Organizers of the new East Metro Community Improvement District (CID) will provide quarterly meetings to give business owners in and around the self-taxing district updates on the progress of the initiative.
DeKalb Interim CEO Lee May promised the quarterly meetings this week after Wesley Dowdy, chairman of the Stonecrest Business Alliance, voiced their concerns and opposition to the CID formation.
Dowdy says he and other members of the alliance were forced into the CID. He accused May of lying to them about issues regarding the mega CID and holding meetings about the CID behind their backs.
“I’m glad the CEO came. I think it’s important for him to be able to voice his concerns. But at the end of the day, I just don’t think he gets the business perspective. I think his political endeavors are more important to him than the business community and that’s unfortunate,” said Dowdy. “County government didn’t listen to dissent. They did not hear our concerns. We believe this is a failure in the making because this CID is too big and was improperly created.”
The CID, which stretches 39 square miles from Stonecrest at Turner Hill Road exit to Gresham Road along I-20, is the largest in DeKalb and nearly the largest CID in the metro Atlanta area. DeKalb County Commissioners approved the self-taxing district in May as a way to stimulate economic development and attract federal funding for special projects.
Dowdy, a partner at Duke Hospitality, which owns the Hyatt Place and Fairfield Inn & Suites, outside the Mall at Stonecrest off of Turner Hill Road, says Stonecrest area businesses made their opposition known to the CID’s formation board, headed by Doreen Carter, and to May and were ignored.
“Everything that was said and done was done in public meetings that were open to anyone on this alliance to attend and voice their concerns. Nothing was done back door,” said May.
Both sides say they are working on setting a date for the first quarterly meeting.