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What the State Constitution Says About Cities - Read Before You Vote!

The state House of Representatives Committee on Cities and Annexations was formed at the end of the last legislative session.  They are actually working on that "better process" that DeKalb County residents have been asking for. 

The only problem - it won't come in time to help you if your property is in Central DeKalb because you get to vote on the last two cities that were okayed by the legislature to move forward without a clear process that protects taxpayers from the problems that we have already encountered.

That committee also brought up something new that was not discussed during the legislative hearings.  The concept of a 'city lite' (a limited city government that can only add services if approved by voters in a referendum) is something that Tucker has indicated that it will be, may actually be unconstitutional in the state of Georgia. 

Therefore, Tucker's charter may actually be unconstitutional in the state of Georgia.   That leaves us with two options:

1.)  VOTE NO and reject the new city plan (the option we are hoping voters will choose).

2.)  Or, if a city is formed, we will have to leave it to the Governor's appointed  board to figure out.   (This board will mostly likely be made up of the very same people who likely got us into this mess in the first place by writing a charter with conditions that are not in line with the constitution's clear wording on the subject

In other words, we will have unelected individuals with potentially important conflicts of interest and ulterior motives, deciding how the newly formed city of Tucker will navigate the financial impact of what the city advocates said they would do and what they are actually required by law to do.

That could mean:
  1. raising taxes,
  2. providing a lower quality of service,
  3. cutting services or
  4. all of the above. 
And, if that doesn't work, it could also mean a state takeover and the division of our community, also not determined by us.   That is exactly what many people are hoping to avoid by voting yes.   Do you see the irony and tragedy of this situation? 

This is why your voice and your vote are so important right now.  No one has the money or manpower to get the word out to Tucker residents in a traditional political manner.  The only way this "vote no" campaign will work is if you, yourself, are willing to step up on Nov. 3 and vote No and encourage others to do the same.

Here is a paraphrase of the constitution so it is easier to understand: 

Unless otherwise provided by law,* no county may exercise any of the powers listed (below) ... or provide any service listed (below) ... inside the boundaries of any municipality ... except by contract with the municipality ...;

This confirms:  ALL cities are FULLY FUNCTIONAL from their inception.  There are just SOME CITIES that contract out for the work, often right back to the very county they told you that you should try to get away from!   Just because they don't LOOK like big government (because they are not creating any in-house jobs), does not mean they are not the same thing as BIG GOVERNMENT, costing you even MORE than you were paying before you incorporated with NO BENEFIT to the average resident or homeowner.

The services are spelled out as:
  1. Police and fire protection.
  2. Garbage and solid waste collection and disposal.
  3. Public health facilities and services, including hospitals, ambulance and emergency rescue services, and animal control.
  4. Street and road construction and maintenance, including curbs, sidewalks, street lights, and devices to control the flow of traffic on streets and roads constructed by counties and municipalities or any combination thereof.
  5. Parks, recreational areas, programs, and facilities.
  6. Storm water and sewage collection and disposal systems.
  7. Development, storage, treatment, purification, and distribution of water.
  8. Public housing.
  9. Public transportation.
  10. Libraries, archives, and arts and sciences programs and facilities.
  11. Terminal and dock facilities and parking facilities.
  12. Codes, including building, housing , plumbing, and electrical codes.
  13. Air quality control.
  14. The power to maintain and modify heretofore existing retirement or pension systems, including such systems heretofore created by general laws of local application by population classification, and to continue in effect or modify other benefits heretofore provided as a part of or in addition to such retirement or pension systems and the power to create and maintain retirement or pension systems for any elected or appointed public officers and employees whose compensation is paid in whole or in part from county or municipal funds and for the beneficiaries of such officers and employees.

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