Thursday, August 1, 2013

Divided Dunwoody Charter Commission approves funding mechanism for fire but should simple majority of City Council (4 of 7 votes) be allowed to approve such a long term decision?

 Council decision or is referendum needed?

The Dunwoody Charter Commission on July 31 took another crack at the controversial proposal to amend the foundation document of the city so it could finance a fire department.

The divided commissioners voted 3-2 to approve a proposal to create a separate city fire millage should Dunwoody City Council decide to create a city fire department. Commissioners said the fire millage – which they nicknamed a “bucket” to hold fire revenues, or a “fire bucket” – would be created to replace the DeKalb County fire millage that now pays for Dunwoody’s fire services.

The charter commissioners voted unanimously to approve a reduction in the fire tax for homeowners that would mimic the Homestead Option Sales Tax offset provided by the county. The commissioners said the reduction should be based on an average of the five years of HOST percentage reductions prior to the start of the city department.

Some city officials have proposed joining other north DeKalb cities (Doraville, Chamblee & Brookhaven) to create a multi-city fire department. They argue the cities can provide better fire services for about the same money spent by DeKalb. City officials say the city already has the power to offer fire services.

Read the rest on the Dunwoody Reporter

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