At its first meeting, the Governor’s Commission on Brookhaven told a standing room only crowd at St. Martin’s Episcopal School how it plans to move forward over the next few weeks to create a municipal structure for the new city of Brookhaven.
Chairman Ben Vinson said the commission will prepare a report for the future mayor and city council that will include recommendations for city staff, a location for city hall and what services the city will be prepared to deliver.
“Our job is to be an interim or transitional government until the election occurs Nov. 6 and the city elects a new mayor and city council members,” Vinson said.
He joked that the commission, which was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal Aug. 31, is similar to a city council. “The key difference is we have no actual authority and we have no money.”
Vinson said he would soon announce committee chairs who will head groups to research different aspects of city government, such as police, parks and zoning.
The commission approved three resolutions: one adopting Robert’s Rules of Order, one to create committees and one to appoint Bill Riley as the commission’s pro bono attorney.
Riley said he has volunteered his services to the governor’s commissions for each of the new cities that has been created in the Atlanta area, beginning with Sandy Springs in 2005.
“I’ve been part of the team that has started every city,” Riley said.
Kim Gokce, the representative for Brookhaven’s District 4, announced that the commission will keep the public updated through its website, brookhavencommission.com, as well as through Facebook and Twitter. The commission plans to meet on Thursdays at 8 p.m.
District 3 representative Jed Beardsley suggested holding a contest for Brookhaven schools to create a logo for the new city.
“It’s just an idea to have a little fun and get some community interest going,” Beardsley said. “I felt like it would engage students in awareness of the creation of the city.”
The commission members urged people to contact them if they are interested in serving on committees.
“There’s a lot of passionate people in Brookhaven,” said District 1 representative JD Clockadale. “The committees are going to be the most effective way to be heard. Make sure to get involved.”