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Brookhaven Commission sets the table
by Bobby Tedder
btedder@neighbornewspapers.com
October 17, 2012 09:05 AM | 1188 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Governor’s Commission on the city of Brookhaven continues to lay the foundation for governance in advance of Brookhaven’s impending incorporation.

With municipal operations set to begin Dec. 17, the de facto precursor to the new city’s governing body — along with resident input via several committees — has primarily addressed logistical matters in recent weeks.

The five-member commission’s business has ranged from setting committee meeting calendars to working on requests for proposals regarding prospective private-sector contractors who could deliver city services.

As Brookhaven transitions into cityhood its DeKalb County neighbor Dunwoody looks on with a sense of familiarity.

After all, the latter’s leadership — having gone through the same a few years ago — can identify with the growing pains and gains their eventual counterparts in the former will soon experience.

Dunwoody officials, when contacted, weighed in how the city-in-waiting should proceed in regards to municipal operations and finance.

“[Brookhaven] has to remember to take its time to clearly identify and address the needs of the community,” said Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis. “Police, parks, zoning, planning and paving are all competing and several of the most immediate needs.”

It will be up to their newly elected local officials to make those important distinctions and decisions, he added.

Dunwoody City Manager Warren Hutmacher said first priority should be given to the recruiting and selection of a city manager.

“All new cities will face the challenges of meeting citizen expectations and creating a municipal operation that serves its community,” Hutmacher said.

“I don’t expect the Brookhaven experience to be any different than Dunwoody.”

Attention should also be placed on crafting intergovernmental agreements with the county and working cooperatively with the county on transition-type issues such as police services and building inspections and permitting, he added.

Brookhaven has at least two advantages over Dunwoody prior to incorporation, said Dunwoody Finance Director Chris Pike.

“First, because of the work done both prior to and after Dunwoody’s incorporation, Brookhaven will be able to inherit knowledge about the revenue sources it will receive while feeling comfortable in the methodology of the computations,” Pike said.

“Second, Dunwoody illustrated and [executed] a service-delivery model to improve services with multiple private partners while staying within the limited budget that exists for the cities, especially those without Local Option Sale Taxes revenues.”
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