By Joel Thibodeaux | Say Yes to Stonecrest
“DeKalb County’s 5th Commission District, which covers the boundaries of the proposed City of Stonecrest, is very unique in that it features abundant green space amid an urban, suburban and rural setting, through which flows the South River. It is home to the Arabia Mountain Heritage Area, and to the historic Flat Rock community…libraries, medical institutions and the Lou Walker Senior Center…one of the last areas close in to Hartsfield Jackson International Airport with abundant industrial space and open land to build on, we have much to offer.”
This is what Mereda Johnson writes about the area that is the proposed City of Stonecrest. It’s funny how the very words spoken by proponents of the City to win this referendum in the Georgia Legislature and to educate residents about the real promise of our area – despite the obvious problems – are now being used to tell voters why we don’t need a new city.
How is it that over the last 15 years we have not heard words like these from our “local” officials, but now they suddenly realize what a “jewel” Stonecrest is…contending that only the county is equipped to aid its growth? What does it say when a sitting commissioner, running unopposed, directly spends campaign funds on newspaper ads aimed at defeating the efforts of residents in her own District, yet adopts their agenda as her own?
The residents of this area have had to endure a steepening decline in our quality of life as the county has neglected us and ignored our pleas for physical upkeep and improvements in services that help to keep us viable. Yet, Commissioner Johnson and others point to the rotten fruits of that neglect – crime and departing business – as the reason why this city could not succeed, despite the assets she claims are “marketed to the world.” Signs (paid for by whom?) have now popped up all over Stonecrest screaming “It’s a trick!” to residents in a desperate effort to defame and vilify the citizens behind the cityhood movement…while deflecting from the real trick – that now somehow the county can be committed to adequate governance of Stonecrest, despite the fact that the county’s neglect and the political gamesmanship on the Board of Commissioners keeping us unrepresented for two years is what made this cityhood decision necessary.
So now we are back in this familiar territory for South DeKalb politics. We’ve heard it before…“Keep us in power, because ‘they’ mean you no good. We know that we neglect you and take your votes for granted and leave you with less than what you’re paying in, but you can’t possibly govern yourselves – and anyone who tells you that you can is trying to trick and rob you.” It is difficult to believe that positive change will come to Stonecrest without a city, because our “local” government has no serious agenda to deliver anything but more of the same. I can’t trust that, so I’d rather trust my neighbors, our vision, and the endorsement of UGA and the Georgia General Assembly regarding our viability when it comes to the best possible future for Stonecrest.
Joel Thibodeaux is a resident of Savoy Chase Crossing Subdivision.