CH Neighborhood annexation update - A summary of CHCA activity

CH Neighborhood annexation update - A summary of CHCA activity
The GA legislature addressed a number of the annexation bills that potentially affect our neighborhood during the current week, and we should expect more information today (Friday, March 20, 2015). In the last seven days, the CHCA Board met with both of our legislative representatives, Rep. Rahn Mayo and Sen. Elena Parent, to represent what we feel is the best outcome for our neighborhood.
In previous newsletters, the CHCA Board appealed to all neighborhood residents to express their opinions about two critical issues: (1) our neighborhood's presence on the Atlanta annexation map, and (2) the Decatur annexation plan that includes all four corners of the intersection of Clairmont at North Decatur. The CHCA Board made significant efforts to keep us on the Atlanta map so that we would retain our access to our schools and to ensure that we have a vote and a voice with regard to annexation. The Board opposed Decatur's plan to annex the Clairmont intersection, with continued access to our schools as one consideration and retaining a voice with regard to future development at this location a second important consideration. We arrived at both positions after studying the results of our neighborhood survey and carefully considering the potential impact of both issues on our neighborhood's future options to achieve the goals that you stated were most important to you.
In the last seven days, the CHCA Board met with both of our legislative representatives, Rep. Rahn Mayo and Sen. Elena Parent. At both meetings we made every effort to demonstrate the logical basis of our desires and urged both to pursue goals that were consistent and favorable to our own. Both of our area legislators expressed a desire to help our area achieve a fair outcome and thanked us for providing community input. The Board (along with other neighbors working with us) has remained in regular, daily contact with people at the Capitol who can provide information about rapidly changing developments. We are doing our best to represent what we feel is the best outcome for our neighborhood.

LaVista Hills Map Proposal introduced on Thursday, March 19, 2015

State Senator Fran Millar (R - Senate District 40) introduced a new version of the map for the proposed City of LaVista Hills in hearings at the Capitol yesterday. A scanned version of the map provided at the hearing can be found here


Publix Marathon Runs Through Decatur Sunday, Expect Traffic Delays

DecaturMetro: According to the schedule posted on the marathon’s website, you will see road closures around Decatur between 7:30a-11a. [READ MORE]


ICEO Lee May Appoints Special Investigators

DeKalb Interim CEO Lee May signed an executive order which provides for the installation of two special investigators to review government operations and make recommendations to appropriate authorities, based upon their findings.

Interim CEO May appointed Michael J. Bowers and Richard L. Hyde as the special investigators to provide a thorough systematic review of DeKalb County Government policies and procedures.  Bowers and Hyde are empowered to identify any conflicts of interest, corruption or malfeasance and make specific recommendations to the administration and appropriate agencies as needed. [READ MORE]

Electronics Recycling Event This Saturday

DecaturMinute: This weekend you can recycle your old electronics and Styrofoam and safely shred and recycle your documents all in one place. It’s simple and convenient. Just drop off your recyclables on Saturday, March 21 from 9 a.m. though 1 p.m. (Sorry, early drop-offs are not possible.)  [MORE INFO]

Fernbank PTA: CCRPI Scores

Fernbank Elementary PTA:

Once again, Fernbank has reason to celebrate.  Recently, DCSD recalibrated the overall 2014 CCRPI scores for all schools within the DeKalb County School System.  With the new calculations, Fernbank Elementary now has the highest overall CCRPI score (95.6) for elementary schools in the district.  This recognition could not have occurred without the support and commitment of the teaching and non-teaching staff, and incredible parental support and fantastic administration. Cheers to our outstanding neighborhood school!

Additionally, Fernbank was highlighted and recognized by our District Leaders as one of DeKalb’s Top Five Overall Elementary School scores.
 Elementary Schools
DCSD Top Five – Elementary School, Overall Scores
School Overall Score Title I Region
Fernbank 95.6   2
Austin 95.5   1
Vanderlyn 93.6   1
Wadsworth Magnet 93.3   5
The Museum School 92.1   4
For more information on CCRPI scores and resources, please log on to

Atlanta Annexation Bill Moves Forward

Druid Hills Civic Association: House Bill 586 and an accompanying map have been released. The bill, sponsored by State Representative Pat Gardner (D), Atlanta, was applauded by the pro-annexation group Together in Atlanta.

“The map contains discrepancies that have to be fixed.  But I am very happy the legislature is working hard to allow us this referendum on annexation,” said TIA co-chair Anne Wallace.     [MORE INFO]



Thu 3/12 - "Townhall On Cityhood & Annexation"

Tonight  - (note time change)
"Townhall On Cityhood & Annexation"
State Senator Elena Parent (D, Senate District 42) will host a Town Hall Meeting for her constituents. This is a great opportunity to ask questions related to the status of annexation and city creation efforts in central DeKalb.
Thursday, March 12th, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Young Israel of Toco Hills
2056 LaVista Road Atlanta, GA 30329

House approves cities of LaVista Hills and Tucker




Cityhood bills to go before state House

WSB: With Friday's critical Crossover Day looming under the Gold Dome, the state House is scheduled to vote on three bills today that could lead to the creation of three new cities in metro Atlanta. If passed by lawmakers this session and approved by local voters in November, Tucker and LaVista Hills would become the newest cities in DeKalb County.   [MORE INFO]


"DeKalb County Commission cuts garbage service to one day per week"

Decaturish: Garbage pickup in DeKalb County will soon be reduced from two days a week to one day a week as part of a cost-saving measure proposed by interim County CEO Lee May.

County Commissioners approved the plan at the commission’s March 10 meeting.

In addition to cutting back the number of days, garbage collectors would also pick up yard waste and recycling on the same day. That means residents will only see garbage trucks one time each week instead of four. Collection fees will not increase as part of the plan. County residents pay roughly $265 annually for trash collection services.   [READ MORE]


"Decatur development’s second phase adds 450 apartments"



Electronics Recycling Event - Sat Mar 14, 9am-2pm

Keep Dekalb Beautiful:

Electronics Recycling - Sat March 14, 9am-2pm

Dekalb Tax Office - 4380 Memorial Drive 

(Free compost available as well)



State Senator Elena Parent hosting Town Hall Meeting next Thursday

State Senator Elena Parent (D, Senate District 42) will host a Town Hall Meeting for her constituents.  This is a great opportunity to ask questions related to the status of annexation and city creation efforts in central DeKalb.

Thursday, March 12th, 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Young Israel of Toco Hills
2056 LaVista Road Atlanta, GA 30329


DeKalb Cityhood Bills Clear Key Committee, But Border Disputes Remain

WABE: Legislation that would allow residents to create two new cities in DeKalb County is a step closer to a vote by the Georgia House, but border disputes remain unresolved.

A House committee Wednesday approved bills that could pave the way for the new cites of LaVista Hills and Tucker in central DeKalb. Rep. Tom Taylor, R-Dunwoody, is the sponsor of the LaVista Hills bill and says residents want a more efficient and responsive government. [MORE INFO]

Notes from Phase II community meeting: Fuqua's "Decatur Crossing" development

MANA: The meeting was held on March 2 at the North Decatur United Methodist Church to share information about Phase II of Fuqua's proposed development. Phase I has been approved and Fuqua expects demolition of the old Scott Bldvd Baptist Church and houses on Barton Way to begin shortly.

Details on Phase I, approved in April 2014, are available here. Phase II plans had been vague because there was no certainty about Fuqua's ability to purchase homes on Blackmon and extend the development; those plans had included owner-occupied town homes as a buffer between the new development and existing Blackmon homes. [MORE INFO]



From Mary Margaret Oliver's newsletter today -

Many of you are closely following all the cityhood and annexation activities in DeKalb County, and there has been movement and accelerating confusion in the last week. See Mark Niese's AJC story of March 5th,ilink here. House bills to create new cities of Tucker, LaVista Hills, South Fulton, have been introduced, and passed in less than 48 hours out of subcommittee and full committee of Governmental Affairs. All three proposed cities have border disputes with adjoining cities or proposed annexations by the City of Atlanta. Passage violated the Governmental Affairs Committee rules just adopted at the beginning of this Session that allegedly denied a city the right to move forward as long as border disputes existed. I made formal objections to passage based on rule violations, to no avail. Oh well.

I anticipate, however, that the City of Atlanta will offer a specific map for voters in the 82nd House District to have a referendum on whether they wish to be included in the City of Atlanta in 2015, and that the proposed new cities of LaVista Hills and Tucker may also pass the Legislature this year. Border disputes must and will be resolved, but I do not know how or when, or how these resolutions may impact Decatur's decision on annexation of a limited area of commercial and residential areas.

Our process on these important issues of cityhood is not clear, and the issues are very contentious. I hope to report in the last days of the 2015 Session on decisions made with greater transparency and clarity that will help you know your referendum options.

Thank you for your patience. I am hoping for a higher degree of patience myself. Whatever happens, please remember that ultimate decisions on cities or annexations will be made by the voters by referendum.

THANK YOU! I am interested in your advice and comments.


Cityhood legislation rapidly moves ahead



Reform Ethics, Audit and Procurement in DeKalb

Three bills have been introduced in the State Senate that address Blueprint DeKalb's positions on Audit, Ethics and Procurement -- SB 120, SB 118 and SB 121 respectively.

PLEASE GET BEHIND THESE BILLS and PUSH -  Please copy the email message below (filling in the blanks) and paste it into the blank but pre-addressed email (Senate SLOGO committee & House DeKalb delegation) that opens when you CLICK HERE

Suggested Subject line:  Reform Ethics, Audit and Procurement in DeKalb Now!


My name is ________________________________.

My zip code is: ____________.

Residents of DeKalb County and the Atlanta metropolitan region recognize that DeKalb County government needs reform now.  I support the amendments to the DeKalb Organizational Act recommended by the Operations Task Force, the Blueprint to Redefine DeKalb and other citizen led organizations.  

I urge you to support the following:

1.      Senate Bill 121 - Amend the DeKalb County Organizational Act in the 2015 legislative session to establish and provide mandatory funding for an Office of Independent Internal Audit.  Establish an oversight committee of qualified DeKalb County citizens to select the Auditor.  Audits and related reports shall be publicly published and presented at regularly scheduled meetings to the CEO, Board of Commissioners (BOC), and oversight committee.  Other recommendations by the Operations Task Force should be considered as well.

2.      Senate Bill 118 - Amend the DeKalb County Organizational Act in the 2015 legislative session to mandate reforms to the Code of Ethics.  Require that members of the Board of Ethics be selected by an independent, impartial commission, that there be mandatory funding, expand the list of persons under the jurisdiction of the Board of Ethics and enact other recommendations of the Operations Task Force.

3.      Senate Bill 120 - Amend the DeKalb County Organizational Act in the 2015 legislative session to revise the current county Procurement Policy.  The Organizational Act shall set spending authority limits, prohibit contract-splitting, and enact other details for a purchasing policy as recommended by the Operations Task Force.

4.      Establish and fund a Charter Review Commission comprised of qualified citizens from across the county of which at least half of the voting members will not be elected officials.  The Commission shall be tasked with reviewing the entire DeKalb Organizational Act and recommending reforms and revisions, paying particular attention to issues the Operations Task Force raised, including those for which no recommendations were developed.  The DeKalb legislative delegation will be expected to support the final Commission recommendations without amendment.


3/2: NOW is the time to contact our legislators! Voice your opinion about the future for Clairmont Heights.

Dear neighbors,

We are sending this appeal a second time because we believe this is a crucial time in the 2015 Georgia legislative session. The CHCA Board has been watching developments related to annexation and the possible creation of new cities and staying in touch with our area's representatives about the status of various proposals. The CHCA Board urges you to make your opinion known to our legislators.

In our September community survey (results available here), Clairmont Heights residents expressed a strong desire to join an existing city. Consistent with this result, we supported neighborhood efforts to join either the City of Decatur or the City of Atlanta. Following the advice of our area's legislators, a neighborhood group made a good faith effort to ask Decatur to consider adding us to their annexation map. Although the City of Decatur refused to consider annexing residential neighborhoods, the proposed map for an Atlanta annexation does include Clairmont Heights. The Atlanta option offers continued access to both Fernbank Elementary and Druid Hills High School, so the Board has worked to safeguard our access to these facilities because residents placed great importance on school concerns in the survey. We recently sent two different statements to our legislators as we worked to retain our neighborhood's position at the table during this legislative discussion:

--The Board previously asked our representatives to oppose Decatur's unreasonable annexation plan. (Review this statement here.)

--The Board recently called for our legislators to keep us as part of an Atlanta annexation and and retain access to our schools. (Read here.)

YOUR voice is urgently needed at this point. In particular, think about and comment on two important aspects of the annexation debate: (1) Decatur should NOT be allowed to annex almost ALL commercial areas adjacent to us and AVOID providing services to homeowners nearby. (2) Our representatives should SUPPORT and RESPECT our desire to remain on an Atlanta annexation bill that keeps us with our schools.

The CHCA Board recommends that you voice your opposition to Decatur's Master Annexation Plan because it grabs revenue from our kids' schools without taking our kids. 

The last week has brought rumors of changing maps for this area, so the Board also suggests that you call upon our legislators to keep Clairmont Heights as part of the Atlanta annexation map. We deserve a voice and a vote about any annexation bill that affects our access to either Druid Hills High School or Fernbank Elementary. We have been members and strong supporters of these schools since our neighborhood - and Fernbank itself - were built. Any proposal that severs that relationship should NOT move forward.

Since completing our community survey back in September, 2014, the CHCA Board has worked diligently to keep our representatives informed about your wishes. Your personal emails and phone calls will create a stronger impression. The best time to do this is right now. See the full story for legislative contact information.

A city-creation bill (Lavista Hills) must be introduced by the legislative "Crossover" day - March 13, 2015 - while an Atlanta or Decatur annexation bill has a slightly later deadline, so this is truly an urgent issue. 


Please contact our areas representatives by email or phone:

Elena Parent (Senator, District 42)  404.656.5109 ,

Rahn Mayo (House Representative, District 84)

We recommend sending your email to the remaining members of the DeKalb delegation:

Stacey Abrams

Karen Bennett

Dee Dawkins-Haigler

Karla Drenner

Michele Henson

Scott Holcomb

Mike Jacobs

Darshun Kendrick

Billy Mitchell

Howard Mosby

Mary Margret Oliver  

Tonia Peterson-Anderson

Pamela Stephenson

Tom Taylor

Ernest Williams

Gloria Butler

Gail Davenport

Steve Henson

Emanuel Jones

Fran Millar

Ronald Ramsey


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