Ben Vinson
Ben Vinson

Ben Vinson is the chairman of the Governor’s Commission on Brookhaven. Vinson leads the commission’s transition services committee, which is working to set up interim services until Brookhaven is ready to provide its own city services.

With just days until the new city is set to begin operations Dec. 17, the Brookhaven Reporter asked Vinson for an update on the transition.

Q. How are negotiations going with DeKalb County on the transfer of services?

A. Negotiations with DeKalb are continuing and involve the city’s RFP process as well as the particular services we plan to provide and how. Regarding services DeKalb County will continue to provide to Brookhaven, the discussion is essentially about what price Brookhaven will pay. Regarding services the city will begin to provide, such as planning and zoning, the discussion is essentially a transfer of information. We are gathering information that will enable building permits and other services to be taken up by the city when the transition is complete.

Q. Which services will DeKalb County continue to provide for Brookhaven residents after the city begins?

A. Several high cost and core services will continue from DeKalb County. Fire, water and sewer, schools, and courts will still be provided by DeKalb County after Brookhaven becomes a city. Some services, such as police, will be provided by DeKalb for an interim period until Brookhaven is ready to take over.

Q. Which cities are you working with to form intergovernmental agreements? And what areas do they cover?

A. We are in discussions with Dunwoody and Sandy Springs, but this process is still unfolding.

Q. What services will be ready to go on Day 1?

A. On Dec. 17 there will be several basic services, such as finance and IT, that will come to life. Many other services will commence on Jan. 1, and we will be working during that interim period to bring services online as well.

Q. Will Brookhaven residents notice any interruption in services when the city gets started?

A. No interruption is predicted. Services are covered by taxes already paid to DeKalb through Dec. 31, and the transition should be accomplished by year’s end.

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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.