City of What? Rep. Ed Lindsey renames Brookhaven

House Bill 636, sponsored by Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-Brookhaven Ashford) and Rep. Tom Taylor (R-Dunwoody) passed out of the House Governmental Affairs Committee today with a do-pass recommendation by a 9-6 vote. The bill sets up a vote of citizens of parts of unincorporated North DeKalb on whether to incorporate as a new City of Brookhaven Ashford. Rep. Ed Lindsey proposed the name change from Brookhaven to Ashford. I suspect it will be changed back in the Senate.

Predictably, Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur) offered several amendments to stall the incorporation effort, which were handily defeated.

33 comments

  1. bgsmallz says:

    I’m a bit disappointed in Rep. Lindsay on this one. For someone that worked hard to incorporate Sandy Springs and who should know the benefits of local control, etc. to offer up this kind of last second change is just disappointing when it might actually affect something important like a new city in DeKalb. I would hate to have to call historic Brookhaven, Historic Brookhaven….wait…what?!?…you mean Historic Brookhaven already exists separately from ‘Brookhaven’ and people haven’t gotten confused yet? Ugh. Follow the $$ on this one. I’d be surprised if the folks on the DeKalb county side of “Historic Brookhaven” will be thrilled about this one when the realize that Ed traded a millage cap and better services for ‘brand’ preservation and the status quo of DeKalb county.

    Regardless, happy the bill got out of committee and that it is on track for a referendum.

    Can anyone answer this? Can a city change its name with a simple act of the city council? Didn’t Chattahoochee Hills do this a few years ago?

  2. Todd Rehm says:

    B.I.G.,

    The problem with the name change is not the name itself, but the confusion it will cause in the referendum. People walking up, saying, “City of What?” are not likely to vote for it.

    I think the more likely scenario is that this can be changed either in Rules, on the floor of the House, or most likely, the Senate.

    • bgsmallz says:

      I agree. 100%. Which is why I’m so disappointed that Rep. Lindsay would choose attempting to ‘protect’ the local brand of roughly 1,000 residents over protecting a movement that would liberate over 40,000 from DeKalb county’s ever expanding unincorporated tax district.

      At least he didn’t propose “Bramblee”….

    • Todd Rehm says:

      Rep. Ed Lindsey argued that “Historic Brookhaven” is historically entitled to the name. At the last meeting of Governmental Affairs to hear about the bill, a couple of Lindsey’s constituents objected that “that area is not Brookhaven, only the Historic Brookhaven neighborhood in the City of Atlanta is entitled to be called Brookhaven.”

      One of the guys said they don’t want to be associated with the social problems of the southern part of the proposed city like single-parent families and undocumented aliens. They also fear that their homes in Historic Brookhaven will be de-valued, and people outside the area will be confused.

      I don’t think there is a rationale for picking “City of Ashford” over anything else. There is no such place as “Ashford” in Georgia. There is a neighborhood called “Ashford Park” within what is commonly accepted as Brookhaven, but there is no “Ashford.”

      I think while we’re at it, Buckhead should be stripped of its name lest people mistake it for the town of Buckhead in Morgan County, which has had its name longer than the portion of Atlanta.

        • Todd Rehm says:

          I’m willing to trust Rep. Lindsey’s good faith in this. It was a true concern of his constituents, no matter how silly we may think it is.

          I don’t believe he intended to torpedo the effort, and he probably thought it was a good compromise.

          There are probably other names I would have chosen before “Ashford Park,” but the bigger issue is that I think it’s likely to pass the House, and I appreciate Rep. Lindsey trying to offer a compromise.

          It does point out something that’s nagging at me now, however, and that’s what appears to be the rising role of the state government in local affairs. The fact that a majority of members of the House Governmental Affairs Committee don’t know the difference between Brookhaven the larger area and Historic Brookhaven is just part of it.

          A related issue is the broadband bill being pushed by Senator Chip Rogers. It seems to me like they’re taking one spectacular failure in metro Atlanta and trying to apply a lesson from that across the state, even if it may not be the appropriate lesson for rural areas.

          • analogkid says:

            You forgot CityNet/TiftNet in Tifton, but your point is still valid. Two municipal failures do not equal an epidemic.

          • bgsmallz says:

            Im not trying to kill Rep. Lindsey. But what I don’t understand is how he can be working in good faith on this one, why are we only now hearing about this? And Ashford? At least show some knowledge and propose going back to North Atlanta.

            I don’t understand how 1,000 or so constituents were able to convince him of doing anything that might undermine cityhood for 42,000 Georgians. Just seems weird that if it was a compromise, where was the initial offer?

            • bgsmallz says:

              Anyway, Lindsey usually is with the good guys and I’m sure he’ll get in the trenches to help sort it out and advocate for cityhood in Non-historic Brookhaven. I just wish he hadn’t given folks a reason to do a double-take.

              Hatfield’s protest vote was worse. “I’m going to torpedo Brookhaven because the committee only let my folks talk for 1 minute and clearly there is an Atlanta bias so I’m going to vote with the democrats and folks that want to give Atlanta the power to annex everything inside 285.” ugh.

              • Charlie says:

                Hatfield demanded that every potential new resident of Brookhaven/Ashford produce an original, long-form birth certificate proving that both parents were Georgia citizens at the time of their birth, and a signed affidavit that they had never been schooled at a madrasa in Indonesia before the city could be chartered. It was easier to let him vote no.

              • Todd Rehm says:

                I hope he’ll hear from some homeowners in Historic Brookhaven who live in DeKalb county at the next Historic Brookhaven Neighborhood Association who would like their property taxes lowered and decoupled from the voracious appetite of DeKalb County government.

                Also, I hear that the Capitol City Club is serving free beer to all #Occupiers on Friday afternoon.

      • SallyForth says:

        He “reached out and touched somebody’s hand”. Guess that makes Lindsey “solid as a rock”?

  3. elfiii says:

    “Predictably, Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur) offered several amendments to stall the incorporation effort, which were handily defeated.”

    Surprise, surprise.

    • SallyForth says:

      Speaking of MMO, is her HD number still the same, and where can we see what her new boundaries are?

  4. Cassandra says:

    In an effort to remain helpful, I offer the following suggestions on name for area formerly known as unincorporated DeKalb County:

    Ashfordwoody,
    Brookwoody,
    Brooklyn,
    Brookthorpe,
    Brokebrooke Mountain,
    Cherokee,
    Haven,
    Heaven,
    Newly Minted Republican Town,
    Norgetown, (Gotta be from here to appreciate),
    Oglehaven,

    Town Dog: Black Lab named, “Vern,”
    Town Bird: Stormy Petrel,
    Beloved Son: Brookhaven Bobby.

    Seriously, I applaud Rep(s) Jacobs and Taylor’s efforts to de-fund DeKalb and bring an end to inefficient Big County government that is holding back regional growth.

  5. jhmac77 says:

    I am for No City! I believe that this will be a divided city. North and west of about 1500 Dresden Dr. is an elite city made up of mostly expensive homes and country clubs and south and east of this address are average homes of middle class people. Go futher south towards Buford Hwy. are a mix of different ethnic groups many who are poorer than the middle class. It won’t work! What is wrong with unincorpoation Dekalb Co.

    Jim

  6. jhmac77 says:

    jim
    12:44 pm on Sunday, February 12, 2012

    NEEDS MORE STUDY! What about Drew Valley and the area between the new post office and Buford Hwy?

    JIM

  7. jhmac77 says:

    from that editorial :
    It seems the Dunwoody Police Department looked great on paper when the city was promoting its start-up budget. Now, just three short years later, the bare bones budget police department is beginning to see real problems resulting directly from its limited staffing.

    The 2012 budget report for the City of Dunwoody includes a “Challenges” section that begins with “Dunwoody faces several challenges that have a significant impact on our efforts to maintain our current service levels” and continues “…With a force of just 46 sworn officers, it is growing increasingly difficult to maintain adequate visibility and reduce crime….an aging inventory of apartments poses a significant challenge to a small police department”. This from a city who’s 2 or 3 apartments pale in comparison to the dozen or more run down, crime infested, gunshot riddled apartments along miles of Buford Highway in the proposed City of Brookhaven.
    The budget for the police force for the proposed City of Brookhaven found in Rep Jacobs feasibility study includes 53 officers or 1.08 officers for each 1,000 citizens. An officer count that while very similar to the “understaffed and overworked” Dunwoody police force is nearly one half the size of the average police force in seven similar cities in metro Atlanta and over 50% smaller than the current DeKalb County police force.

    my comment: don’t be foolish examinine the facts first.
    Jim

Comments are closed.