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DeKalb lawmakers asked to take action

A packed room of Georgia legislators and government employees heard Interim DeKalb CEO Lee May ask for help Monday with instituting reforms for the county.

May spoke to the county's legislative delegation, meeting for the first time since the Georgia General Assembly convened its 2015 session Jan. 12, about changes in state law that would affect DeKalb.

He asked them to review cityhood proposals and recommendations of his Operations Task Force, which cover the creation of an independent auditor, an independently appointed Board of Ethics and a purchasing policy.

"We're counting on you all now to help us move the ball forward," May said.

Movements to create cities of LaVista Hills, Tucker, Stonecrest and South DeKalb have been frequently discussed, but no bills have been introduced yet in the Legislature. The same goes for annexation proposals in Decatur, Avondale Estates and the Druid Hills neighborhood, where some residents are pushing to join the city of Atlanta.

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The county delivered a presentation outlining how new cities would often cost the county government money. May suggested that lawmakers should consider the impact of cityhood on its surrounding areas.

"What we really need is a more thought-out process for how areas incorporate ... We know that the grass is not greener on the other side," May said.

While nothing has moved forward yet, Rep. Scott Holcomb, D-Atlanta, said lawmakers need to take action.

"We keep going back and forth" about cityhood proposals, which failed during last year's legislative session, Holcomb said. "We need to get there, and we need to get there fast."

A few bills were read during the delegation's meeting, but none dealt with incorporation or government overhauls.

About the Author

Mark Niesse covers Georgia government.

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