(UPDATE) Atlanta annexation bill intended to resolve DeKalb 911 issuesThe Georgia State Capitol. Photo by Ken Lund, obtained via Wikimedia Commons
State Rep. Howard Mosby, D-Atlanta, has introduced an annexation bill that would bring several DeKalb County neighborhoods into the city of Atlanta.
Mosby said he has introduced the bill due to concerns about 911 response times in that area of DeKalb County.
“We had a number of people who have gone into serious arrest and we’ve had a couple of people die because of the lack of response between Atlanta and DeKalb and we want to clean that up,” Mosby said.
If the bill passes through the Legislature and is signed by the governor, it would have to be approved by voters in a referendum this November. If approved, it would annex between 10,000 and 15,000 people into the city of Atlanta.
Mosby is the only sponsor listed for House Bill 706 and it’s already had a second reading. While there is no map of the proposed annexation area, the census tracts listed appear to include the following neighborhoods: Katie Kerr, Forrest Hills, Decatur Terrace, Midway Woods and Belvedere Park. It also appears to include several public schools that are currently in the DeKalb County school system. Mosby clarified that the map – which is not yet available – does not include those schools and they are only listed in the bill because they are also voting precincts.
Decaturish asked Mosby whether the map conflicts with the map for the proposed city of Greenhaven.
“I don’t care … The consternation that Greenhaven is facing to become a city and what they have to deal with and try to iron this out, they can adjust their boundaries to make this happen,” Mosby said. “This is such a small issue to be dealt with, in my opinion that it shouldn’t affect whether or not Greenhaven still wants to move forward. It is in no way done to be defensive to the city of Greenhaven.”
He said he has not discussed the matter with officials in Greenhaven.
Another theory about the bill floated on social media is that its intended to help Mosby’s sister, Atlanta City Councilperson Natalyn Archibong, in a bid to become the city’s next mayor.
“That is funny to me,” Mosby said. “I guarantee you, I would be the most surprised if she put her name in the hat to run for Mayor. She does not want to be the mayor of the city of Atlanta. I don’t know how much longer she wants to be a council member, but I know for a fact she doesn’t want to be the mayor of the city of Atlanta.”
Mosby said the 911 issue has been on the back burner for awhile, but he didn’t push his bill in last year’s session due to all of the other annexation bills being considered. He specifically referenced the proposed annexation of Druid Hills into Atlanta, which died in last year’s session.
“Because of the Druid Hills situation, I hesitated in doing that,” Mosby said. “I said it needs to be done and go ahead do it. Let’s say we don’t get it done in this legislative session for whatever reason, we can still have the conversation and come back and look at this next year.”
So how does annexation resolve the 911 issue?
“If 911 knew everything west of Candler Road and north of Memorial Drive was Atlanta, Georgia, they’d know they’d send Grady EMS to 911,” Mosby said. “If it were east of Candler Road, it would be DeKalb County. It would be a simple thing for them to know to do.”
Mosby said there is a map attached to the bill and promised to provide it.
To read the bill, click here.