Brookhaven, GA, November 4, 2014 – by Trey Benton – The City of Brookhaven voters have spoken and have handily voted down the Brookhaven Redevelopment Powers Referendum.
60.07% of voters said ‘No’, while only 39.93% said ‘Yes’.
There was strong opposition to granting the City Redevelopment Powers.
Some citizens said one of their difficulties with the referendum was that it put too much decision making power in the hands of the current City Leadership and Council.
Others said the city “needs to slow down”, “get great at the basics” and then, perhaps, when those things are accomplished, look at Redevelopment Powers at some point on the future.
City Officials said in a statement, “We are pleased that the citizens of Brookhaven exercised their right under our city charter to decide for themselves this referendum question. What sets our city apart from our prior jurisdiction as that our charter dictates issues such as these must go before our citizens for approval. Our city staff look forward to continuing the improvement of our city’s parks, roads and public safety.”
UPDATE 11-5: Catherine Bernard, Chair of Brookhaven Redevelopment Referendum Committee, the main opposition group to the Referendum said in a statement, “As a Brookhaven resident and Chair of the all-volunteer Brookhaven Redevelopment Referendum Committee, I am thankful that our fellow citizens have voted down the Redevelopment Powers Law referendum. Had it passed, our City government would have the power to put us into debt without first seeking voter approval, among other risky and ambiguously defined powers. It is encouraging that a strong majority of Brookhaven voters agree that this City government overreach would be unacceptable.
However, important questions remain as to how this referendum ended up on our ballots in the first place, who is behind the anonymous mailers that caused many to vote ‘yes’ without understanding the true scope of the referendum, and why the City would schedule an educational forum for the eve of the election with a presenter who has substantial financial interest in a ‘yes’ vote.
The BRRC will be releasing additional information soon. For now, we extend our sincere gratitude to everyone who has contributed to this effort. You have shown that when the cause is just, we can fight City Hall.”