Brookhaven officials prepare to build city government

With the official establishment of the city of Brookhaven less than a week away, the newly elected mayor and city council have a lot of work to accomplish.

The city will be officially established Dec. 17. Mayor J. Max Davis and the city council members were sworn in after DeKalb County certifies the results of the Dec. 4 runoff election.

Davis said that when he is officially sworn in as mayor his first order of business will be to appoint an interim city manager, city attorney and city clerk, all of whom require the council’s approval.

“Then we can work on the day-to-day operations of the city and building a police department,” Davis said. “DeKalb County will provide police services until we can get a police force up and running.”

District 2 Councilman Jim Eyre, the only council member who received a clear victory in November’s election, said the first thing he thinks he and his fellow council members should do is begin working on a first-year budget.

“The city is going to grow but for year one, we’ve got to get the city on strong footing with a balanced budget—we’ve also got to put away some reserves,” Eyre said.

Bates Mattison, who defeated opponent Kevin Quirk for the District 3 council seat, said that he and his colleagues face a number of challenges in the coming weeks.

Mattison said the new city will have a limited amount of time before DeKalb County will be required to bill it for services.

“We have to make transitions to our new vendors or agreements with DeKalb County to continue to provide us services,” Mattison. “Police is the one that will be most expensive.”

Although the city plans to contract with the DeKalb County Police Department until it is able to build its own police force, Mattison said Brookhaven has “no definitive agreement with DeKalb County as to the cost of providing those services.”

After Brookhaven residents voted in favor of cityhood during the July 31 general elections, Gov. Nathan Deal appointed a volunteer commission to help ease the formation of a new government.

Both Davis and Mattison said the commission did a great job providing the newly elected officials with data and service proposals.

“They’ve made our task much less daunting by the amount of work they’ve put in,” Davis said of the commission. “They’ve done a great job and I extend my sincere gratitude to all the members on the commission as well as the citizen volunteers.”

Each term of office lasts until 2015.



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