Friday, December 30, 2011
DeKalb County governance changes vs. Chamblee and Brookhaven home rule.
DeKalb County legislators will be busy when they return to the Gold Dome on Jan. 9 for the start of the General Assembly. Big statewide issues, like the budget, transportation and jobs, will take up much of lawmakers’ time.
But legislators plan to discuss several things that could affect DeKalb County residents more directly. Rep. Mike Jacobs, R-DeKalb, introduced legislation during the 2011 session to create a city of Brookhaven. This year, legislators are expected to vote on the bill. “I think the city of Brookhaven proposal stands a high chance of passage,” Jacobs said. Sen. Fran Millar, R-Dunwoody, said he too feels the Brookhaven cityhood bill will be approved. “The only question is where will the borders be, but I think that will happen,” Millar said.
Millar said the DeKalb County delegation may take up the way the county is governed. DeKalb County is run by an elected Chief Executive Officer. Millar said some legislators would prefer to see the county operated by a professional county manager appointed by the County Commission.
“Obviously what we have in DeKalb County is not working very well between CEO [Burrell Ellis] and the commissioners,” Millar said. “I do think in DeKalb we have a crisis brewing. I think our CEO in DeKalb County has disregarded the will of the commission and continues to spend. Perhaps he’s visited Washington too many times and it’s affected him.”