City of Lakeside Proposal Passes State Senate, Heads to House

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(APN) ATLANTA — On February 26, 2014, the proposal for a City of Lakeside in parts of DeKalb and Gwinnett Counties, SB 270, passed the State Senate, after a heated debate.

The vote was 32 yeas, and seventeen nays.  

The nays included State Sens. Gloria Butler (D-Atlanta), Gail Davenport (D-Jonesboro), Hardie Davis (D-Augusta), Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta), Steve Henson (D-Tucker), Judson Hill (R-Marietta), Lester Jackson (D-Savannah), Donzella James (D-Atlanta), Emanuel Jones (D-Decatur), Butch Miller (R-Gainesville), Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta), Ronald Ramsey (D-Decatur), Valencia Seay (D-Riverdale), Horacena Tate (D-Atlanta), Steve Thompson (D-Marietta), and Curt Thompson (D-Tucker).

“This is a tremendous step forward for the citizens of our community who for the past year have expressed their desire to form a more responsive government closer to the people,” said Mary Kay Woodworth, chairman of the Lakeside City Alliance, said in a statement.  “We want to thank the Senate leadership for giving us a chance to express our voice at the ballot box.”

According to a press release from the City of Briarcliff Initiative, three amendments were offered to SB 270.

First, Amendment 1, by Sen. Fran Millar (R-Atlanta), to remove certain areas around Emory University and surrounding neighborhoods–the North Druid Hills community–was approved.

Second, Amendment 2, to change the date of the vote from the early May 2014 Primary Election to the November 2014 General Election, by Sen. Henson, failed.

Third, Amendment 3, to prevent Lakeside from going outside of the Perimeter, and into the Tucker community of interest, also by Sen. Henson, failed.  

As previously reported by Atlanta Progressive News, the amendment in Senate Cmte that had succeeded in extending Lakeside outside of the Perimeter, was seen as a way to help the cityhood referendum pass, seeing as how polling results showed that there is not enough support inside the Perimeter to allow the Lakeside referendum to pass.

“While Tucker and Briarcliff have bipartisan support in the House, Lakeside has continued to leverage the Republican majority in the Senate.  Lakeside is sponsored by Sen. Fran Millar.  It is notable that Sen. Millar has no representation, and therefore no accountability, inside the perimeter where Lakeside overlaps with Briarcliff,” the City of Briarcliff campaign said.

While there are many Republican voters inside the perimeter, they do not have nearly the same concentration as the outside the Perimeter part of Lakeside’s map.  This has caused many to question how Lakeside will perform in a General Election with inside-the-Perimeter voters.

If Lakeside passes a public referendum it will include many also included in Briarcliff and likely eliminate any future hopes for an official city of Tucker.

Even as Tucker celebrates its 61st annual Tucker Day with Senate Resolution 1063, they may not have as much to celebrate as Lakeside.  The latest complaint from the Tucker cityhood campaign is how the proposed City of Lakeside boundary ends at the walls of Tucker High School.

The proposal to incorporate is spearheaded by Sen. Millar, who represents a portion of the proposed City of Lakeside.  The bill to allow a referendum on cityhood now goes to the state House for approval.

(END/2014)

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