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Posted by on January 24, 2013.

VIDEO: Brookhaven Commission chairman talks new cities, police at BBA meeting

Ben Vinson, who served as chairman of the Governor's Commission on Brookhaven, holds up a copy of the official report the commission produced. Vinson spoke at a Jan. 24 Buckhead Business Association meeting.

Ben Vinson, who served as chairman of the Governor’s Commission on Brookhaven, holds up a copy of the official report the commission produced. Vinson spoke at a Jan. 24 Buckhead Business Association meeting.

A local attorney who helped breathe life into the new city of Brookhaven said momentum for new cities may be waning.

He also said Brookhaven could have its own police force up and running within six months.

Ben Vinson, an attorney who chaired the Governor’s Commission on Brookhaven, spoke during the Buckhead Business Association’s weekly breakfast meeting Jan. 24.

Vinson noted that the effort to incorporate Brookhaven resulted in a close vote on the idea, with 55 percent residents supporting it and 45 percent opposing it. Sandy Springs voters, by contrast, voted overwhelmingly to incorporate in 2005, with 94 percent of voters saying they wanted a new city. Vinson said there are very few areas left that would be likely to incorporate.

“I would certainly say, from a personal standpoint, when you get to the point where it was a 54-55 to 45 vote that’s telling,” Vinson said. “I think when you have a 90 percent vote that’s telling.”

The Governor’s Commission on Brookhaven was a quasi-governmental body tasked with setting up the new city. The commission dissolved when Brookhaven began operations in December. Vinson, who lives in Brookhaven, is an attorney with McKenna Long & Aldridge. His areas of expertise include state and local issues, campaign and election law, economic development and legislation.

Vinson led the Brookhaven Commission’s Transition Services Committee which helped set up the city’s interim services.

Currently DeKalb County is providing police services to the city, but Vinson said that will soon change.

“A lot of your primary functions will still be delivered by DeKalb, schools, water and sewer,” Vinson said. “Currently police, which is a major function that the city will eventually take over but it’s not possible to do that (now), you will probably see police taking over in the next six months.”

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