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City of Briarcliff Initiative

City of Briarcliff

City of Briarcliff Recap Meeting, 4/22/14

COBI 2.0 RECAP 22Apr2014

City of Briarcliff Initiative Website

http://briarcliffga.org/who-are-we/

A Proposed City of Briarcliff, Georgia: Fiscal Feasibility Analysis

CVIG_Briarcliff_Feasibility Report_-_Final5

City of Briarcliff Initiative Presentation:

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Download the Presentation as a PowerPoint

Growing Cities, Growing Georgia:

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Remarks about Cityhood & Annexation by Mike St. Louis:

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Remarks on Cityhood by DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader:

http://www.commissionerrader.com/reader-rader-updates/items/cityhood.html

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. John Frost Murlin #

    Friends,

    I strongly support the City of Briarcliff. I believe this is a no brain-er for Druid Hills. Druid Hills now can control it’s own destiny by becoming an even stronger partner with the City of Briarcliff Initiative. Druids Hills should not simply wait on the sidelines with a wait and see attitude.

    Druid Hills has been somewhat neutral on its stance with Briarcliff, unlike other areas. I think if Druid Hills is omitted from the next central DeKalb city, it would not be good for the health of this area. Lee May, the interim CEO of DeKalb County, has already stated the county will eventually be divided into cities. This is coming folks! I think our public high school is key. Atlanta would offer high taxes, no local control and a downgrade downgrade in education. I do not believe Atlanta when they said they would leave everything “as is” for the time being at Druid Hills High School. Their flagship school, Grady offers metal detectors and police at every door in the morning! Decatur is a much better option with great schools but has high taxes. Decatur has shown only interest in commercial areas and a few streets in Druid Hills. I would not count on Decatur.

    I believe that Druid Hills (and the civic association) should support Briarcliff now for local control, stable taxes, and the potential of an independent Lakeside – Druid Hills School System. For many of the people in Druid Hills, their children go to a private school because of the behavioral – educational problems at the high school; however, the high school should be at the heart of the thinking.

    Decatur wants the commercial land at North Decatur and Clairmont, Suburban, and DeKalb Medial Center but not neighborhoods to any extent. I know a person who was on the board of the Druid Hills Civic Association a couple of years ago and went to the then mayor of Decatur, Mr. Floyd. Floyd simply told them “Decatur is not the answer to your problems.”

    I am a native of Decatur, graduated of DHS, and my mother still lives there. They have good schools but their taxes have skyrocketed in the last 20 years because they do not have enough revenue. 30 years ago, the tax in Decatur was not much different from unincorporated DeKalb.

    When I looked Mary Margaret Oliver’s map of Briarcliff at the Briarcliff/Lakeside hearing, I noticed that some small areas of Druid Hills were reserved to be annexed to Decatur. These areas includes Durand Farm Subdivision, site of the old Durand Farm, and areas to the east of the north-south CSX connecting rail road, and South Westminster Way. Most of these communities are within walking distance of Fernbank Elementary. Fernbank is a great school; however, the concern in these areas may be Druid Hills Middle and High Schools which lack local control. Decatur High is viewed far better than Druid Hills High in these parts.

    I have not heard anyone that has said “I want to be in Atlanta” – never. One thing I know is that Druid Hills does not want higher taxes. Many of the older people just do not understand what Briarcliff has to offer. Many of these people simply do not keep up with current events.

    It is well known that Fran Millar, the sponsor of Lakeside, would have proposed city schools which would require a change in the Georgia Constitution. I believe that this movement will eventually happen. I believe this idea of local control will become a reality because of the poor performance of schools. Keep in mind Druid Hills High was independent until after WW2 when the DeKalb County School System was form from several school around the county. My father graduated from Druid Hills High in 1941. Decatur already had a school system since 1903 and remained independent and grandfathered in after WW2 when the state mandated education to the counties.

    I pointed out at the capitol that if Lakeside city schools became a reality that Druid Hills High School would be decimated. I said that the schools and neighborhoods of Laurel Ridge, Druid Hills Middle School, and many areas in the north Emory area would fall into the City of Lakeside. Druid Hills would have had more of their affluent students removed to Lakeside if Lakeside City Schools begun. This is already after Druid Hills High lost part of Sagamore Hills and only to be replaced with the terrible Avondale Elementary School as part of the Druid Hills “cluster”. This cluster not only includes Avondale, but also McClendon, another bottom of the barrel school. Lakeside does not have feeder schools like these two. I can only imagine if Druid Hills lost more students to Lakeside.

    This is an issue of local control. Druid Hills is currently at the mercy of the DeKalb County School System. As you know, the county voted down the simple idea of the Druid Hills Charter Cluster. Can you imagine how much better it would be if it was under the control of people living in the Druid Hills area? I certainly can. Lakeside people can imagine that with their high school. Lakeside already shows better scores than Druid Hills. With Briarcliff, even in the non academic areas like sports, Druid Hills would be able to keep their sports revenues and build their own stadium.

    I think the city of Atlanta would be a nightmare for Druid Hills. I worked in Atlanta for 20 years and saw ongoing corruption in the police department where I had monthly safety meetings with a major that went to prison. One of my employees saw a policeman take the cash from a drug dealer and then send the dealer on his way. I frequently did business at City Hall where there there was a high level of incompetence, reverse racism, and corruption. Beverly Hall will likely go to prison. If Druid Hills High became an Atlanta School, it would be a downgrade and may eventually have to draw from East Atlanta. Atlanta also offers the highest tax rates around. Talk about lack of local control. Lakeside has the right idea. Briarcliff would have both the Lakeside and Druid Hills High Schools. If and when the state constitution is changed, these schools would be under local control. Can you imagine the potential for Druid Hills High? I can.

    Atlanta had said we could keep everything “as is” with the DeKalb County School System for a while – I do not believe one word of what Atlanta says. We could also loose the Decatur-DeKalb Library System. Atlanta has no libraries even close. Decatur Library, the center of the system, and Tocco Hills are close to our area and are vantastic resources.

    Briarcliff offers potential much better services at the same tax rate and local control. Local cotrol is the key. We do not have it now and we would not with Atlanta. Join Briarcliff today!

    Sincerely,

    John Frost Murlin

    1404 Emory Road, NE

    Atlanta, Georgia 30306

    678-907-1907

    03/19/2014

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  1. DeKalb Cityhood vs. Annexation; Information to Educate LLCC Residents | The Corridor

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