Members of Brookhaven City Council display a birthday cake for the new city on Dec. 17, 2012, the day the city opened for business. Left to right: Councilwoman Rebecca Chase Williams, Councilman Bates Mattison, Mayor J. Max Davis, Councilman Jim Eyre and Councilman Joe Gebbia.

The city of Brookhaven celebrated its first anniversary with a party at Town Brookhaven Dec. 17.

“This first year has been – if I said a roller coaster ride, I would be understating it,” said City Manager Marie Garrett.

Mayor J. Max Davis recognized all the volunteers who gave their time to help the city become a reality, from the board members of Citizens for North DeKalb who raised money to fund a feasibility study to the members of Brookhaven Yes who traveled to the state Capitol for committee hearings. They volunteers were presented with coins commemorating their efforts to establish the city.

“The city of Brookhaven would not be here today without their efforts,” Davis said.

The group also recognized those who opposed forming a city.

“The no city folks worked very hard. We worked very hard. The thing is, when you care about something, you’re going to fight for it,” said Jeff Keller, a board member from Brookhaven Yes. “Now we can all come together and fight for the city of Brookhaven.”

Davis said the No City Brookhaven group brought up many valid concerns that were addressed to make the eventual city better.

“I know for a fact we learned a lot from our opposition in the campaign,” Davis said.

Davis listed the city’s accomplishments over the past year, which included: filling 92 potholes, issuing 1,316 business licenses, and responding to 541 traffic accidents, he said.

“We launched a first class police department, we began maintenance of our parks, we opened and operated our own municipal court,” Davis said.

He said it was important to note that at the same time, the city was able to establish a $1 million reserve fund.

“It’s important to us to get our city on firm financial footing,” Davis said.

Rep. Mike Jacobs, R-Brookhaven, who sponsored the bill to create a city of Brookhaven in the Legislature, also reflected on the city’s first year.

“I’m just really proud of the work a lot of people put in to make this a reality and make this a success,” Jacobs said.