DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson will hold a community meeting to discuss what a new DeKalb might look like as the City of Prosperity or City of DeKalb. Johnson is urging DeKalb residents and stakeholders to save the date—Sept. 26—for the “Cityhood” meeting, which will be held at 7 p.m. at Southwest DeKalb High School in Decatur.
Johnson, who represents District 3, is the first DeKalb commissioner to hold a meeting to discuss proposals for the City of Prosperity and the City of DeKalb, which would include residents now living in unincorporated South DeKalb. Residents in Central and North DeKalb have had several meetings to discuss new cities proposed for those areas.
“We want to put our options on the table, look at where boundaries might fall, and get feedback from the community,” said Johnson.
At the meeting, State Rep. Pam Stephenson and State Sen. Ron Ramsey will give an overview of the “place holder” bills that constituents have asked them to file , which include the City of DeKalb and the City of Prosperity. In addition to the City of DeKalb, Ramsey also has filed SB-278 to create the City of Stonecrest. The bills are among seven proposed cities that state lawmakers are expected to discuss during the 2014 Legislative session. The other proposed cities include Lakeside; Tucker; Briarcliff/North Druid Hills and LaVista Hills.
Interim DeKalb CEO Lee May doesn’t like the fact that so many proposed cities are popping up and he says he wants to slow down the process.
“I would like a moratorium until legislation is crafted to allow cityhood to happen in a more balanced approach,” said May.
Meanwhile, the Stonecrest City Alliance has raised the $30,000 for the required feasibility study needed to determine if a City of Stonecrest would be viable. Plans call for 77,000 residents in a 61-square mile radius to be incorporated from a chunk of East DeKalb. Jason Lary, president of the Alliance, said his group is pushing forward to give residents the opportunity to govern themselves in their quest for economic development, more jobs and increased home values.
“We’re the only group in South DeKalb that has fulfilled the cityhood requirements for the Georgia General Assembly,” said Lary. “What you’re seeing is a movement that shows people want to be in charge of their own futures. Those in government want more of the same and we don’t. It’s why we are working so hard to make a change.”
It will be up to the General Assembly to put proposals for the new cities on the ballot for a statewide referendum.