A City's Voice Is More Powerful Than An Individual's

A native of DeKalb County says a smaller city government will be more responsive to its residents.

I was born in DeKalb County and my husband and I moved into the proposed city of Brookhaven in the spring of 1971. We moved into our home in Nancy Creek Heights on New Year’s Day of 1973. At the time, I was a school social worker for Atlanta City Schools and I knew that Dekalb was the area I wanted to live in!  

By the time my husband and I had children (1977 and 1981), and they were ready to start school, DeKalb schools were not what we hoped for and we made the financial sacrifice to have our children attend Westminster. From what a Dunwoody official reported, the schools in that city have improved since the city of Dunwoody came into existence.  

The voice of a city is much more powerful than that of individuals.

As time has gone by, we have increasingly been disappointed in the services we get from DeKalb County.

We are runners and run around Murphey-Candler Park. We usually run five to seven miles, so particularly when it is warm outside, we need water. The fountains and restrooms in the park are either gone or not in usable condition. The faucets are turned off early in the fall and were not on the last week of May. At least one on the east side of the park was not working on July 5!

On July 10, I tried another faucet on the east side of the park. I was able to get only a trickle of water and it appeared that the faucet had been leaking for some time. The weeds along the roadside are allowed to get tall enough that running there is no longer desirable. The pool hours have been substantially reduced and the bathrooms are often very unpleasant.

Based on previous calls to DeKalb County in recent years, I have not even tried to call the county about the recent lack of water in the park. I believe that the northern part of the county is less likely to get the services its citizens’ request.

I am convinced that a smaller government can and will be more responsive to its residents.  

Our street and the ones in our surrounding area have potholes large enough to damage our cars’ wheel alignment. Repeated calls to the county over about a year’s time have resulted in VERY delayed and VERY temporary patches.  

When I call, the reaction I get indicates that it is unreasonable to expect the problem to be solved, and certainly nothing can be addressed for a number of weeks.

Yet our taxes keep increasing – 26 percent last year, I believe. A friend who lives in newly incorporated Sandy Springs related that a specific area on the road in his neighborhood filled with water every time it rained for the 15 years he had lived there prior to its becoming Sandy Springs. Calls to Fulton County (like mine to DeKalb) were ineffective.  

The second rainstorm after the area became locally controlled, the problem was fixed!  A friend who lives in Dunwoody confirmed that road repairs are being made there as well!

The service provided by the DeKalb police seems to have deteriorated over time as well. My husband’s car window was broken at the Hudson Grille. His running bag and a brief case were stolen. The running bag was found along the MARTA rail line and the brief case was found at the College Park MARTA station.

We called and reported the break-in and were told that the police would come. After waiting at Hudson Grille for about two and a half hours, we called DeKalb police again. By this time, we were concerned about getting to the College Park MARTA station before it closed. At this point, we were told that no one was coming. The fact that no one came is less of a concern than being told that they were coming, only to be told after a long wait the police were not coming.  

As a school social worker in Gwinnett, I was very much aware of residents far exceeding the number of people allowed to live in an apartment. When overcrowding exists, it seems to me that all sorts of other problems increase and the crime rates go up.

Apartment maintenance and safety provisions also suffer. I was once told that a missing railing overlooking a parking lot three stories below was not a problem the apartment management could be expected to fix; there was just too much damage. It is my understanding that residents who are not complying with occupancy restrictions have little to fear from DeKalb County.   

It is interesting to me that there is no movement within the newly formed cities to become unincorporated parts of the counties again! The other parts of DeKalb want to keep the proposed city of Brookhaven’s tax dollars for use throughout the county and have invested a lot of resources to stop the city of Brookhaven.

If the city of Brookhaven should unhappily not become a reality after the upcoming election, I believe DeKalb County will be even less responsive to the needs of this area. I encourage my neighbors to vote for more local control. better services and lower taxes! VOTE YES to the city of Brookhaven on July 31!

Helen Whitmer

Eddie E. July 14, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Dean, If anyone other than the yessers lie, please let us know.
Eddie E. July 14, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Pothole, Not really. The antics of childish yessers just makes me sleepy.
neal taylor July 19, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Pothole Pete: You guys never talk about TV and newspaper articles about all of the failing new cities in Atlanta. Fuzzy math, new fees, Peachtree Corners according to newspaper ads miss their budgetary numbers, and now and now are looking at three times their original mailout numbers quoted and more and more of the same in all of the new cities. I live here. You want to live here -- you don't, and you won't. Your yes people will bring nothing to the table but trouble. No facts, just potholes. Why do all of your pamphlets always have a picture of a black man on the front? Could you please put at least one picture with a little, fat white guy who wants to run Brokehaven? Your comments about Jim Eyre are misleading, dishonest, despicable, and unnecessary. Why did the yes-people want Mr. Eyre to be the mayor of your new city if what you said was true? Jim is one of the most intelligent, well thought out, and honest men that I know. He's always helping out, joining committees, offering his services for free -- to our schools, to our neighborhood, etc. For all his pro-bono efforts, hard work, and research he deserves an apology from the likes of you.
not one of 60 July 20, 2012 at 12:30 AM
Lol. Lol. Lol. Who needs a yes group when you have hamburger, fries, mesh and lies! Eddie Munster Rabbit too!
not one of 60 July 20, 2012 at 12:33 AM
What real cities are having problems, like Dekalbs 26 percent tax increase? Very confused here. All north Fulton cities have surpluses, again confused amused and roused! No is really for losers


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