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FLASHBACK: When Saving Tucker Meant Starting a City


originally published in the Tucker Patch.

When we first started our inquiry into the proposed city of Lakeside and its impact on our community of Tucker, we were leaning toward cityhood as a possible solution.  And, Tucker Civic quickly told us that it was not in the cards financially.  Fast forward to today and they are advocating as individuals (the groups has no official position) for cityhood even though we have taken on enormous areas not considered Tucker and lost significant portions of our commercial districts.

And, here we are today being painted as the anti-city force.  We've never been anti-city.  We just want what is best for everyone and we are more and more doubtful that these particular types of cities will solve any problems.

Here's a look back at how we first became involved:

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LETTER TO TUCKER CIVIC ABOUT POTENTIAL FOR CITYHOOD

Feb. 7, 2013

Dear Tucker Civic Association Leadership,

I read recently that the Tucker Civic Association studied the potential of incorporating the city of Tucker sometime around 2006 or 2007 (edited years for accuracy).   I was wondering if you have any reports available to the public regarding the findings of this study? If so, how could I go about obtaining a copy?

Separately, is your association currently involved with any type of study or movement that would allow for the incorporation of Tucker into its own city, especially in light of the recent accreditation issues with DeKalb County Schools? If so, how would someone go about joining any committee or study group or participating in the discussions?

I have been active in the issues surrounding our schools and have serious concerns about my property value as well as the decline in general of our area as a result of abuse within the school system that has sent an unusually high number of the county’s most difficult students to our schools, forcing many of our neighborhood families out. It is harming our way of life and is likely causing realtors to steer their clients elsewhere if they have children as one must also factor in private school education to the cost of living here.

If you were to look at the schools in Tucker, you would think we are a community living in poverty, which is not at all the case. Many of us have worked hard to afford to buy homes in this area and have been disappointed to learn that our neighborhood schools are not serving our neighborhood children. This fact is harming the community's ability to stay cohesive as many of us must all send our children to different schools all over the county. This is not by choice, but by necessity.

In addition, several Tucker schools were selected unfairly for cell phone towers which are known to reduce property values and suspected to be harmful to the heealth and safety of children and people who live nearby. Again, there has been no concentrated effort to inform the Tucker residents when these issues are taking place and we believe our community is being harmed as a result.

We are very interested in looking at the costs associated with incorporation as much of the infrastructure has already been designated with that purpose in mind. Tucker would be the third largest city in DeKalb County, behind Brookhaven and Dunwoody, which have already incorporated.

It makes sense that many of us would want to at least look at this option again at this time. Thank you for any information you can provide. 

 Sincerely,

XXXXXXXXX

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RESPONSE FROM TUCKER CIVIC


Thank you XXXXXX, for reaching out to the Tucker Civic Association. Our answer to the question of incorporation is two-fold: one is on a practical level, and the other is more intangible. 

First, although we have a variety of thriving businesses in the area, we do not have the tax base to sustain incorporation. A city needs both the depth and breadth of solid and multiple commercial enterprises to warrant city-hood. We are, however, able to enjoy a good cost-of-living as well as traditional city services that are provided by Dekalb county. 

The second part of this answer is,as I said, intangible, dare I say emotional, in nature. Tucker is a community, not a city. One only needs to see how we rallied around Ace Hardware to see what we do for one of our own in a time of need. Tucker Civic Association has known this for a long time. 

Our new initiative, Tucker Lifelong Community, is a program we have developed with the help with grant money and dedicated professionals and volunteers. The TLC, as we affectionately call it, has developed a plan for the future of our community. Our focus areas are Living, Growing, Moving, and Aging. It includes everyone and excludes no one--Come on out tonight at 7:30 to our Kick Off Meeting at the Baptist Ministry center to find out how you can be a part of the future of Tucker! 

Thanks again, 

Leslie Richardson, 
President, Tucker Civic Association

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