Brookhaven mayor: ‘We have accomplished so much’

DSCF0573The city of Brookhaven has been busy in the two years of its existence, according to Mayor J. Max Davis.

During the 2015 State of the City address on April 16, Davislisted the number of improvements and projects completed in the city from safety, to parks and recreation and infrastructure.

“In less than 1,000 days we have accomplished so much,” Davis said. “We are safe. We have 69 police officers on patrol and a new 16,000-square-foot police station—state-of-the-art—on Buford Highway. This gives our officers easy access to the rest of the city.”

Davis said the police have partnered with Villa Sonoma Condominiums to create a mini-precinct, and the city is planning to have a precinct in city hall.

“So anywhere in Brookhaven you’ll be a couple of miles from a precinct,” he said. “The county police department was only providing us about two to three officers per shift in Brookhaven. Now, in the city of Brookhaven, at any given time, there are 10 to 12 on patrol in our city. I hear great things about our police department and I know our community appreciates them.”

Davis also discussed sidewalks and traffic improvements that have been completed in the past year.

“Prior to incorporation, the county constructed no new sidewalks in 2011 and 2012,” Davis said. “In 2012, the year of [the] incorporation referendum, the county paved four miles of city streets. Last year alone, we paved more than double that with eight and a half miles.”

Davis said the city has also invested more money into its parks since incorporation.

“DeKalb County didn’t invest too much in our parks prior to incorporation,” he said. “They couldn’t, and we understand that there were some issues with the budget in 2011. But, just this year our Brookhaven parks department has quintuple what was previously spent.

They have a budget of $4.7 million, and $3 million of that is going to park capital improvement,” Davis added. “That’s your tax dollars at work.”

Davis said the city is fiscally sound after he and the city council allocated money turned over from the county for the city’s 2014 HOST funding.

“In total, we received $6.4 million from our portion of the sales tax revenue last year,” he said “We anticipate similar revenue, if not more, in 2015 as well. We’ve cut property taxes two years in a row, we have a $4 million reserve, and yet we’re still able to allocate these funds.”

Davis said the city still has a long way to go in areas such as the city’s comprehensive plan 2034, the Buford Highway improvement plan and a comprehensive transportation plan.

“It takes money, time and dedication by our staff to make things happen,” he said. Unlike many cities our size which have seven to nine employees per 1,000 residents; we get the same job done with slightly more than two employees per 1,000 residents. That is part of the promise of cityhood—less bureaucracy, and with less bloat. We’re proven that it can and is being done the right way.”

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