Thank You!

May 21, 2014

Thank you for your support in yesterday’s Republican primary for State House District 80, covering Brookhaven, Chamblee and Sandy Springs. The final tally was 75% to 25%.

As I look back on 10 years of public service, I am grateful for the friendships and trust we’ve built. Our community is an outstanding place to live and work. Evan and I are proud to raise our family in Brookhaven. I am proud to practice law from a modest office in Sandy Springs.

Looking ahead, I am optimistic that the financial turnaround at MARTA slowly but surely will enable us to transform the agency into something that reaches beyond the confines of Fulton and DeKalb counties. It is also time to clean up DeKalb County’s tarnished reputation and diminish the size and scope of the Fulton County government.

Not every race on the primary election ballot ended yesterday. The Republican primary for U.S. Senate features a runoff between Jack Kingston and David Perdue. The DeKalb sheriff’s race pits Vernon Jones against the incumbent, Jeff Mann. The sheriff controls a large budget and has the ability to award contracts. A wise choice is essential. The runoff will be Tuesday, July 22.

I congratulate Catherine Bernard on a hard-fought campaign. She hails from the Liberty Caucus, a newer group within the Republican Party. I am hopeful we can find a way to work together. Although engaged citizens may disagree from time to time, what is great about our community is that we listen to each other and find common ground where possible.

Thanks again for your vote of confidence. Please contact me at (404) 590-7377 or repjacobs@gmail.com if I can assist with anything.

Onward and upward.


Election Day is Here

May 19, 2014

Tuesday, May 20, is primary election day. Your regular polling place will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

I am running in a contested Republican primary race for State House District 80. There will not be a November general election contest in our district. Tomorrow decides the election.

I respectfully ask for your vote.

We’ve accomplished a great deal in recent years, most notably the incorporation of Brookhaven and privatization and financial turnaround of MARTA, but there remains work to be done.

I plan to keep pushing to make the ten-year DeKalb County property tax assessment freeze (expires in 2016) a permanent measure, and to reduce the size and scope of the Fulton County government through a doubling of the Fulton homestead exemption. Both measures came close to passing in the current two-year term.

Please note there have been some voting precinct changes for this election:

- Some voters who live in the City of Brookhaven and used to vote at Montgomery Elementary will now be voting at the Kittredge Magnet School, 1663 East Nancy Creek Drive.

- All other voters who live in the City of Brookhaven and vote at Montgomery Elementary have been temporarily relocated to the Cross & Crown Lutheran Church, 4276 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, while Montgomery is undergoing renovations.

- All voters who live in the City of Chamblee and used to vote at the Kittredge Magnet School or Huntley Hills Elementary will now be voting at the Chamblee Civic Center, 3540 Broad Street.

Because this precinct shuffle is a bit confusing, you may want to use the Georgia Secretary of State’s “My Voter Page” to find your correct polling location:

mvp.sos.state.ga.us

Here are some other voting resources that you may find helpful:

DeKalb County Republican Sample Ballot
DeKalb County Democratic Sample Ballot
DeKalb County Nonpartisan Sample Ballot
Fulton County Republican Sample Ballot 1 of 2
Fulton County Republican Sample Ballot 2 of 2
Fulton County Democratic Sample Ballot 1 of 2
Fulton County Democratic Sample Ballot 2 of 2
Fulton County Nonpartisan Sample Ballot
Georgia Secretary of State “My Voter Page”
League of Women Voters/AJC Voter’s Guide
Brookhaven Reporter Voter’s Guide
Sandy Springs Reporter Voter’s Guide
Brookhaven Post Voter’s Guide

When election day is done tomorrow, I hope you will join me, my wife Evan and our supporters to celebrate and watch the results at the Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub in Town Brookhaven off Peachtree Road starting at 7:00 p.m.

If you have one of my signs in your yard, please leave it there through Thursday. As promised, my campaign staff will be picking up all yard signs on Wednesday and Thursday.

Thank you very much for the privilege of serving you.


Final Week of Early Voting

May 12, 2014

This week is the final week of early voting for the upcoming primary election. You can vote Monday, May 12, through Friday, May 16, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. For DeKalb County voters, the location closest to our community is the Chamblee Civic Center. For Fulton County voters, it is the Sandy Springs Public Library.

Below is a complete list of North DeKalb and Sandy Springs early voting locations. At the bottom of this message, you will find links to helpful sample ballots and voter guides.

DeKalb Early Voting (Monday – Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.)

Chamblee Civic Center, 3540 Broad Street, Chamblee 30341

Tucker Recreation Center, 4898 LaVista Road, Tucker 30084

DeKalb Voter Registration & Elections Office, 4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 300, Decatur 30032

Fulton Early Voting (Monday – Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.)

Sandy Springs Public Library, 395 Mount Vernon Hwy, Sandy Springs 30328

North Fulton Service Center, 7741 Roswell Road, Room 128,
Sandy Springs 30350

Helpful Voting Links

DeKalb County Republican Sample Ballot
DeKalb County Democratic Sample Ballot
DeKalb County Nonpartisan Sample Ballot
Fulton County Republican Sample Ballot 1 of 2
Fulton County Republican Sample Ballot 2 of 2
Fulton County Democratic Sample Ballot 1 of 2
Fulton County Democratic Sample Ballot 2 of 2
Fulton County Nonpartisan Sample Ballot
Georgia Secretary of State “My Voter Page”
League of Women Voters/AJC Voter’s Guide
Brookhaven Reporter Voter’s Guide
Sandy Springs Reporter Voter’s Guide
Brookhaven Post Voter’s Guide


Meet & Greet, Early Voting, Brookhaven Events

May 6, 2014

Wednesday, May 7, is my final “Meet & Greet” prior to the upcoming primary election. This one is a joint event with State Senator Fran Millar in Nancy Creek Heights, just north of Montgomery Elementary School off Ashford Dunwoody Road. We hope you’ll join us to talk about the state and local issues that are important to you. Here are the details:

Meet & Greet in Nancy Creek Heights
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Hosted by Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis,
Councilwoman Rebecca Chase Williams,
Shannon Cameron and Holly & Michael Snow
A joint event with State Senator Fran Millar
at the home of Holly & Michael Snow
4041 Navajo Trail
Brookhaven, GA 30319

Early voting for the primary election is ongoing. Several early voting locations are open this Saturday. The popular polling place at the Chamblee Civic Center will be open next week. For a list of nearby DeKalb and Fulton early voting locations and times, please click here.

The Brookhaven Post reports that the first Brookhaven Food Truck Roundup will be Wednesday, May 14, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Blackburn Park. The Roundup will be held every Wednesday throughout the summer.

Last but not least, the annual Brookhaven Bolt 5K race to benefit Ashford Park Elementary School will be Saturday, May 17. Registration ends May 14. Please visit BrookhavenBolt.com for more details.


Early Voting, Sample Ballots, Voter Guides

April 28, 2014

Early voting for the May 20th primary election has started. For your convenience, I have prepared a list of the DeKalb and Fulton early voting locations closest to our community and the dates and times these locations will be available. At the bottom of this message, you will find links to helpful sample ballots and voter guides.

My next neighborhood “meet and greet” will be this Thursday, May 1, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at The Brickery, 6125 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs 30328. This event is free and open to the public. Thank you to Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul, Councilman Gabriel Sterling, and Josh Belinfante for co-hosting the event.

The DeKalb County Republican Party will be hosting a forum for the candidates for DeKalb County Sheriff tomorrow, Tuesday, April 29, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Marist School, 3790 Ashford Dunwoody Road. This race is a special election that will appear on the primary ballots for both political parties.

DeKalb County Early Voting Locations & Times

DeKalb Voter Registration & Elections Office
4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 300
Decatur, GA 30032
Monday, April 28 – Friday, May 16
Monday – Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 10, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Tucker Recreation Center
4898 LaVista Road
Tucker, GA 30084
Monday, April 28 – Friday, May 16
Monday – Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 10, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Chamblee Civic Center
3540 Broad Street
Chamblee, GA 30341
Monday, May 12 – Friday, May 16, 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Fulton County Early Voting Locations & Times

North Fulton Service Center
7741 Roswell Road, Room 128
Sandy Springs, GA 30350
Monday, April 28 – Saturday, May 3, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Monday, May 5 – Saturday, May 10, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Monday, May 12 – Friday, May 16, 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Sandy Springs Library
395 Mount Vernon Highway
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
Monday, May 5 – Saturday, May 10, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Monday, May 12 – Friday, May 16, 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Helpful Voting Links

DeKalb County Republican Sample Ballot
DeKalb County Democratic Sample Ballot
DeKalb County Nonpartisan Sample Ballot
Fulton County Republican Sample Ballot 1 of 2
Fulton County Republican Sample Ballot 2 of 2
Fulton County Democratic Sample Ballot 1 of 2
Fulton County Democratic Sample Ballot 2 of 2
Fulton County Nonpartisan Sample Ballot
Georgia Secretary of State “My Voter Page”
League of Women Voters/AJC Voter’s Guide
Brookhaven Reporter Voter’s Guide
Sandy Springs Reporter Voter’s Guide
Brookhaven Post Voter’s Guide


Local Issues in the Legislature

April 22, 2014

Cross Keys Pages

This Wednesday, April 23, is the first of three neighborhood “meet and greet” events I will be holding across our community. This week’s event will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 1396 Tugaloo Drive in the Brookhaven Fields neighborhood. Click here for a full schedule of these events. Each “meet and greet” is free and open to the public.

This message is the second of a three-part series explaining legislation that was considered in the 2014 legislative session. This particular message concerns bills that pertain to our local community, except the bills I personally sponsored and passed. The first installment explained the bills I passed this year. Click here to read my first message.

Also of local interest, I had the privilege of hosting “Cross Keys Day at the Capitol” this year. A group of outstanding Cross Keys High School seniors served as my pages on one of the busiest days of the legislative session. Above is a photo of this excellent group of students. Because this year’s “Cross Keys Day at the Capitol” was a great success, I am going to repeat it every year.

Below is a summary of this year’s significant local bills. The hyperlinks will lead you to the full text and other details of each bill:

House Resolution 486 – The Georgia Constitution prohibits the creation of new city school systems. Existing city school systems such as Atlanta, Decatur and Marietta, are grandfathered to avoid this prohibition. HR 486 is constitutional amendment — requiring a two-thirds affirmative vote of the House and Senate — to enable the creation of independent municipal school systems in cities created on or after January 1, 2005. This would include Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. It also would allow cities adjacent to cities created on or after that date, such as Chamblee and Doraville, to have their own school systems. HR 486 also would permit any combination of these cities to form a unified independent school district. Thus, a school system could be created across Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Chamblee and Doraville. This proposal will be a multi-year project because it requires a supermajority in order to pass.

House Bill 905 and House Bill 906 – These bills would settle the Century Center annexation dispute between Chamblee and Brookhaven by “reannexing” Century Center into the City of Chamblee. In early 2013, the General Assembly passed a bill that would annex Century Center and the Dresden East Civic Association (DECA) neighborhoods into the City of Chamblee if the voters approved the annexation in a November 2013 referendum. Between the passage of the original bill and the referendum, a vote of the Brookhaven City Council was taken to annex Century Center into the City of Brookhaven. In November 2013, the annexation referendum passed with 61% of the vote. I supported these bills because they are important to keeping a promise that the General Assembly made to the voters who supported the Chamblee referendum. They are on the Governor’s desk.

House Bill 1065 – DeKalb County presently has a ten-year property tax assessment freeze that will expire in 2016. I was the main sponsor of HB 1065 which will make the assessment freeze a permanent measure. This bill requires a majority vote of the representatives and senators who represent portions of DeKalb County. It passed the House but fell short in the Senate. I plan to revive it in 2015.

Senate Bill 95 – I support abolition of DeKalb’s unique-in-Georgia, highly dysfunctional CEO form of government. Until we find the votes in the DeKalb legislative delegation to accomplish that goal, however, SB 95 would have made the CEO position a non-partisan office. Presently, the DeKalb CEO is a partisan office elected in the Democratic primary. By making it a non-partisan position, Republican voters would be empowered to play a role in the selection of the county’s chief administrator. The bill failed on the House floor because there is insufficient support for adding non-partisan offices in Georgia, except for judgeships.

Senate Bill 367 – Attorney General Sam Olens issued a written opinion that Interim CEO Lee May continues to represent District 5 (Southeast DeKalb) on the DeKalb County Commission in addition to his appointed position as Interim CEO, effectively leaving District 5 without representation. SB 367 contains a provision that was added as a House floor amendment to permit the remaining six members of the DeKalb County Commission to appoint a temporary commissioner to replace Lee May until he is no longer the Interim CEO or his current term on the county commission concludes, whichever is sooner.

House Bill 390 – This bill would have allowed DeKalb County to impose an additional penny sales tax for transportation purposes — increasing the sales tax from the current 7 cents to 8 cents — but only if each and every municipality within the county agreed to allow this sales tax to go to a referendum. I voted against this bill. It narrowly failed on the House floor.

House Bill 819 – This bill would have stopped Fulton County Tax Commissioner Arthur Ferdinand from personally profiting from the sale of property tax liens to a private company. The bill passed the House with my full support but never passed the Senate.

Lakeside and Tucker – Near the end of this year’s legislative session, a compromise was struck to enable these two proposals for new cities in Central DeKalb to move forward. Unfortunately, a legal technicality made it impossible to pass the compromise this year. Although the bills are taking a one-year lap, both proposals likely will receive legislative consideration next year.


Rep. Jacobs Bills Reach Governor’s Desk

March 30, 2014

The 2014 legislative session concluded on March 20, 2014, earlier than any other legislative session in the past 18 years. This is the first of a series of messages to update you on what passed and what didn’t pass this year.

I am pleased to report that every bill I was pushing this year has passed and is awaiting Governor Deal’s approval or already has been signed into law. These five bills are as follows:

1&2. House Bill 264 and House Bill 265 (click to read the bills) – These bills, known as the “MARTA bills,” have been a three-year project. The MARTA board of directors currently has 11 voting members. Four of these members are appointed by the DeKalb County Commission, and three are appointed by the Fulton County Commission. Of the Fulton members, two are required to be residents of North Fulton. HB 264 will change one of the DeKalb members to be appointed by a caucus of the DeKalb mayors. The two North Fulton members will be appointed by a caucus of the North Fulton mayors. This will give cities such as Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, Chamblee and Dunwoody direct influence on the MARTA board.

HB 264 streamlines the required collective bargaining process with the transit union by eliminating an inefficient arbitration proceeding. The superior court judge who now will resolve collective bargaining issues on a 90-day deadline will be required to take into account MARTA’s ten-year financial projections in making a decision on union demands. MARTA also will be given more flexibility to manage its financial resources, including three years of relief from the “50-50 split” which requires 50 percent of all sales tax revenues to be allocated to capital projects and no more than 50 percent on operations.

HB 264 gives MARTA the authority to impose fines and penalties on riders who engage in nuisance behavior. This is an effort to enhance public safety on the system.

HB 265, the other bill of the pair, repeals two outdated provisions of the general Georgia Code pertaining to MARTA. It also gives Clayton County voters the opportunity to join MARTA if they vote no later than 2016 to pay the penny sales tax that is charged in Fulton and DeKalb.

As I have said previously, I am pleased that MARTA is privatizing key operations on its own, without any legislative mandates. MARTA is beginning to see cost savings from this effort.

Thank you to Senator Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta) and Senator Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody) for their assistance in the Senate in ensuring passage of these two bills.

3. House Bill 979 (click to read) – This bill completes the reduction of the DeKalb County Board of Education from nine seats to seven seats effective January 1, 2015. Governor Deal signed this bill into law on February 26, 2014, the same day it achieved final passage in the General Assembly.

HB 979 scraps the two “super districts” that each encompass half the county, retains the seven existing single-member districts that are fairly and logically drawn, and will ensure stable governance on our formerly troubled school board. Without HB 979, this year’s school board elections could not have gone forward. Click here for a WABE news story regarding this bill.

Thank you to Senator Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody) and Senator Emanuel Jones (D-Decatur) for their help in passing HB 979 in the Senate.

4. Senate Bill 386 (click to read) – This bill requires redaction of personal information such as social security numbers and bank account numbers in civil filings in state court. This privacy measure was a joint effort with Senator John Albers (R-Roswell). It is modeled after Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5.2, which is a similar rule that applies in federal court.

5. House Bill 1136 (click to read) – This bill authorizes the City of Brookhaven to utilize tax allocation districts (TADs) if the citizens vote in favor of this redevelopment mechanism in a referendum this November. TADs do not impose new or additional taxes, but rather allow the marginal increases in commercial property taxes that automatically may result from commercial redevelopment to be used for infrastructure improvements in a localized area.

This bill was passed at the request of the City of Brookhaven. If approved by the voters, TADs could be used to spur redevelopment in areas such as Buford Highway in the future.


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