Dear Decaturish – LaVista Hills: Incorporation a key to improving quality of life

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt October 30, 2015
LaVista Hills supporters addressed a packed house at Briarcliff United Methodist Church on Aug. 24. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

LaVista Hills supporters addressed a packed house at Briarcliff United Methodist Church on Aug. 24. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

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Dear Decaturish,

When voters in north central DeKalb go to the polls Tuesday to decide on the city of LaVista Hills, they will have two simple choices.

Accept the status quo or embrace change.

We can vote for creation of a local government in our own community that will provide more police protection, enhanced parks, repaired roads and greater influence over zoning. That government will have local control and be easy for the residents to monitor.

Or we can stay unincorporated: with all services provided by the broken county bureaucracy – one rife with corruption, waste, fraud and abuse.

If LaVista Hills forms and follows the path of Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Brookhaven and other newly-created cities, we will still remain in the county. DeKalb will still provide many services, such as libraries and courts, which they provide to all residents, both unincorporated and city dwellers.

However, we in LaVista Hills will be able to retain about 7 cents out of every property tax dollar to finance local government. We will control our own destiny, with our own police department patrolling our streets and keeping our citizens safe. We will be able to pave roads, enhance parks and offer quality land use by spending taxes more efficiently and effectively.

Most important, critical decisions will be made by our neighbors and friends, who we will elect to a city council in our community. We will not be governed by politicians in downtown Decatur. Not a single DeKalb commissioner lives in or near our community, and none has for many years. LaVista Hills council members will live among us, and they will live with the decisions they make.

At 67,000 residents, LaVista Hills will be Georgia’s 12th largest city. The prestigious University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government concluded that the city will be fiscally sound without a property tax increase, generating an annual surplus. UGA has never been wrong about a new city and we are confident that are right about LaVista Hills.

Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Brookhaven and other new cities have become very desirable places to live since their incorporation. The quality of life in LaVista Hills will improve dramatically if we seize the opportunity for better government by voting Yes on Nov. 3.

– Allen Venet and Mary Kay Woodworth

Venet is chairman of LaVista Hills, Yes! and Woodworth is chairman of the LaVista Hills Alliance.

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Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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