Editor’s Note: The city of Brookhaven celebrates its fifth anniversary this month. The Reporter asked various community leaders and people involved in the cityhood effort to share their thoughts on where the city stands today and where it is headed in the next five years.

Mike Jacobs

Judge Mike Jacobs,

DeKalb County State Court judge and former state representative

I wish to extend my congratulations to the city of Brookhaven on its five-year anniversary as a municipality. Working together as neighbors, I am confident the future of the community will be bright.

Kelly Marsh

Brookhaven Arts Festival director and real estate agent

Kelly Marsh.

Currently, Brookhaven is one of the hottest real estate markets in Atlanta. Based on past history, it looks like the number of higher-price-point (over $800,000) homes will slow in the next five years, making the area more affordable for buyers. Brookhaven will remain healthier than the rest of Atlanta due to the improvements to the parks, roads and the high demand to be inside 285. Positive changes to our schools will take effect in about four years from now, creating movement amongst current residents and those wanting to move into Brookhaven. This will also stimulate the real estate market, giving buyers and sellers great opportunity.

As for the Brookhaven Arts Festival, we are building on our most successful year so far in 2017 and I predict that in five years we will offer the highest-quality art in the most easily accessible environment, providing a fun and unique outing for Brookhaven residents and people from far away.

Linley Jones

City Councilmember Linley Jones.

Brookhaven City Council member

The first five years of our City have been highly successful. The City is up and running efficiently and cost-effectively with top-notch police, community service and public works. Brookhaven has worked closely with citizens to gather feedback and plan for the future. Implementation of many of the City’s plans is already underway.  I expect the next five years will see tremendous change and improvement as the City’s resources are directed to plan implementation. From the Ashford-Dunwoody Corridor Study to the Park Plans to the Nancy Creek Watershed Improvement and Peachtree Creek Greenway, our City will see the makeover continue as we tackle challenges like traffic improvement and growth, with citizen input to our grassroots government always critical to the efforts.

Aníbal Torres

Aníbal Torres.

Executive director, Latin American Association

Brookhaven continues to deepen its commitment to diversity. In just the past year, it has commissioned an affordable housing task force, become a “Welcoming City,” and hired a public engagement specialist to lead the city’s outreach to Brookhaven’s diverse community. If current progress continues, within five years, Brookhaven will have become a leading example of a city that embraces Latinos, celebrates their culture, and meaningfully includes them in its public processes.

Gabriel Sterling

Sandy Springs City Councilmember Gabriel Sterling.

Sandy Springs City Council member, consultant on Brookhaven cityhood campaign

Like every city that’s been established since 2005, they’re different personalities … and all for the most part have been pretty successful. I agree who others who have said this isn’t Balkanization. This is allowing those areas, those regions, those cities to have a voices that were true. At the end of the day, I’m always going to say Sandy Springs is the best single example of how a city should run. But I think all of them are better than the alternative. With all of the drama and the heartache and the angst, they are better off than when they had been county protectorates.

Lawrence Schall

Oglethorpe University President Lawrence Schall.

President, Oglethorpe University

Let me offer my congratulations to the city of Brookhaven on its fifth birthday. First and foremost, I want to thank the leaders of the city for being such good and thoughtful partners to the university. We have developed strong and collaborative working relationships with the mayor, all the City Council people, the city manager, and many others. Those relationships have grown over time and I certainly expect that to continue as we move forward together.

J.D. Clockadale

J.D. Clockadale.

President of Brookhaven Police Foundation and Zoning Board of Appeals member

Our police department will continue to a model of how to build strong relationships with all aspects of our community while effectively ensuring the safety and high quality of life that make Brookhaven such a great place to raise a family.

The community itself will continue to reap the rewards of dedicated green space, progressive road paving and rebuilt parks infrastructure, as well as boards and commissions served by engaged, committed residents who actively seek to grow Brookhaven in a way that serves our great history and even greater potential.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.