I feel like we’ve told the story a thousand times, but if you’re new to Tucker or haven’t had time to plug into what’s happening, you probably don’t know about our cityhood movement.
Back in 2013, a group of engaged citizens got together, prompted by a proposal for a nearby community to take part of what we considered Tucker and incorporate it into a separate city. That led to more than two years of meetings, petitions and fundraising. Ultimately, lawmakers under the Gold Dome sat down to decide what the Tucker map would be should it pass a cityhood referendum. As political solutions go, this one was a classic. In an attempt to “split the baby”, they arrived at a proposed map that seemed on paper to be even-handed, but was completely impractical in the real world. It divided the regional commercial center known as Northlake and left Northlake Mall, long acknowledged and recognized by the public as being part of the place known as Tucker, outside what would become our city limits. We knew that this area, which included Northlake Mall, was Tucker. We’d always known it.
To make a long story short, Tucker’s cityhood referendum passed with 74 percent of the vote and the other community’s referendum failed. We became a city, but because of the last-minute legislative changes to our map, many residents and businesses were left out of the new city they considered their hometown.
Today, we take a big step in rectifying that misjudgment.
As of June 1, most of Northlake Mall becomes a part of the City of Tucker. The owners of the mall asked the City Council to officially make them a part of Tucker and we voted unanimously last month to do just that. I could go on at length about the mall’s impressive redevelopment plans or the significant financial impact this annexation will have on Tucker, DeKalb County and the region. For now, I just want to say to them “Welcome back!” It’s the way we always knew it should be. Those who carried the torch for Tucker cityhood should be proud; this is a big day for our city.
And to the others who were cut out of officially becoming part of Tucker, I say: We have not forgotten you, and we look forward to welcoming you back, as well. You’re always welcome and encouraged to take part in the community life of Tucker, but if you want to put your property into the City so that your taxes support your parks, so you and your neighbors will benefit from Tucker’s code enforcement, and so you can have a say in rezoning and other development proposals, there is a process you can access to gain citizenship in Tucker. Whether you are a property owner in the Northlake are or a homeowner in the neighborhoods north of downtown Tucker, we would love to work with you to get you back where you belong, and where you can make a difference.