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Not appropriate – Gov. Deal ducks cityhood question

Annexation and new cities campaign coverage Metro ATL

Not appropriate – Gov. Deal ducks cityhood question

Gov. Nathan Deal. Source: Georgia.gov
Gov. Nathan Deal. Source: Georgia.gov

Gov. Nathan Deal. Source: Georgia.gov

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Gov. Nathan Deal sidestepped a question on whether there should be new cities in DeKalb County.

Deal stopped by Briarlake Baptist Church on March 11 to give a campaign speech.

Pressed on the issue of creating new cities, the governor said “it’s not on my agenda.”

“Those are local issues,” Deal told the crowd, according to AJC. “I respect the power of local governments and General Assembly members who represent local communities to come up with what’s best for the county.”

To read the full AJC article, click here.

There are three proposed new cities: Briarcliff, Lakeside and Tucker. Prior to the meeting, Briarcliff advocates sent an email asking supporters to attend Deal’s speech and ask him questions about new cities.

“Please arrive early and come prepared with questions about cityhood you’d like to have answered in writing,” the email said.

Deal’s challenger, Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter, has been outspoken about the new city issue. He blasted his senate colleagues for approving the Lakeside bill along party lines. Carter represents a large portion of the proposed new city. If the bill passes, a referendum on Lakeside will be placed on the May 20 ballot.

Of the three cities, Lakeside has the best chance of passing since it was approved by the Senate. With the session rapidly drawing to a close, it’s not clear whether any of the bills will make it to the governor’s desk.

In other cityhood news, on March 11, DeKalb County CEO Lee May established a county Operations Task Force. One of its charges will be studying, “the financial, business, zoning and quality of life impact on residents and government operations caused by the creation of new cities and annexations.”

May has asked the General Assembly to hold off on creating any new cities for one year.

“It is my sincere hope that we can appoint a board of subject matter experts so we can fix DeKalb in one fell swoop, and make the most of the one year cooling off period that we asked the Georgia General Assembly to afford us,” May said in a press release.