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Friday, February 17, 2012

Brookhaven on its way to cityhood

And the state House just passed Republican Rep. Mike Jacobs' bill to create a city of Brookhaven Ashford TBD by a nearly 2-1 margin.

In the minutes leading up to the vote, incorporation opponents — DeKalb Democrats all — made their cases against HB 636:

• Rep. Elena Parent explained that many of the residents in and around the proposed city have issues with the name, the boundaries, and the likely impact of Brookhaven incorporation.

• Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, who is nothing if not frank, said the proposed Brookford was another in a series of "designer cities" conceived by affluent communities as a way to cherry-pick the most lucrative portions of the county tax base. Allowing this trend to continue will endanger regional stability. Strong words, but hard to deny.

• Rep. Karla Drenner argued for local control, since Jacobs made an end run around the DeKalb House delegation by filing his bill as general legislation. "How would you feel if one member of your county delegation came to the General Assembly and, because of party affiliation or whatever, was able to get his bill passed?" she asked. Well, since DeKalb is only one of a handful of Georgia counties with Democratic majorities, most GOP lawmakers presumably are fine with those odds.

• Rep. Howard Mosby just told an entertaining story about a foul-mouthed parrot and spent a while rambling — I assume to give his colleagues time to scare up votes to defeat the bill.

But no dice. The final vote: 101 yeas, 57 nays. The city of Ashhaven next goes to the Senate!

BONUS — The aforementioned parrot joke: A man buys a parrot at a pet store, but when he brings it home, it proceeds to curse him with a long string of profanities. Fed up, he sticks the bird in the freezer to shut it up. A little while later, realizing he paid too much for his new pet simply to kill it, he releases the parrot and asks if he's learned his lesson. "Yes, I'm very sorry for insulting you and I won't do it again," the parrot says. "But I have to ask, What did that chicken in the freezer do to you?"

Believe it or not, this joke brought down the House, but what did it have to do with opposing a city of Brookhaven?

"DeKalb is like that chicken in the freezer," Mosby told lawmakers. "What did DeKalb ever do to you?"

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