Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst, the City Council and the Murphey Candler Neighborhood Association.

I was having lunch with a friend on Thursday, Aug. 20, when a “Loop Road” issue came up over the hamburger and nachos. Subsequent study of August 2020 articles in the Reporter Newspaper revealed an upcoming zoning issue where some 25 parking spaces were to be embedded into the wooded picnic area on the eastern shore of Murphey Candler Lake. (“Murphey Candler Park residents outraged as Brookhaven moves forward with parking expansion,” Aug. 20.)  Available information indicates. that somebody forgot to tell the neighbors, and the resultant firestorm seems like a scene right out of Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities.”

Public parking along the Loop Road will create a safety hazard for children, an aesthetic eyesore for adults, and an unnecessary burdensome waste of space for all of us. The city of Brookhaven has done most things right most of the time: We richly deserve our “Best ’Burb” designation in all of metro Atlanta, and the overdue recognition of our amazing Police Chief Gary Yandura as the best of his kind in Georgia. This is no time to break that tradition.

The neighbors are mad, really mad. And when they’re this mad it means that they see themselves as being bypassed to grant favors to a few. Their perception has become truth (for whatever reason) and the end result is that your invaluable credibility with them has been diminished.

Environments have no eyes, no ears, no brains and no conscience. Our city has evolved from the last foothills of the oldest mountains in the world to the present day, a process some 200 million years in the making. It is up to us to use our uniquely human gifts to set the precedents that will carry us forward. We want a home in both the natural and the technological worlds. We do not want the legacy of a forested shopping mall parking lot. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Sometimes the best that you can do is nothing. Do nothing, at least for now.

This isn’t “your” city; this isn’t “their” city; it isn’t ”my” city.  It’s “our” city, and we need to treat it accordingly.

Tom Reilly

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