Thursday, March 6, 2014

MANA statement to the GA Legislature regarding cityhood and annexation

... from the MANA Board. 

March 5, 2014  
To the Members of the Governmental Affairs Committee: 
The Medlock Area Neighborhood association has closely followed the cityhood proposals for DeKalb County.  We have strongly supported the City of Briarcliff Initiative because it is the only cityhood proposal to give our neighborhood the possibility of expressing our opinions through our votes. Now, we are appalled to learn that part of our neighborhood is being excluded even from the latest proposed Briarcliff map because of back room deals with existing cities, in our case Decatur. We realize that maps will be changing until the final vote. However, the ham-handed way this issue has been handled has reflected badly on everybody involved in it. 
We are not na├»ve about the political process, but a major argument in favor of new cities is that they will lead to more transparency in government, at least in the beginning. This process has destroyed even that tattered illusion. It has created more distrust in government than existed before, which is saying quite a lot. 
We respectfully ask you not to consider arbitrarily breaking up existing neighborhoods under any circumstances because a small piece of the neighborhood borders on something that an existing city MIGHT want in the future. The Medlock neighborhood goes all the way to Scott Blvd and should not be truncated because of some vague desires that will probably never be acted on. Even considering such action is arrogant, manifestly unfair to the citizens of the entire area, and wrong. 
More importantly, we urge you, our elected representatives, to assume responsibility to slow this race to cityhood. It has become confusing, embarrassing, and damaging to all of us. If there truly are valid reasons for a new city, then waiting a year or so should make those reasons more valid. Of course, there are terrible problems with DeKalb County, but creating flawed new municipalities will not help anybody, except those who profit from them.  As it is, this entire process has created frustration and cynicism among the voters and done severe damage to our belief in the possibility of true democracy in Georgia.

Please stop this.  You can do better, and you owe it to the voters to give us all more time to consider the details and implications of these proposals. 
Thank you.
The Medlock Area Neighborhood Association (MANA) Board

If you would like to reach out to your elected officials, the House Governmental Affairs Committee will hold hearings about both the Briarcliff and Lakeside proposals today March 6, 1-3pm. See the meeting notice here. Per the Briarcliff Facebook page, Briarcliff statements will be heard at 1pm and Lakeside's at 2pm. The Briarcliff Facebook page also has a map with directions. 

If you can't make it to this meeting, we encourage you to call or email the House Governmental Affairs Committee:
Rep. Amy Carter, Chairman
Rep. Buzz Brockway, Vice Chair
Rep. Darlene Taylor, Secretary

Additionally, you may want also want to communicate your thoughts to the Speaker of the House, David Ralston ( and to Senator Jason Carter (, who recently aired his concerns about the current process.
For your convenience, all the emails above in an easy cut-and-paste format:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;