School Board To Vote On Annexation Tonight

Just a reminder:  The Decatur School Board will vote tonight on whether to support Superintendent Edwards’ opposition to annexation. Westchester 6:30pm.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say the board will give their full support to the Superintendent.

Budget cuts, along with all the new charter school implementations, are probably enough current stresses on the school system.  Board members aren’t going to gladly take on an annexation plan that dramatically increases enrollment, especially when the number of added students is still so widely disputed.

But hey, I’ve been wrong before.

24 thoughts on “School Board To Vote On Annexation Tonight”


  1. I think that annexation may pass on a limited basis. If so, I am sure my neighborhood will be included because so many people are for it. If, not my neighborhood is so great that we will continue to be an excellent area to live in. It will make me very sad as I think that there is a lot of code language going on for why some people in Decatur don’t want us. Our children, all of us, and our taxes would improve the CIty of Decatur in the long run. In the short term it would be a struggle, but the schools and the city would be better for it. I love Decatur and want to pay taxes to make it an even better place for all to live.

  2. I agree with the first poster – i have been disappointed to see my neighborhood described as ghetto like by those opposed to annexation. Many of my neighbors and myself would be more then happy to be a part of the city of Decatur, but Forrest Hills will continue to be a great place regardless to live regardless of the outcome.

  3. The board voted tonight on the three options presented by the City’s report, which were 1) no annexation, 2) annex the three areas north of the tracks only, 3) annex all six areas. They voted a firm no on option 2, but were split on 1 and 2. The split seemed to be in large part because the data on how many students would come in from those areas was so murky and contradictory. Even among board members relatively open to annexation, there was a strong sense that we do not have a clear view of exactly what we’d be getting into with annexation.

    The bind for annexation now seems to be that, if there is any constituency at all in favor, it’s in the southern areas, which the board says it simply cannot handle. The board is potentially open to the northern areas, but residents there seem more united against annexation. And if the commission decides to go forward despite the board’s reservations and very uncertain data concerning whether its financially advantageous or harmful, residents in the annexed areas would have to vote. And state reps in those areas where annexation is unpopular would have to support it. That’s a lot of political capital to expend on a long shot that, even if it comes in, may cost more than it gains. That is, a lot of effort in search of a tax cut that could easily turn out to be a tax hike. (One thing that came out of the meeting tonight is that there is very little margin for error on the number of incoming student from the northern areas, even based on the most extreme low-end estimates, before annexation becomes a net loss.)

    Any City of Decatur resident with an opinion on this: Now is the time to let the commission know your thoughts. They vote on Dec 15.

  4. Correction to my post above — the board voted a firm no on option 3: annexing all six areas. Split on 1 & 2.

  5. 1st time poster .. long time reader…

    Waiting and Forrest… I have been involved in this annexation issue and I have heard from a lot of people. Never once have I heard anyone call your neighborhoods ghettos. Even if you could find some wacko somewhere that used that term …. to attribute the comment of a person or two to an entire city is irresponsible. There is a wacko or two out there for every issue. Many of the people who are most opposed to the annexation are the same ones who fought the hardest for the desegregation of Decatur’s schools during their reconfiguration a few years ago – even when it meant that their own children were redistricted. They are for diverse, small schools in a close-knit community – that is not bigotry or racism or elitism. What they are against is the potential bankruptcy of CSD – it’s a math thing.

    If you want to attend Decatur schools, move here! We’d love to have you. I pay too much for a condo that’s too small so that my kids can go here. You too could make some sacrifices if you really wanted your kids here. Some homes in Decatur are expensive, but there are tons of smaller homes, older homes, condos and apartments that are even more affordable than where you live now. My condo complex is right next to a wonderful park. I get all the benefits of a huge playground without the upkeep. We even have a pool, and there are tons of kids here.

    There seems to be a willingness among some to push the annexation at the expense of those in their neighborhoods who will be driven out by higher taxes and home values and without regard to their effect on the kids in CSD. I have a lady at my church who is 70, disabled and worried sick about her taxes going up. She barely makes do as it is… and her house is in need of repair so she could probably only sell it as a tear down. Is it fair to her for some folks to get increased property values and different schools if she has to move out of her home for 30 years to live with her daughter?

    Also, why aren’t you working in your neighborhood schools to improve them? Do you have a problem with the kids there? What’s wrong with them? Why not give it a shot? If you reply to my post please explain your position on this… being careful not to use “code words.” There have been a lot of people in Decatur who were willing to do the hard work to improve schools around that were just like your neighborhood schools not even a decade ago. You can improve the school situation for your kids as well as for all of the kids in your neighborhood school if you just reach out.

    See, neither side has the moral high road on the annexation issue.

    So, in short before you go around accusing the masses of elitism or worse, I’d suggest that you at least educate yourself on the math behind the annexation. I didn’t see a single Forrest Hills resident at any of the CSD board meetings where financials were specifically discussed.

    There have been private consultants, CSD financial experts and consultants from Georgia State who have contributed to the financials and population counts that the school system and city are relying on. These are not bogus numbers. I can assure you, if the math worked, CSD would be begging for the annexation. They desperately need additional net revenues!

  6. 1st time poster .. long time reader…

    Waiting and Forrest… I have been involved in this annexation issue and I have heard from a lot of people. Never once have I heard anyone call your neighborhoods ghettos. Even if you could find some wacko somewhere that used that term …. to attribute the comment of a person or two to an entire city is irresponsible. There is a wacko or two out there for every issue. Many of the people who are most opposed to the annexation are the same ones who fought the hardest for the desegregation of Decatur’s schools during their reconfiguration a few years ago – even when it meant that their own children were redistricted. They are for diverse, small schools in a close-knit community – that is not bigotry or racism or elitism. What they are against is the potential bankruptcy of CSD – it’s a math thing.

    If you want to attend Decatur schools, move here! We’d love to have you. I pay too much for a condo that’s too small so that my kids can go here. You too could make some sacrifices if you really wanted your kids here. Some homes in Decatur are expensive, but there are tons of smaller homes, older homes, condos and apartments that are even more affordable than where you live now. My condo complex is right next to a wonderful park. I get all the benefits of a huge playground without the upkeep. We even have a pool, and there are tons of kids here.

    There seems to be a willingness among some to push the annexation at the expense of those in their neighborhoods who will be driven out by higher taxes and home values and without regard to their effect on the kids in CSD. I have a lady at my church who is 70, disabled and worried sick about her taxes going up. She barely makes do as it is… and her house is in need of repair so she could probably only sell it as a tear down. Is it fair to her for some folks to get increased property values and different schools if she has to move out of her home for 30 years to live with her daughter?

    Also, why aren’t you working in your neighborhood schools to improve them? Do you have a problem with the kids there? What’s wrong with them? Why not give it a shot? If you reply to my post please explain your position on this… being careful not to use “code words.” There have been a lot of people in Decatur who were willing to do the hard work to improve schools around that were just like your neighborhood schools not even a decade ago. You can improve the school situation for your kids as well as for all of the kids in your neighborhood school if you just reach out.

    See, neither side has the moral high road on the annexation issue.

    So, in short before you go around accusing the masses of elitism or worse, I’d suggest that you at least educate yourself on the math behind the annexation. I didn’t see a single Forrest Hills resident at any of the CSD board meetings where financials were specifically discussed.

    There have been private consultants, CSD financial experts and consultants from Georgia State who have contributed to the financials and population counts that the school system and city are relying on. These are not bogus numbers. I can assure you, if the math worked, CSD would be begging for the annexation. They desperately need additional net revenues!

  7. 1st time poster .. long time reader…

    Waiting and Forrest… I have been involved in this annexation issue and I have heard from a lot of people. Never once have I heard anyone call your neighborhoods ghettos. Even if you could find some wacko somewhere that used that term …. to attribute the comment of a person or two to an entire city is irresponsible. There is a wacko or two out there for every issue. Many of the people who are most opposed to the annexation are the same ones who fought the hardest for the desegregation of Decatur’s schools during their reconfiguration a few years ago – even when it meant that their own children were redistricted. They are for diverse, small schools in a close-knit community – that is not bigotry or racism or elitism. What they are against is the potential bankruptcy of CSD – it’s a math thing.

    If you want to attend Decatur schools, move here! We’d love to have you. I pay too much for a condo that’s too small so that my kids can go here. You too could make some sacrifices if you really wanted your kids here. Some homes in Decatur are expensive, but there are tons of smaller homes, older homes, condos and apartments that are even more affordable than where you live now. My condo complex is right next to a wonderful park. I get all the benefits of a huge playground without the upkeep. We even have a pool, and there are tons of kids here.

    There seems to be a willingness among some to push the annexation at the expense of those in their neighborhoods who will be driven out by higher taxes and home values and without regard to their effect on the kids in CSD. I have a lady at my church who is 70, disabled and worried sick about her taxes going up. She barely makes do as it is… and her house is in need of repair so she could probably only sell it as a tear down. Is it fair to her for some folks to get increased property values and different schools if she has to move out of her home for 30 years to live with her daughter?

    Also, why aren’t you working in your neighborhood schools to improve them? Do you have a problem with the kids there? What’s wrong with them? Why not give it a shot? If you reply to my post please explain your position on this… being careful not to use “code words.” There have been a lot of people in Decatur who were willing to do the hard work to improve schools around that were just like your neighborhood schools not even a decade ago. You can improve the school situation for your kids as well as for all of the kids in your neighborhood school if you just reach out.

    See, neither side has the moral high road on the annexation issue.

    So, in short before you go around accusing the masses of elitism or worse, I’d suggest that you at least educate yourself on the math behind the annexation. I didn’t see a single Forrest Hills resident at any of the CSD board meetings where financials were specifically discussed.

    There have been private consultants, CSD financial experts and consultants from Georgia State who have contributed to the financials and population counts that the school system and city are relying on. These are not bogus numbers. I can assure you, if the math worked, CSD would be begging for the annexation. They desperately need additional net revenues!

  8. 1st time poster .. long time reader…

    Waiting and Forrest… I have been involved in this annexation issue and I have heard from a lot of people. Never once have I heard anyone call your neighborhoods ghettos. Even if you could find some wacko somewhere that used that term …. to attribute the comment of a person or two to an entire city is irresponsible. There is a wacko or two out there for every issue. Many of the people who are most opposed to the annexation are the same ones who fought the hardest for the desegregation of Decatur’s schools during their reconfiguration a few years ago – even when it meant that their own children were redistricted. They are for diverse, small schools in a close-knit community – that is not bigotry or racism or elitism. What they are against is the potential bankruptcy of CSD – it’s a math thing.

    If you want to attend Decatur schools, move here! We’d love to have you. I pay too much for a condo that’s too small so that my kids can go here. You too could make some sacrifices if you really wanted your kids here. Some homes in Decatur are expensive, but there are tons of smaller homes, older homes, condos and apartments that are even more affordable than where you live now. My condo complex is right next to a wonderful park. I get all the benefits of a huge playground without the upkeep. We even have a pool, and there are tons of kids here.

    There seems to be a willingness among some to push the annexation at the expense of those in their neighborhoods who will be driven out by higher taxes and home values and without regard to their effect on the kids in CSD. I have a lady at my church who is 70, disabled and worried sick about her taxes going up. She barely makes do as it is… and her house is in need of repair so she could probably only sell it as a tear down. Is it fair to her for some folks to get increased property values and different schools if she has to move out of her home for 30 years to live with her daughter?

    Also, why aren’t you working in your neighborhood schools to improve them? Do you have a problem with the kids there? What’s wrong with them? Why not give it a shot? If you reply to my post please explain your position on this… being careful not to use “code words.” There have been a lot of people in Decatur who were willing to do the hard work to improve schools around that were just like your neighborhood schools not even a decade ago. You can improve the school situation for your kids as well as for all of the kids in your neighborhood school if you just reach out.

    See, neither side has the moral high road on the annexation issue.

    So, in short before you go around accusing the masses of elitism or worse, I’d suggest that you at least educate yourself on the math behind the annexation. I didn’t see a single Forrest Hills resident at any of the CSD board meetings where financials were specifically discussed.

    There have been private consultants, CSD financial experts and consultants from Georgia State who have contributed to the financials and population counts that the school system and city are relying on. These are not bogus numbers. I can assure you, if the math worked, CSD would be begging for the annexation. They desperately need additional net revenues!

  9. 1st time poster .. long time reader…

    Waiting and Forrest… I have been involved in this annexation issue and I have heard from a lot of people. Never once have I heard anyone call your neighborhoods ghettos. Even if you could find some wacko somewhere that used that term …. to attribute the comment of a person or two to an entire city is irresponsible. There is a wacko or two out there for every issue. Many of the people who are most opposed to the annexation are the same ones who fought the hardest for the desegregation of Decatur’s schools during their reconfiguration a few years ago – even when it meant that their own children were redistricted. They are for diverse, small schools in a close-knit community – that is not bigotry or racism or elitism. What they are against is the potential bankruptcy of CSD – it’s a math thing.

    If you want to attend Decatur schools, move here! We’d love to have you. I pay too much for a condo that’s too small so that my kids can go here. You too could make some sacrifices if you really wanted your kids here. Some homes in Decatur are expensive, but there are tons of smaller homes, older homes, condos and apartments that are even more affordable than where you live now. My condo complex is right next to a wonderful park. I get all the benefits of a huge playground without the upkeep. We even have a pool, and there are tons of kids here.

    There seems to be a willingness among some to push the annexation at the expense of those in their neighborhoods who will be driven out by higher taxes and home values and without regard to their effect on the kids in CSD. I have a lady at my church who is 70, disabled and worried sick about her taxes going up. She barely makes do as it is… and her house is in need of repair so she could probably only sell it as a tear down. Is it fair to her for some folks to get increased property values and different schools if she has to move out of her home for 30 years to live with her daughter?

    Also, why aren’t you working in your neighborhood schools to improve them? Do you have a problem with the kids there? What’s wrong with them? Why not give it a shot? If you reply to my post please explain your position on this… being careful not to use “code words.” There have been a lot of people in Decatur who were willing to do the hard work to improve schools around that were just like your neighborhood schools not even a decade ago. You can improve the school situation for your kids as well as for all of the kids in your neighborhood school if you just reach out.

    See, neither side has the moral high road on the annexation issue.

    So, in short before you go around accusing the masses of elitism or worse, I’d suggest that you at least educate yourself on the math behind the annexation. I didn’t see a single Forrest Hills resident at any of the CSD board meetings where financials were specifically discussed.

    There have been private consultants, CSD financial experts and consultants from Georgia State who have contributed to the financials and population counts that the school system and city are relying on. These are not bogus numbers. I can assure you, if the math worked, CSD would be begging for the annexation. They desperately need additional net revenues!

  10. 1st time poster .. long time reader…

    Waiting and Forrest… I have been involved in this annexation issue and I have heard from a lot of people. Never once have I heard anyone call your neighborhoods ghettos. Even if you could find some wacko somewhere that used that term …. to attribute the comment of a person or two to an entire city is irresponsible. There is a wacko or two out there for every issue. Many of the people who are most opposed to the annexation are the same ones who fought the hardest for the desegregation of Decatur’s schools during their reconfiguration a few years ago – even when it meant that their own children were redistricted. They are for diverse, small schools in a close-knit community – that is not bigotry or racism or elitism. What they are against is the potential bankruptcy of CSD – it’s a math thing.

    If you want to attend Decatur schools, move here! We’d love to have you. I pay too much for a condo that’s too small so that my kids can go here. You too could make some sacrifices if you really wanted your kids here. Some homes in Decatur are expensive, but there are tons of smaller homes, older homes, condos and apartments that are even more affordable than where you live now. My condo complex is right next to a wonderful park. I get all the benefits of a huge playground without the upkeep. We even have a pool, and there are tons of kids here.

    There seems to be a willingness among some to push the annexation at the expense of those in their neighborhoods who will be driven out by higher taxes and home values and without regard to their effect on the kids in CSD. I have a lady at my church who is 70, disabled and worried sick about her taxes going up. She barely makes do as it is… and her house is in need of repair so she could probably only sell it as a tear down. Is it fair to her for some folks to get increased property values and different schools if she has to move out of her home for 30 years to live with her daughter?

    Also, why aren’t you working in your neighborhood schools to improve them? Do you have a problem with the kids there? What’s wrong with them? Why not give it a shot? If you reply to my post please explain your position on this… being careful not to use “code words.” There have been a lot of people in Decatur who were willing to do the hard work to improve schools around that were just like your neighborhood schools not even a decade ago. You can improve the school situation for your kids as well as for all of the kids in your neighborhood school if you just reach out.

    See, neither side has the moral high road on the annexation issue.

    So, in short before you go around accusing the masses of elitism or worse, I’d suggest that you at least educate yourself on the math behind the annexation. I didn’t see a single Forrest Hills resident at any of the CSD board meetings where financials were specifically discussed.

    There have been private consultants, CSD financial experts and consultants from Georgia State who have contributed to the financials and population counts that the school system and city are relying on. These are not bogus numbers. I can assure you, if the math worked, CSD would be begging for the annexation. They desperately need additional net revenues!

  11. You haven’t been reading everything or you would have read the “Ghetto” comment. I I wasn’t the person who stated that in my response. It was probably through frustration that that person did it. Forgive us for that, please. I was at the meeting of the commissioners on December 1st, and several Decatur City parents said “test scores will go down” if these areas are annexed. If that is not code, then what is?

    Also, we had a committee of parents for four years who worked with Forrest Hills Elementary. The parents had toddlers and planned on sending their children to school when they got preschool age. Many have moved to Decatur or other areas because Dekalb County closed down the elementary in the summer of 2008. It will be opened as a girl’s middle school. We don’t have middle school girls living here. I do not have children, but I would like to have neighbors with children of all ages. I love my home too much to move. PLease understand, that I appreciate your sacrifice for your family. I have live in the area for years, and people in Decatur and surrounding areas are the best in the world.

    We only have tweny to thirty children in our neighborhood including toddlers and babies. Forrest Hills is not all of annexation area deemed as Forrest Hills. It is comprised of Forrest Blvd, Walker Drive. North Carter, Wiltchire and Russell. Our tiny neighborhood would in no way impact CSD to a large degree.
    OK I’ll Bite, I am sorry to have upset you about this, and just wanted to clarify with this response.

  12. Ok- I’ll bite, here is the quote from the forum on the city’s website in which our neighborhood (Forrest Hills) and others are described as “ghetto”:

    Anonymous in DecaturNovember 7, 2008, 8:06 PM

    I say no

    We moved to Decatur from Buckhead for the small town feel and the neighborhood school (Winnona Park).

    Looking at the map of the proposed annexation areas the areas to the south and west comprise mostly near-getto areas full of section 8 housing and apartments.

    Our taxes are already high, we have had numerious break-in’s in our neighborhood and our school had to install a trailer for overflow from the kids they already bus in from the public housing located in the downtown area. We cannot handle anymore low income kids from already failing schools. This plan will ruin the neighborhood feel of our school, bring test scores down and add a huge burden to the system from people that don’t pay property taxes like Decatur homeowners do.

    Why would we do this? It will ruin our schools, require more law enforcement, cost more in taxes spent than the return and ruin our small town feel.

    Annex to the north toward Emory, not to the south or west toward Avondale.

    Here is the URL for the page on which that quote is found: http://www.decatur-ga.com/cgs_citygov_opencityhall.aspx?pd_url=http://www.peakdemocracy.com/portals/49/Forum_78/Issue_198?region=Decatur

    I’m in favour of annexation. We benefit hugely from the city and would like to give back. And, yes, I would love for my 3 month old to eventually attend City of Decatur schools. As Wanting To Be Annexed stated, Forrest Hills has mostly babies and toddlers who would cause no immediate impact on the schools. There would be plenty of time to work out the kinks. I would have liked for my son to have attended Forrest Hills Elementary, especially after the 4-year investment that the committee put into making it a better school. However, our county overlords chose to close it and make it a middle school. Too bad they wouldn’t sell it to City of Decatur.

  13. Rebuttal from a resident in Forrest Hills,

    Actually I have heard many insinuations that Forrest Hills is a ghetto, just itching to send out bedraggled illiterate thugs to CSD. I have also heard much misinformation as to how much our taxes will increase by hundreds of thousands of dollars and how many thousands of kids we have in our tiny neighborhood.

    Fact: Forrest Hills has no more than 20-30 kids in a neighbor hood of ~ 250 homes.

    Fact: We have begged, cajoled and created a neighborhood coalition to improve Forrest Hills Elementary and keep it open. The DeKalb County Board of Education will not work, I repeat will not work with us. The have proposed alternatives such as creating an alternative school for boys, etc over our adamant objections. The president of our coalition finally moved away from Forrest Hills in disgust.
    Last but not least we as a tiny neighborhood; we cannot improve a huge school system that is as mismanaged as the DeKalb County Board of Education. Yes there are a few gems here and there, but the schools around our neighborhood are not. Most of us cannot afford private schools and as tax paying citizens we shouldn’t have to.

    Fact: The services we receive from DeKalb County are poor at best. Police response times are very slow (provided they respond at all). Example: Our next door neighbor’s house was broken into, (she is an Atlanta Cop and was wearing her uniform), and after waiting over an hour for a response when the cop did appear his first response was to berate her over a broken tail light. She requested he make a drive through around the neighborhood, he refused saying “his shift is over”. This is a cop responding to another cop, what do you think the service average citizens would receive? So we have taken to policing our own neighborhood. We have had neighbors chase down perps who break in to cars and houses, how long do you think that one of our neighbors will be hurt or worse?
    We work closely with the DPD, we have complained to the Police Chief, County officials, the County CEO and our state representatives, nothing has been done. It’s now the Christmas season, which we refer to as the burglary time. Many of us are nervous about leaving our homes to visit relatives, particularly knowing that the DPD will sit on their hands and do nothing.

    Fact: We work hard with the county government in improving our neighborhood. For example consider the blighted long abandoned gas station next to the new Friends School. We are constantly on the code enforcement people to do SOMETHING about that property without any results.
    Fact: We fought hard along with citizens from Avondale Estates, when Wal-Mart was working to have Avondale Estates annex the old mall so they could build a store there. We wanted a mixed use area that would have improved both neighborhoods. Dekalb County stepped in and PROMISED us that this would be the case and they would not allow Wal-Mart to ram through a store that did not conform to the wishes of the people that lived there. The result? Wal-Mart got everything they wanted and we are consigned to live to a huge big-box store opened to the wee hours of the morning.

    So the folks of Forrest Hills are citizens of DeKalb County, but we are not represented, nor served by DeKalb County. People complain about taxes, but why should the folks of Forrest Hills pay taxes when we receive nothing? I hate to use an old cliché, but I say “No taxes without representation!”
    Forrest Hills is also located in peculiar “no-mans” land. A sliver of an area geographically located between Decatur and Avondale, it just make sense that we annexed by one or the other. Most of the people of FH prefer Decatur.

    Lastly it’s suggested the folks of Forrest Hills should pull up stakes and move to Decatur if we hate DeKalb County so much. Guess what? Most of us are public service workers, cops, educators, folks that work at the local colleges and universities and young people just starting out, with a few retirees here and there. Many of us just can’t afford a house in Decatur. We can’t afford homes for 250k, 300k and certainly not 500+k. We are responsible people who bought homes that we can afford, hence the reason you don’t see homes in our neighborhood that are in the process of foreclosure. We work very hard to improve our properties and our neighborhood in general.
    We also shop in Decatur, and spend a great deal of money in Decatur, we do our part in supporting Decatur.

    One reader’s final complaint was why no FH representatives were at the recent meetings? Honestly I don’t know. However from what I heard, I imagine no one from FH wanted to be shouted down by a mob of misinformed people. In spite of that we have representatives who are in close contact with the mayor, other city officials, our state representative and Dr. Edwards. FHNA has conducted surveys and presented the findings to all interested parties. Yet I have no idea, why people keep spewing misinformation, particularly about our neighborhood.
    So fine if the citizens of Decatur don’t want other neighborhoods, (and it seems that many of those folks don’t want in either) leave them out. However most of us in FH want in and all we are asking for is a fair hearing of the facts.

  14. Kimberley,
    I think that one quote is shameful and it makes me sad. That is the sort of attitude that we’ve run into as the “red-headed stepchildren” of Winnona Park (meaning, the Glennwood families who were redistricted into Winnona Park five years ago in the reconfiguration). This is why we did not want to go to WP–because of that elitist attitude.

    But I would like to express that most Decaturites are not shamelessly elitist like that person and a few of his or her neighbors in WP. Even though I do not support annexation, it is not because of that type of snobbery and fear.

  15. Disgusted, thank you for that. I don’t believe that comment exemplifies the attitude and beliefs of most Decaturites, but it’s nice to “hear” someone say that 🙂 I have no problem with disagreement and respectful dialogue– everyone has the right to his/her opinion– but it is frustrating when the discourse devolves to nasty name-calling.

  16. Judd, many thanks for that update. Much appreciated.

    In regards to the other conversation, I’ll just reiterate that it is a single comment in a sea of more well-reasoned arguments.

    However, I do think this comment brings to light larger issues with the online Open Forum. Because people can post anonymously and citizens are limited to only one post per topic, there is little fear of repercussion. That can result in people saying things that are unnecessarily offensive to others…AND then its left hanging there, ready to offend countless others that stumble upon it. Not necessarily something the city wants to be in the business of participating in.

    That’s why I’m of the opinion that real names should be made mandatory in this process. Its the only way to keep the current format, but instill some sort of deterrent from ranting. Just my 2 cents.

  17. I also think that the format on the annexation survey lends itself to folks posing as someone they are not. The conspiracy theorist in me is invited to wonder if perhaps someone outside of Decatur posted that comment to create political fodder or maybe just to troll a bit. That probably is not be the case, and I apologize to anyone who is offended by that comment. I certainly am offended and do not believe that it represents even a tiny percentage of the feelings here in Decatur. I have many friends in FH and Midway and would love to see them in CSD. I have never considered either neighborhood to be ghetto. If if FH and Midway are ghetto….. so is my neighborhood b/c it’s no more upscale than those areas.

    I think that the only issue for 99% of folks is the money issue. It was well explained last night… the place was swimming in independant consultants and financial experts/accountants during the work session.. so I doubt that much true misinformation could have filtered through all of that. The board members and superintendent were unanimous in their opinion that the full 1-6 annexation would mean dire consequences for CSD. I would love for our neighbors in Midway/FH to join Decatur, but given the numbers from last night don’t see how we could keep CSD together if they were annexed, particularly in this climate. Things are just too precarious.

    I agree with Metro on the City of Decatur surveys.. they should not be anonimous b/c that subjects them to tampering. They are meaningless as a result.

  18. At the end of the day, the city’s open forum is just an alternate mechanism for registering one’s position with the city, so it should be treated the same way as speaking at a commission meeting. Participants should be required to state their name and address.

    I agree that the anonymous post opens up the door to way too much subterfuge. But other than that, I like the beta test and do see some potential.

  19. Well I guess the issue is, where in the world do they get 450 kids from? We’ve done the census here in in FH and there are no more than 30 or so kids, most of them preschool. Contrary to popular belief, we’re not breeding like rabbits and the houses are too small for large familys. Generally people move from FH after their first child (we will probably move, our house being too small for 2 adults and one child).

    So is the assumed population boom from Midway Woods?

  20. Well, city officials have to go on official numbers, it would be negligent to do otherwise. Why would DCSS list children living in Forrest Hills on their school enrollments if they are not there? Also, just bus pick up routes show numbers much, much higher than 30, and that’s just kids who ride the bus in the morning rather than drive or walk and who do not attend an DeKalb magnet, charter or transfer schools. It also does not include toddlers or preschoolers.

  21. As an answer to Mr. Fixit’s last posting, take a look at Annexation Area #5. Then look at these streets, Forrest, Walker, Russell, North Carter and Wiltshire. This is Forrest Hills. This is the area that presently has a small number of children. I feel quite sure the all of Annexation Area #5 is included in the data put out at the DCS Meeting. I can tell you that from where I live, there are no children until you get six houses to the right of my house and three houses on the other side there are two. We are not trying to be disingenuous on this issue. But, it is really interesting to hear all of the misunderstandings. It really is too bad that none of this were there to speak for our community. Our hope, which is dwindling, is that the City Commissioners will annex our small portion of Section #5. Forrest Hills does back up to a small section of The Friends School which is necessary for annexation. The area where Friends new school is located, has recently been annexed.

  22. I must talk on this earlier comment…
    “One reader’s final complaint was why no FH representatives were at the recent meetings? ”

    Having been a part of the annexation issue from the very start, I chose NOT to go to the meeting so that I could continue to have hope that our neighborhood still had a chance of being saved. If the city does not annex us, we don’t have a chance. Being part of DeKalb county, especially in our little area that is sandwiched between two cities, we are constantly forgotten.

    In addition – After we did our neighborhood survey, which I lead, we met with city officials to give them the data. We have also sent that information to the superintendent. If the data was in front of them, as well as many e-mails and letters from neighbors that support annexation, why would I want to hear all the negative comments. I too have heard people mumble at meetings about how they “don’t want them” (meaning us) to be a part of their city. It is very hurtful and not something I want to subject myself to anymore. I will continue to give the information and data to the people that need it and I will be able to still have a bit of hope.

    I want you all to think outside of your own world right now and imagine this…
    – You purchased a house in a GREAT neighborhood
    – You have watched it change and grow for the past 9 years
    – You have wonderful neighbors
    – You are involved in your neighborhood school, even though you do not plan to have children
    – You give your time to the neighborhood association
    – You are involved with local government
    – You feel you have a place you can stay for a long time
    AND THEN…
    – The county closes your school!
    – Your friends move from their homes in order for their child to get an education!
    – You get no response to important issues from your local government
    – If you call 911 they do not come!
    – If you call the county for services, they do not come!
    – With the lack of services you receive your taxes will still go up due to the fact that others have fled the county in order to save their neighborhoods (ex. Dunwoody)!
    – And even worse, you have to seriously consider leaving the home you have built, changed and loved for the past 9 years because of all this.

    I want each of you to image how this would make you FEEL! Somehow, we have all gotten so wrapped up in our own thoughts and misconceptions that we have forgotten the faces and families behind all of this. Our neighborhood deserve a chance to survive. Under DeKalb county leadership, we will not.

    With that said, none of us want to see the City School in trouble, or services decline. We want to know that annexation would HELP by bringing more tax dollars into the city.

  23. Decatur Schools are over crowded as is. The Superintendent recognizes that and anticipates internal growth to be that of what the proposed annexation would bring in. Whether it be now or in the near future the city is going to have to improve the infrastructure of the schools to accommodate the growing population. If the city waits to accept this fact they loose all the added revenue the annexation would provide and will have no choice but to raise the taxes on the current residents of Decatur. The recommendation of the Superintendent against annexation surprises me because it seems that the board is just delaying the inevitable.

  24. LAPN–
    I hate to say it, but this happens a lot, especially in an urban area. Once upon a time I had stars in my eyes as I bought the perfect house in the school zone I desperately wanted for my kids–Glennwood Elementary. I chose Glennwood over the other Decatur elementary schools precisely because of its economic and racial diversity, which was roughly 50/50 at the time. This was in 2002. Since then, we’ve had our neighborhood school pulled out from under us and we now get bused to Winnona Park, which has a very different culture about it. We no longer have a n’hood school to walk to (which we truly enjoyed) for our little ones. Sure, we get Glennwood for two years, but this is not what we wanted. We bought our house specifically to be within walking distance of Glennwood. Sucks.

    Things change. We can’t afford to move. We can’t afford (and don’t want) private school. We fought really hard against the current config. We yelled and screamed and canvassed and petitioned and made friends and made enemies. And yet, we have to roll with the punches because that’s really all we can do. We have learned the hard lesson that urban neighborhoods change, sometimes rapidly, and sometimes not the way we want them to.

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