Vernon Jones gets testy with DeKalb’s cities after call for county review

State Rep. Vernon Jones had sharp words for representatives of DeKalb’s cities after they backed a comprehensive review of the county’s unique government structure.

Avondale Estates Mayor Jonathan Elmore was assigned the task of reading the DeKalb Municipal Association’s wish list, which includes support for a Charter Review Commission to look into the effectiveness of continuing with a chief executive officer elected countywide.

State Rep. Vernon Jones, who spent eight years as CEO, asked Elmore if he would support similar legislation to examine each city’s form of government. Elmore said he would be opposed.

“You think theirs needs to be addressed, you want to look at theirs, but you don’t want them to look at yours?” Jones responded.

That is when DMA managing director and former Decatur mayor Bill Floyd asked to speak. He said that all county residents would be concerned about DeKalb’s structure but wouldn’t have an interest in cities beyond the one where they reside. Jones and Floyd then began to talk over each other.

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Floyd then directed his attention to DeKalb House delegation chairman Howard Mosby.

“I think I made my point; I apologize, Mr. Chairman, for getting involved with this,” Floyd said. 

Jones responded sharply.

“That’s exactly what you need to do is apologize for wanting to dip into DeKalb County’s business but don’t want them to dip into yours,” he said as the room began to buzz.

Here is the full list of the DeKalb Municipal Association’s legislative priorities:

  • A review of DeKalb’s water and sewer department to continue to correct issues with capacity and meet consent decree deadlines
  • Oppose the county’s proposal for a moratorium on new municipalities or annexations, but support a study of the impact of cityhood initiatives
  • Participate in an update on the county’s transportation plan and consider supporting a transit sales tax
  • Support a Charter Review Commission and a study of DeKalb’s unique government structure
  • Give municipalities the flexibiltiy to adjust their hotel-motel tax structure

In other DeKalb news:

DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond is promising to do better.


The AJC's Tia Mitchell keeps you updated on the latest happenings in DeKalb County government and politics. You'll find more on, including these stories:

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