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As Legislative session winds down, Rep. Vernon Jones backs Vista Grove bill

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As Legislative session winds down, Rep. Vernon Jones backs Vista Grove bill

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Vernon Jones


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This story has been updated. 

The sun is setting on a proposed new DeKalb city of Vista Grove in 2019, but organizers behind that cityhood effort see hope for 2020.

In an email to supporters. the Vista Grove Initiative says state Rep. Vernon Jones, D-Lithonia, has agreed to sponsor the legislation. The current legislative session ends on April 2.

“We appreciate Rep. Jones’ leadership on this issue, as it permits the legislative process for Vista Grove to move forward,” the Vista Grove Initiative said in the email. “While we hoped legislation could be passed this session, with a vote in 2019, this bill will be considered next session, moving a cityhood referendum to 2020.”

Decaturish left a message with Jones seeking comment. Vista Grove would be located in central DeKalb and includes much of the territory that was in the proposed city of LaVista Hills, which was defeated in 2015. To see a map of the proposed boundaries, click here.

Vista Grove would have a population of around 60,000 people. A feasibility study for the proposed city shows the city would bring in $10 million more in revenue than it would spend on providing services.

“Between now and next January, we all need to work to get the word out about Vista Grove to even more neighbors, and to continue to foster positive and factual discussion about improving this great community,” the email from Vista Grove Initiative says. “When the new session comes around, we will be ready. Our DeKalb legislators say they want to hear from more constituents about their enthusiasm and readiness to vote on a City of Vista Grove. Please continue to contact your representatives and keep the discussions alive in your neighborhoods.”

Marjorie Snook, with the anti-cityhood group DeKalb Strong, said Jones doesn’t have the county’s best interests in mind.

“Vernon Jones has been a negative force in DeKalb County for decades,” she said. “He thrives on creating division and controversy. He’s saw an opportunity for causing damage in DeKalb County, and he took control of it.”

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