Here are the Concerns from Save Tucker!
|As we are only reading the charter document for the city of Tucker for the very first time |
this week, a few comments and concerns have been brought to our attention
via our public and closed Facebook Discussion Group Pages.
According to the bill, there are only three districts but six city council seats plus one mayor. There are many problems with accountability that come to mind when you have two people who are supposed to represent the same exact territory, but they were elected by two different bases of constituents.
It is easy to see how one area could gain in population overall with just something as simple as a multi family housing development being added. Sure, the still only have their two seats for their own area, but suddenly they have a lot more potential people who could vote for that "at large" person in every district, thus giving one of the three districts significant influence in the outcome of all three at large seats.
The concern could include the fact that "Smoke Rise," a Stone Mountain neighborhood that identifies with the Tucker attendance pattern, at least on paper, has been leading the city efforts. They also happened to draw the three districts with their portion representing the largest land area and includes the Stone Mountain CID and downtown Tucker. And, imagine if you needed to be locally represented in front of the city council on an issue. You would now have two different people to try to track down and hope you can convince both of them to vote or act in your best interest. Since we are talking about very large districts, those you are talking to may not actually live near you at all. Some of them may have even been advocates for a Lakeside City. Do you think they will care if you don't get what you want for your area? Of course they won't. It is a set up for disaster, like a mini-DeKalb County all over again.
NOT a good idea. Either make ALL the seats voted on at large, or divide the area into five or six smaller districts with only one representative for each area, voted on by those who live in the area. Don't allow the city of Tucker to fail simply because we have an inferior, unproven form of government from our very start.
3.) The listing of the voter precincts at the end of the legislation does not seem to match up with the map drawn by the committee that we were told was final. Specifically, we did not see any listing of "Livsey" (maybe it is called something else?) nor do we believe Embry Hills or Pleasantdale areas were assigned as City of Tucker locations. There was no map, so we cannot fully support something that the bill sponsor seem to be very serious about not letting the Tucker residents see until its too late for us to provide them with any input whatsoever. How is any of this supposed to make us feel like we're being locally represented?
4.) *NEW* We don't want anyone to forget that a feasibility study has not been conducted or made public that would show the viability of the proposed map. And, since we are not familiar with the demographics and psychographics of the areas that have been added to Tucker's traditional zip code boundaries, we would like for the city groups to make a full report available. A lot is changing all around us every day. Some of the largest companies in our map have since closed and moved away. Is it because of the CID taxes? If so, what will happen when city taxes are added on top of the CID? And, the last feasibility report had an incredibly large amount for administrative staff. Tucker should not need $4 million to hire just a couple of people and some letterhead.
5.) *NEW* Who is paying for all of this? We would also like a list of those who donated to the City of Tucker. If less than half of the funds are from those outside of our area, we call this entire process into question because it is clearly not a way to help us but potentially a way to harm our quality of life intentionally and aided by our own former county commissioner, former school board member, current Parent Council leadership and school board leadership and former state representative.
To comment on our FB Page, the public page just requires you to "like" it here. The closed page (comments can only be read by those in the group) will allow you to submit a request for entry to the group. You can do that here.
If you share any of these concerns, we urge you to write to your local representatives in the state House and Senate TODAY as it may be one of our last opportunities to ask for changes before the bill goes to the full House and full Senate for a vote. (Gulp!) You should also copy the bill author Rep. Billy Mitchell and co sponsors Rep. Scott Holcomb and Rep. Michelle Henson. (emails below)
And include State Senator Henson: firstname.lastname@example.org
To check your voter registration status, find your polling place and learn who your elected officials are (and they may not be the same ones you thought you had as the districts changed in 2011), go to: http://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/. Once you find out who represents you, just click that person's name and you will see their contact information.
If you have other concerns, please voice them on the Save Tucker! public Facebook page, mentioned above.