|This could be the change that residents will see if |
Tucker 2015 is successful in getting its referendum
nto a ballot and voters approve it.
The driving force behind the city of Tucker has been the leadership within the community known as "Smoke Rise, GA." Smoke Rise residents currently have addresses that say "Stone Mountain, GA" and many of them worked hard in order to create a separate identity for themselves, petitioning the U.S. Post Office to change their official name to "Smoke Rise." While the Post Office did not agree to change the official name, they did agree to allow "Smoke Rise" as a recognized alternative to "Stone Mountain" that could be used interchangeably as long as it accompanied their 30087 zip code.
It is important to note that these residents did not ask the Post Office to recognize their use of "Tucker" as an acceptable alternative. They asked to be called "Smoke Rise."
It appears that zip codes and address labels are important to them, just as our Tucker zip code is important to us. And, while we do understand that Smoke Rise residents who send their children to Smoke Rise Elementary in DeKalb County are also zoned for Tucker Middle and Tucker High School, this school connection is one that was repeatedly blown off by the city leaders whenever we complained about the proposed city of Lakeside going outside of their own attendance zone to scoop up areas that are zoned for either Tucker or Druid Hills High School. So, if schools are not the issue here, then what else is it about "Tucker" that has the legislators convinced that Smoke Rise and Tucker should be joined at the hip?
Here's what we think may have happened:
The Tucker city group (Tucker 2015) is led by Frank Auman, a resident of Smoke Rise, and was initially introduced by Commissioner Elaine Boyer, a former resident of Smoke Rise, and has been endorsed by a couple of downtown Tucker business owners who live in Smoke Rise. These are self appointed leaders in a city of TUCKER movement. They drew the initial map for the city of Tucker so that it not only included most of traditional Tucker (leaving out some critical areas in our Tucker zip code of 30084), but included ALL of their own Smoke Rise community.
We later learned that the city of Stone Mountain had been planning an annexation of territory and was including Smoke Rise in that plan. So, did Smoke Rise residents REALLY want to change their name to Tucker because they felt so closely aligned with our community? Or, is it more likely that they jumped at the opportunity to start another one party city in DeKalb County where they could take the lead, thanks to the super majority decision makers in the state who are behind this idea of creating more government? The political aspirations of some Smoke Rise residents may have been more important to them than the actual viability of a city of Tucker. And, it's possible that they were simply trying to avoid the inevitable annexation into their true historically connected area of Stone Mountain.
We have nothing against Smoke Rise. We love Smoke Rise. We know people who live in Smoke Rise. But, we have only met a very few of them who actually consider themselves a part of Tucker. Are there enough residents in Smoke Rise who will vote in favor of the city of Tucker? Or, is this entire city plan being held together by the hopes and finger crossing of a few, politically connected, selfishly motivated individuals, just like the "other" city group that will be trying to move ahead in the upcoming legislative session?
From the Smoke Rise Community Association website:
"Smoke Rise is a tranquil community nestled at the foothills of Atlanta's Historic Stone Mountain. Our unique homes and natural setting provide an environment rarely found in one of our nations's largest metro areas. Our community is comprised of approximately 2,000 homes in more than more than 10 neighborhoods clustered along the DeKalb County/Gwinnett County border. Smoke Rise is conveniently located less than 15 miles from Atlanta's metropolitan downtown area, yet each home is situated on at least an acre of scenic land. We also boast over 40 acres of public green space within our community border, including Smoke Rise Park."If you live in Tucker, will you be willing to vote for a map that will change our community forever?You can't say you love Tucker for its "small town" appeal when the proposed boundaries will make us one of the largest cities in the entire state of Georgia. You can't say that you favor smaller government and fiscal conservatism if you vote for a new layer of government that has set aside $4 million just for its own administrative purposes (and that's just where it starts!).
There are many things to admire about Central DeKalb County and one of them is that this area has been a middle ground between the "North" and the "South" in more ways than just geography. The new cities are definitely a scheme being forged by the "North" that will harm many of our neighbors to the "South." What kind of response will this plan get from those of us who live here? Let's hope that we make up our minds and pay attention because the only way we can fail both sides and ourselves is if we don't show up to vote at all.
Keep reading this blog throughout the upcoming legislative session. We'll do our best to keep you informed about important meetings, dates and efforts taking place as this forced march toward cityhood presses onward. And, follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SaveTuckerFromLakesideCity.
Is the Tucker City movement REALLY coming from the people of Tucker? Does Smoke Rise REALLY want to change its name to Tucker? Or, are ALL the people in ALL our communities being misled? Is this really about the wishes of the taxpayers or just a way to tax us more and pretend like we asked for it ourselves? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Just look at the proposed city council districts, according to the City of Tucker Initiative: