From the Mayor

Flashing-left-arrowI often use this column to go back and revisit our messaging and the goals of the 2013-2016 effort to incorporate Tucker. It's important to note how much thought was put into the startup of the City and how we as a community have benefitted. The City Charter is what we all voted on and approved as the basis for our authority and responsibilities. I reiterate this because in about a month, we are asking our community to approve a change to our charter that will allow us to take direct responsibility for a critical city service.

Our charter includes numerous checks and balances to ensure our elected officials do their jobs responsibly on behalf of our citizens. Tucker was initially charged with providing three essential services. Importantly, the charter also allows our citizens to authorize the city to take on additional services whenever we believe we can do so more effectively or cost efficiently. When we identify such an opportunity, the Mayor and Council are to call for a city-wide referendum to get approval from the voters. And that's what we've done by calling for a referendum about Public Works on the November ballot.

Another safeguard we built into the charter is a significant restriction on our ability to raise the tax rate. Currently, the Mayor and Council of Tucker can only tax property up to a total of 1 mill. Our rate was Zero until we assumed responsibility for Tucker's park system. At that time, we enacted a tax of 0.9 mills, which was accompanied by an identical decrease in the county tax rate. I think we can all agree that's been a very successful change, resulting in a much higher level of service in our Parks and Recreation Department. In fact, due to responsible management and diligent oversight, this year we were actually able to reduce that rate slightly!

The question on this ballot represents another opportunity to control our own destiny and provide a much-improved level of service. It's actually two questions: Shall we provide the listed services directly in the City of Tucker, and are we authorized to collect property taxes and fees to pay for them? Note that again DeKalb County would cease collecting taxes and fees for these services. A few page turns away is the actual question on the ballot and our full Frequently Asked Questions that covers just about everything you need to know. We also have a dedicated page on our website with in-depth information. We also mailed a postcard to all residents inviting you to three informational meetings. Our first one was well attended, and I am looking forward to seeing many of our friends and neighbors at the two upcoming meetings.

It is imperative that our citizenry comes out and votes their will. A no vote would leave us to continue accepting the current level of service from our partners at DeKalb County. A yes vote allows us to forge ahead with a higher level of service and more direct accountability to our residents. Be aware this question is the very last item on the ballot, so please - whoever and whatever else you vote on, please go all the way to the end, and cast your vote on this important item!

For full information on meeting dates, FAQs and more, please visit


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