What are the advantages of incorporation for Vista Grove?
Why should Vista Grove be a city? We know given the incorporation of so much of not only neighboring metro counties and across DeKalb, that the default governance model is the city partnering with the county. It is not a matter of if, it it is a matter of "when and how" our area becomes a city through incorporation or annexation into another city, and we have uniformly heard our residents express wish to have some control over that process. Rather than being acted upon, they want themselves to define a compelling future for our community. In addition, recent history and experience teach that there are other important advantages, discussed below.
First, a City solves a long-standing gap in our community's political representation, giving us a "place at the table" for important discussions and planning with neighboring cities, state agencies and legislators, and Dekalb County government. As a city, Vista Grove can communicate forcefully, and with a single representative voice, on issues of local importance -- among them, enhancing safety, promoting positive economic development, reducing traffic congestion, and fostering strong schools.
Second, a City gives us a more responsive local government, able to act more directly and quickly address the needs that matter here. By contrast with Dekalb commissioners, whose attention is divided over 740,000 county residents, a city of Vista Grove represents a "small town" government model. Its city council will be comprised of residents and neighbors who live here, and who are directly invested in the health and success of our community. We ourselves can make and implement decisions about our future, rather than a necessarily far removed county government with its attention divided across a large series of departments and agencies and over such a vast area and population.
Third, a smaller and more connected city government lets us more efficiently allocate our community's resources to those services and projects that matter to us and that will get us ready for the future. We need to prepare Vista Grove for the challenges of the coming decades, including by replacing sprawl and traffic with smart and sustainable growth, and ad hoc zoning with thoughtful, long-term planning and development. We need to concentrate community resources on improvements in high-impact services that a city can deliver most efficiency, like planning and zoning, while partnering with our home county on others. As both long-standing cities like Doraville or Peachtree Corners, and newer ones like Brookhaven and Tucker have shown, this is not an "either or" proposition. In the case of Vista Grove, the new city would work closely and cooperatively with Dekalb County, coexisting as a municipal partner to ensure the best set of services for residents. This model is also far superior to piecemeal annexation; not only would such carving up disrupt our natural community ties, by dividing up into various smaller annexed areas we would lose the ability to coordinate future planning and to concentrate our resources on transforming Vista Grove into the progressive, vibrant city it has the potential to become.
How can you help the Vista Grove movement right now? Talk about Vista Grove with your friends and neighbors in our area. Ask them to sign our petition and to donate now to support moving forward with the formal feasibility study of a potential new city. Here is the petition link: www.vistagrove.org/petition. When someone signs the petition, ask that they include both their name and address, so our legislators understand the breadth of community support. And here is the link to donate: https://vistagrove.nationbuilder.com/donate Please know that every dollar you can contribute counts, is appreciated, and helps to support getting out the word about Vista Grove, whether through the website, updates and community meetings, or most of all, funding the feasibility study that is a necessary requirement to being a city.
Thank you all on behalf of our Vista Grove leadership team and community for all you do!
All the best,
Andrew, Lara, Megan, Meg, and Peter