While a simple Google Search of the two terms together can help anyone who wants to research this issue for themselves, here are a few of the clues that tipped us off about this unholy union:
1. This article by Briarcliff spokesperson Herman Lorenz in the North Druid Hills / Briarcliff Patch:
The City of Briarcliff Initiative, however, an “educational” organization, and is not claiming “tax deductible” status for contributions to the cause. We are a city, including a design and structure. We expect that when the final borders of the city proposal are determined by the Legislature, members and volunteers in the Lakeside and Briarcliff organizations will work together to create the new city.
2. This article by Briarcliff spokesperson Herman Lorenz in the North Druid Hills / Briarcliff Patch :
3. The realization that the FIRST and most outspoken person on the LCA Yahoo Group from the very beginning of it was Herman Lorenz. He even answered questions that were given by some poster commenters as if he were the official spokesperson for Lakeside. You don't get that excited that early on in a process unless you are part of the team that is already on board and trying to influence opinion.
4. This article from City of Tucker Initiative, a blog written by a Smoke Rise resident who thinks he lives in Tucker. Hmmm... oddly it is called "City of Tucker Initiative" which sounds a lot like "City of Briarcliff Initiative," doesn't it?
DO you think it's possible these folks ALL know each other? This article makes it clear that there was a lot of camaraderie between the showmen. That's for sure. We won't say much about this one because for some reason the blog author has a reported love for Tucker, but insists on name calling and childish behavior whenever it comes to Save Tucker From Lakeside City (this group) which makes no sense whatsoever since we are both on the same side. OR, at least we should be.
The big difference is that our group was formed by novices to the city process (regular citizens who pay taxes and live in Tucker) who were forced to defend themselves and their community based on a plan that each of the reported leaders of the various city groups all claim to have known about since as far back as 2006-07. That when the first Tucker feasibility study (a preliminary one) was completed by Georgia Tech. students for a Tucker Civic group and it appeared that Tucker WAS feasible simply based on its own zip code which was also the same as the Census Designation from the last Census of 2000.
Since Tucker is the only existing community with known borders and existing businesses to support a city, the other areas likely began to panic and tried to jump ahead of Tucker in the city pecking order by snatching up whatever commercial was possible, leaving many of Tucker's residents, and the rest of our county, high and dry without enough tax base to support themselves.
That's not exactly starting out for "the right reasons" and a lot of people agree that Central DeKalb will be better off working on its identity rather than handing over more money to the same group of politicians who haven't really been doing any of us any favors lately anyway.
5. The realization when looking at a map that Herman Lorenz (Briarcliff) and Kevin Levitas (Lakeside) are NEIGHBORS. They can probably have city conversations while checking their mailboxes and not even have to shout at one another. It does not matter what you call it. THEY are BOTH advocating the same thing and trying to offer the illusion of choice to you, the concerned voter who is footing the tab via your property taxes for their already freshly paved streets, their different variations of the same bill being entered into different chambers of the legislature by different representatives for the same general tracts of land. THESE folks already HAVE local control. They are just mad that they LOST some of it when we called out their corrupt school board member and he did not get returned to office. They don't need local control over themselves.
What they want is to control YOUR dollars, change the zoning for YOUR property or speed through that business development or new apartment complex before YOU try to stop them because it will create traffic and safety issues for everyone! THEY are the same line of politicians who started Brookhaven (exactly the same ones). They are the same ones who started Dunwoody. They are ALL working together to draw the various maps and confuse the public about who is doing what and how much of this is actually something we asked for and how much is pure hype based on a politically motivated plan.
Don't be surprised when you hear about the sudden agreement between two foes when city talk starts up again (if it starts up again), like this AJC article claimed in June. It's very likely that ALL THREE city groups, who have been making the same claims, pushing the same agendas and now are all sitting on the same task force, have been working out the kinks in the same plan this entire time.
No matter what they say or no, the best thing we can do for DeKalb County right now is stay away from what has been getting us into so much trouble - politicians who can't handle their own districts and have to start sticking their noses into other ones.
While you are doing that Google Search, you might also want to check out the name for "Lakeside YES" and wonder why it is so similar to what happened in Brookhaven with a little known group called "Brookhaven YES."
We're not like Sandy Springs or Dunwoody. Here you have the same blueprint, but less money and that will get you far different results.