Lawmakers hear proposals on new DeKalb cities - CBS46 News

Lawmakers hear proposals on new DeKalb cities

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Donna Toepfer grew up in Tucker, lived there most of her life, and would love to see Tucker incorporate into its own city.

"I've been here forever," Toepfer said.

Toepfer believes the proposed new city would give her community greater control over its destiny.

"Having more localized access to the government will allow us to plan better for the future," Toepfer said.

Toepfer was one of dozens of people who crowded a Georgia House Committee hearing on a bill to create the newest city in DeKalb County.

Three communities are vying for cityhood: Lakeside, Briarcliff and Tucker, all of which overlap at the Northlake Mall and claim Interstate 85 as their northern boundary.

"Certainly that is distressful to the rest of the community," said House Minority Whip, Billy Mitchell, who is sponsoring the Tucker proposal. "They have a way of life, a community of interest for decades, and they want to keep that intact."

The State Senate on Wednesday approved a bill that would create the city of Lakeside.

Mary Kay Woodworth, who chairs the Lakeside City Alliance, believes her city has the best chance of coming to fruition but she said all three municipalities can coexist.

"There's room for Tucker, there's room for Lakeside and room for Briarcliff but without overlapping," Woodworth said.

Allen Venet, who chairs the City of Briarcliff Initiative, said there may be room for two but not three cities, and certainly not ones that overlap.

"We have the most logical and appropriate boundaries, and are the most inclusive," said Venet, making an argument for Briarcliff.

Some residents in the areas proposed for cityhood opposed creating new municipalities.

"I'm against all of them," said Robert Stamper, who lives in a neighborhood that would fall in Tucker.

Stamper acknowledged that the DeKalb County "had problems."

County CEO, Burrell Ellis, now faces corruption charges and the former school superintendent was sentenced for obstruction in a separate case.

Stamper said, however, forming new cities "would detract for efforts needed to rebuild DeKalb and make it the place it can be."

Mitchell said lawmakers likely will negotiate a solution in the coming weeks.

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