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Lively debate and opposing opinions are welcome, but please behave courteously and responsibly.

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Thank you for your interest in the City of Tucker.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Residents Fight to Save the City That Isn't There

Residents Fight to Save the City That Isn't There

An article in USA Today, featuring Tucker, its long history, its active community and its battle against the Forces of Evil, represented by the LCA and the proposed City of Lakeside, may it rest in peace.

The main article can be found HERE.

Kevin Levitas Responds to the AJC

Kevin Levitas

LCA's Kevin Levitas' response to AJC editorial/reporting staff re: one-sided article from 3/23/13: 

While I do not anticipate that any what follows will make it into a follow-up article or as part of a retraction, it is nonetheless important to have a record of the facts because the truth really does matter. I have spoken with you both you repeatedly and at length over the last year about cityhood and have been easy to reach, so shame on you for not having the journalistic integrity to engage in even remedial fact-checking before submitting your flawed piece. 

I will respond to the erroneous points raised in the order in which you presented them:

1. "[D]esperate Lakeside backers, who were watching their effort fall apart last week, drafted Jacobs to work his magic again." This is utterly false. At no time did anyone from the Lakeside City Alliance ask or "draft" Rep. Jacobs into the process. Rep. Jacobs's statements to the House Governmental Affairs Committee came as a surprise to Alliance members and, I believe, to the sponsor of SB 270. 

2. Lakeside had "an identity based around a high school district, not a historic community." One of the more tiresome notions espoused by April and other pro-Tucker supporters is the idea that Tucker is a "real" community, but other areas are not. Tucker is, of course, a strong and historic community, but the idea that our community is somehow less historic is absurd. 

My writing to correct the many grievous errors you published is not the proper venue for a history lesson, and your post-hoc education cannot “unprint” your misstatements. Nonetheless, it might be interesting for you, at another time, to examine who Greenville Henderson was, where he lived and the genesis of communities between modern-day Tucker and Chamblee. Before you went to press, you might have spoken with longtime members of our community to get some minimal background, but, as your hit-piece now attests, you chose to opt for a less labor-intensive route. 

The discussion above, however, somewhat misses the larger point, which is: for those of us who were born and raised in this part of DeKalb County, who love, who have served and who continue to serve our community, it is offensive and crass to suggest that we are somehow unequal to Tucker. You do not need to denigrate one community in order to promote another in your story. It is regrettable that you chose this path.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The DeKalb Executive Order

Lee May Issues an Executive Order for the Creation of a Task Force on DeKalb County Operations

Having lucked out and gotten their one-year moratorium by default, not merit, DeKalb County Interim Chief Executive Officer Lee May has issued an Executive Order with the purported purpose of examining DeKalb County government, county services and incorporation.

The Executive Order can be seen, after the break.

"They Were a Sleeping Dog . . " .

Give Me a 'T'!
Why Lakeside Cityhood Push Failed

An article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Friday, March 21, 2014, by April Hunt and Bill Torpy, is a well-written, in-depth article exploring the legislative push for the City of Lakeside, the forces gathered against it, and the ultimate reasons it failed.

The article can be found HERE. For the moment it is not behind the pay-to-view firewall.

Tucker Resident Honored by Legislature!


Tucker Resident Commended in House Resolution!

A Tucker resident was given an incredible honor by the House of Representatives in the closing days of its 2014 session, in a Resolution honoring and commending their contribution to our community. Coming as an absolute and total surprise, the Resolution recognizes the incredible work, community involvement and influence of our friend and neighbor.

We should all give a hearty Well Done! and Thank You! to this fine and upstanding citizen.

The formal Resolution can be found after the break.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Alrighty Then, Let's Roll Up Our Sleeves and Get Back To Work!

How the Mighty Have Fallen!

The Lakeside Bill Dies In Committee! Actually It and St. Francis of Dunwoody Went Down In a MURDER - SUICIDE.

The recording of the House Governmental Affairs Committee meeting, held on March 17, 2014, can be found HERE.

With our apologies, we should note that the Live Stream of the hearing started late and only begins after Rep. Mike Jacobs has begun his testimony. The recording lasts less than 16 minutes. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

LCA Shenanigans

Credibility is not their strong suit.

For all seven versions of the Lakeside map, including the latest, issued on Friday, March 14, 2014, look back at the previous article on this blog - Lakeside Rapes the Tucker Community. Again. This article has been updated to keep all the Lakeside maps together in one spot.

To the other article, click HERE.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A New Tucker Map. So, What Else Is New?

If this keeps up, I'm going to run out of space on this blog.

The latest change merely puts the entire Pleasantdale precinct back into Lakeside. Tucker got nothing in exchange.

This is the version of Tucker that will be used at the next Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, now scheduled for Monday afternoon, March 17, 2014. Unless, of course, it changes before hand, as is their wont. A St. Patty's Day surprise, perhaps?

The current official Lakeside-Tucker map, prepared by the General Assembly GIS office, after the break.

ETA: The new official map as issued by Tucker 2014, on Sunday, March 16, 2014, also after the break.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The LCA Is Broken, Truly Broken

The True Nature of Your Typical LCA Supporter

I received the following emails in response to the article I posted March 13, 2014, titled How To fix That Map.  This came from an ardent supporter of LCA and the proposed city of Lakeside who I have had occasional conversations with over the past year. I posted an earlier exchange back on April 17, 2013,  Tucker Discussions (Yahoo Groups) A Civil Exchange, when things were just starting and we were all more civil and respectful.  Of course, civility is no indicator of decency or truthfulness. 

Faithful readers may remember previous articles I've posted featuring LCA appointed minions.  An Uncivil Exchange on the North Druid Hills Patch, featuring Ralph, April 21, 2013, Betsy Parks' Virulent Rant, June 27, 2013, The Proposed New City of RandyRand, June 27, 2013 and Scottdale, featuring RandyRand, July 12, 2013. 

This individual lives in the Livsey area, and even after Wednesday's events (disco maps), continues to remain within Lakeside, largely because St. Francis of Dunwoody continues to look after his most adoring fan, a neighbor, just down the street.  I had expected those of their ilk to be thrilled, and I was anticipating a variety of boisterous in-your-face tainted emails and comments on Patch. What I did get came as quite a surprise, in its bitterness, anger and sheer unadulterated arrogance. Read for yourself.  

This is the Heart and Soul of the LCA proponents and their minions. They have been edited to remove personal references of the innocent and unknowing. 

 The Emails, after the break. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

How to Fix That Map!

The New Tucker-Lakeside Map Has a Few Problems

The map makers for the LCA aren't very sharp. As they are relying almost totally on the General Assembly's GIS office, they are forced to buy into their way of doing things. Unfortunately, these folks are set up primarily for demographic and financial analysis, and are not interested in getting into the gritty details of property lines and natural features. The power of the GIS system is all the data that can be mined simply by drawing a few lines on the map program, resulting in fairly accurate demographic information - population, racial and ethnic distribution, income, party affiliation - all those things of most interest to a politician. And this GIS program is based on the federally defined Census Blocks.

But for running a city, you need city borders that help in the distribution of services and avoiding confusing legal responsibilities. And that comes from borders based on property lines and natural features - rivers and creeks, ridges and valleys, and maybe railroads. Street right-of-way and center-lines should only be used as a last resort. Lines based on pre-existing voting precincts alone should not be an option. Lines should be drawn following the REAR property lines of those properties along a street, such that the street is only within one city. That way police and fire services do not have to be concerned over jurisdiction.  

But we have to deal with a consummate politician, Sen. Fran Millar (R), Dunwoody.  He only sees maps in terms of precincts and voter affiliation, and that will always result in maps based on the Census Blocks, however they have been defined. Highly evident in the previous decision to run the Lakeside border down the center of Midvale Road, splitting a unique and unified community of interest in two. 

In this light, I am asking the politicians and incorporation groups to take another look at the awkward line separating Lakeside and Tucker in the Midvale, Evansdale and Livsey area. If they were to follow the creek almost exclusively south of Evansdale Elementary School, any question of separating communities or school populations is largely eliminated. The creek simply makes the most sense.

ETA: Ahhh. Now I understand. I was informed tonight that Millar's border for Lakeside, reaching so deeply into the Livsey Elementary School district, was specifically designed to make sure a personal friend of his, a homeowner in the area, would be included within Lakeside. So disappointing that a politician would use such a personal and shallow relationship as his main reason for continuing to abuse the Tucker community. But then, as we all know, that's St. Francis of Dunwoody's style. Man, what an asshole. (And 'NO' Ms. Caroline, its not you.)

Another Map! After the LCA Is Forced (!) To Compromise With Tucker . . .

A new map for Tucker.

This map was negotiated between the LCA and Tucker2014 on the eve of the House Governmental Affairs Committee meeting ,held March 12, 2014, to consider SB 270 (the Lakeside incorporation bill.)

The apparent agreement would have allowed Lakeside to incorporate this year, using this map, while Tucker would have to wait until the 2015 session of the General Assembly.

The new Tucker?

The new Lakeside map (is this number 6?), and statements by Mary Kay Woodworth and Rep. Scott Holcomb, after the break.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

House Governmental Affairs Hearing on SB 270

Recording of the Governmental Affairs Committee to consider SB 270.

The most critical news out of this hearing is a motion to table further consideration of SB 270 to later in the Session.

Sen. Millar stated that Lakeside and Tucker had agreed to a mutual map whereas Lakeside removed the Midvale Elementary area (which I assume includes Hernderson Park) and the commercial areas south of Northlake Mall from their map. This would leave the Evansdale and Pleasantdale Elementary School areas within Lakeside, but how the line is drawn through the Livsey area is unstated.

Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver essentially gave up on Briarcliff and threw her support to Tucker, and made the motion to substitute the Tucker bill for Lakeside. This was voted down.

Another Representative on the Committee, John Meadows (R) Calhoun, noted the confusion present in the changed Lakeside bill (SB 270) and made the motion to table further consideration for that meeting. This was approved by 8-7 vote. It should be noted that Rep. Meadows is the powerful Chairman of the House Rules Committee.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Doraville Files a Bill! No, Wait . . . Twins!

Doraville Proposed Annexations

On March 10, 2014, the City of Doraville filed two annexation bills in the Georgia General Assembly. House Bills 1138 and 1139 were sponsored by Representatives Scott Holcomb (D), 81st, and Tom Taylor (R), 79th.

Two bills were prepared for this annexation to separate residential areas from commercial/industrial areas. As they are in separate bills, they can be handled differently, whether by a vote of the residents, or by direct annexation upon approval of the General Assembly.  HB 1138 covers the commercial/industrial areas, and is divided into three distinct and separate areas, although all are contiguous to Doraville. HB 1139 covers the residential neighborhoods. The text of the two bills, HB 1138 and HB 1139, can be found after the break.

If both bills are approved in the General Assembly, then the commercial/industrial areas would be annexed directly into the City of Doraville, without a vote or even the approval of the affected property owners. Residents of the area covered by HB 1139, would have a vote as scheduled by the General Assembly. It is very possible (it's happened before) that the residents of the affected areas might vote against annexation even if the commercial areas were annexed, which would make for a very awkward situation, particularly if the proposed cities of Tucker and Lakeside are approved.

A map of the proposed areas can also be found after the break.

UPDATE March 24, 2014:

Both Doraville bills passed the House on March 12, and the Senate on March 20. If signed into law by Governor Deal, the residential areas to be annexed, covered by HB 1139, will be voted upon by registered voters in the area on Election Day, Novermber, 2014. The commercial and industrial areas to be annexed, covered by HB 1128 A, B and C, shall become part of the City of Doraville on December 31, 2014, without a vote.

Avondale Estates Files a Bill!

Avondale Estates Proposed Annexations.

On March 7, 2014, the City of Avondale Estates filed an annexation bill in the General Assembly. House Bill 1130 was sponsored by Representatives Karla Drenner (D), 85th, Michele Henson (D), 86th, Scott Holcom (D), 81st, Mike Jacobs (D), 80th, and Karen Bennett (D), 94th.

The areas proposed to be annexed were described by text in the body of the bill  These areas included residential areas to the southwest, and light industrial areas to the north, specifically including Your DeKalb Farmers Market.

Both the bill, HB 1130, and a map illustrating the proposed annexation can be found after the break.

UPDATE March 24, 2014:

HB 1130 was approved by the House, unanimously in a vote for all pending bills of local legislation, on March 11, 2014. For whatever reason, the bill failed to pass through committee in the Senate and was therefore Not Approved.

Clarkston Files a Bill!

Clarkston Proposed Annexations.

On March 7, 2014, the City of Clarkston filed an annexation bill in the General Assembly. House Bill 1128 was sponsored by Representatives Michele Henson (D), 86th, Karla Drenner (D), 85th, Scott Holcom (D), 81st, Mike Jacobs (D), 80th, and Tom Taylor (R), 79th.

The areas proposed to be annexed were described by text in the body of the bill, and included Phase I, and Phase II, Area 2. These areas were described in a feasibility study that can be found on this blog, in the article posted February 23, 2014 titled The Optimistic Cartographer.

Both the bill, HB 1128, and a map illustrating the proposed annexation can be found after the break.

UPDATE 3/24/14: 

The annexation bill for Clarkston was approved by the Georgia House on March 11, by the Georgia Senate, as amended, on March 20, and re-approved by the House, as amended, on March 20. The amended bill added a second area to the northeast of Clarkston - Phase II, Area 1, as described in the Annexation Study, which can be found in the article titled The Optimistic Cartographer, March 11, 2014, on this blog.

As written, the Bill allows for two separate votes, one for each of the affected areas. As the votes are separate, either area could be approved for annexation, or not approved, independent of the vote in the other area. As per State law, residents inside the City of Clarkston, and residents in unincorporated areas of DeKalb County, will NOT have a vote.

The last minute change to the Bill, adding the area northeast of Clarkston, may have been in response to the bill allowing for the incorporation of Tucker failure to pass by committee, and would therefore not be in competition with Tucker. The last few maps for Tucker had removed this area from inclusion within the proposed Tucker boundaries.

It remains to be seen how voters will react to the prospect of annexation. Those residents in the northeast area may prefer to be included in the future City of Tucker and vote it down.

All maps and the final bill, after the break.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Now, It's Briarcliff's Turn! ( . . . and Lakeside, Too!)

On March 6, 2014, the City of Briarcliff Initiative (COBI) and the Lakeside City Alliance (LCA) were given an opportunity to present their case before the Georgia House of Representatives Government Affairs Committee (HGAC). Tucker 2014 had already made their presentation before the Committee, on February 27, 2014.

Recordings of the presentation, after the break!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Tucker Has a New Map! (and Briarcliff, Too!)

New Maps for Tucker and Briarcliff, made public on February 28, 2014.

The Proposed City of Tucker

This new map shows three Voting Districts for the City of Tucker. From a previous statement made by a Tucker 2014 spokesman, the City Council will be composed of six Councilmen and the Mayor. Three of the Councilmen will be elected by district, and the other three Councilmen will be elected city wide. For each of the three city wide seats, all of the candidates for election must reside in one District, but are to be voted upon city wide. For example, for Council Seat 4, all the candidates must reside in District 1, but must run and be elected city wide.

The new maps, after the break!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Tucker Makes It's Case!

Tucker Presents to the House Governmental Affairs Committee

On February 27, 2014, Tucker2014, the advocacy group for the proposed City of Tucker, was given the opportunity to present its case before the Governmental Affairs Committee of the Georgia House of Representatives.  Chariman Rep. Amy Carter (R), Valdosta, allowed Tucker just one hour for its presentation, while promising that both the LCA and COBI groups will also be allowed just one hour. This was the first time Tucker had an opportunity to speak before an official group within the General Assembly, as the process in the Georgia Senate was limited to just Lakeside. Unfortunately, only seven of the sixteen Representatives assigned to the committee were in attendance.

The Tucker presentation was made by Rep. Billy Mitchell (D), Stone Mountain, and Frank Auman, a Smoke Rise resident and former chairman of the DeKalb Republican Party.

The presentation was followed by public comments from the audience, divided into two groups, those against the bill, and those in favor.

A recording of the hearing follows, after the break.