We will never know who donated most of the money to start the cityhood movement. The group raised eyebrows back in August by holding a $500 'suggested minimum donation' event, where they actively solicited money from vendors who do businesses with cities.
Cityhood supporters dodged questions about the attendee list for weeks. But LaVista Hills is required by law to disclose who has been paying for all the robocalls and mailers as they have waged this campaign. The list of donors went public yesterday, one week past the deadline for disclosures.
So who has been 'investing' in creating a new city? Many businesses who contract with and/or benefit from development in cities. These businesses are not only located outside of the LaVista Hills area, but many are not even located in DeKalb County.
Who are these donors?
The Council for Quality Growth. This group, which was involved in the push to build the Braves stadium in Cobb County, "formulates policy and legislation critical to the development industry."
Lowe Engineers. Jon Drysdale with Lowe Engineers, based in Dunwoody, gave $1000 to LaVista Hills. Lowe Engineers gave more than $2000 to Brookhaven Yes and were promptly named the manager of the city's public works department.
Clark Patterson Lee. Kevin McComber of Suwanee, with the firm of Clark Patterson Lee, gave a $1000 to LaVista Hills. He also gave $1000 to the Brookhaven effort, and was named head of their Community Development Department.
The Collaborative. The Collaborative, based out of Boston, is a for-profit corporation that manages planning and zoning, building inspection, and code enforcement for the city of Sandy Springs.
Moreland Altobelli Associates. A resident of Duluth who if the Chief Financial Officer for this firm gave $500. Moreland Altobelli is an engineering firm founded by former GDOT chief Tom Moreland. Their client list includes a large number of municipalities that contracts with many cities. They have been involved in several high-profile road-widening projects.
Riley McClendon Law Firm. Bill Riley of Marietta gave $1000 to the LaVista Hills Alliance. He has set up the municipal courts for the cities of Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, and Brookhaven, John's Creek, and Chattahoochee Hills. He may be best known for sending a sanitation worker to jail for starting work too early.
Charles Abbott Associates. A Dunwoody resident who is an CEO of California-based Charles Abbott and Associates donated $1000. This is a for-profit company that runs city departments, including Brookhaven's code enforcement department.
When corporations help to create new cities that promptly hire them, often at a greatly inflated cost from what just hiring government employees would cost, taxpyers are stuck footing the bills.
Coleman Talley. Thompson Kurrie, former Brookhaven City attorney, left the city after it was found that he had violated state Open Records Act and transparency laws. The Valdosta-based law firm provides city attorneys to many small municipalities in Georgia. Kurrie has given $750 in cash and in-kind legal services to the Alliance.
InterDev. Alpharetta-based InterDev provides services to municipalities seeking to outsource their entire IT departments. Their CEO donated $250 in cash, and the company provided mapping services to LaVista Hills.
Time is short before the election. Please post and share and let your neighbors know who is behind this effort to to create a new layer of government, and who stands to benefit