DeKalb County government is broken and needs to be fixed. We have been experimenting with creating new cities for twelve years now, and it has been ineffective in improving DeKalb County government. There are real changes happening to help reform DeKalb County government, including instituting a permanent, on-going auditor, establishing an Ethics Board with actual power, and changing the CEO form of government. The engaged, qualified, devoted citizens leading this meaningful reform movement need our support and energy. We do not need to waste any more time on the cityhood “solution” which has been proven to be a failed strategy.
County government didn’t become this mess overnight. Nor will the reform effort be successful overnight. Real progress IS being made. Creating a new city will dilute vitally needed citizen energy and redirect a portion to monitoring another level of government. Fix DeKalb first!
Despite what cityhood proponents would try to make you believe: moving tax revenue away from the county to pay for new cities hurts the county. It hurts all of us to have most of our services provided by a county that has huge areas that have been left unfeasible by haphazard city formation. This process makes a bad situation worse. Fix DeKalb first!
If cityhood is indeed inevitable, it must be pursued in a comprehensive and equitable manner that looks at county-wide effects instead of allowing small, self-interested groups to grab land and pit neighborhoods against one another. An appeal to the legislature needs to be made to create a DeKalb County charter commission. This will be the greatest step toward county reform. A charter commission is where our civic energy should be directed.