House Governmental Affairs Committee:
City of Decatur, GA leaders
The CHCA Board met on 1/11 and approved the following letter to the DeKalb Delegation. It was sent, with the attached map, via email. (The CHCA also encourages you to write your own letter to express your individual opinion- a list of committee member emails will be in an upcoming post)
January 11, 2015
To our elected representatives in the Georgia Legislature,
The Board of the Clairmont Heights Civic Association writes to protest the City of Decatur’s proposed Annexation Master Plan. We respectfully request that you object to legislation related to this plan during the 2015 session of the Georgia General Assembly.
Our Board feels that Decatur’s planned annexation harms and negatively impacts options for our neighborhood as annexation and city creation efforts in DeKalb County proceed. CHCA conducted a neighborhood survey in September to determine the course of action our residents preferred, and we have done our best to ensure that our opinions would be known and our voices heard as the legislature considers the current annexation and city creation efforts. CHCA officers and individual homeowners consulted with our local legislators and the Decatur City Manager to seek their advice over the past several months. In particular, following the advice we received from our local legislators, neighborhood members carefully pursued the petition process set forth by Decatur. Decatur declined to consider the petitions they had solicited.
The Clairmont Heights neighborhood abuts the City of Decatur (please see map attached as PDF). Our neighborhood students attend Fernbank Elementary School and Druid Hills High School, and Decatur’s proposal would change our contiguous nature to this school community. Specifically, the section designated as Area A would sever Clairmont Heights from the schools that have served it since the neighborhood was developed in the 1950s. Jurisdiction over the intersections involved in Area A is critical to safety, development, service delivery, and traffic issues important to our neighborhood, and our residents deserve a role in future developments in this key location.
The City of Decatur intends to annex predominantly commercial property historically and geographically connected to our neighborhood without accepting the adjacent residents and families who support these businesses. Their proposal would remove an estimated $8 million in annual tax revenue that supports our local schools while simultaneously cutting our contiguous relationship with these schools. Furthermore, the Decatur proposal negatively impacts other efforts our neighbors are pursuing to secure a strong voice for Clairmont Heights as DeKalb communities contemplate future city boundaries.
This intersection and section of North Decatur Road are currently proposed as possible routes for future light rail development. Decatur’s jurisdiction over this area leaves our neighborhood without a voice in a critical transportation issue.
We respectfully request that you object to annexation by the City of Decatur during the 2015 session.
Signed by Board members of the Clairmont Heights Civic Association
Michael Dowling, President
Pete Rumsey, Vice President
Pam Daily, Treasurer
Nancy Moore, Recording Secretary
Julia Byrne, Corresponding Secretary
Jim Smith, Brian Feagans, Ian Sifuentes , Mike Fink
CHCA: the first meeting of our newly elected Dekalb County school board is tomorrow (Mon) at 7pm, and will include the critical item re: the method of selecting a new Superintendent.
-- Beforehand at 5:45pm, the board holds a "Community Input Meeting." This is an excellent opportunity to speak to the board - but you must get on the speaker's list in advance.
To do so contact Margaret Francois:
North Druid Hills Association:
Is Unincorporated DeKalb a Viable Option?
Thu Jan 15 7:00 pm
Young Israel - 2056 LaVista Road
"Interim CEO Lee May and our District 2 Commissioner Jeff Rader will meet with our residents and those of both Merry Hills and LaVista Park to explore our ability to remain Unincorporated DeKalb County, even if there are municipalities around us."
Commissioner Kathie Gannon:
District 6 Events & January 13th BOC Agenda
(recycling, health insurance, senior services, movie night, Tucker-Northlake, homeless count, animal adoption)
ARC is hosting a community conversation: "Creating a Regional Strategic Plan for Aging Services." Help prioritize aging services within the Atlanta region for the next five years.
January 13, 2-4 PM
Central DeKalb Senior Center, 1356 McConnell Drive, Decatur
Dekalb County: Become an Informed and Effective Advocate for Your Neighborhood and Community
Tue, 1/20; 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
1300 Commerce Drive
Decatur, GA 30030
This workshop will provide you with the tools to become an active voice in your community on issues that matter to you. The topics that will be covered include an overview of the State Legislature, the state legislative process, lobbying do's and don'ts, and community organizing strategies. [READ MORE]
NeighborsNewspapers.com: Scores for the College & Career Ready Performance Index have been released and the City Schools of Decatur again surpassed the state average with a cumulative score of 87.3; the state average is 72. The DeKalb County School District has a cumulative score of 61.9, however it has seen an increase in its middle schools. [READ MORE]
Decaturish: Together in Atlanta representatives sat in front of a crowded room at Young Israel on LaVista Road on Jan. 7 and defended a proposal to annex the Druid Hills neighborhood into Atlanta.
The format proposed by the North Druid Hills Resident Association was to have TIA representatives and City Councilmember Alex Wan answer questions submitted on index cards. It wasn’t long before the conversation veered into the audience shouting questions – and a few accusations – at the panelists. [READ MORE]
Information regarding the Dekalb History Center's 2015 Spring/ Summer camps for kids [READ MORE]
The Clairmont Heights Civic Association Board will hold its January meeting on Sunday, January 11, 2015, at 3 pm. The location is 674 Densley Drive. Among other items, the officers will discuss the state of neighborhood affairs as the Georgia Legislative session begins.
Decaturish: Two local real estate agents say that annexation and cityhood will be on the minds of home buyers in DeKalb County this year.
There are several proposals for creating new cities and adding territory to existing cities. Areas that are unincorporated now could be within city limits by the end of 2015. All of the proposals will have to make it through the state General Assembly this year. The first day of the legislative session is Jan. 12. [READ MORE]
AJC: After a public meeting last month where many residents voiced an unequivocal distaste for annexation, Decatur’s longtime city manager Peggy Merriss sympathized. “I appreciate the passion,” she said. “And a lot of folks in Decatur are generally passionate about three things — their property, their children and their dogs.” [READ MORE]
You are invited to sign up to volunteer at the 13th annual Decatur Martin Luther King Jr. Service Project on the weekend of January 17-19. Volunteers will work on senior citizens’ homes in Decatur, making greatly needed repairs and doing yard work that the elderly homeowners have been unable to afford. There are volunteer opportunities available for skilled, unskilled and everyone in between. [READ MORE]
Decaturish: Proposals for new cities are likely to be on the agenda for the 2015 session of the state General Assembly. A special task force has made several recommendations to clean up the dysfunctional county government that’s motivating cityhood groups. [READ MORE]
City of Decatur - City Commission Meeting
1/5/2015 7:30 PM
Location: Decatur City Hall
509 N. McDonough Street
DecaturMetro: There’s been a lot of news coverage and discussion about annexation around DeKalb over the past year, with Decatur finally approving their own annexation Master Plan this month. But what’s the real likelihood that the Georgia Legislature will actually take up the issue of dealing with DeKalb’s many newly proposed and expanded cities? [READ MORE]
Decaturish: Avondale Estates City Commissioners will hold a special called meeting on Jan. 5, 2015 to discuss annexation. While an agenda hasn’t been published yet, it’s likely commissioners will consider approving an annexation master plan. [READ MORE]