Decatur Mayor Reacts to DeKalb’s Annexation Moratorium Idea

Yesterday’s Champion Newspaper reported that the DeKalb County Commission was considering asking the state legislature to place a moratorium on “on annexation and incorporation in DeKalb County to allow an analysis by a committee.”

Commissioner Jeff Rader explained the initiative to the paper saying that recent city incorporations “seem to be formed around a political group” that adds a “tax base that has really nothing to do with their city,”

What would this study committee do?  According to the paper…

The annexation and incorporation study committee would create standards for evaluating incorporations that include criteria for determining reasonable boundaries for the existing or new cities; an analysis of the tax base within the proposed boundaries of the new city and in the remaining unincorporated areas;

In response to the article, Decatur Mayor Bill Floyd tells DM he’s “sorry to see this.”  He continues…

I think it is a reaction by the county to use the State of Georgia to stop or delay the creation of a new city when they can’t prevent it from happening themselves. It is clearly an attempt to prevent the people from having a choice. The creation of any new city requires extensive study into how a new city can be sustained and always results in a significant reduction in services necessary for the county to provide in the area affected.

The idea that people living in an area had no impact or influence on development in the area is as far fetched as contending that they should be unable to decide if they want to be part of a new city, or part of an old one for that matter, simply because it might have some perceived impact on someone not involved. People have a right to choose and that privilege should never be denied to them.

The contention that living in unincorporated Dekalb County offers less taxes is quickly dissolving. Cities by their very nature provide a higher quality of life and a higher level of services than counties. Taxes are much like anything else you buy, if you don’t think you are getting your monies worth they are too high. People who live in cities believe that what they get is worth the cost. Those who don’t live inside a city are beginning to recognize the difference that cities offer.

Hopefully the State will realize that this is an issue they do not need to get involved in.

Decatur To Give Residents Choice on Sunday Liquor Sales

This is less “breaking news” than just  “confirmation of what was already expected”.

From The Champion Newspaper, the clearest statement yet from City of Decatur staff that the City Commission will put Sunday liquor sales on the November ballot.

“The [Decatur] city commission has asked staff to review the enabling legislation and to make a recommendation to have it come up [in a board meeting] and put a referendum on the November ballot,” said Decatur City Manager Peggy Merriss.

Merriss said although she can’t speculate on whether she thinks it would pass if put on the ballot, the city commissioners think that voters have a right to make the choice.

So limber up your voting fingers Decatur voting public!  Sunday liquor AND three commissioner spots up for reelection!  Wooo doggie!  It’s gonna be one humdinger Election Day in the ol’ DEC!

New Allen Wilson Housing a “Wonderful Blessing”

The Champion newspaper has a nice article this week on Decatur public housing residents moving into the first completed phase of the new Allen Wilson apartments.  A blurb for you…

After 70 years of housing some of Decatur’s lower income residents, the Allen Wilson Terrace complex is being rebuilt. Last month, residents filled the 40 units of the first phase of the construction which replaces a complex that was in disrepair, even after major upgrades beginning in 1970. The new construction consists of two, three-story buildings with one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Two-story townhouses top a ground floor consisting of flats.

“It’s beautiful,” Ferrell said of her new townhouse. “Nobody’s ever lived here before.”

Ferrell said she can breathe easier in the new building and it has abundant natural lighting. And it has a designated place for a washer and dryer, unlike her old apartment, which had the laundry machines in the kitchen.

“I thank God for it,” Ferrell said. “It’s a wonderful blessing.”


Patti Garrett – "Champion of the Week"

Looks like the District 2 media blitz is well under way.

Allison points out that city commission candidate Patti Garrett is Champion Newspapers’ “Champion of the Week.”  I’ve pasted the entire article below, since I can’t for the life of me find it online.

“Decatur is a great city to volunteer in. With so many fun activities to join in and volunteer with, there are always ways to give back,” said Patti Garrett.

Garrett is a resident of the Oakhurst community who gives a tireless effort to help her community. From chairperson of the Tour of Homes project since 2002 to serving on the Oakhurst Community Garden Board for the past four years, where she and her husband share a seat, Garrett is an active volunteer from Volunteer! Decatur.

“I have so many great volunteers Patti is definitely one of them. She is always willing to help whenever there is a need. She volunteers on so many projects we have and elected Hometown Hero a couple years ago for her extraordinary efforts”, said LeeAnn Harvey of Volunteer! Decatur.

Being an outstanding volunteer is all about timing, according to Garrett. “The time just comes for people to get involved and when it does and you actually take part, it is always rewarding. Because my children are in the adult ages and I now work part-time, I have the timeto give back to a wonderful community like Oakhurst.”

Being a Decatur resident is very fulfilling for Garrett, which, she says, is why enjoys giving back to her community. “I am a strong advocate for Decatur and great supporter of the local businesses. I try to always shop in Decatur and eat in Decatur. It makes it that much greater to volunteer when you have great people, like LeeAnn, who set up such wonderful projects. It’s just extremely fun and always rewarding.”

Champion Newspaper Profiles DeKalb Community Blogs

Jonathan Cribbs wrote a front page story about DeKalb’s three most prominent local, community blogs in this week’s issue to the Champion Newspaper.

John Heneghan, Dave and I, all give our thoughts on the rise and importance of our county’s community blogs. Good reading if you don’t already get enough of us on a daily basis.

BTW, I’ve decided to retire the term “hyper-local” from my lexicon.  From here on out I will be employing “community” in its stead.  Why?  Because I’ve come to realize that the “hyper-local” descriptor doesn’t go far enough in describing these types of blogs.  In my estimation the unifying aspect of blogs like those profiled in the article is not just that they are more local-centric than the city dailies, but that they actively support their communities.  Our tactics may be different, but our motive is universal.

Its a small, but I think, important semantic change if you care about such things.