Joe Earle

Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos addresses the crowd at Cross Keys High School during a Brookhaven Yes gathering to discuss creating a city of Brookhaven. Left to right, seated, Dunwoody community development director Steve Dush, Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis and Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan lisen in. Standing at rear is Cross Keys Foundation president Kim Gokce.

Five metro Atlanta mayors took the stage at Cross Keys High School on June 28 to tell Brookhaven residents the advantages of having a city of their own.

“”You may wonder, ‘What’s in it for us?’ Really, nothing. We are here because we really believe cities are the way to go,” Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis told about 200 people who attended the community meeting organized by Brookhaven Yes, a group that advocates creation of a city of Brookhaven.

Davis was joined by Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos, Chamblee Mayor Eric Clarkson, Decatur Mayor Bill Floyd and Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker. Sandy Springs City Councilwoman Dianne Fries and city officials from Dunwoody, including Police Chief Billy Grogran, also took part in the two-hour presentation.

Members of the group, which included representatives of three cities created in the last six years, said having cities provide some local services, rather than counties, can mean more local control and more efficiency.

“Having our own city council over our own funds, we can allocate where our citizens want it,” Fries said. “It’s really a neat feeling to have folks representing you that you can actually reach. Local control is wonderful.”

Brookhaven voters go to the polls July 31 to decide whether to create a new city in the area bounded by Chamblee, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Atlanta, Peachtree-DeKalb Airport and a portion of I-85.

“I think at some point a county gets too big and isn’t able to provide the kind of services you want,” Davis told the crowd, which included people wearing both “Brookhaven and “No City Brookhaven” stickers. “Our county commission in Dunwoody lives in Stone Mountain.”

Galambos said having a city of Sandy Springs means tax dollars raised in the community area spend there, rather than elsewhere in the county.

“When people call the city of Sandy Springs, they talk to a human and they get a response, which is different from what it was under Fulton County,” Galambos said.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.