A one-line synopsis of the LCA study might as well read, “LCA funded Study Indicates Tucker is a Great Place to Live” or “Study Says Lakeside City Viable – If it Includes Tucker.” Remove Tucker from the proposal and it doesn’t work. Without Tucker, the resources the LCA needs to support a city dry up.
The City of Briarcliff Initiative (COBI) relies less on Tucker in their proposal, but in recent weeks they’ve increased their efforts to incorrectly define Tucker as only existing outside I-285, and their characteristic good will seems to be fading.
Some are complaining that Tucker’s advocacy group, Tucker2014, isn’t compromising on boundaries. Whether this is true or not, it’s difficult to call it “compromise” when the only group asked to give anything up is Tucker. Tucker is a physical reality. The communities proposed by the LCA and the COBI only exist on paper.
The message both groups are now sending is that they need Tucker for their plans to work. If Tucker won’t let go, Senator Fran Millar and the LCA have proven that they are not ashamed to lay claim to what they want.
Can a City of Tucker thrive without Northlake within its city limits? Possibly. That’s not the question because Northlake – all of Northlake – is already in Tucker.
Asking Tucker to let go of Northlake or Montreal is a bit like asking someone to have his or her arm amputated simply because someone else thinks it’s a nice arm. Can a person live a fulfilling life with only one arm? Yes, but why let someone take an arm without resistance? Claiming that the person has a great arm on the other side of his or her body is not a reasonable argument.
To carry the analogy further, in the case of the LCA, more than the arm is wanted. It doesn’t take a physician to see that the map reaches deep into the heart of Tucker to excise Henderson Park and more.
The recently modified LCA map drops the awkward jog across I-285 encapsulating medical practices in Tucker on Montreal Road. Yet the parasitic hunger continues to lunge forward, this time within 60 feet of Tucker High School.
Something powerful is fueling the desire to cannibalize Tucker and Frankenstein together a new community. If not, why are Senator Millar and the LCA working so hard to take half of it?
What about the $30,000.00 incorporation studies the State required each group to fund? Do the results no longer matter? The studies took months to complete, each determining economic feasibility based on geography, but with Senator Millar’s assistance the LCA presented a different map to the State and Local Governmental Operations Committee. A map that was not part of the State approved University of Georgia study and, after a quick bathroom break, senate committee members Mike Crane,Hunter Hill, Chuck Hufstetler, and William T. Ligon, Jr. approved it.
Not a good week for the integrity of the Republican Party in Georgia. The home field advantage should not encourage one to take advantage of his or her neighbor. A friend and Tucker resident said, “This reminds me of Chicago politics. I should move back, at least then I could have good pizza.”
Critics may read this and think, ‘No one is taking anything from Tucker, everything belongs to DeKalb County.’ That would be a fine argument if those same critics proposed keeping everything in the hands of the County, but the majority do not. They want to take it for themselves. If there were a zip code, census county division, expressway exit signs, etc. bearing the name Lakeside for the past 50 years the LCA would be claiming the area belongs to the community of Lakeside. Problem is, there are no such signs and no such community.
It must be irritating to see the name “Tucker” written predominately in so many places at the county, state, and federal level.
This whole endeavor is more than a bit embarrassing to many living in the Lakeside and Druid Hills high school districts and, according to LCA straw polls, it doesn’t reflect the desires of the people inside the Perimeter. Perhaps that is why fears related to “what if” questions about high school feeder districts changing, concerns about crime, and real estate values have held such sway in LCA discussions outside of I-285. Why try and sell a bill of goods in Poland if no one is buying it in the motherland? That the motherland isn’t buying in bulk ought to mean something.
There is something magnetic within Tucker that both groups want, but haven’t created on their own. From the outside, it must look easier to divide and conquer than to build.
Thankfully, the Legislature is frozen out this week, keeping slippery ideas off the senate floor. Hopefully, this short cooling down period will motivate those in positions of authority to consider the wider consequences of “winning” the prize.
(Originally posted in the Tucker Patch, February 13, 2014.)