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26 Comments

  1. 1

    Bob

    Well said. I also was optimistic about the City. But after trying to work with them on a few code enforcement issues, the double talk became very apparent. My trust in the City has been exhausted and I’m sure many of the residents can say the same for reasons you mentioned.

    It would be extremely dangerous to grant these people such massive powers. There is absolutely no way of knowing how they will be used despite what they try and sell us.

  2. 2

    Shame

    I don’t trust J. Max as far as I can throw him, and that ain’t far.

  3. 3

    Thomas Porter

    Shucks! Thought I was voting NO to Redevelopment Powers – turns out EVERYONE is voting NO to Development Powers.

    Let’s send a very strong message to our single-term Mayor & Council that we want our city back next year.

  4. 4

    Riley

    It’s interesting that in the face of apparent overwhelming opposition to granting the City the power of redevelopment, the best that they can do is put on a last-minute presentation on the benefits of such. And, it is conducted by a person who is likely to benefit financially from those same powers.

  5. 5

    Jealous in Chamblee, Mary Kirkendoll

    Talk about dishonesty!
    Look back over the past few months to see all the vitriolic comments towards Mayor Davis & the city of Brookhaven under the dishonest tactic of using different user names, most from the same few bitter (Pink Pony) advocates and many comments are the anti-Brookhaven voices coming from bitter(Century Center) folks in Chamblee.
    Many cities and counties in Georgia are using TAD’s quite successfully.
    Yesterday’s Post article on the city holding a forum to educate residents show you people’s true motives. The comments are most juvenile. Who better to give the factual information than someone that has been involved w/ TAD’s from the start?
    The most qualified person is who can offer the most factual information.
    Most of you commenters don’t want Brookhaven to be successful in attracting good economic development. You simply want to smear Mayor Davis and wish for his failure.
    It is a sad mess.
    Post, will this meeting be streamed or recorded?

  6. 6

    C

    Interesting or down right unethical? My guess is JMD knows he’s toast for the next election and he’s given up on gaining any respect. I’d personally love to see the lot of them get run out of town on the rails for their disloyalty to this community.

  7. 7

    Chad

    Thanks for your letter, Kathy.

    Protect Parks and Police. Vote No to Redevelopment Powers.

  8. 8

    BadTad

    Drew Crescente and noTAD.org have endorsed John Park as the strongest candidate against Redevelopment Powers and Brookhaven city overreach.

  9. 9

    masha05

    A lot of what you say mirrors my sentiments Kathy. I was optimistic about the city because I was given the impression that Brookhaven would be focused on smaller government and fiscal responsibility. What has happened in the last 2 years is just the opposite. Huge compensation plans, tax increases (yes, reducing the milledge rate but taking more of our money is a tax increase), obfuscation over transparency, pursuit of city officials personal agendas over constituent representation. This latest ‘redevelopment’ power grab (and the sneaky way that they put it on the ballot) solidifies that we are becoming just another bloated bureaucratic municipality.

  10. 10

    Tom Reilly

    Hi again, Kathy Forbes!! Nice picture of you ,BTW!! And truly scary how your words echo the sentiment of so many residents in our new city. Our new officials are still feeling their way through their new jobs. I want to believe that their hearts are in the right place, and that they are now learning what “transparency” and “representation” really mean. But the vultures are gathering: Look at SOME of our political candidates in tomorrow’s election, SOME of the increasingly “public figures” showing up in our local media. I’m planning on being at City hall tonight for that Redevelopment Powers presentation. Hope to see you there!!–Tom Reilly

  11. 11

    C

    Mary when you move here I’ll start listening to you. Nothing you say to here has any weight because you are not a Brookhaven citizen. Go fix Chamblee or get a puppy. Something. Anything.

  12. 12

    Douglas Trammell

    Kathy, while I am empathetic toward your views and those coming to similar conclusions, I was not in favor of cityhood. Having insight into the views, motivations and psyche of many of the key individuals desirous of a city was enough to dissuade me from support of their movement. Now I fear I am a greater pawn of this government than I ever was in unincorporated DeKalb. As you have observed, my conclusions were not those of an alarmist. Instead of living a life of comfort and little government intrusion in what was once a tranquil area, Brookhaven citizens now must involve themselves in every little thing the city does to find the hidden moves by our leaders and management that is waste, and goes against citizen desires. Monitoring Brookhaven and its leadership has become a second job.

  13. 13

    Eddie E.

    Thanks Kathy!
    I’m glad so many people are now paying attention!

  14. 14

    Douglas Trammell

    I think two years is enough time to seriously concentrate on the reasons for cityhood, don’t you?

  15. 15

    Bob

    Tom, I was where you are six months ago. When my neighbors were telling me I was wasting my time trying to educate the City on the specifics in the Tree Ordinance. 3 trees died from construction activities for my house due to no tree protection at all and another is being taken down due to construction on the neighboring lot. After meeting with them I was optimistic that we made progress and that future residents would be less likely to be impacted. Then I reviewed the new tree ordinance. The July draft added a great clause that Sandy Springs and Decatur have to protect your trees bordering a neighboring construction site. But the final approved draft had that clause gutted specifically saying the victim is responsible for suing the builder. Someone at City Hall made a deliberate decision to not protect the residents. Costs of code enforcement are covered through building permit fees so lack of resources would be a weak argument. So I was left to put on my tin foil hat as to the City’s motivation for that decision. The mistakes and decisions are becoming too biased to chalk up as inexperience.

  16. 16

    Ben Pride

    Your article is a typical backlash against government, any government. Unlike Chad Boles who tries to get you to believe that every property over 40 years old will be taken for redevelopment and then fail. You, at least, just don’t trust the competence of our leaders. Okay, I’ll look for your name on the ballot next year.

    Our neighbors gave Bates and Joe a vote of confidence by re-electing them last year. I predict Rebecca and J Max will get that some vote of confidence next year.

    Redevelopment powers will probably fail. More because of the efforts mounted in opposition and the lack of any effort to advocate in support. Not on the benefits of the financial tool, just on the political energy of the opponents. So be it.

  17. 17

    C

    “Our neighbors gave Bates and Joe a vote of confidence by re-electing them last year. I predict Rebecca and J Max will get that some vote of confidence next year.”

    Re-elected? That’s a knee slapper! Who ran against them?

  18. 18

    Chad

    “Ben”,

    I’m not trying to get anyone to believe the government will take any property over 40 years old, but they can with this law. They can also issue massive debt to build your RE dreams without our vote or public input.

    Elected officials now in high school would have the ability FOREVER to issue millions of dollars of taxpayer obligated debt.

    Since I’m a political neophyte, I did hours of research. What I did find is all referendums, whether this one or one providing free dog food for life, comes down to the trust of the current elected officials. That’s something you should consider Wednesday morning.

    So since you have nothing to add but to belittle (misinformed, cynical, out of touch, etc.) why don’t you give an impassioned example of how great Redevelopment Powers can be. We’ve been waiting since April 17th when I publicly asked City Staff for an explanation.

    And try using your own name. I doubt the Muay Thai boxing champ, Ben Pride, lives in Brookhaven.

    Kathy and many, many others would make fine representatives of this city…and she’s got the guts to use her own name.

  19. 19

    Huh?

    I don’t believe Bate’s seat has come up for re-election and Joe ran unopposed last year.

  20. 20

    julzheimer

    Very well said. As a multiple property owner in Brookhaven, I voted NO on giving politicians more power. Say what you will about the Pony debacle but the facts are irrefutable. They changed the rules for SOB to an unreasonable standard and are now hiding behind “we just want them to comply with the rules” garbage. Anyone reading this operate a business in the city limits of Brookhaven? If so, keep this in mind.

  21. 21

    Tom Reilly

    Way to go, Chad!!–Tom Reilly [And I ALWAYS use my own name, too!!]

  22. 22

    abmagic

    Chad, the old 4th Ward Park was partially funded by the Beltline TAD. Spurred by the greenspace and stormwater infrastructure, subsequent development has created a much larger tax digest. While I think it is a great example of what TAD’s could/should be (funding for infrastructure improvements that spurn multiple parcel redevelopment), the usual use of TAD funds locally seems to be offset for development costs under the rationale of immediate development that otherwise would be “unfeasible” (aka not enough profit). Given the mistrust of Brookhaven officials, the idea that it could be used in backroom deals with cronies (to allow the city to decide winners and losers in the development arena) might be well founded.

  23. 23

    Chad

    I appreciate the comment. I’m an open minded guy, but I always reach the financial conclusion first. Who is paying the interest on the bonds. City of Atlanta has missed over $9M of payments to Atlanta Public Schools…and won’t pay. I assume, but have no conclusive evidence, APS is paying it from their general fund. That would extrapolate to the city of Atlanta is subsidizing RE developers at the expense of city of Atlanta students.

    Correct?

  24. 24

    Eric Robert

    I believe the Mayor and RBC will win re-election if it were held today.

    I also think its likely that this “re-development” act will pass. Keep in mind that many people in Brookhaven are going to the polls to vote for Governor or Senator and don’t know any specifics about the Redevelopment Act. For them there is a tendency to vote Yes rather than No. That’s why they write the question that way. For them the biggest description will be the description those who wanted it to pass drafted.

    So to beat defeat or vote down the referendum, you have to overcome the built in yes vote.

    It would indeed be quite the statement if this didn’t get approved.

    I voted no. The Dunwoody Crier article sealed it for me but I was already turned off by the mailers sent out by the YES folks trying to play on the false beliefs of many of my neighbors in District 1 that Buford Highway is one big “blighted” mess that can only be addressed with government tax breaks.

    I mean you almost have to wonder if someone asked GDOT to slow down on the longest sidewalk project in history just so Buford Highway looks bad.

  25. 25

    abmagic

    Chad, I don’t think you can narrow down all the issues City of Atlanta has and point to one TAD or the other as the culprit for missed payments. You can probably assign blame to multiple poor economic decisions and money mismanagmemt in general as much as the TAD. My main point was to highlight a particular project and type of project where TAD appears to have succeeded on its basic premise, which is to fund common infrastructure to benefit multiple parcels and attract additional private dollars to build the tax digest. If oversight from politicians is in place to insure appropriate projects are funded, redevelopment powers are okay. Unfortunately that caveat has not been met.

  26. 26

    Bob

    In addition to Kathy’s solid points on trust, you have to wonder if the City has the resources to handle the additional workload redevelopment would require. Just look at how slowly the parks improvement is going. And that is something the citizens have actually said they wanted. I know when my wife called about donating playsand for AP, the City never called back. It took another attempt from better connected individuals to get the okay. I am concerned that the city is getting too distracted here causing their other obligations to suffer.

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