In the final days of the 2014 Georgia General Assembly session, the battle for cityhood got ugly. Ultimately, none of the cityhood bills passed.
So advocates for the potential cities of Briarcliff, Lakeside and Tucker are now redoubling their efforts and looking toward the 2015 legislative session.
All three groups are moving forward and planning public meetings in the next few weeks. One of the Tucker cityhood organizers is Frank Auman. As Auman sees it, the end of this year’s legislative session wiped the slate clean, and he says he got a clear message from lawmakers.
“’There hasn’t been enough time and thought and agreement come to in all of this, so we’re going to nothing and see you next year,’” is what Auman heard. “So they’ve given us the time and the leeway to get it right, and that’s what we hope to do.”
The last-minute compromise map on which Tucker and Lakeside agreed? It is now out the window now. According to Lakeside City Alliance organizer Mary Kay Woodworth, “Neither of us is 100% happy with the map we have now. But I’m sure there will I’m sure there will be discussions with Tucker in the future.”
The Briarcliff cityhood movement is an effort to create a larger city than Tucker or Lakeside. Briarcliff’s proposed map overlaps Lakeside. Woodworth is blunt when asked about Briarcliff, telling WABE, “They really need to join our group or disband, because as long as they’re pitting neighbor against neighbor, by anticipating that they’ll be able to create a city with all these overlapping boundaries we’ve got here, they’re just totally sabotaging the possibility of cityhood period. “
City of Briarcliff Initiative organizer Allen Venet told WABE, “The Briarcliff group remains very interested in working cooperatively with the Lakeside group and with the Tucker group,” said City of Briarcliff Initiative organizer Allen Venet, “and we hope that they are willing to work cooperatively and to listen to other viewpoints. I won’t say that we’re optimistic.”
Still, Venet says the Briarcliff group will continue to push forward with a meeting to drum up public support scheduled for Tuesday evening.