Well, have you decided? How are you going to vote on the cities of LaVista Hills and Tucker? The time has come for you to reach an informed opinion on what to do. Is your vote going to be based on the best facts available or on what your neighbor said about another layer of government and higher taxes? Did you know that there are studies available that can give you those answers if you want to find out? Check out the LaVista Hills feasibility study by the Carl Vinson institute at the University of Georgia. It will answer some of your questions about the taxes. Instead of gut feelings and hoping the DeKalb county will miraculously transform to the 1970’s try doing some real research to provide yourself with as much reasoned information as possible.
I have attended many meetings on the formation of cities. I have heard many of the arguments against city formation. I have heard very few backed up with facts. Another layer of government and higher taxes? Is it true? Do you really know?
I have heard many anti city folks say LaVista Hills is trying to push forming a new school system in the potential new city. In fact every meeting I have attended regarding LaVista Hills has gone out of its way to say that it was not about the school system. Many of the questions asked by attendees were about schools but the leadership of LaVista Hills always stated that the formation of their city had nothing to do with forming their own school system. In fact it would take an amendment to the Georgia Constitution for the schools to be taken over by the city.
Taxes. Remember whatever services the new city assumes will come OFF your DeKalb County tax bill. That is a fact. Is there a chance the city might provide some services for less money? Is it possible that reducing the size of the DeKalb bureaucracy might be a cost savings for the new city? Imagine your city commissioner now being your neighbor. Right now your representatives Jeff Rader and Kathy Gannon live nowhere in the footprint of your city. Would they have as much interest in zoning decisions in LaVista Hills as your neighbor in the subdivision down the street that is now your local commissioner? Think about it. The answer is enlightening. Think about your commissioner actually having the time to listen to you because they represent 11,000 people instead of 100,000.
Have you applied for a permit of almost any kind in DeKalb? How long does it take for you to get feedback from the county? Talk to the people in Dunwoody and Brookhaven about this one. Their response times are minuscule compared to DeKalb County.
What about the Mike Bowers findings? Should they have any bearing on your vote? Folks, no matter where you stand on this one, allegations or facts, there is one thing for sure, our county is in disarray with no one watching how your money is spent. I would be willing to bet that there are real facts buried in that forty page report. Do we want to know or should we just keep DeKalb as it is? Can we trust the DA to investigate? Remember, instead of following the law he did what Lee May told him to do in not pursuing his investigation into alleged county corruption. This kind of judgement gives me doubts. Have you read the forty page report?
What about your county commissioners Jeff Rader and Kathy Gannon spending your tax money on specific groups. Look at the list of donations. Jeff Rader – Park Pride of Atlanta. $20,000 . Kathy Gannon- Park Pride of Atlanta $6,000. Did you know that a portion of your property taxes go to creating and maintaining parks in the county? How could you give my tax money and your tax money to these private groups without getting YOU the taxpayer to approve it? I am not knocking the organizations. I am knocking the commissioners judgement. I saw that Mr. Rader said…”I’m comfortable that I didn’t receive any personal benefit from any of them.” Well what about votes? Are any of these donations designed to buy votes for the next election? You need to ask the commissioners. Does this kind of decision making pass the “smell test?”
Here are just two of the decision makers representing you now. Do you want to continue with their process of decision making or would you like to try somebody new? The question is easy for me. Give me some new blood.
Now what about you the voter? If we ignore local races and do not arm ourselves with facts we will create a new smaller government that will have too many flaws. It is exciting to me to realize that we can start anew and have a direct say so about who our representatives will be. Let’s do it right. Let’s be informed and be an active participant.
GO LAVISTA HILLS AND TUCKER