Brookhaven voters decide July 31 whether to create a new city. In the weeks leading up the vote, we asked residents at different events for their feelings about the proposed new city. We talked to potential voters at Oglethorpe University during the Brookhaven Reporter’s forum on creation of a new city, at the Brookhaven Farmers Market, at Montgomery Elementary School before a Brookhaven Yes town hall meeting and at the Cherokee Plaza shopping center. Their opinions varied widely, but nearly all had given the proposal some serious thought. Here is a unscientific sampling of voters’ sentiments in weeks leading up to the election.
For full July 31 election coverage, visit Reporternewspapers.net.
“I am going to vote ‘yes’ because I don’t like DeKalb County government. I just don’t like them.”- David Wines
“I’m for it, mainly because the drive down to DeKalb County for different zoning procedures is too long. It’s an hour [drive] down there. I’d rather get to go to something local and try to be more involved.”- Giles Stevens
“Against. First of all, if you are going to have a major medical provider, would you go with just one opinion? That’s what Brookhaven Yes has done. They’ve gone with the Carl Vinson Institute study, which was seriously flawed in the case of Peachtree Corners. And unincorporated DeKalb [County residents] will benefit from the HOST next year and their millage rate actually will go below the city of Brookhaven’s. We are referring to it as ‘Brokehaven.’”- Lissie Stahlman
“I’m against it. I think the last thing we need is another layer of government with more bureaucrats running around and more taxes.”- Matt O’Neal
“I’m going to vote yes, simply because I believe can have better services at the same tax cost.” -Scott Phillips
“I’m for it. My son thinks it’s a good idea. He thinks it will be less expensive, with less taxation and better services.”- Ruth Mitchell
“I’m for it. Anything to get of DeKalb County I’m for. That was the opening salvo for me, to know I wanted out [of DeKalb County}. I’d rather us have more control of our community.”- Gene Melton
“I don’t know enough about it. I don’t know the pros and cons. But I’m going to [before the election]. I plan to live here forever.”-Gladys Jules
“I’m in favor. I’m a small business owner and DeKalb County resident. I run a business impacted by the DeKalb parks department. We don’t get the best service for parks. Additionally, I like the idea of having a city where I can talk to the people I need help from, instead of driving to Decatur.”-Mari Garner
“No city, because I understand we would pay more taxes.”- Rita Flores
“I have to look at this a little more, but my general feeling is I don’t think we need a city. I think we do fine with DeKalb County.”- Christy Emory
“I’m on the fence, too. The local services sound nice, but I have a feeling that after the first year, the taxes will go up. It’s a bet I’m not sure I’m willing to make yet.”- Deanna Corbitt
“I’m on the fence. It’s either more government or less government and how much I like DeKalb County. I was 100 percent against it, then I started reading about it and thinking about it and now I’m leaning toward it” – Chip Corbitt
“I’m going to vote against. I don’t think we need another layer of government. I don’t think the areas they’re talking about witching – police and parks – are areas of weakness for DeKalb County. Plus, the shortfall [in taxes] will be made up somewhere.”- Scott Burnett