Letter to the Editor by Tom Hogan, Chamblee City Council
November 6, 2013
The Case for Chamblee
Last night was an important night for our City as an estimated 11,000 residents south of Peachtree DeKalb Airport voted to approve a referendum to annex into Chamblee. This brings the estimated population of Chamblee to approximately 28,000 and is a marked shift in the political parity of our North DeKalb region.
Having recently annexed the Huntley Hills neighborhood, and having assisted significantly with the creation of the cities of Dunwoody and Brookhaven, I can assure you that our staff is prepared, experienced, and fully resourced to make the new annexation a smooth, efficient, and productive transition.
I believe in Chamblee, and trust that our city leaders will stand up and embrace those difficult issues that are currently facing the newly annexed region. Offering a stronger voice in support of the issues surrounding the AGL Transfer Station, working closely with the property owners at Century Center to properly plan for a development that the community can emotionally invest in, and working to improve the quality of life of those in the area with uniform community-based code enforcement, increased police presence, and closer city services are just a few of the issues to be faced.
The recession, two annexations and major senior staff changes over the past few years have been the brakes applied on the advancement of our city. Today I feel like a burden has been lifted and our growth can move forward. With the potential to add significant staff support through the budget process, I am very optimistic about Chamblee’s future endeavors regarding economic development, capital improvements, and our continued march toward the creation of a downtown area, improving the lives of all residents and business members of Chamblee.
As a major critic of Brookhaven’s attempt to annex Century Center during the middle of the referendum process, I feel validated that the courts upheld what we all knew was right and just, and that the citizens did not befall the confusion created by the underhanded campaign tactics meant to mislead them. That being said, the time for healing is upon us. I call on the city of leaders of Brookhaven to drop their appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court and return to a condition where us Brother Cities can finally work together to move our region forward.
In closing, let me say it does not go unnoticed that while 640 votes were cast in favor of annexation, 408 voters sought to reject the referendum. While some may see a 61% victory as a mandate for an issue, I am confident that Chamblee will work hard to earn the trust and respect of those on the losing end of the vote so that every single resident can feel confident about being assimilated into the new Chamblee.
So I close with a simple thought … To all those affected, I want to say WELCOME TO CHAMBLEE!”