Giving Voice to Vista Grove: The Process of City Creation Continues

With your help and continued engagement, and that of so many members of this community, the process of creating a new City of Vista Grove continues to move forward! 

Here’s where we are: The 2020 legislative session, which just concluded after some COVID-related delay, was an important one. Recognizing the important role of city government in our area, two of our seasoned local legislators--Senators Sally Harrell and Elena Parent, with support and assistance from Representative Mary Margaret Oliver--sponsored and introduced legislation to incorporate Vista Grove. This is the first time that these well-respected and thoughtful legislators have introduced a cityhood bill for our area, and they are committed to making sure that conversation about cityhood is thoughtful, positive, and well-informed. 

Senator Parent’s statement about sponsorship of the legislation to permit a vote on Vista Grove is available here. Senator Harrell’s statement, along with a joint statement by both legislators, is available here

We will be discussing more in the coming weeks about Vista Grove city planning and what it means to have our own representative voice in a city government. For now, know that the vision these legislators have advanced for a new city is one we can all be proud of. In addition to repairing roads, and creating new trails, parks, and sidewalks -- benefits that we see neighboring cities providing for residents every day -- a new city of Vista Grove will partner with DeKalb County in some very important and forward-thinking ways. The proposed charter for the new City of Vista Grove expresses an intent that the city utilize Dekalb police for at least 10 years, rather than forming its own police force, and provides that the city be responsible on a continued basis for police pension liability.

So what comes next? The proposed charter legislation needs to be finalized in the General Assembly and signed into law. As a result of the rapid emergence of the coronavirus, the legislative session was suspended before this could happen in 2020. So the good work in the legislature will continue in January 2021, and when a bill is finalized, it will provide for a public referendum on cityhood in 2021, likely on Election Day in November.

How can you help ensure that a city is created, giving voice to Vista Grove? 

  • First, stay informed and engaged with us. Sign up for updates on our webpage, and if you have not already, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll get details on upcoming information forums, the latest information we have on community improvement issues, volunteer opportunities,  and how we can work together to improve quality of life for Vista Grove. 
  • Second, thank our supporting legislators. They have taken time through public forums, a busy legislative session, and a time of great social, health and economic unrest, to thoughtfully consider how to establish city government for Vista Grove that best serves this community and supports the county as a whole. Take a moment now to email that “thank you” email to sally.harrell@senate.ga.gov and elena.parent@senate.ga.gov and to Rep. Oliver at mmo@mmolaw.com.
  • Third, make a contribution to Vista Grove Initiative. As a non-profit, VGI relies on financial support from you for its work. And there is much more to be done: We want to ensure that every one of our neighbors has the most complete and accurate information about a possible City of Vista Grove, by continuing educational programming and outreach. Please take a moment now to contribute here -- your support makes a real impact and directly advances our mission of community education and outreach.
  • Fourth, if you would like to get more involved, consider volunteering with Vista Grove Initiative. While stay-at-home restrictions and social distancing limit some activity, there are still wonderful ways to help us connect with neighbors and make a difference. We’d love to have you join this movement

Thank you for your interest and assistance in moving Vista Grove ahead, and we look forward to staying in touch!

Sincerely,

Your Vista Grove Volunteer Team

www.vistagrove.org

In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.” -Marianne Williamson