Tag Archives: Events

COVE Report – January 30, 2017




Houston Mill Road Water Line will be Reconnected and Flushed: January 31, 2017


A notice was provided by the CDC indicating DeKalb County will reconnect and flush a water line on Houston Mill Road Tuesday, January 31, 2017. The work could discolor water or impact water pressure.

Victoria Estates Public Safety Meeting – February 9, 7:00 pm @ 961 Castle Falls Dr.

How will Victoria Estates be impacted by Atlanta’s annexation of Emory University? Will we continue to be served by the closest fire station on Clifton? Changed borders have resulted in some confusion between the County and cities and extreme delays in 911 responses. Does DeKalb county have plans to address this for our neighborhood?

These are some of the questions to be asked of the county’s chief operating officer for public safety, Cedric Alexander. He has agreed to meet with Victoria neighbors to address these important concerns.
Thank you to COVE board members Martha Pacini for arranging the meeting and Barbara Zehnbauer for agreeing to host at her home. This meeting is open to Victoria Estates residents and COVE guests.

Dr. Cedric L. Alexander serves as the county’s deputy chief operating officer for public safety.
Prior to joining DeKalb County, Dr. Alexander was the Federal Security Director for the Transportation Security Administration, United States Department of Homeland Security at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. His responsibilities included the coordination and oversight of all security and regulatory actions. He served as Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services; Chief of Police in the Rochester Police Department; and held several leadership roles at the University of Rochester Department of Psychiatry in New York. Dr. Alexander began his law enforcement career in 1977 and served with the Miami-Dade Police Department, and was a law enforcement officer in Florida for 15 years.

Property Owner at 1840 Mason Mill Jailed Over Signage

January 22, 2017 – Reposted from the Mason Mill Civic Association

The judge found the property owner at 1840 Mason Mill guilty on 10 code violations.

He sentenced the property owner to one week in the County jail, starting immediately.

Upon returning to his property the owner is on probation for 60 months. As a special condition of his probation, he is not to violate the code ordinance dealing with signage in any way (including content). If he does, he will be put in jail again, and each time he is returned to jail, the amount of time will be increased, so that after spending 4 months in jail, the property owner will have to serve the remainder of the 60 months in jail. He also assessed a $10,000 fine to be paid over 60 months. This fine will be suspended $1,000 for every 6-month period the owner remains in compliance. (This is based on notes taken at the trial. We hope to obtain a written order from the Court soon.)

We have included below the neighborhood statement presented during the sentencing phase of the trial. Many thanks to the 20+ residents who showed up in the courtroom. We appreciate your support.

I believe the solicitor has provided you with Victim Impact Statements from the neighborhood civic association and property owners near Mr. Avery.

As you consider sentencing Mr. Avery, I hope you will review those statements and consider that our neighborhood has endured his signage and disrespectful behavior for the past six years. Through his signage, behaviors, emails and blogs he has shown us contempt, vilified our leaders and threatened our neighborhood. We do not come before you in a capricious or light-hearted manner, but with a heavy heart. We can no longer deal with our neighbor by ourselves. We need your help. And so does he.

Since this is a code violation trial, our view is this:
When people choose to become property owners in DeKalb County, they inherently assume the responsibility of living within the rules and regulations of the county, as expressed in the DeKalb Code of Ordinances.

This code sets forth just the minimum standards that we as property owners are expected to follow for property use and health and safety issues, and the minimum standards that we expect our neighbors to follow. Even if, as in the case of Mr. Avery, we become angry at county government, community institutions such as churches and academic institutions, or our neighbors, we are expected to adhere to these ordinances and conduct our behavior accordingly.

For the past six years, Mr. Avery has violated the code continuously, to the detriment of our neighborhood. His signage and behaviors have had a negative impact on our residents’ property values and our emotional health, as described in the impact statements. Moreover, he has flaunted his complete disregard for our neighborhood and the justice system of this county by continually mounting an excessive number of signs and inflatables on a daily basis, in spite of receiving numerous citations.

His blog and emails suggest that he finds all of this humorous and that he is “playing” a game with us. Well, we do not view his sadistic and antagonistic behavior as a game; nor do we find it humorous.
We ask that the Court sentence Mr. Avery in such a manner that will ensure his adherence to the code and protect our neighborhood. We also ask for a sentence that will guarantee his facing more serious consequences if he continues to violate the code and threaten our residents.

DeKalb County Comprehensive Plan Update for 2016

Carl Lange
On January 24, the DeKalb County Commission agreed to defer voting on an update to the county’s long-term land use plan to its next meeting on the morning of February 14.
Mason Mill Civic Association president Mary Hinkle, who has been tracking this closely, was unable to attend. I spoke for her and COVE at the meeting, requesting a deferral. Final versions of this important document were not updated till the morning of the meeting, not providing sufficient time for review. My approximate comments to the commission:
– We remain concerned that the land use designation for the Toco Hills shopping center is not in alignment with the wishes of the surrounding communities.
– I’d also like to thank the work that staff has done in updating the plan. However, in the most recent publicly available 2035 Comprehensive Plan Update, Toco Hills continues to be designated as a town center.
– The community expressed its desire for Toco Hills to be a neighborhood center as was previously agreed to in the North Druid Hills LCI study.
– This has been a repeated requested that we feel still has not been clearly addressed. We have noted a small area plan designation on page 98 of the latest 2035 Comprehensive Plan which designates specific Land Use Development Policy Guidelines for Toco Hills. This addresses some issues but still contains higher density standards than neighborhood centers allow.
– Until the implementation of the North Druid Hills LCI is accomplished, we request written assurances that any development in Toco Hills will not exceed neighborhood center requirements in density and land use.
– If these assurances cannot be sufficiently provided, we request that approval of the Comprehensive plan be deferred.
– Additionally, we request sufficient time now and in the future to review these important impacts to our neighborhoods. Receiving a final version of the plan with significant revisions the morning of the meeting is unacceptable, providing insufficient opportunity for neighborhood evaluation and input.

The updated plan is located here:

New Proposal Would Restore Emory’s Briarcliff Mansion

The State Properties Commission approved the plans for renovating the Briarcliff (Candler) Mansion on Emory’s Briarcliff campus, into a boutique hotel. Once this exciting restoration is completed (anticipated to be in late 2018), it will be a wonderful amenity for our community.
Here is a link to an article posted in the Emory Report with old photos of the Mansion along with plans for the new hotel. http://news.emory.edu/stories/2016/12/er_briarcliff_mansion_renovation/campus.html

First Annual Report of the DeKalb County Ethics Officer

County ethics officer Stacey Kalberman has issued her first annual report, as required by the county’s ethics code. The report describes the activities of the ethics officer and reports on the “ethical health of DeKalb County.”

The four-page report can be found at: Annual-Report-of-Ethics-Officer-2017

DeKalb Tennis Center Open House – February 11, 11 am – 3pm

DeKalb County Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs Tennis Center under New Management

DeKalb County Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs and AGAPE Tennis Academy will host an event to celebrate new management at DeKalb Tennis Center on Saturday, Feb. 11, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., located at 1400 McConnell Drive, Decatur.

The event will include entertainment, drills, games, food, tours, giveaways and more. Participants will also have the opportunity to learn more about parks and natural resources that are available in their community.

For more information, contact Amy Pazahanick at 678-333-5934.

DeKalb Tax Commissioner Reminds Local Residents to File for Basic Homestead, Senior & Disability Exemptions

DeKalb County Tax Commissioner, Irvin J. Johnson, would like to remind all DeKalb County taxpayers who owned and resided in their property on January 1, 2017 that they may qualify for a basic homestead exemption. The homestead exemption, which provides a significant tax savings to homeowners, must be applied for in person, by mail or via the Internet as exemptions are not automatically granted. Please note, that no company to include mortgage companies may file applications on behalf of property owners. Also, by law, exemptions are not available for rental or commercial property and there is never a fee to file.

In addition to the basic homestead exemption, there are special exemptions for citizens 62 years of age and older. Eligibility is determined only by application based on age and total household income. Special exemptions are also available for citizens that are deemed totally and permanently disabled. Applicants for senior or disability exemptions must visit one of the Tax Commissioner’s office locations in person so that specific circumstances and required documentation (2016 State & Federal income tax returns, proof of age and proof of disability status), are reviewed for eligibility.

Residents are reminded that application must be received by April 3, 2017 in order for the exemption to be granted on 2017 annual property taxes. Although applications are accepted year round, any approved application received after the April 3rd deadline will be granted for the 2018 tax year.

Residents are encouraged to visit the website at www.dekalbcountyga.gov/taxcommissioner with questions. You may also call 404-298-4000 or email proptax@dekalbcountyga.gov for assistance.

If your community or civic organization would like to schedule a representative from the Tax Commissioner Office to speak at an event regarding exemption options, please feel free to reach the office at any of the contacts noted above.

Tax Commissioner Office Locations:

Central: 4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 100, Decatur 30032 – across from the DeKalb County Jail
North: 1358 Dresden Drive, NE, Atlanta 30319 – 2 blocks east of Brookhaven Marta Station
South: 2801 Candler Road, Suite 66, Decatur 30034 – The Gallery @ South DeKalb Mall by Macy’s

DeKalb County 24-Hour Tag Renewal Kiosk

Town Hall Meeting – February 9, 6:30 pm

State Senator Elena Parent will be joined by State Representative Mary Margaret Oliver in a Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, February 9th, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central DeKalb Senior Center, 1346 McConnell Drive. This is your opportunity to learn about what’s happening during this year’s state legislative session.

Senator Elena Parent Newsletter

January 9th marked the opening of this year’s legislative session, which lasts 40 legislative days.
What’s on tap for this session? Read on…
Welcome to the Parent Press, Senator Elena Parent’s newsletter. January 9th marked the opening of this year’s legislative session, which lasts 40 legislative days.
What’s on tap for this session? Read on…
Did you know Georgia has the fewest competitive legislative races in the nation, despite being an increasingly competitive state from a partisan perspective? Did you know that legislators get to draw their own districts, which allows them to pick the people who vote for them and intentionally disadvantage voters from the minority party?
That’s the process we call “redistricting” and I’ve got a plan to fix it by turning the once-every-decade process of drawing legislative districts over to an independent commission less influenced by partisan politics. Until we have more fair districts, the extreme polarization and gridlock we see in our governments will continue. Check out more details in this news article.

Campus Carry!
It’s coming back. Even though poll after poll show that Georgians (including the Governor) don’t want it, Republicans announced plans to push for it again this session.

I’ll share the bill with you as soon as it is filed, but I plan to fight against just like I did last year — with success. (You can watch my speech – just click the photo.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QDMSwIP1h8

Women’s March on Washington!

I had the honor and distinct pleasure of attending the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, where I marched with my mother, sisters, cousins, many friends and over 500,000 other people determined to make our voices heard that we oppose the new administration’s divisive rhetoric and “alternative facts.” In Atlanta, 63,000 marched, including many of you. This outpouring was cathartic and inspiring; now that the world is watching, we need to stay involved and make a difference. See below for ways to do so.
Legal, but predatory, loans ripple across Georgia
There is a current practice in Georgia where companies send out checks to people they know are in financial distress, and when they cash that check that are stuck in a high-interest loan contract that they can’t pay back. It is totally legal. Find out more in this television report.
I have a plan to fix this problem. Watch this space.
What You Can Do.
Information is power. Empower your friends by sending them this update! Just click here! Forward
Want to get the latest on what’s happening at the Capitol? Attend my town hall, details below.
Town Hall!
Want to find out more about what’s going on this session? Come to my Town Hall! Here’s all the info:
When: Thursday, February 9th, from 6:30-8:00 PM
Where: Central DeKalb Senior Center, 1346 McConnell Dr, Decatur, GA 30033, USA (map)
We need your input, your thoughts, and your ideas! Please contact us at our office at the Capitol, by phone, or by email.
Elena Parent

Representative Mary Margaret Oliver Newsletter

…Before discussing this week’s activities, however, please tell me how you would vote on legislation to allow casino gambling in Georgia–survey below….

Dear Friends,

We have completed eight days of the 2017 General Assembly Session, 20% of our 40 days, and the House has passed only one bill—HB 43, the Supplemental Budget amending this Fiscal Year Budget that ends June 30, 2017. Below is a discussion of this important legislation.

Before discussing this week’s activities, however, please tell me how you would vote on legislation to allow casino gambling in Georgia–survey below. Legislation to allow casino gambling, which requires a constitutional amendment and a 2/3 vote of both chambers was introduced this week in the Senate, SB 79, to allow casinos in two areas of Georgia–Atlanta, and one other unnamed area, presumed to be Savannah. Proceeds would go exclusively to fund HOPE scholarships and Pre-K, the same limitations as the current lottery.

If revenues raised from casino gambling would only fund HOPE and Pre-K education, would you be in favor of allowing casino gambling in Georgia?

Click here to take survey


With friends, on last Saturday, I joined 60 thousand plus other Georgians on a march from the Civil Rights Museum to the Capitol for social justice! I most enjoyed the signs and the families with children marching together.

On a daily basis I am approached by citizens who express their wishes to be more involved in politics, and you are all welcome. We particularly need help under the Gold Dome–come visit please!

Supplemental Budget Highlights

HB 43 passed the House on January 26 to amend the current state budget by adding $606.2 million in additional revenue or 2.5% over the original 2017 budget passed in the 2016 Session. The total appropriation for this year is now $24.3 billion. The new revenue includes fully funding our reserve funds, and $108.9 million for enrollment growth of almost 12,000 additional k-12 school children, a .68% growth rate statewide.

Additional funds will be added to the Governor’s Emergency Funds for south Georgia storm damage and litigation fees for the water wars with Florida. Many other agencies receive additional funds for services that faced unplanned or extraordinary needs, such as waste cleanup, or to expand health care programs for the telehealth network or trauma centers. The complete budget additions and cuts are set out in detail in HB 43, here. These highlight links here and here might

MMO New Bills

HB 86 is requested by DFCS based on a federal mandate to add a definition of Sexually Trafficked minors to a category of child abuse investigations. The federal government has appropriated $100 million for services for these victims and requires that the states provide additional data to receive this money.

HB 126 sets out a new composition and confidentiality requirements for the Judicial Qualifications Commission that the American Bar Association proposes for the reconstituted JQC favorably approved by the voters on November 8.

DeKalb County has requested that I introduce again legislation relating to the pension legacy issues created by incorporation of new cities. More to come on this complex financial and actuarial issue.

Hearings are currently tentatively scheduled for HB 52 and 53, described in an earlier newsletter. Stay tuned for progress reports on these bills, and HB 10 that bans assault type weapons and high capacity magazines and cop killer bullets.

State of Judiciary

Chief Justice Harris Hines gave the State of the Judiciary report this week to a joint session of the House and Senate. Highlights include his review of his 16 years of service chairing the Supreme Court of Georgia’s Commission on Children. Representative Wendall Willard and I are the House appointees to this Commission which has led the state in child welfare reforms — thank you Justice Hines, who will be replaced as Chair of the Commission by Justice David Nahmias.

There are currently 139 Accountability Courts, funded as part of Governor Deal’s Criminal Justice Reform, and additional proposals are coming forth this year to reduce the number of Georgia citizens on criminal probation. Georgia has 6 times the number of citizens supervised by probation services than other states–inefficient use of tax money, that should focus on a smaller number of more dangerous offenders.

Activities this week and Next–join us!

This week I joined this Emory Lavista Parents Council

the Greater Presbyterians Advocacy group
medical residents from Emory and Grady
the DeKalb County CEO Mike Thurmond and Commissioners, and many others. They all are part of the public discussion under the Dome.

Coming up are the following events:

Every Monday the DeKalb delegation meets at noon, in Room 230 of the Capitol, with guests and an agenda. Local legislation is presented and discussed. All are welcome to come.

February 1, Glenn Memorial Wednesday night Supper for the annual legislative report from me and Senator Elena Parent. 6:30, Fellowship Hall.

February 2, Room 406 CLOB, Tentative hearing scheduled for my HB 53 which expands the jurisdiction of Juvenile Courts to include minors age 17.

February 7, CASA day at the Capitol, Freight Room, noon.

February 9, I am joining Senator Elena Parent for a Town Hall meeting, 6:30 pm, DeKalb Senior Citizens Center, 1346 McConnell Dr., Decatur.

Please contact me anytime with your questions or comments and visit our website at the link below and follow me on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the links below. I look forward to working with you during the 2017 Georgia General Assembly, and I need your help and your support!! In the meantime, I will continue to report on issues that may interest you, and welcome your suggestions on how this newsletter may better serve you.

Mary Margaret
Law Office (404) 377-0485
Legislative Office (404) 656-0265

COVE Report – September 12, 2016

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Emory Annexation into Atlanta








Emory University has begun the process to be annexed into the City of Atlanta. Due to the nature of Emory’s annexation (by a percentage of property method) the annexation is likely to proceed and could occur by year end. Victoria Estates and adjacent areas are not included in the annexation. Some potential impacts to Victoria Estates are transportation, public safety, schools, and taxes.

The COVE board is planning the following response:
• Obtain more definitive responses from officials on impacts
• Provide updates to neighbors through COVE Report
• Conduct survey of neighbors to understand concerns
• Neighborhood meeting with Atlanta, DeKalb County, and Emory representatives

While Victoria Estates is not included in the annexation, it could be annexed by petition of residents. The petition option would be available to VE only if the Emory petition is successful and Victoria Estates then has a border with Atlanta.

Below is a link discussing the announcement and additional information provided by Emory University.


From Emory University


Emory is beginning the process to annex into the City of Atlanta. There are several questions that have been raised regarding this annexation that Emory would like to clarify.

• It is important to note that Emory would remain in DeKalb County but would move its municipal jurisdiction from unincorporated DeKalb to the City of Atlanta in DeKalb County.

• Emory University is not asking, nor does the process require anyone else for it to change its municipal jurisdiction from unincorporated DeKalb to the City of Atlanta.

• This decision does not change school districts, since neighboring communities like Druid Hills will still be self-determining regarding annexation. Druid Hills High School would remain in unincorporated DeKalb County.

• Emory University would annex by petition to the City of Atlanta. The neighborhoods that surround Emory’s campus would not be part of this petition. Earlier news reports incorrectly stated that Emory’s petition requires 60 percent neighborhood approval.

Emory University, like neighboring communities, has been considering and evaluating annexation options for several years. Currently, Emory is beginning the process to annex its campus into the City of Atlanta. Emory’s annexation into the City of Atlanta has always been viewed as one of the most viable, long-term options and one that provides consistency and alignment relative to the University’s marketing and branding initiatives. Emory already promotes its location as Atlanta, is known internationally as being located in Atlanta, routinely recruits faculty and students to Atlanta, and has an Atlanta address and zip code. The prestige of Emory as an international university and Atlanta as a global city are inextricably linked.


COVE Annual Membership Meeting


Thank you everyone who attended the annual membership meeting. For a recap of our accomplishments here is the annual report. COVE Annual Report 2016

Membership unanimously elected new board members Jen Tipping and Barbara Zehnbauer. Tim Buchman has retired from the board. Thank you for your service! Thanks to Bobby and Joselyn Baker for hosting the meeting! The 2016/2017 COVE Board Members and Officers – Bobby Baker, Susan Bell, Pat Killingsworth, Emily Koumans, Carl Lange, Ron McCauley, Martha Pacini, Jen Tipping, David Woolf, and Barbara Zehnbauer.

Ethics Town Hall Meeting this Wednesday at 7 PM
9.12.2016 – Representative Scott Holcomb



This coming Wednesday, September 14th at 7 PM, Rep. Taylor Bennett and I are hosting a town hall meeting in Ashford Park in Brookhaven. The address is 2980 Redding Road, Atlanta 30319.

Stacey Kalberman, who was recently hired as DeKalb County’s first full-time Ethics Officer, will join us to talk about the work she is doing to educate county officials and employees on best practices and to address infractions.

The formation of the new Board of Ethics and the position that Stacey now fills are the result of an incredible amount of work by a DeKalb County task force and a task force of citizens who wanted change. Both groups came to the same conclusion: that it was critical to create this position to increase ethical standards in DeKalb County’s government.

I’m proud to have played a part in helping to make this happen. I sponsored the bill that ultimately received unanimous support in the General Assembly and approval by DeKalb citizens in a referendum last year.

Please join me and Rep. Bennett in welcoming Stacey Kalberman and learning about the critical work she and the Board of Ethics are doing.


Atlanta Cannot Keep Five Areas It Annexed


This is the AJC story about the City of Atlanta annexation of 5 Fulton areas. The annexations were disallowed on a technicality. It gives voters in the footprint of the City of South Fulton an opportunity to vote on cityhood in a referendum in November.





2016 General Election Dates


September 20, 2016
Earliest day for a registrar to mail an absentee ballot for the General Election/November Special Election.

October 11, 2016
Last day a person may register and be eligible to vote in the General Election/November Special Election /Runoff Election.

October 17, 2016
Advanced (In-Person) Voting begins for the General Election/November Special Election.

October 29, 2016
Mandatory Saturday Voting for the General Election/November Special Election.

November 8, 2016
General Election
ATLANTA, GA, 30329 – 0000
Election Day precinct hours are 7:00 am – 7:00 pm.

If you prefer to vote off-site, mail or fax your absentee ballot application to your county registrar.
Click Here for an Absentee Ballot Application


Save the Date: Mason Mill Civic Association Fall Picnic – Sunday, October 23, 5-7 p.m. @ Thomson Park


Look for more information about this event in early October. Be sure to join your fellow Victoria Estates and Mason Mill neighbors in this annual event. We’re looking for a great turnout. The weather will be cooler and October is supposed to be the driest month in the year. Let’s hope so!



Commissioner Jeff Rader – Information on Emory Annexation



Commissioner Kathie Gannon – Newsletter


Downtown Decatur Concert Series – Saturdays in Sept. @ 7 pm, Library Events…



Senator Mary Margaret Oliver – Newsletter


100th Anniversary of national parks, Emory Annexation into City of Atlanta, Ban on Assault Type of Weapons Bill…


Property Tax Payment Update
First Installment Due Date – September 30

Irvin J. Johnson, DeKalb County Tax Commissioner, would like to remind all DeKalb County taxpayers that the due date for the first installment of 2016 real estate and personal property taxes is Friday, Sept. 30.

First installment taxes which are not received or postmarked by the Sept. 30 deadline will incur a 5 percent late payment penalty.

There are drop boxes located on the front and side of the Central Office, located at 4380 Memorial Drive in Decatur. Another convenient option is payment by electronic check or credit card at our website: www.dekalbcountyga.gov/taxcommissioner. Please note, there is a 2.35% processing fee for all credit card payments on the site, but check payments have no additional fees. Walk-in customers to the Central office, North, or South satellite offices, may pay by cash, check, debit card ($1.50 service fee) or credit card (2.35% service fee).

Property owners with questions are encouraged to visit the Tax Commissioner’s website at www.dekalbcountyga.gov/taxcommissioner, call the Tax Commissioner’s Office at 404-298-4000 or email proptax@dekalbcountyga.gov for assistance.

DeKalb County 24 Hour Tag Renewal Locations


COVE Report – April 25, 2016

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Early Voting for May 24 Election – May 2-20

Early voting takes place on Mondays through Fridays from May 2-20. Some locations will also be open on Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15. Click here for a list of locations and their hours.

How Would You Like Your Tax Dollars Spent? – Take the Survey Today


DeKalb County’s proposal to address the poor state of roads and other infrastructure is the addition of a Special Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) penny tax and restructuring of property tax relief on the November ballot. If approved, infrastructure projects will be defined per a list currently being developed by a citizen committee. This list includes libraries, parks, roads, and other infrastructure projects. If you would like to voice your opinion on the prioritization of types of projects, please take this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DeKalbSPLOST2016 today.

Whether you are for or against the currently proposed tax changes, prioritization of the list can impact our area as any new funds become available in future years.

The 1-cent SPLOST to fund these projects is one of the two questions on a referendum planned for the ballot in the November General Elections for DeKalb County residents. The second question is whether to approve an Equalized HOST that applies 100% of HOST proceeds to property tax relief for general fund, unincorporated, and city taxes. In order to be enacted, both SPLOST and Equalized HOST must be approved by voters. County officials have stated this solution was proposed and passed by the state legislature to address the inequity created by a disproportionate amount of funds going to new cities with almost no new funds left for county infrastructure projects.

For more information about the proposed SPLOST tax click here http://dekalbcountyga.gov/SPLOST/ . For the list of proposed DeKalb County road resurfacing projects click here  Other project list are available at the SPLOST website.

SPLOST Citizens Advisory Committee is Wednesday, April 27, 3-5pm

The final scheduled meeting of the SPLOST Citizens Advisory Committee is Wednesday, April 27, 3-5pm in the Maloof Auditorium located at 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur, Georgia 30030. In meetings with the county planning staff, citizens were strongly encouraged to provide feedback to this committee as the list it creates could determine, what, if any projects are prioritized for the Toco Hill area. There are significant improvements drafted for North Druid and Clairmont Roads. While there are no funds currently available for these projects, should SPLOST or other funds come available, they will be prioritized based on the final list to be completed prior to the November ballot. You can submit comments to the DeKalb SPLOST Citizen Advisory Committee at splostcomments@dekalbcountyga.gov

DeKalb County 2035 Comprehensive Plan Update – Thursday, 4/28, 6:30 p.m

master plan

The N. Druid Hills LCI will now be part of the discussion occurring with the planning associated with the 2035 DeKalb County Comprehensive Plan. The Planning Department is hosting a kick off meeting for this planning process on April 28th at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive in Decatur. For more information on the N. Druid Hills LCI click here 


Semiannual Household Hazardous Waste Event – Saturday, 4/30, 8-noon

Event participants will have an opportunity to responsibly dispose of dangerous household chemicals that are no longer of use. Hazardous materials, such as aerosols, batteries, adhesives, flammables, lawn care products, fluorescent light bulbs, photo chemicals, artist supplies, household cleaning supplies, and paint and paint-related products, will be accepted.

Where: DeKalb County Sanitation Division’s Central Transfer Station, 3720 Leroy Scott Drive, Decatur, GA 30032

Emory Commencement – Monday, 5/9 – early morning


Emory’s 2016 Commencement is on Monday, May 9. The All-Schools Central ceremony on the Quadrangle begins at 9:00 a.m. Emory is recommending that guests plan to arrive on campus by 7:00 a.m. to avoid area congestion. Plan your commutes and/or travel in and out of the neighborhood that day.

Kathie Gannon


Dear Friends,
In 2014, I convened a group of concerned citizens under the umbrella of a Blueprint to Redefine DeKalb who helped draft and advocate for reforms in DeKalb County. The resulting State legislation established an Internal Auditor, an independent Board of Ethics, Chief Ethics Officer, and revisions in our purchasing procedures to bring transparency. These reforms are beginning to take hold, but more must be done.
More recently, there have been state level attempts to change the form of government in DeKalb, but hardly any discussion with YOU about how we should replace it. The DeKalb Delegation considered but did not pass any legislation related to studying or changing DeKalb’s form of government. I believe a Charter Review Commission comprised of DeKalb citizens, and supplemented with professional advice and facilitation, is the correct next step to reform DeKalb County government. It should be DeKalb citizens that review the current government structure, consider the positives, negatives and alternative forms and recommend changes that bring about a more efficient and effective government. A strong component must be included to educate and engage the public in this effort. I am proposing a resolution creating a Citizen Charter Review Commission to the Board of Commissioners. Ultimately any proposed changes will need to be approved by the citizens through a voter referendum. Please join me in asking the Board of Commissioners to create and fund a Charter Review Commission to improve our form of government and to include a robust citizen participation process.
Thank you.

Commissioner Kathie Gannon
Office – 404-371-4909

Candidates Forum – April 30, 2016

Dekalb Strong will hold a candidate forum to allow voters to meet candidates in the DeKalb County contested local races. The event will be held on April 30, 2016 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Rehoboth Baptist Church, 2997 Lawrenceville Hwy, Tucker, GA 30084.

This is an opportunity for the community to meet multiple candidates in person, ask questions, obtain campaign materials, and share ideas, all in one location.

Dekalb Strong has invited all candidates in contested races who have provided emails in their qualification materials. http://dekalbstrong.com/events/


COVE Report – October 13, 2015

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Mason Mill/Victoria Estates/Logan’s Knoll Neighborhood Picnic


This Sunday, October 18th from 4-6 p.m. in W. D. Thomson Park


Residents of Mason Mill, Victoria Estate and the surrounding area are invited to our neighborhood’s annual fall picnic on Sunday, October 18th from 4-6 p.m. in W. D. Thomson Park. The pavilion has been rented, shoppers are lined up to secure provisions, and the grill maestros have been recruited.

Please plan on joining us and bring a favorite dish for 8-10 people, along with your folding chairs, blankets and toys for your kids. You can RSVP via nextdoormasonmill or by email to civicassn@masonmill.org. If you’d like to volunteer to help with the set-up (at 3:30) or the clean-up, let us know by emailing civicassn@masonmill.org. Hope to see you there!


Don’t Forget to Vote! – DeKalb County Election


Tuesday, November 3, 2015


On the ballot for Victoria Estates neighbors:
DeKalb County Board of Ethics Referendum
(Vote for One)
House Bill No. 597
Act No. 204
“Shall the Act be approved which revises the Board of Ethics for DeKalb County?”

LaVista Park Fall Festival


Saturday, October 17: Noon – 4:00 pm
Corner of Wild Creek & Brookforest
• Free food & drinks
• Silent Auction
• Many Raffle Items
• Children’s Activities
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Cityhood Forum

Monday, October 19, 2015, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Young Israel, 2056 Lavista Rd, Atlanta, GA 30329
Sponsored and Moderated by State Representative Mary Margaret Oliver and State Senator Elena Parent

Purpose: To provide a structured meeting enabling both sides to present their positions to the public, and for community members to have their questions answered

When: Monday, October 19, from 6:30-8:00 PM. Meeting will start and end on time.

Where: Young Israel of Toco Hills

Please come and hear discussion of this issue so important to our community.

Senate Study Committee on Annexation, De-annexation & Incorporation

Wednesday, October 21: 2:00 -5:00 pm
Tuesday, November 3: 9 AM-12 PM
Room 450 of the Capitol

Sen. Elena Parent has scheduled the last two meetings for the Senate Study Committee on Annexation, De-annexation, and incorporation. More details will follow as the agendas for both are finalized. You can also find the committee documents that have been posted online here
and the notes here
If you have any questions please contact Stephanie Tanner, Legislative Assistant to Sen. Parent, at Stephanie.Tanner@senate.ga.gov

Interim CEO Town Hall Meetings

Lee May is hosting “an up close face to face conversation concerning his Executive Order and the recent report that was released.”

Thursday, October 15: 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Tucker-Cofer Reid Library
5234 LaVista Road, Tucker, GA 30084

Tuesday, October 20: 6:30 – 8:00 pm

2842 H.F. Shepard Drive, Decatur, GA 30032

COVE Report – September 10, 2015

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COVE Annual Membership Meeting

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On July 26, the COVE board and members met to review 2014/2015 accomplishments and discuss plans for 2015/2016. President Martha Pacini recapped activities associated with the past year. Areas of focus for the upcoming year will be cityhood/annexation, county affairs, conversations with neighboring institutions and addressing decaying infrastructure.

Board member and COVE co-founder Erika Birg completed her term and retired from the board. Thank you Erika for being our organizer and for your great service to Victoria Estates! Martha Pacini has completed her term as president and will remain on the board. Thank you for your great leadership and service! Board members with expiring terms were reelected with the addition of new board member Bobby Baker.

Subsequently the board met and selected new officers:
President – Pat Killingsworth
Vice President – David Woolf
Secretary – Carl Lange (continuing)
Treasurer – Susan Bell (continuing)

DeKalb Solicits Residents to Serve on the New Audit Oversight Committee


In the interest of fostering accountability at all levels of the organization, DeKalb County Government is creating the AOC as authorized by the Georgia General Assembly in House Bill 599 (signed into law May 12, 2015). This committee will function independently in conducting performance and financial-related audits for all departments, offices, agencies, and programs of the County. The objective is to ensure County programs are effectively achieving the purpose for which they were authorized and funded.

How to apply: County residents interested in volunteering to serve on the 5-member AOC are invited to submit their resume to executiverecruiting@dekalbcountyga.gov by September 11, 2015.

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

· Reside in DeKalb
· Possess expertise conducting performance or financial audits
· Minimum five years experience and certified as one of the following – public accountant, internal or performance auditor, management accountant; or ten years relevant professional experience
· Serve one or four-year term

For additional information, please contact Antwyn Brown at

GDOT Open House Concerning Lavista Road at Biltmore Drive – Sept. 23


The Georgia Department of Transportation is to hold a Public Information Open House on Wednesday, September 23 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. concerning a proposal to add eastbound and westbound turning lanes and sidewalk improvements on Lavista Road at Biltmore Drive.

The meeting will be held at the Intown Community Church, 2059 Lavista Road, Atlanta.

The DOT says the Open House is intended to provide the public an opportunity to view the project (PI No. 00010944), ask questions and comment on the proposal. It says the meeting will be informal and the public is invited to attend anytime during the two hours. There will be no formal presentation.

Written statements will be accepted concerning this project until October 3 and can be sent to:
Ms. Hiral Patel, P.E.State Environmental Administrator
Georgia Department of Transportation
600 West Peachtree Street, NW 16th Floor
Atlanta, Georgia 30308

A Georgia DOT document from earlier this year says: “The project proposes minor improvements to install left turn lanes and an eastbound right turn lane on [Lavista]. The addition of the turn lanes is
expected to reduce the delay at the intersection from 26 seconds to 7.4 seconds during the AM peak hour period. An alternative would be installing a roundabout to improve capacity and operation through this routine bottleneck. The additional capacity at this intersection with either alternative will also relieve the routine delay for through moving vehicles at all times of the day.”

Say No to Robocalls

Patricia Killingsworth from Victoria Estates

As the cityhood debate heats up going into the November 3rd referendum, you may find yourself victimized by an uptick in robocalls. FCC regulations require that the caller announce his/her name at the beginning of the call, and leave a callback number that is answered by a live person. Robocalls to cell phones are not allowed unless prior permission has been given to the caller.

If you receive a robocall of any kind that does not comply with these regulations, please report it! It is a simple process and only takes a minute. The fines are substantial, and reports from multiple sources will guarantee that the FCC will take notice.

Again, please report any noncompliant robocalls that you receive!! I, for one, will be most grateful to be able to eat dinner in peace without constant telephone interruptions. Thank you!

You will find the rules and guide to filing complaints here

Victoria Estates Neighborhood Directory

The majority of Victoria Estates residents have responded to requests for your information for the neighborhood directory. Volunteers will be reaching out by phone and knocks on the door to complete the missing information. If you have not already and would like to provide or update your information please contact Roberta Lynn. If you have any questions you may also contact Marian Gordin. The directory is for private use within Victoria Estates.

From DeKalb County Commissioner Kathie Gannon

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DeKalb Adopts New Zoning Code

Zoning code
DeKalb County’s Zoning Code Update is finally complete after many years of efforts. This is the first major update since 1999. View it here.

Decatur Book Festival – September 4-6

Decatur Book Festival




Click for more of Kathie Gannon’s Newsletter

Keep DeKalb Beautiful Hosts Electronics Recycling, Paper Shredding Event

Saturday, Sept. 12 from 9 a.m. – noon, Keep DeKalb Beautiful (KDB), in collaboration with Beulah Missionary Baptist Church, will host an electronics recycling, paper shredding and shoe collection event. The event will be held at Beulah Missionary Baptist Church, 2340 Clifton Springs Road, Decatur, GA 30034.

Event participation is free and open to DeKalb County residents.

Residents can recycle used electronics, cell phones, televisions and other household appliances. Projection, plasma and wooden console televisions will be accepted for a $20 recycling fee, Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) televisions for a $10 recycling fee, and Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitors for a $5 recycling fee. All other electronics may be recycled at no charge.

For more information contact KDB at 404-371-2654 or kdb@dekalbcountyga.gov

COVE Report – June 30, 2015

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Citizens of Victoria Estates (COVE) Annual Membership Meeting: Tuesday, July 21, 7:00 – 8:00 pm, 961 Castle Falls Drive

Please join us in recognizing our second year anniversary. The meeting will include a presentation of accomplishments, election of board members, review of budget, and next year plans. Look for more details in the coming weeks.

Victoria Estates Neighborhood 4th of July Party, 12-4 pm



Please join Pat and Scott Killingsworth in celebrating the Fourth of July with our Victoria Estates families and friends at our home on Saturday from 12:00 – 4:00 pm.  We will provide soft drinks, hamburgers and hot dogs, and welcome side dishes and desserts to share.  The pool is open!

Patricia Killingsworth
1364 Rainier Falls Dr NE

404-982-5963 (home)
404-323-3720 (Pat cell)

Victoria Estates Annual Directory

The Victoria Estates neighbor’s directory is being updated. This information will be used only for communication within the neighborhood.

Please look for the email request and respond with any additions and corrections, or confirmations of what is correct. Please respond by July 10.

Volunteers will survey any missing families with flyers and calls, with plans to have the new edition ready by Labor Day.

Directory team members:
Marian Gordin (mkgordin@comcast.net or news@victoriaestates.us)
Carl Lange (carl@carllange.com)
Roberta Lynn (robertalynn2010@gmail.com)
David Woolf (dwoolf@emory.edu)

Victoria Estates Ice Cream Social: Sunday July 12 @ Liawen Court

The Victoria Estates Ice Cream Social is set for Sunday, July 12. This is a great way to meet and greet folks in the neighborhood. There is usually entertainment such as bubbles or face painting and a visit from our own “Emory Guard” Station 1 Fire Department equipment (always dependent on the station’s emergencies). More details will follow from VECA.

Sanitation Service Change – Rolling Forward To One

DeKalb County will begin one-day-a-week sanitation pickup in Victoria Estates on Monday, July 6. Key features of this new program are:
• Victoria Estates pickups for trash, recycling, and yard waste, will be each Monday.
• Standardized 65-gallon containers will be provided sometime in the future. Continue to use your existing containers until you receive the new ones.
• Consolidated collection. Solid waste, recyclable materials and yard trimmings will be collected on the same day.
• In the future there will be opportunities to purchase larger or smaller containers.
If you have a special need, please call 404-294-2900 to discuss options for sanitation pickup.

COVE Report – May 13, 2015

DeKalb Strong Forum

May 14, 7 p.m.
Voter Information Forum

Holy Cross Catholic Church
Fellowship Hall
3773 Chamblee Tucker Road, Atlanta, GA 30341

DeKalb Strong is holding an event to discuss the possible effects of creating a new level of government, as well as other local legislation coming out of the Georgia Assembly this session.

We will be joined by several guests. We will make ample time for questions and discussion. Bring friends and neighbors who are interested in learning about this issue.

Senator Elena Parent – Town Hall Meeting

Thursday, May 14, 6:30pm – 8:00pm


The 2015 Session of the General Assembly ended in early April.  I was honored to have the opportunity to represent you at the Capitol.  Now, the Governor is busy signing the bills the General Assembly passed.
I want to give you a full report regarding the good, the bad, and the ugly legislation we passed.  I’d be honored if you would join me for a town hall Thursday, May 14th at in the cafeteria of Drew Charter Elementary.

The details are below.
Thank you again for your support, and I hope to see you there!


What: Town Hall Meeting
When: Thursday, May 14, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Where: Cafeteria of Drew Charter Elementary School
300 East Lake Boulevard Atlanta, GA 30317

Thomson Park Work Days: May 16, June 13

Greetings neighbors and friends of Thomson Park –
I hope you’ve had a recent opportunity to see how the Park has been shaping up. The new trees, installed during the dreary days of late January, have been spring to life – and leaf – and look fantastic in their new homes around the lower park. The wet weather and the delay in the arrival of serious heat have actually been good for them to get established.
Our volunteer work has continued as well, with monthly work days having continued through the winter and early spring.
Many thanks to the people who have turned out to remove privet, line trails, remove fallen trees from paths, collect trash and storm debris, and plant native azaleas and flowering trees. Thanks also to Mary S for the home-baked goodies, and to April A and Brent B for bringing some of their Girl and Boy Scouts to help. Thanks also to Reed O for his long grueling hours of chain-saw work, and to stalwarts Mary H, Carol U, Carol R and Craig G for also having put in the most volunteer-hours during this past year. Special thanks to Ann H & Suzanne P for donating new flowering trees for around the tennis court area, and to Park Pride for helping supply tools and volunteers for our most recent work day.

Our final two volunteer days before our annual summer hiatus will be Saturdays May 16 and June 13, 9a-12noon.
Please consider helping on May 16 and June 13, either by joining us for a day of work outside, or by contributing snacks and beverages for our workers. (Soon we will be set up to take monetary donations, which we will need for our upcoming projects, including some new stairs, bridges and benches.)
May the pollen and rain soon give way to beautiful park weather!

Patrick Noonan
Coordinator, Friends of Thomson Park

LaVista Hills Yes


Sunday, May 17, 1-7 PM. 
LaVista Hills YES! will be at the Oak Groove Festival on Sunday, May 17, 1-7 PM.  Please join us for a great neighborhood festival with music, art and food!   The festival will be held at the Vista Grove Shopping Center on LaVista Road.  http://lavistahills.nationbuilder.com/



From our Mason Mill Civic Association neighbors:
Please plan to bring your families to our annual spring picnic, rescheduled for Sunday, May 17, in W. D. Thomson Park. We’ll start up the grill about 4:00 and have burgers (beef and veggie) and hot dogs for all to enjoy. We ask that you bring a side dish or dessert.
Please RSVP to civicassn@masonmill.org so we can get a head count for buying supplies. Let us know how many are coming, what dish you are bringing (for about 8 people), and whether or not you can help set us or clean up.

Victoria Estates Ice Cream Social

Sunday May 31 – @ end of Liawen Court

The Victoria Estates Ice Cream Social is set for Sunday, May 31. This is a great way to meet and greet folks in the neighborhood. There is usually entertainment such as bubbles or face painting and a visit from our own “Emory Guard” Station 1 Fire Department equipment (always dependent on the station’s emergencies). More details will follow.

Emory Point – Phase 2

The remaining scheduled phases of the construction are:

·  5/07/15 – 05/15/15: Landscaping
·  05/18/15 – 05/20/15: ADA ramp installation