Neighbors Against Greenhaven

Why Greenhaven, GA Shouldn’t Become a City

February 27, 2020

Neighbors Against Greenhaven recently received a message from a Greenhaven proponent asking us why we are against forming a city of nearly 300,000 in south DeKalb. We had answered this before on  Why N.A.G. Opposes Greenhaven   back in December 2017, however, this is a good opportunity to update and to include how we can improve unincorporated DeKalb moving forward.

Q: Why are you against Greenhaven/forming a city in south DeKalb?

A: There are a number of reasons why people are opposed to Greenhaven. Reasons include:

  • Not wanting to be in a city
  • Not wanting taxes to increase
  • Not wanting an extra layer of bureaucracy

43762cec-15dd-4674-a90a-76c9d64afd7d-10414-00000718a19286a2

Q: Do you believe your taxes will increase if a city is formed?

A: Yes. 

  • Despite all of the promises that taxes and the millage rate won’t increase if Greenhaven is created, almost every city created in Georgia since 2000 experienced a tax increase.
  • Cities of Dunwoody, Brookhaven, Stonecrest, and Tucker had viable commercial properties to help offset residential property taxes. Proposed Greenhaven has no strong commercial base with to offset residential taxes (95% land parcels would be residential). Services not detailed in the feasibility study would require property tax increases to support any new services.

Q: What are your proposals for improving the existing governmental structure?

A: We maintain good relationships with several county commissioners, State Senators, and State Representatives, and we leverage those relationships to improve the lives of our neighbors.

Q: How does remaining unincorporated benefit me?

A: There are many residents in unincorporated DeKalb who love living in an unincorporated area. Many others enjoy not having to worry about holding an extra set of bureaucrats and elected officials accountable for their actions, behaviors, and spending habits.

Q: What are your proposals to bring more economic development to south and central DeKalb?

A: Some of us are already business owners, so we’re already working our own respective business plans. We’re also leveraging our relationships with county and state elected officials to improve the quality of life in our respective communities.

Q: Why should the status quo be maintained for a system where residents have seen a decline in quality of life?

A: Neighbors Against Greenhaven doesn’t advocate for “the status quo”, and we never have. We are just as concerned, if not more so, about the quality of life in our communities as anyone else. We just don’t feel that the solution to the quality of life issue is creating a new city.

Q: How does NAG address the infrastructure issue?

A: Creating a new city doesn’t solve any infrastructure funding issues and is a red herring.

Q: Do you think DeKalb County government is corrupt? How do you propose making DeKalb County government more transparent?

A: Corruption is not limited to DeKalb County. It is not the entity, but the character of those elected who participate in corruption. DeKalb County, like all government entities, has its challenges. You face those challenges by:

  • Electing good, upstanding people with integrity to office
  • Holding elected officials accountable
  • Vote out officeholders who don’t uphold their oath of office
  • Serving on county boards and commissions
  • Attending officeholders’ town halls and meetings
  • Meeting with officeholders to discuss any issues or concerns you may have
  • Advocating for a permanent fix to the county ethics board

Notably, Greenhaven proponents have NOT submitted required documentation to the Georgia Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission regarding their collection of donations and have made no public disclosures as to who is backing their cityhood efforts. This creates a lack of trust even before a city is created. What can we expect from them if a city was created? 

N.A.G. Neighbors Against Greenhaven

Q: What does a perfect DeKalb County look like to you?

A: A county that:

  • Respects human rights and dignity
  • Reflects and promotes the diversity of its citizens
  • Is fiscally responsible
  • Provides an adequate education for all of its children
  • Is run with integrity, accountability, and transparency
  • Provides opportunities for economic development
  • Takes care of its most vulnerable constituents
  • Provides a safe environment to live and do business

Q: Do you believe that residents should be allowed to vote on whether or not they support cityhood?

A: Greenhaven’s “right to vote” is an egregious and frivolous argument that takes away from the very serious voter suppression issue (ie, abuse, restrictions) when it’s clearly about wanting a vote over a special interest topic.

  • If Greenhaven proponents seriously wanted to hear from its residents, it wouldn’t start from the top down (i.e., pushing for a referendum down to the ~20-60%* of voters) by appealing to those who: (1) may not be appropriately informed, (2) may be persuaded by the promise of no increase in taxes, and (3) may be swayed by the generally positive language of referendums.
  • NAG continues to encounter and engage with citizens who have never heard of Greenhaven and who do not know how they will be fiscally impacted. 
  • Instead of a “right to vote,” Greenhaven should campaign and advocate for impartial public education awareness meetings. Unlike proponents who just want a vote, NAG advocates for an educated voter.

Agnes Scott student against Greenhaven

Proposed Greenhaven, Ga How It All Began

Rep Viola Davis: Someone is going jail!

Police remove Greenhaven’s Kathryn Rice from State Capitol

2 comments

  1. I’m a Dekalb residents, me and my husband are against a City of Greenhaven. The reason they purposely took good restaurants from our neighborhood. Our property taxes will increase and lot of Dekalb residents are on fixed income. Our Dekalb is with country living in a metro area. I see them taking our beautiful landscaping and build more houses and condo’s for this news generation. Show us that we can get back on track with new businesses and restaurants without becoming a city.

    I don’t see any new businesses in the City of Stonecrest, all I see is a politicians getting away with getting more money for is own self. I see businesses closing in the City of Stonecrest. whatever was promise to the citizens of the City of Stonecrest has not happen.

    Making a City of Greenhaven will make us lose the support of the Dekalb Police Dept. and I think that is a big deal for me as a citizen. I believe in our police officers. I see nothing but the same thing that happening to the City of Stonecrest, increase in property taxes and nothing to show for it. What a mess.

    In conclusion I am very much so against the City of Greenhaven and I will attend every meeting, as I did on February, 2019 – to see that this doesn’t happen to our South Dekalb community.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your comments. The great people of this area, like yourself, have been instrumental in defeating Greenhaven. Hopefully, legislation will be presented to prevent anyone, with a lobbyist group behind them like Greenhaven, from attempting to start a city. That would go a long way in keeping this from coming up again and again.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.