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DID YOU KNOW?....

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Eminent Domain / Density

  • Since 2017, many developers, businesses, and residents have brought lawsuits against the City, costing taxpayers money. The most recent lawsuit has been filed by Ardent Companies: “Brookhaven city officials ‘maliciously abused governmental powers’ to derail a $124M mixed-use project.”7 

    • Current city leadership has claimed it opposes increases in high-density development. However, an email pulled from a public records request proves otherwise: “The City Council would reconsider its position if the development project included a mix of price points, housing types, and even commercial on the Buford Highway frontage.” -- Christian Sigman, Brookhaven City Manager https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2019/09/16/developer-sues-brookhaven-over-failed-mixed-use-project/

    • Developers Day - city presented areas they would like to see developed “There is no question, Brookhaven want to go big”  and “The city tapped HKS Architects in June to dream up a mixed-use development on the property, where a Greenway trailhead is under construction just yards away from Buford Highway. The imaginary “Brookhaven Mixed Use Development Master Plan” also includes office and residential towers.”

      https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2019/09/29/officials-make-brookhaven-sales-pitch-as-part-of-first-developers-day/

    • Changes to the Zoning code require Mixed Use High Density development in some areas.

    • The overlay rewrite committee was not allowed to address many parts of the overlay per the Mayor, City Manager, and City Attorney's directive.  In those area's the zoning was increased to allow a higher density, without public input.  Our council person was quite upset by that move.

  • We have used eminent domain to take private land 7 times in 24 months. The use of eminent domain to acquire land property owners don’t want to sell has become a trend for current leadership.

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2019/03/06/brookhaven-taking-slice-of-corner-pizza-property-for-ashford-dunwoody-intersection-improvements/

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2018/12/19/errors-in-resolution-forces-brookhaven-to-redo-eminent-domain-vote/

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2018/07/25/brookhaven-continues-use-of-eminent-domain-for-peachtree-creek-greenway-land/

 

Other Lawsuits:

  • The city continues to be sued, not only by developers, businesses but also residents

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2018/08/24/brookhaven-may-repeal-alcohol-code-amid-nightclubs-lawsuit/

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2017/10/29/three-court-cases-cost-brookhaven-454k/

https://brookhavenpost.co/2017/03/06/lawsuit-filed-over-brookhavens-approval-of-dresden-village-mixed-use-development/

Land holding:

  • Leadership is now in Real Estate: 

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2018/12/08/brookhaven-transfers-buford-highway-gas-station-to-citys-development-authority/

Dismissing Property Owners

  • $45K for an architectural firm to create drawings for an unsuccessful Amazon HQ2 bid. 9

  • the owners of Northeast Plaza declined including their property in a proposal to bring Amazon HQ2 to Brookhaven. The current mayor claimed that the city “backed off” following this, but instead included Northeast Plaza in the proposal.

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2019/08/31/brookhaven-paid-design-firm-45k-for-dramatic-drawings-for-amazon-hq2-bid/

Park Spending

  • the City of Brookhaven spent over $250,000 of tax-payer dollars on a statement park
    fence that a city council member has said is ugly and will be replaced in 2 years?

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2019/05/28/new-fence-in-brookhavens-blackburn-park-set-to-be-finished-in-july/

  • Secret changes to park master plan:City leaders say the key opponents were directly involved in the redesign process, even if the general public was not, and that if the bond is approved, a citizens oversight committee will review its parks projects.

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2018/11/03/behind-the-scenes-master-plan-change-becomes-brookhaven-parks-bond-issue/

 $75K Solar charging stations

the City of Brookhaven spent $75,000 each on solar charging stations for our city
parks that would provide $13,000 in power if every resident used it to charge their cell phone every day for ten years? ( The technology will age out before we even come close to benefiting from the expenditure) Similar units have been purchased for use in another city for no more than $10,000 each?

https://www.wuft.org/news/2017/10/05/gainesville-installs-solar-charging-stations-for-6-month-trial/

https://kaypark.com/product-category/solar-charging-station/ these are about $5K

Bike racks at Skyland park cost almost $500 per slot? 

There are no backs to the benches at Skyland

Sidewalks:

  • we paid $109 a linear foot for sidewalks and left the mailboxes cemented in the middle of them?

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2019/03/13/sidewalk-going-in-on-east-drew-valley-cheshire-way-in-brookhaven/

$200K to Buckhead: 

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2018/12/15/brookhaven-to-help-pay-for-local-trail-bridge-as-part-of-beltline-greenway-connection/

Charter Changes

  • the mayor tried to extend his term limits without a vote or citizen input? He is on record this month saying he will pursue it again.

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2019/10/17/brookhaven-city-candidates-stake-out-differences-at-forum/

  • A bill to give the Brookhaven mayor the right to serve in an extra term in office extra failed to pass in the General Assembly this year due to last-minute changes that would require a referendum to decide the matter. The bill is expected to be taken up again next year.

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2019/04/21/brookhaven-mayoral-term-limit-extension-stalls-tax-relief-bills-approved/

  • Our leadership said they needed to take the cap off expense account to become necessary to pay for national and international travel as the city seeks to become a political player in metro Atlanta and across the state.

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2019/05/15/brookhaven-backs-down-from-removing-expense-account-caps-from-city-charter/

Debt

  • This year a back door revenue bond was created, to avoid having to get voter approval -”The revenue bonds will have the full faith and credit of the city behind them, meaning should revenue from hotel-motel taxes not be able to pay off the debt, the money will come out of the city’s coffers”

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2018/07/01/brookhaven-oks-15m-in-revenue-bonds-for-peachtree-creek-greenway/

Park Bond

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2018/12/18/brookhaven-40m-parks-bond-validation-delayed/

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2019/06/21/brookhaven-development-authority-to-issue-1-1b-in-bonds-for-choa-campus/

Budget Increases:

2014 - $26.343 Million

2015 - $31.934 Million

2016 - $33 Million

2017 - $36.99 Million

2018 - $40.7 Million

2019 - $47.569 Million + $40 Million Park Bond

  • that our “communications” department budget has increased by over 70% since 2016 – yet one of the most often noted problems is communications with the residents

Convention and Visitors Bureau

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2019/09/25/city-unveils-logo-for-new-explore-brookhaven-brand-identity/

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2019/05/04/brookhaven-budgets-1-6m-for-branding-and-tourism-state-rep-questions-tax-system/

Bridges

  • Brookhaven pays $1.5M for Buford Highway parcel for future I-85 flyover bridge

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2019/04/23/brookhaven-pays-1-5m-for-buford-highway-parcel-for-future-i-85-flyover-bridge/

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2019/09/05/brookhaven-wants-emorys-1b-redevelopment-to-include-pedestrian-bridges-over-i-85-north-druid-hills-road/

.https://www.ajc.com/news/local/emory-says-pedestrian-bridge-over-would-unfair-condition/SVxqF3IHRtBnIlaPbsWJzK/

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2019/05/01/emory-unveils-1b-plan-to-remake-executive-park-as-health-innovation-district/

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2019/09/05/brookhaven-wants-emorys-1b-redevelopment-to-include-pedestrian-bridges-over-i-85-north-druid-hills-road/

 

Arts & Culture 

Brookhaven city officials approved a $90,000 contract for an arts and culture master plan.  

"There are many instances of area where an emphasis is placed on arts and culture increases property values and forcing longtime residents out. Art and culture can be used to preserve their histories, he added, so when new people move in they know there was a community before they came."

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2019/08/30/brookhaven-city-council-approves-90k-contract-for-arts-and-culture-master-plan/

     

Developers Day

Developers Day - city presented areas they would like to see developedThere is no question, Brookhaven want to go big”  and “The city tapped HKS Architects in June to dream up a mixed-use development on the property, where a Greenway trailhead is under construction just yards away from Buford Highway. The imaginary “Brookhaven Mixed Use Development Master Plan” also includes office and residential towers.”

https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2019/09/29/officials-make-brookhaven-sales-pitch-as-part-of-first-developers-day/

 

We Can Do Better!!!

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