Mayor Eva Galambos addresses the crowd during a June 28 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 listen in. Standing at rear is Cross Keys Foundation President Kim Gokce.

Five metro Atlanta mayors, including Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos, and other city officials came together in Brookhaven recently to tell residents of the DeKalb community the advantages of having a city of their own.

“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.

Galambos joined Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis, 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 organized by Brookhaven Yes.

The forum was among several held in the DeKalb community as the July 31 cityhood election nears. If Brookhaven residents approve the new city at the polls, it will become the most populous in DeKalb County and the sixth city created since Sandy Springs was approved in 2005.

“Having our own City Council over our own funds, we can allocate where our citizens want it,” Fries told the 200 or so people who met at Cross Keys High School on June 28 at the Brookhaven Yes forum. “It’s really a neat feeling to have folks representing you that you can actually reach. Local control is wonderful.”

A forum at Oglethorpe University, held July 9 and sponsored by Reporter Newspapers, also drew about 200 residents. That gathering included speakers both supporting and opposing the proposed new city.

Chuck Konas,co-chair of No City Brookhaven, said smaller government doesn’t guarantee better representation. “You can’t necessarily convince the majority – just because you want something, you may or may not get what you want,” he said.

But Brookhaven Yes president J. Max Davis said it’s much easier for voters to express themselves at the ballot box when there is a smaller government. He said Dunwoody voters sent a message to the city council by voting down a parks bond referendum last year.

“DeKalb County is just too big. They can’t be attentive to all our issues,” he 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.