Without a budget it is hard to surmise what our new administration will be able to deliver to the citizens in the form of services. From what this writer is able to extract from discussion during council meetings, it appears Planning and Zoning and Public Works will be the likely winners.
During the council meeting on December 16, Agenda Item 12: ACTION ITEM Discussion and Vote to Authorize Acting City Attorney to Notify DeKalb County Regarding Certain Services to the New City of Brookhaven, Georgia was discussed. Interim City Attorney, Bill Riley, asked for the approval of the Council to allow him the authority to notify Dekalb County and give notice that in 30 days (as required) the City of Brookhaven would take on the services of Planning and Zoning and Public Works. This discussion was met with a motion to table the issue from District 2 Councilman, Jim Eyre, followed by a second by District 4 Councilman, Joe Gebbia.
District 3 Councilman, Bates Mattison, questioned as to why Eyre would motion for the item to be tabled stating that, "Since this is critical to our operational process, if we table this, we are in essence tabling this to a later date preventing us from taking over operations on the 17th [Jan] and I would just like to understand why".
Councilman Eyre responded by stating, "Not necessarily. I'm not comfortable approving this...as we don't have public works in place, we don't have community development in place, so our two vendors that are critical to those operations have not yet been approved by Council. I just want to make sure we have everything in place before we cut ourselves off". Logical to assume that we should not alert the County that we are going to cease doing business with them on January 17th and take over these services BEFORE we even know if we will be ready. Some discussion was offered by Riley who suggested for the purposes of clarification that a 5 minute recess be taken.
The discussion of Agenda Item 12 can be viewed here http://youtu.be/IV5mT4hXGGA?t=6m45s. The discussion in the video runs from time mark 6:45 to mark 15:42. Mayor Davis made a suggestion to continue with the agenda and skip Action Item 12 until a recess is had. The motion to skip was offered and the Council continued.
At time mark 25:05, http://youtu.be/IV5mT4hXGGA?t=25m2s, Mayor Davis called the council to return to Agenda Item 11 [actually 12 which was later corrected for the record] where he then called for the recess to commence. And so it did.
Councilmen Eyre and Gebbia joined Riley in a room down the hall (doors closed to the public) and discussed the matter.
After the recess ended the Council reconvened. At time mark 25:58, http://youtu.be/IV5mT4hXGGA?t=25m58s, Mayor Davis called the meeting back to order and the Council revisited Action Item 12.
Apparently, the "off-line" discussion was compelling...resulting in Eyre retracting his motion to table the item. The item was offered up again for approval...and passed - Eyre did oppose however, giving Riley the authority to give the County 30 days notice to take over Planning and Zoning and Public Works. The meeting was then adjourned.
SO WHATS THE POINT OF ANALYZING THIS? It is now clear that the first services the city will likely offer will be Planning / Zoning and Public Works.