Jocelyn Connell/CBS Atlanta- Voters approved a plan to a create a new DeKalb County city.
DEKALB COUNTY, GA (CBS ATLANTA) -
Reactions were mixed Wednesday morning following news that voters approved turning the community of Brookhaven into a city. The 55-to-45 percent vote will allow the area, just north of Lenox Square, to break off from DeKalb County.
Leaders of the group "Brookhaven Yes," which spearheaded the charge to get the measure on the ballot, said the 10 percent margin of victory indicates a landslide.
"By far, most people want this city. And that's terrific," said Brookhaven Yes boardmember Linley Jones. "That's a great way to start."
Supporters argued cityhood will improve local government and infrastructure.
"I just want more local control," explained Ken Irwin who attended a victory party.
Those who voted against the measure said a new city will add an unnecessary layer of government and cost more money.
"We're going to be facing higher tax dollars as a result of this vote," said Mark Kooyman.
"We are absolutely convinced that this is the best thing for our community," said Jones. "I think we're all looking forward to showing the naysayers this can be done."
She said the police force will be stronger with the new city, and taxes will likely drop, if only slightly. Also, Brookhaven will be able to manage its own zoning matters, as well as parks and recreation.
Governor Nathan Deal will next appoint a commission to help oversee the transition. Voters will elect a new city council and mayor in November, and on December 17, Brookhaven officially becomes a city. However, the city has up to two years to wean itself off of DeKalb County services.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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