Brookhaven, GA, October 17, 2014 – by Tom Doolittle – During the October 13th DeKalb Legislative Delegation meeting held in Brookhaven City Hall, State Senator Fran Millar (R-District 40), who represents Dunwoody, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Doraville and parts of North Central DeKalb, called on Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis to put aside the recent annexation request from Executive Park and the property owned by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA).
Millar said “it’s best for the cityhood movement overall” if the status of Lakeside/Briarcliff is given a chance to be resolved in the 2015 General Assembly, citing March 31 as a guide.
The area west of I-85 was stopped from proceeding to a cityhood referendum in April of this year due to boundary disagreements, however the Executive Park area was uniformly included in those maps assumed to be needed for either of the proposed cities’ commercial tax revenue.
The Post’s video recording of Tuesday’s DeKalb Legislative Delegation meeting in Brookhaven evinces panel members perplexed by Mayor Davis pressing for a policy statement about citizens’ right to holding city hood referendums (Video Here). Each panel member said they agreed in principal, but that such referendums are inherently boundary quandaries—the rationale for the area being included—one factor being commercial tax revenue.
That’s when several legislators, most directly Millar, gave Davis more information than he asked for, joined by others on the panel that are discomfited by ill-timed annexation issues.
Republican Senator Millar, Decatur Democrat Mary Margaret Oliver and Democrat Scott Holcomb (Northlake/Brookhaven), hammered home points about Brookhaven’s annexation issues bearing on other cities’ rights. Millar stopped midstream to imply that the mayor’s initial question opened a subject that was best handled in council chambers: “Since you are here with all three council members, I won’t have to visit the council (for this discussion).”
Millar, the outspoken Dunwoody resident described himself as “being involved in the cityhood process since (its inception in) Sandy Springs”, eight years ago. Millar worked with State Representative Mike Jacobs to form the Brookhaven city boundary as well.
An agitated Millar reminded Davis that he stopped Dunwoody from taking its boundary inside I-285 to protect a future Brookhaven’s commercial revenue potential. “The same principle applies to the Executive Park area”, equating the arrangement to a move that might now be made “across I-85” by Brookhaven.
Holcomb said in challenging the City of Chamblee’s Century Center annexation in court, Brookhaven is impeding passed legislation, again engaging a contest with a bordering cities right to economic viability. Both Millar and Holcomb said that Brookhaven’s border problem with Chamblee is inherently represents an unneeded conflict with the legislature, given that the state body had approved Chamblee’s annexation of the Century Center complex.
Mayor Davis reminded Delegation members that the Executive Park and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta annexation applications have been initiated by property owners, not Brookhaven.