Monthly Archives: March 2015

COVE Report – March 24, 2015

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March 25, 2015

Blueprint’s Legislation Passes General Assembly!

Key Reforms for DeKalb County were approved yesterday by the Georgia Legislature.
– Independent Internal Auditor
– Stronger and Improved Ethics Legislation
– Consistent Procurement Policies
These reforms came through the hard work and leadership of Victoria Estates residents Pat Killingsworth and Martha Pacini, and others. Thank you and congratulations! Thank you to the Blueprint DeKalb volunteers, Commissioner Kathie Gannon who was the original organizer for this citizen group, Senator Elena Parent and Representative Scott Holcomb who sponsored the legislation, and to all of you who made calls and wrote letters in support!

Contentious Update to LaVista Hills Map

The border between the proposed cities of LaVista Hills and Tucker has been amended, transferring a significant number of neighborhoods from Tucker to LaVista Hills. The Mason Mill neighborhood has been awkwardly divided with only a portion around Thomson Park being included in LaVista Hills. Victoria Estates remains excluded.

LaVista Hills in Mason Mill







Last year the Georgia Legislature defined a border between LaVista Hills and Tucker to resolve their two initiatives’ disputed areas. At the time both sides agreed to the border and special House Committee Chair, State Rep. Buzz Brockway, stated the line between the two cities was “set in stone.”

Last week, Senator Fran Millar moved that line to capture commercial and residential neighborhoods for LaVista Hills, stating it was due to the wishes of neighborhoods. Rep. Brockway posted a pointed response to Millar’s actions stating that the previous boundary “was to avoid a situation where one city proposal was getting almost everything they wanted and the other was getting very little of what they wanted.” He is now opposed to both the Tucker and LaVista Hills proposals. Buzz Brockway Statement on Revised Maps

Mason Mill Neighborhood Association President Mary Hinkel has expressed concern over the dividing of the neighborhood among municipalities. The last neighborhood poll showed the majority of Mason Mill neighbors preferred to remain in unincorporated DeKalb. The current proposal would add Mason Woods Drive, Thomson Park, the west side of Vistavia Circle, and 1/4 of Mason Mill Rd to LaVista Hills.

Representatives from the Mason Mill Civic Association are working to resolve the matter.

Decaturish Article – Controversial changes to LaVista Hills, Tucker map approved

Atlanta Regional Commission Survey






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Atlanta Regional Commission
40 Courtland Street NE—Atlanta, GA 30303
tel. 404.463.3100

Cityhood/County Initiative Links

Blueprint DeKalb

Seeking comprehensive solutions as big as our problems. Governmental transparency is a must. Citizens’ voices count.

DeKalb Strong

DeKalb Strong supports a moratorium on city hood and annexation proposals in DeKalb County to give citizens time to participate in a deliberative, comprehensive, and equitable process for improving DeKalb County governance.

LaVista Hills Yes

LakesideYES and the City of Briarcliff Initiative have collaborated to create a one-city solution for our area of North/Central DeKalb County.

Together in Atlanta

Together in Atlanta is a grassroots effort by neighbors who are seeking annexation into the City of Atlanta.

COVE Report – March 12, 2015

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March 12, 2015

Legislative Update

Atlanta Annexation of Victoria Estates and Mason Mill

Rep. Pat Gardner, Chair of the newly formed Atlanta House Delegation has sponsored a bill for annexation of Druid Hills and adjacent areas, including all of Victoria Estates and Mason Mill. The bill is here [Atlanta Annexation Bill ] The census map with block numbers corresponding to the bill is located here [VE Census Block Map]  (you must download the map to see the full details or click here for a close up ). A full map from the legislature should be made available soon. If you wish to contact Rep. Gardner she may be reached at 404.656.0265 or

3/13/15 – Addition – The latest map as of yesterday afternoon. This map now shows Mason Mill split between municipalities. Victoria Estate remains entirely in the proposed annexation. atlanta-annex-N.-Druid-map

3/12/15 – Addition – Here is a map posted by (GIS professional) on Decaturish. This may be the best representation of the proposed annexation area prior to receiving an official map from the legislature. atlanta-annex-map.

3/12/15 – And here is the draft legislative map DH annexation map (2)

DeKalb Reforms Held Hostage

Proposed ethics, audit, and procurement reforms to DeKalb County require legislative approval. Bills based on national best practices with widespread community and political support were held hostage by Senator Fran Millar who refused to let them be sponsored in the Senate. Now the House has passed the same bills and sent them to the Senate for approval. Call or write to ask Senator Millar to stop jeopardizing county reforms (see information below).

Senator Elena Parent Town Hall Meeting, Thursday (TONIGHT) @ Young Israel 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Hear the latest updates on Cityhood, Atlanta Annexation of Victoria Estates and Mason Mill, DeKalb reform bills, and other goings on at the capitol. If this follows the same format as her previous town hall meeting, she will provide details on current legislation and then open the floor for Q&A. Come early to get a seat as there should be a large turnout of pro and anti-LaVista Hills residents. Young Israel, 2056 LaVista Road NE, 30329, 6:30 – 8:00 pm.

LaVista Hills and Other Cityhood Bills

Various bills to municipalize most of DeKalb County are poised to be voted on in the Legislature. No bills have passed to both the House and Senate, a requirement for approval. The deadline is “Crossover Day,” which is tomorrow. It’s quite possible there will be a flurry of last minute activity and approvals by the end of Friday. Attend the Town Hall meeting tonight for an update.

3/12/15 – Correction – Cross over day is tomorrow 3/13/15

Write Senator Fran Millar for DeKalb County Reforms

Proposed ethics, audit, and procurement reforms to DeKalb County require legislative approval. Bills based on national best practices with widespread community and political support were held hostage by Senator Fran Millar who refused to let them be sponsored in the Senate. Now the house has passed the same bills and is sending them to the Senate for approval. Call or write Senator Millar to stop jeopardizing county reform.

Let Senator Millar know that it’s unacceptable to block these reforms that were recommended by the Operations Task Force on which he sat! There is no excuse for jeopardizing these reforms for political “horse trading” on other issues and bills.

Call Senator Millar’s office at (404) 463-2260 (His aides are polite and will note your call) or

Email: Senator Fran Millar (
Copy: Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle (, Chairman of the State & Local Government Operations Committee John Albers (

For more details on the bills go to the citizen led group Blueprint DeKalb which was instrumental in crafting this legislation.

Sample Email to Fran Millar:

Dear Senator Millar:

I ask you to support the DeKalb County audit, ethics and procurement reform bills approved by the House and before you in the Senate. These reforms are based on national best standards, have widespread community and political support, and were recommended by the Operations Task Force on which you sat.

I understand you blocked Senate versions of these bills. County reform is too important and requires your leadership, not political posturing. Regardless of any outcome on cityhood initiatives, all can agree that the county requires reform. I ask you to remove yourself as an obstacle to these reforms and support these bills, without delay.


Your Name Here
Your Address Here [This must be included to have any impact!]