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    Will Google maps be able to keep up with all these new cities?

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    No rush, but these communities will ultimately want to be in one of the cities, to escape direct Dekalb control if nothing else.

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    Tom Doolittle

    The survey methodology and commitment to repeat surveys in several neighborhoods exhibit an intense sense of community in those areas. It is truly remarkable how the cityhood journey that started from the I-285 area in Feb, 2013 has galvanized these neighborhoods spirit in what the opinions above call Central DeKalb.

    I can only assume the conversation about how “Central” can meet “North Central” will continue via HGAC proceedings and testimony. It certainly won’t be left with the subcommittee being the final word prior to legislation being considered.

    Further conversation can only yield more valid (a stronger mandate) results if extended to another two-year legislative term.

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    Tom Doolittle

    Of course the “final final” word is a referendum, which would appear in jeopardy if these opinions by neighborhood leaders have any validity in representing their residents. (that can be a big if BTW).

    Even if the leaders don’t quite have a handle on current opinion, they will most certainly form the core of an organized anti-referendum campaign (again, simply advocating “two more years”).

    It deserves a big mention that the LVH leadership has announced that a change in its charter would essentially invite boundary neighborhoods to be added by annexation after an initial referendum passes. That would mean LVH would support (either publicly or quietly) a final map that leaves this now-called “Central” area off of the referendum map. That would be a city more the size of the Tucker map–maybe a little smaller.

    The HGAC should accept that charter revision if it wants its referendum not to dangle in the wind–who knows what direction the wind will blow. There are thorny legalities to that I’m sure–once again introducing a bolt-on change in cityhood process.

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    Eddie E.

    Why would they want to leave a functional and established system of governance to fall into ‘chaos of the highest bidder’?

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    Eric Robert

    I’m surprised there wasn’t a better campaign by these communities near Executive Park to protect their interests that were being negatively impacted by Brookhaven’s annexation of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta INC. and Executive Park.

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    Laura Ross

    They are wise to stay out of this trend. I wish Brookhaven had.

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    Susan H.

    I think they would have, if the Brookhaven annexation hadn’t happened so quickly. While everyone was distracted by the Lavista Hills/Tucker debate, Brookhaven just quietly came in & took what they wanted.

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    Susan H.

    My neighborhood, the so-called Greater Valley Brook Neighborhood, is made up of about 4 subdivisions: Sargent Hills (with the Little Creek Horse Farm off Lawrenceville Hwy.), Evergreen Forest, Storybook Estates, & Laurel Heights. Like Medlock Park, our area is let off of every single cityhood & annexation map. Decatur doesn’t want us. Avondale Estates doesn’t want us. Clarkston doesn’t want us. Lavista Hills doesn’t want us. We’re too far away from Tucker, Atlanta, and Brookhaven for any of those to be a possibility. If all the cityhood/annexation movements pass, GVB & Medlock will be the only unincorporated islands left in DeKalb. So, for us to hear that some of these other nearby neighborhoods are hoping to remain unincorporated, at least for a little while, it gives us hope that we are not alone. My neighbor posted the following on our neighborhood Facebook page in response to this article:

    “I have the funny feeling that the only thing we are going to get out of all this is some sort of super-duper HOA, lording it over us with really dumb things, without any kind of responsiveness to the people. Already they have proven that they can’t get along.

    “The only place that is really a town is Tucker and Decatur. The rest of them are hogwash. No long standing “town” culture in any of them, and Tucker, just barely. All we have are high school areas and old shopping mall areas that demark our civic boundaries, and those are not even close to being towns.

    “Towns take lifetimes to happen, and they grow out of shared culture. We don’t have any of that here. To do that by fiat because some yuppies want to make their mark on the society that surrounds them is selfish and a huge mistake.

    “I’ve seen what happens even when there is a shared culture, and it’s not good, vis-a-vis the “townships” and “villages” in Delaware, Chester and Montgomery counties in PA.

    “The corruption that we have in DeKalb County government will simply be shifted to these little petty kingdoms (and I do mean petty) where all kinds of promises will be made on election day about how little it will take to run the town, only to find out later that it is more than twice or three times as much. Some zoning will be enforced, others will be flagrantly ignored, and it will be completely arbitrary. We will have “little men” with “lots of power”, and it will not end well.

    “A good example of this is Peachtree Corners up in Gwinnett.

    “We could do a lot worse than being a part of this land grab. In fact, I think after the blush is off the rose, there will be a huge amount of regret among reasonable people, and a lot of fingers in the ears of people who just cannot admit they were wrong.

    “Balkanizing our county into these little fiefdoms is not the answer to our problems. The answer is to unite and fix the government that we already have. It takes a lot of work – work that I don’t believe the people in these new townships will ever be up to performing for the decades it will require. Better to pool our resources and fix what we have.”

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    Sam Winters

    That was a press release by a relatively small group pretending to speak for thousands of people who are totally unaware of it. Let’s set the record straight for my neighborhood: I live in the area claimed by the brand new so-called “Laurel Ridge Shamrock” group. At best, their “survey” got 7% opposed – no where close to the 71% claimed. It was an unverifiable survey by a new small group that pretends to speak for my community without the approval or consent of over a thousand homeowners. They said they had roughly 200 surveys completed — 71% of that is 142 people. Allowing an average of 2 people per household (as their ringleader stated) means roughly 2000+ people, of which 142 is 7%. Using their own fuzzy math, that means 93% of of people in the area they claim are in favor of being on the map. So as part of that vast majority of taxpayers in this area, thank you, LaVista Hills, for all your efforts to help our neighborhoods. Incorporated municipalities are an important part of our Constitutional governance structure, as evidenced in other parts of DeKalb, the state, and the nation. Our part of DeKalb is long overdue.

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    Mary K Woodworth says show us the surveys. So how about it Mr. Wright? Show us your back up!!!!!

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    As a 42 year resident of the same neighborhood Sam, most of what you say is true; small group of PTA moms,anti-city-hood advocates, anti-charter school home schoolers forming a new agenda driven Civic Association. That being said it IS the first time in decades that our neighborhood has even had an ACTIVE Civic Association. I’m still willing to give them a chance after some training by CAN in January. Call me 404-633-4954.

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    Disgusted in DeKalb

    As a member of the same neighborhood, I’m not sure that you’re describing the board or just one person on the board that have a problem with. I can’t help but think that you’d both feel very differently had the community survey results been procityhood.

    The board and officers are made up of a great cross section of our community and have worked diligently to have transparency and educate the community on both sides of the issues. For a civic association that became official just resently, they have had meetings about cityhood, annexation, and the Blueprint and others issues that have an impact on our community. The survey results are all posted on their web site and were also distributed to the community. Everything is in plain sight, nothing is hidden.

    The number of survey responses for the Laurel Ridge Shamrock community survey are no better or worse when it comes to the percentage of surveys completed in any other neighborhood conducting surveys. Each home in the community was able to complete a survey. You sound like poor losers.

    It seems to me that Mr. Winters has the fuzzy math, as the surveys show that people in our neighborhood are more likely to come out against cityhood than vote for it on a referendum. It would also seem that Lavista Hills would be better off without the areas not wanting to be in their city, but they probably need the commercial property in these communities for viability.

    The written results of the survey show that those answering the survey are educated, informed, and thoughtful in their thinking. They are not easily swayed by those wanting to ram rod a city quickly upon us. Maybe they, like myself, chose unincorporated DeKalb, because after living in other cities throughout the country, I was tired of the extra fees for parking, on my paycheck and bills, and on doing simple things to my home. As far as the charter cluster goes, charter schools are another way to privatize public schools, just as services have been privatized in the newly created cities. I am sure that neither of you have children and do not fully understand the school situation should Fernbank and Briar Vista annex into Atlanta. It’s not an easy fix and there are fixes that could decimate property values and the desirability of our community for new home buyers.

    I am glad that we have our civic association and that many neighbors have worked together to keep our community informed and up to date on what is happening around and to us. It appears that you Mr. Winters and RAJ want the community to be on your side of this issue, and therefor it is the civic association’s fault that the community is not. The civic association provided equal education opportunities to the community on the issues surrounding cityhood and the people in the community had their say. The cityhood person that came from Lakeside was ill informed and couldn’t answer basic questions that the community had at that meeting. Did you ever stop to think that the cityhood movement has done this to themselves?

    To imply that one person or a small group of people are able to control the community, is simply absurd, and shows that you both have no concept of the people that live in your community. They are educated professionals, many working as doctors and professors, teachers, lawyers, computer programers, engineers, small business owners, and so many other professions. These are people that have a backbone or are not easily swayed. If anything the BS that you both spew in our community detract from anyone wanting to be a part of the cityhood movement, as you both have shown great disrespect to our community and those working hard to make a positive difference. Take a look in the mirror and realize that you are part of the problem, as is the approach that the cityhood groups have taken, as they really are the same and don’t work on people that are able to think and problem solve.

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    Save Tucker!

    Executve Park and Children’s Healthcare actually asked to be in Brookhaven, for the concept of being part of Lavista Hills has driven many to do thing they never thought they would.

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    Save Tucker!

    And what kind of surveys did Mary K Woodworth do before forcing this city concept on the rest of us? Where is her backup to show that the “75 meetings” that her group conducted were not simply involving a variety of attendees that included the family cat, the dog, her children and a few on the payroll? These communities were right to survey their own neighborhoods. Now, if they can only get them to show up and vote no when the time comes, we will all be better served as a result.

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    Tom Doolittle

    What was once missing from the cityhood dialogue on this side of I-85 (“Central”, “North Central”, …) has been preference data. In the past, we’ve also had rare glimpses of a neighborhood “infrastructure” where political interaction equals considerable social and “cause-related” activities (on the order of Sandy Springs and Dunwoody).

    However, the past year has seen an increase in political interaction, which has been a positive bi-product of the cityhood effort. Polling alone drives residents toward their neighborhood organizations–and then the neighborhood associations communicate with those seeking civic leadership. That we can thank Lakeside Yes for originating in Feb, 2013.

    But polls appear–(BTW, they only appear at the LVH “southern” border)–appear to indicate the work isn’t finished. Finished to the point where a referendum victory can be clearly predicted.

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    Kelley McManaman

    How does the creation of a city separate anyone from their school, park, community center or each other? That sounds ludicrous to me.

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    Kelley McManaman

    MaryKay did not force this city concept on us. It is a grass roots effort. I attended lots of meetings and there were no cats or dogs there, but there were some children. There is no payroll. Find your Xanax.

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    D in D must have missed my last comment! The post above is a very good example of a Civic Association Board member dividing the neighborhood not uniting the neighborhood. New residents in older established neighborhoods frequently make this mistake and are always welcome and to be forgiven. Suggest the next survey in Laurel Ridge/Shamrock be one question…up or down vote on City of LaVista Hills{other neighborhoods in the map take note) no other option is viable as I predicted months ago….I will be glad to help pass out surveys as I did last time. All my best to everyone this holiday season!

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