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Incorporating Brookhaven Isn't Mutiny Or Secession

The latest entry into The Forum says YES is best for Brookhaven and DeKalb County.

Incorporating Brookhaven Isn't Mutiny Or Secession

Recently that if Brookhaven incorporates within DeKalb, citizens of the new city will forgo their opportunity and obligation to support DeKalb County as a whole.

His opinion is curious to me considering he is employed by a private university that competes with public universities in the area. Even more interesting is that his employer recruits students nationally and even internationally - yet the university advertises on television as 'Oglethorpe University in Brookhaven.'

Incorporating Brookhaven is not mutiny or secession. It is very simply a measured movement to have more local control over city services with increased efficiency.

The new city will provide police; parks; roads; zoning; and code enforcement. The county will no longer bear the expenses for those services within the city area. Less than 15% of residents' local taxes will shift from county to the city to fund those five services. The rest of our taxes will continue to support DeKalb for county services including public schools; the fire department; water and sewer; sanitation; etc.

However - and this is vital - Brookhaven will not be a 'private city' in the sense Oglethorpe is a private university.

In contrast to private Oglethorpe University, Brookhaven will be open to the public. The city and the services provided will be for the good of everyone, whether they are a city resident full-time; a work-day resident; a temporary resident attending a private university; a visitor; or someone who is just passing through our 12 square miles.

Oglethorpe is gated and fenced; Brookhaven will be wide open, delivering services to everyone, without questioning their allegiance to city, county, private organization or neighborhood homeowners association or street captain.

When the city of Brookhaven is incorporated, we will still live in DeKalb County and most of our taxes will support DeKalb County for the benefit of all DeKalb County, including the faculty, staff and students inside the fences that limit access to Oglethorpe University campus.

But cityhood will improve local government through efficiency and truly local representation by our own neighbors whom we elect ourselves. And that will benefit everyone, public and private alike.

DeKalb already has 10 cities operating within its borders: Avondale Estates; Chamblee; Clarkston; Decatur; Doraville; Dunwoody; Lithonia; Pine Lake; Stone Mountain; and even a portion of Atlanta!

From DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis' own website: "Home buyers may choose from upscale Dunwoody, the small-town, artistic charm of Decatur, the Victorian homes in Stone Mountain, and growing southeastern DeKalb, where land is open and prices more modest."

Brookhaven has all those qualities right here in our 12 square miles. Brookhaven will fit very nicely in the alphabetical listing between Avondale and Chamblee. YES is best for Brookhaven AND DeKalb.

Clayton Conarro

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