23 Aug 2014
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Does Metro Atlanta Have Too Many Cities?

One of the world's largest metro areas also has a slew of smaller governments. Do we have too many?

For a big metro area, Atlanta sure does have a lot of little governments running around.

See, there's Atlanta. As in, city of Atlanta, with Mayor Kasim Reed and the city council. And then there's Fulton County, in which Atlanta proper takes up a lot of space.

But the city of Sandy Springs also resides inside Fulton's borders, as do a couple of other municipalities. And Buckhead has such a strong identity and economy that there is a proposal that it should become its own county as well.

Then there's DeKalb County, in which Chamblee, Decatur, Avondale Estates, Stone Mountain, Lithonia, Dunwoody and now Brookhaven reside.

Now there's talk about more DeKalb communities incorporating themselves, such as in the North Druid Hills and Briarcliff communities. Several neighborhoods around the Chamblee area narrowly defeated a referendum to join the city themselves.

And if all of that wasn't enough, there's even a meeting coming up about creating a city of DeKalb itself, made up of all the county's dwindling unincorporated areas.

The sheer volume of these separate counties and cities can made it hard to get things done. In fact, that was one of the arguments in favor of the recent transportation sales tax referendum. In meetings all around Atlanta, proponents said TSPLOST would create projects that benefit multiple local governments.

But despite high-profile endorsements by Gov. Nathan Deal and others, voters didn't buy that argument, and solidly defeated the TSPLOST at the polls.

So Patch wants to know: does metro Atlanta have too many cities and counties? Or is going "local," the way to go when it comes to government?

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