Well the the Druid Hills Civic Assn. is sponsoring a meeting with officials from Atlanta at Avondale Middle School (currently Fernbank elementary). Let’s speculate about the discussion and what might be the results.
The first thing on the agenda must be whether or not Atlanta Public Schools (APS) will accept the Druid Hills Charter Cluster concept as part of any annexation agreement. If APS is agreeable, then the Druid Hills crowd may bolt DeKalb County. There will be lots of cheers, albeit for differing reasons, from other parts of the county. One thing will be a certainty: unless the Druid Hills blue bloods get their way they probably will just remain an enclave and basically ignore the DeKalb School System.
Have you thought what would happen to schools like Fernbank, Druid Hills High, and possibly Briar Vista? Yes they would all go to Atlanta. A new Fernbank is under construction right now with DeKalb SPLOST IV money. And don’t forget the extra half million the Druid Hills people demanded for an underground hidden retention pond. Let’s count the millions. Thanks DeKalb!
A friend asked me about those schools because it made him angry that all his tax money would go for naught. I told him to call his legislator and school board member. Of course we all know what good that will do. The school board member may find himself in a pickle over annexation into Atlanta. If the area is annexed by Atlanta, the DeKalb school board member would lose his office. If he is motivated by self preservation, he could work against annexation and the charter cluster. Then again he has always touted APS as a model. He once told me how they had done so much for Atlanta and had greatly improved achievement. He thought Beverly Hall was an outstanding superintendent. Mark Elgart, of SACS, told me the same thing about Hall. I wonder if they would like to revisit those positions now? However it goes, it sure will be fun to watch.
All levity aside, it is an affront to the DeKalb taxpayer if the buildings they paid for, suddenly pass into the possession of Atlanta taxpayers. This would include a brand new Fernbank Elementary School that is still under construction. DeKalb could try to negotiate a settlement for the building. Wonder if that will work?
One thing that DeKalb could do to generate revenue in advance of any annexation is to to sell Druid Hills High to Emory University. It’s right there on campus and I bet that Emory would love it. It would probably bring enough money to have a real surplus in the DeKalb school budget rather than the imagined money they have now. I’ve heard various rumors about Druid Hills being an “untouchable” property. I don’t know but we could find out.
It may be one way to get some money for the taxpayers if there is an annexation.
SAGAMORE CIVIC ASSOCIATION MEETING
I went to the recent SCA meeting. It was typical theater. You have to listen closely to politicians to translate what they are really saying. The most interesting speaker was Mary Margaret Oliver (MMO). She was asked about cityhood. She zigzagged around the issue. She’s changed her view. She’s very skillful and made the people feel good without saying anything of substance. She said she now supports cityhood because people wanted more control. She even said, “smaller government” at one point. (It almost sounded like a Republican talking point.) Then MMO proceeded to give reasons why she did not think cityhood was ready for prime time based on cost. She listed all the police jurisdictions between Druid Hills and Decatur and at the Capitol. It was a subtle way of scaring the taxpayer. She was asked by a gentleman in the audience where she exactly stood about cityhood. Almost everyone already knew that MMO was at the center of having Lakeside torpedoed by muddying the waters. Last year at this same civic association meeting MMO and Jason Carter were decidedly negative about cityhood. At our current meeting, MMO stated that she supports annexation with Atlanta for Druid Hills. It sure is interesting how things can change in a year.
Stay tuned and we’ll all see what comes up next.