City of Briarcliff Proposal Hinges Upon Privatization

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city of briarcliff initiative(APN) DEKALB COUNTY — On August 28, 2014, the City of Briarcliff Initiative (CBI) recently held a meeting with Medlock Area Neighborhood Association (MANA), at the North Decatur Presbyterian Church, in hopes that neighborhood will want to become part of the proposed City of Briarcliff.

 

The proposed Briarcliff map claims everything from I-285 at Spaghetti Junction and down, along I-85 to Atlanta, Decatur, and Avondale city limits.

 

At the CBI meeting with MANA, a study from the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, was presented, showing Briarcliff could pay for its services with no tax increase, and have an eight million dollar surplus.   

 

 

One person asked, how do you save that much money.  The answer was some money will be saved by privatization of some services.  Allen Venet with CBI indicated that it does not make economic sense for city employees to have a defined benefit package, referring to worker pensions.  

 

 

Three different groups from three different, overlapping geographic areas in North Dekalb want to become cities, including Tucker, Lakeside, and Briarcliff.  The problem is all three have overlapping boundaries.   

 

 

The legislative branch wants to see maps that don’t overlap by November 15; currently that has not happened.  

 

 

Tucker is already thought of as a city by many people and it probably has the best opportunity to become a city.   

 

 

But Lakeside wants Northlake Mall and so does Tucker.  Lakeside and Briarcliff also claim some of the same neighborhoods.  Negotiations are ongoing to work out the boundaries.

 

 

Other obstacles to overcome are that Emory University and the CDC are hesitant to become part of Briarcliff City.  It is rumored that Atlanta wants to annex Emory and the CDC and put in a rail line that Emory really wants.

 

 

The City of Atlanta has reached out to the North Druid Hills community to discuss the possibility of annexation.

 

 

Meanwhile, the City of Decatur wants to annex all the commercial property around North Decatur and Clairmont Roads.

 

 

 

Many who want new cities cite waste, inefficiency, and corruption in DeKalb County government as their reasons.   

 

 

Also, cities in the northern part of DeKalb will gain more White and/or Republican control of local government due to the demographics.

 

 

At the MANA meeting, a leaflet was passed out stating the trend to cityhood is a push for privatization.  

 

 

The American City County Exchange (ACCE), an offshoot of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), is behind the trend to influence local politicians to impose so-called free market ideology into municipal government.  

 

 

ACCE wants to control local governments and change them from a democratic model to a corporate model and transfer money from public coffers into private pockets for profit.  

 

 

Other problems in the rush to cityhood for affluent neighborhoods in north DeKalb County is finding a fair process of municipal expansion that will benefit all citizens and not hurt citizens left in unincorporated DeKalb County.  DeKalb’s current pension obligations will be shifted to the citizens not included in the new cities.

 

 

After five years of cityhood, Dunwoody’s city charter is being changed to eliminate a citywide voter referendum to fund the takeover of fire and ambulance services from DeKalb County.  Now that decision will be made by the seven member City Council.  So much for democracy.

 

 

In the new City of Milton, residents are complaining about four percent tax increase in electric bills due to a “franchise fee” the City imposed on Sawnee EMC.

 

 

(END/2014)

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