By: Lisa George, WABE
The proponents for two proposed new cities in DeKalb County are joining forces. Advocates for potential cities called Briarcliff and Lakeside have agreed to try to agree on a map for a single city.
As Mary Kay Woodworth, head of the group now called “Lakeside-YES,” put it: “We’re dating. We’re not engaged” We’re not married. But we’re getting along well.”
They are getting along well enough to agree central DeKalb can accommodate two new cities but likely not three. According to Briarcliff proponent Allen Venet, “There just is not enough tax base to do that very easily. He added, “You could potentially create one mega-city, but that would I think would be difficult to govern. So in between those two, clearly you can create two cities, and so that is the goal I think that everybody has. The question is exactly where exactly should the lines be.”
So where does that leave Tucker? “If Briarcliff and Lakeside had announced, ‘We’ve made a deal. We’ve agreed on all our borders. We’re ready to talk to Tucker,’ we’d be saying, Hallelujah,’” said Frank Auman of the group Tucker 2015. “But they didn’t say anything like that. So Tucker’s going to keep doing what Tucker does. We’re going to keep our heads down, keep working for what’s best for our community. When time comes to have somebody to talk to, we’re prepared to talk.”
One thing on which all three already agree: to make progress toward cityhood, the maps will have to be finalized, with no overlap of boundaries, before the groups bring them to the 20-15 legislative session.