Lakeside area could form its own city - CBS46 News

Lakeside area could form its own city

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DEKALB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

Hundreds of people showed up for a community meeting Monday night at Tucker Middle School to hear about the plans to form the new city of Lakeside in DeKalb County.

The biggest sticking point for the capacity crowd of mostly Tucker residents was including a large part of Tucker.

The 377-capacity mark came quickly in the middle school cafeteria. Some people had to be turned away.

At times, the crowd broke out in chants of "Tucker" to express their desire to stay as they are with DeKalb County government.

"We've always felt a sense of Tucker pride. There's Tucker Day. There's so many community events," said resident Shari Thwaites.

The few residents who do like the bill didn't want to talk on camera.

Others, like Robert Pendley, told CBS Atlanta News the meeting offered very little balance and insight and became more about just saving Tucker.          

"Very little, everybody was patting themselves on the back and saying how great that their little organization is. And very little [was said] about the city of Lakeside. Why is it called Lakeside? Why not the city of Tucker?" said Pendley.

Earlier Monday, CBS Atlanta News talked to resident Amy McNay who lives in a section of Tucker that would become part of the proposed city of Lakeside.

McNay said if it gets approved, the new city government would give her community a louder voice over its own affairs.

"I think it's a great thing," McNay said. "People are going to feel loyal, and they're going to want to stay here and see the community grow and thrive."

Will Tucker lives in a part of Decatur that could fall inside the boundaries of the proposed city of about 60,000 residents.

Tucker said lots of residents are unhappy with the way DeKalb County operates.

"There's so much mismanagement going on. You're going to see smaller cities popping up," Tucker said.

Pam Crews worried that forming a new city would merely divide her community.

"For me, I think it's a bad idea. I just hate to see Tucker split," Crews said.

Rodney McHugh lives in a section of DeKalb County that could be swallowed up if Lakeside becomes a city.

McHugh fears that would divide her community into people with money on one side and everyone else on the other.

"I'm leaning against it. It feels like this Lakeside community is trying to pull away for other areas that are not as affluent as they are," McHugh said.

A growing number of residents in the Lakeside area of DeKalb County have grown disenchanted with the way the county runs its government.

Some people who live in the Lakeside community want to carve out their section of the county and form a city.

The rough boundaries would include I-85 on the west, Chamblee-Tucker Road to the east, Clairmont Road on the south and Pleasantdale Road to the north.

State Sen. Fran Millar said he would introduce a bill that would propose Lakeside incorporate and form its own city.

Millar said not to expect much this year, but lawmakers could approve the proposal next spring and put it up to the public to vote a short time later.

"It could come out of the general assembly next year. They could have a vote within the summer months," Millar said.

Supporters of cityhood contend that the new city would take away some of the power the county currently has over the community's schools, roads and taxes, and give residents more say over how their money is spent.

"People are like-minded in that area, so it helps us band together and do the things we want them to do," McNay said.

A spokesman for DeKalb County said forming a separate city of Lakeside would drain a significant amount of tax revenue from the county.

The spokesman said he is not sure how much money DeKalb County would forgo, but he said the county will lose about $45 million each year now that Brookhaven and Dunwoody have formed their own cities.

County commissioner Elaine Boyer hosted the Monday night meeting on the issue at Tucker Middle School.

Another meeting is planned for April 1 to help accommodate those who were turned away.

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