Rep. Elena Parent says she will host a community meeting to provide north DeKalb County residents information that may influence whether they want to start a new city.

The meeting will be at least the third large community gathering held in recent months to discuss a legislative proposal to carve a new city of Brookhaven from part of north DeKalb.

Parent, who represents District 81, which takes in part of the area, said her meeting would provide information on county services and what differences residents could expect from a new city or annexation into an existing one. She has said she would invite county officials and local officials to take part in the disucssion.

“I personally see both pros and cons,” she said. “We might see what happens under different scenarios.”

She said she would moderate the meeting, scheduled for June 29 at the Lupton Auditorium at Oglethorpe University.

District 80 Rep. Mike Jacobs, who also represents a portion of the area, has introduced legislation he has said will allow residents to consider creating a new city or allow some neighborhoods to seek annexation into an existing city.

A citizens group has formed a non-profit entity called Citizens for North DeKalb to raise money to pay for a study by the Carl Vinson Institute of the University of Georgia of whether it would be economically feasible to create a new city.

Jacobs has sponsored two large community meetings, one in Chamblee and one at Oglethorpe, to discuss the incorporation and annexation proposals. During the meeting in May at Oglethorpe, a representative of the Vinson Institute outlined what would be considered in the study. Jacobs said he had not been notified about the meeting planned by Parent.

The question of creating a city in the area has been controversial and each of the earlier community meetings was attended by more than 200 residents and interested parties. At times, discussion grew heated.

Parent said she has not yet made up her mind on whether to support a new city or not. She said she didn’t plan to decide until the Vinson study is done.

“I don’t want this to be a polarizing thing,” she said. “I want to focus on the facts and not worry too much about the politics.”

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.