On the other hand, delaying the creation of ALL of the cities might be the best idea. No one seems to be looking at what is best for the County. Just their little slice of where they live. The creation of cities will have a lasting impact on the County. Rather than rush into short sighted proposals, I'd like to see an objective group of folks study the entire County. Meanwhile, those interested can pour their time and energy into fixing the problems in DeKalb.
newsydon November 10, 2013 at 09:30 AM
marv: you gotta be kidding. you think fran millar's going to say, "oh yeah, let's forget about it". some time before the end of the session there will be a republican lakeside bill presented for the republican senate and republican house to vote on. they'll be happy to agree in advance to not bring it up, so that there's no discussion. then on the last day, millar will announce that the citizen desires are too important to ignore; let's just have a quick vote.
Cheryl Miller November 10, 2013 at 06:45 PM
I think the city organizers need to take a true gauge of the voting community. They might be surprised to learn that regardless of whether or not the state legislators or "Fran Millar" wants to wait or not, there be not be enough support from voters right now for any of the proposals to be approved by voters. Waiting might be in the best interest of the city proponents, not just something that anti-city residents are asking for. It is not a matter of whether we want progress. I think there are many skeptics who wonder if progress is truly what the city proposals are all about.
Cheryl Miller November 10, 2013 at 06:47 PM
I do, however, greatly appreciate Herman Lorenz for providing these much needed updates on the progress of the various initiatives. I am very happy to know that the Briarcliff and Tucker groups are at least attempting to work on maps that will be acceptable to both sides 285.
Herman Lorenz November 23, 2013 at 11:22 AM
Thanks Cheryl. I'm trying! And I agree that there's a real problem with the process here. The legislature has created something of a monster in the way they create cities. I could think of a lot of ways to do it differently; but they didn't ask me. And I think that there is so much dislike of DeKalb County government that many people will vote for ANYTHING that limits their forced involvement with the County government. That may be unfortunate; but it puts the burden on the citizens to argue their case to the legislature. Otherwise it's just another political party line decision, and we'll all end up being forced to vote for the lesser evil.
Cheryl Miller November 25, 2013 at 10:15 PM
newsydon says, "Michelle Henson has been doing no one any favor by preaching this stuff." Imagine that - a politician who isn't doing "favors" for anyone?? Wow, isn't that refreshing?? Did it occur to you that she may be actually be trying to represent the opinions that she has been hearing from her constituents, perhaps??
Wayne Kelley December 16, 2013 at 09:36 AM
I am not and have never been a proponent of cityhood in general. I don't want to add more government, and I have 0 faith that "local" elected officials would be any less corrupt or corruptible than those at the county level. That said, however, I also believe that we must push hard for Tucker cityhood, if for no other reason than to keep the LCA monster from consuming half of Tucker. I share Newsydon's skepticism, and as I said, have 0 faith that any of the elected officials mentioned would honor any "gentle-person's agreement" to postpone the whole matter.
Herman Lorenz December 16, 2013 at 02:10 PM
Wayne: I understand your feelings about government, but I have to point out that a city is NOT "more government". It is moving part of the municipal functions from the County to a locally controlled City. No one wants "more"; we all want a better, closer, more easily controlled government.
Cheryl Miller December 16, 2013 at 03:22 PM
Size doesn't matter. It is the quality of the candidate and the belief of the voters that they can help make a difference that matters.
mikeatl December 28, 2013 at 07:28 AM
The people who are muddying the water so that they can keep all their goodies should have no say in this. It's up to us to have the opportunity to decide whether we want cities. And Lakeside is a little in that category, since they're trying to fix it so that only they get the opportunity. The rest of the area is just thrown away.
Herman Lorenz January 06, 2014 at 08:59 AM
Mike: One of the basic principles of the Briarcliff group is that all citizens in the area should be given the opportunity to vote on the creation of a city. We shouldn't be concocting a group, and then leaving everyone else in the dumpster.
doddave January 08, 2014 at 11:39 AM
Cheryl -- truly profound comment.
Cheryl Miller January 08, 2014 at 04:37 PM
as was your's, doddave. (wink)


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