Forecasting DeKalb’s Upcoming CEO Battle

26 11 2007

Decaturguy and DriftGrift wade into the “fetid waters” stirred up by State Rep. Kevin Levitas’ opinion piece in last Friday’s AJC calling for the elimination of the position of DeKalb County CEO.

Both suggest that Levitas to get his interfering “heavy hand” out of the county’s cookie jar.

DriftGrift is wary of a county commission sans CEO and looks to the west for an example.

Fulton has a much more traditional form of county government. One which certainly could be the model for the legislation now proposed by Levitas and Jacobs. Power is dispersed among the various commissioners with a board appointed county manager running day to day operations.

The result of such distributed power over a huge infrastructure is instead of a single strongman, Fulton has individual fiefdoms. lorded over by their elected representative. And you want discontent? The Fulton system has worked so well the voters have for all practical purposes voted the entire county out of existence. It’s no shock the “let’s form our own city” push began with north Fulton’s Sandy Springs and then metastasized to Johns Creek, Milton and Chattahoochee Hills.

There has always been an uneasy truce between Dekalb and its various towns but compared to the neighbors to the west, the tension has been no worse than the typical family Thanksgiving dinner – lots of sniping with everyone warily glancing about, but no one leaves the table until the pecan pie is served.

While Decaturguy points towards his hometown to combat the idea “pouring hours” legislation that jump-started this current initiative

I would also point out that the City of Decatur (which has its own last call hours and would not be impacted by anything Dekalb County does) has a 4AM last call and there aren’t late night nightclubs pouring into the city. That’s probably because Decatur is not going to put up with any lawlessness. If there is something illegal going on at these clubs then it is a law enforcement problem, not a reason to curtail the freedoms of law abiding business owners, their employees, or their customers.

I do agree that this is a bit of an over-reaction by the state, but ultimately if you learn one thing in Local Politics 101 its that cities are products of the state. For Better or Worse.





East Decatur Redevelopment Requires Columbia Annexation

26 11 2007

In a bit of musical chairs, the city of Decatur is looking to annex nine parcels along Columbia Drive to provide new homes for the Quaker “Friends School of Atlanta” and an AT&T work center. Both organizations currently own property in an area that Decatur plans to put to new use as part of redevelopment in the Avondale Station Livable Centers Initiative. Their new locations will be on the edge of the LCI district.

From GoDeKalb

Lyn Menne, assistant city manager of community and economic development, said the master plan called for a public park space at the Bell South facility site and mixed-use development at the current school site. She said the school wanted to remain in the city.

In her report to the City Commission presented at their Nov. 5 meeting, City Manager Peggy Merriss said the annexation request involved about 8.5 acres at 814-874 Columbia Drive.

There will be public hearings on Dec. 6 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Decatur City Hall regarding rezoning applications for the property involved in the annexation.

UPDATE: The City Commission follows through.





“Cyber Monday” Proves that No One Actually Works at Work

26 11 2007

But its not the busiest online shopping day of the year. That belongs to the Saturday before Christmas. (ABC News)

Why would anyone waste precious weekend hours at home, paying exorbitant fees to overnight gifts to relatives, when they could be filling the virtual shopping cart (with free shipping) on the company’s clock today? Because right now we have idealized fantasies of finding the perfect gift for everyone on our list. But two days before Christmas, we’ve resigned ourselves to getting all members of our extended family “retro” versions of boardgames they already own.

The Black Friday website has many links to Cyber Monday deals, but if you’re in the metro Atlanta area why not check out downtown Decatur some Thursday evening between now and Christmas and experience Terrific Thursdays! Does amazon.com or Lenox mall offer free food and drinks (yes many alcoholic drinks) and discounts in a classic small town setting? I didn’t think so. So, come to Decatur, get drunk, and support your local merchants!

All Decatur retailers are invited to post any Terrific Thursday specials in the comments section if they wish.