Georgia has seen the creation of seven new municipalities since 2005: Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, Milton, Chattahoochee Hills, Dunwoody, Peachtree Corners, and now Brookhaven.
Brookhaven is the first to be located entirely inside the Perimeter.
Brookhaven’s unique ITP character gave rise to the most spirited referendum campaign of the seven cities. Some neighborhoods had more “Brookhaven Yes” signs than “No” signs. Others had more “No City” signs than “Yes” signs. There were plenty of political mailers and phone calls on both sides of the debate.
And when the dust settled, 55% of the voters said “Yes” to chart a new course for our community. This is a solid majority, but also the closest margin of any of the seven new cities.
Now the difficult work begins.
Some of that work involves crucial efforts to attract the best and brightest police force, to establish plans to aggressively and equitably improve parks and resurface streets so that all of our neighborhoods can enjoy the results we are expecting to see, to adopt zoning ordinances that reflect the aspirations of our community, and to operate as cost-efficiently as possible.
Equally critical is the need to unite our community. Although “Yes” and “No” votes were counted on Election Day, that day has passed. Whether you were a “Yes” voter or a “No” voter does not matter when it comes to addressing crime, potholes, park improvements, zoning decisions, and millage rates.
Governor Deal soon will appoint a five-member commission comprised of local residents to handle the transition into cityhood.
Qualifying for mayor and four city council seats begins Monday, August 13, at 9:00 a.m. and concludes Wednesday, August 15, at 4:30 p.m. at the DeKalb County Elections Office on Memorial Drive at I-285 across from the jail.
Click here to read the official notice about qualifying to run for mayor and city council.
Click here to view a map of the four city council districts. Each city council candidate must reside in the district he or she is seeking to represent. The mayor is elected at large and may reside anywhere in the city.
The mayor and city council election will be November 6. If necessary, a run-off election will be held December 4 for those seats in which a single candidate failed to surpass 50% of the vote. The city begins operations December 17.
The mayor and city council have a responsibility to bring our community together.
And citizens have the responsibility to hold them accountable. Each of us will be 1 of 12,000 citizens in a Brookhaven city council district, as opposed to being 1 of 138,000 in a county commission district. City hall is likely to be centrally located somewhere along Peachtree Road, as compared to county offices in Downtown Decatur. The mayor and councilmembers will be our neighbors.
Government closest to the people is the most accountable. Our voices have been strengthened. As citizens, it’s a power we should use.
Together, we are Brookhaven. This is a time for optimism. As an individual citizen, I look forward to working with my neighbors to build something great.