DeKalb County and the city of Brookhaven are continuing their dance over the annexation of 462 acres of Toco Hills neighborhoods that could draw millions in revenue for the city. 

At a special called meeting on July 18, the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners voted in favor of authorizing the county attorney to file an objection to the proposed annexation

Deputy County Attorney Viviane Ernestes said the annexation application contains forgery and fraud. She added that DeKalb, in order to protect the rights of its residents, must provide accountability and transparency to the process.  

“Electors were excluded from the process,” said Ernestes.  

According to O.C.G.A. 36-36-113, the county governing authority must vote in an open session to object to the annexation and provide evidence of any financial impact forming the basis for the objection. 

It’s all par for the course, Brookhaven officials said. 

“We believe the residents of the area would have been better served with the opportunity for a referendum, but the action from DeKalb County is not unexpected,” said Burke Brennan, Brookhaven Communications Director.  “We will review the objection when we receive it.”

DeKalb Deputy Attorney Matt Welch reported that the land being eyed for annexation has fewer voters than originally reported. That means the 60% rule cannot apply with the current number of signatures. 

The validity of signatures was called into question at a public meeting in Brookhaven on June 28 when two parties said their signatures on the annexation application were falsified.

Brookhaven is continuing to look into the signatures, and expects further developments before the next public meeting on July 25.

Logan C. Ritchie writes features and covers Brookhaven for Rough Draft Atlanta.