Is Yes and No about Brookhaven over? For most anyway, it's time to build a prosperous Brookhaven; time to let go of the old DeKalb status quo. However, some candidates are direct descendants of No, who have not completed the evolution into Brookhaven.
Phase 1: Nobody Vote
The No City leaders and DeKalb County government would have been happiest if nobody but the legislature had voted on Brookhaven.
From January through March they tried to deny your voice in choosing your local government by blocking the very opportunity to vote. They attempted to convince your state government to move against HB 636 which called for the referendum to incorporate Brookhaven within DeKalb County. They presented a
campaign of misinformation and doubt to the legislators. They delivered petitions to the governor. And they even coordinated with your own elected DeKalb officials and DeKalb's highly-paid county lawyer/lobbyist, trying to kill the bill before it reached you, the residents.
Thankfully, the state legislature saw through their selfish campaign. The 'Brookhaven bill' passed both the House and the Senate overwhelmingly and the referendum was set for July 31.
Phase 2: Everyone Vote No
Simultaneously, the No City leaders were publically spreading their negative anti-Brookhaven message.
Various versions of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt appeared on yard signs, in negative flyers and in unfounded accusations on blogs. They attacked anyone and everyone who dared suggest a City of Brookhaven could serve its residents better and more efficiently than DeKalb County status quo provides.
From February through July, they bombarded you with their desperate message of doom, a message built on half truths and misrepresentations. Thousands of their yard signs implored, 'No New City' and 'No City Brookhaven.'
They dressed their anti-Brookhaven opinion and half truths to look like a newspaper and threw it into your yards. Employees at DeKalb County, the very entity that taxes us so steeply, provided their list of "Items To Support Brookhaven Opposition" via email.
Phase 3: Vote for someone who voted No
After July 31, their seven-month barrage of doubt and dire predictions for our new city went quiet and their no-city web site went away. However, two of the No City naysayers, Sandy Murray and Jim Eyre, are trying to sway your vote once again.
Sandy Murray and Jim Eyre both were heavily involved with the No-City efforts, fighting Brookhaven incorporation every step of the way. They told you a city is a bad idea; the city can't be a success; the city can't have lower tax; the city can't afford police; the city will be broke; the city is another layer; the city will be divided; blah, blah, blah...
And now they are telling you to trust them to build our new city by electing them to be among our first representatives for Brookhaven's fledgling years. Why would we want to do that; to take a step backwards in the evolution of our new city?
This is not to say people who did not support Brookhaven can't change to become productive city supporters. Of course people learn and change over time. There is room enough for differing opinions in Brookhaven. But this first election is too critical to take a chance on any candidate who so ardently tried to
prevent Brookhaven. Especially in the presence of so many qualified Brookhaven supporters and believers.
Opportunity for Brookhaven to Thrive
We have an exciting opportunity in our city of Brookhaven. Five elected local officials (mayor plus four city council members) will represent the citizens, overseeing a city manager with a small staff, who in turn will hire the public safety (police) department. Most other city services will be provided by private companies who will be contracted through annual open competitive bidding.
The elected officials will be our neighbors, living among us with the consequences their decisions. The employees of the contracted providers will be accountable to us every day for their performance. It will be an efficient model following the successful examples of Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, Dunwoody and Milton. The mayors and city council members of those cities embrace and understand the new reality of the public-private city model.
Indeed, officials from each of those cities are ready to share their experience and advice as we build Brookhaven.
For best results vote for those who believe and support your right to vote. We need five public servants known to be ready to leave the old status quo; known to relish the opportunity and the challenge of building Brookhaven from the referendum up. A mayor and city council should be of people who know the facts and who we know already believe in Brookhaven. Not people who fought your right to vote.
Choose candidates who clearly understand that we need collaborative effort to start Brookhaven properly in the modern model for lasting success. That is why I voted early for J. Max Davis for Mayor and Rebecca Chase Williams for City Council District 1.
See you 'round the city,