In January, BrookhavenYes Inc. began canvassing the local neighborhoods garnering support for a possible incorporation, with the charge to have the control of city services close to home. District 80 State Rep. Mike Jacobs then took to the General Assembly, which resulted in the adoption of House Bill 636 — allowing the citizens to vote for incorporation. The city of Brookhaven passed with the July 31 referendum with 55 percent of the vote.
On Aug. 31, Gov. Nathan Deal appointed five citizens — Ben Vinson, J.D. Clockadale, Todd Lantier, Jed Beardsley and Kim Gokce — as interim leaders charged with laying the groundwork for the new city. The Governor’s Commission on the city of Brookhaven helped to begin the process of city services, facilities and city staff. For three months, the commission met and worked on its final report, which it presented to the newly-elected mayor and council in December. The report included a recommended list of vendors the city could choose or not choose to do business with for city services.
The Peoples’ Choice
With more than 20 candidates overall, Brookhaven residents had a plethora of choices to whittle down to when it came to choosing a mayor and four councilmembers. On Nov. 6, the first city leader was voted into office — District 2 Councilman Jim Eyre. Mayor J. Max Davis and Councilmembers Rebecca Chase Williams, Bates Mattison and Joe Gebbia were chosen from the Dec. 4 runoff election.
With the swearing in of the mayor and council Dec. 10, the newly-elected leaders got straight to work holding a series of council meetings each week to get through the many points recommended by the Governor’s Commission. The first official operating day of the city was Dec. 17, which coincided with a ribbon-cutting at the temporary city hall in Dunwoody.
On the Hot Seat
After an audit showed the DeKalb County School District with issues of in-fighting among board members, being top-heavy and mismanagement of funds, the district made strides to improve their standing. However, in October, AdvancEd — parent organization of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools — sent a team to visit the school system to conduct an analysis. That visit resulted in the system being placed on accredited-probation until Dec. 31, 2013. In a statement, the school district said it will work collaboratively to review the findings and begin to address the required actions.