House District 82 Newsletter


In this issue:
1. Capitol Update
2. DeKalb County School System Update
3. DeKalb County Budget Update
4. Upcoming Meetings
5. Save the Date

1. At the Capitol: Even though the General Assembly was not in session, it was an active week both at the Capitol and in our part of DeKalb County. The Governor submitted his proposed budgets for the remainder of 2011 and 2012 to the legislature last Thursday. As expected, the amended budget for 2011 and the proposed 2012 budget are marked by significant cuts to state agency funding and Medicaid. You can find a summary of the budgets here—

I am pleased to report that I now have an office and a phone at the Capitol. You can find my new information at the bottom of this newsletter. I'd like to hear from you!
This week, I received my Committee assignments: Public Safety and Homeland Security, Children and Youth, and Motor Vehicles. In addition to these areas, I plan to focus on many other key issues, including education, health, water and transportation.
Here in DeKalb County, there has been important activity as well.

2. DeKalb County Public Schools: As you know from my previous newsletters and other sources, the DeKalb County School System (DCSS) is in the process of developing a consolidation and redistricting plan. The school system has come forward with two proposals, referred to as "centralized" and "decentralized," respectively, and is now gathering public input on both. The "centralized" plan includes the closing of Livsey Elementary School, in our District. Both plans involve changes with respect to the attendance zone for Lakeside High School. The "centralized" plan would impact more schools and youngsters, and would have more effect on those attending magnet programs than would the "decentralized" plan. Here is a link to the redistricting proposals: The school system has been holding public meetings to gather residents' input with the notion that "everything is on the table." Three meetings were held this past week. I attended the one held on Thursday at Chamblee High School, where I had the opportunity to listen to the concerns of parents in the district. I relayed these concerns, as well as those I've received in letters and emails, to DCSS officials and members of the DeKalb County Board of Education.

There are three more opportunities to participate in the process: McNair High School, Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 6:30 PM; Bethune Middle School, Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 6:30 PM; and Stone Mountain Middle School, Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 6:30 PM. If you want to influence the recommendations that will be presented by the Superintendent on February 7, 2011, I highly encourage you to participate. In addition, you may want to contact the members of the Board of Education. Their contact information is listed here—

Finally, here are the critical dates left on the schedule:

February 7, 2011 • board meeting—Superintendent presents redistricting and school consolidation recommendations
March 1 & 3, 2011 • formal public hearings, Administrative and Instructional Complex auditorium at 6:30 PM
March 7, 2011 • board meeting—approval of redistricting and school consolidation recommendations

3. DeKalb County Budget: This past Tuesday, DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis discussed his proposed 2011 budget with residents of the Civic Association Network neighborhoods at the Leafmore Creek Park Clubhouse. His budget proposal centers on an 11 percent property tax increase and the elimination of 750 county jobs. To view a copy of his recommendations, go to Also, to contact your County Commissioners to discuss the budget, go to

4. Upcoming meetings
I want to highlight the following meeting: The DeKalb County Legislative Delegation will hold its annual public hearing on Monday, January 24 at 7:00 p.m. at the DeKalb Technical Institute / Clarkston Campus Conference Center (located at 495 North Indian Creek Drive; Clarkston, GA 30021). This is an opportunity for you to hear from all of DeKalb County's State Senators and Representatives about the legislative session that is now underway, and there will be ample opportunity for you to ask questions and express your views to the delegation.
On Thursday, January 27, County CEO Burrell Ellis will be holding another community meeting to discuss the budget. This will be at the home of Cynthia Johnson, an 82nd District resident, from 7 to 8:30 PM at 2765 Northbrook Drive, Atlanta.

5. Save the Date:
CAN—the Civic Association Network of civic and neighborhood associations in central DeKalb County—-is sponsoring a community fun run/walk/bike/skate event on Saturday, March 26, 2011 at Oak Grove United Methodist Church. The official name of this event is 'Embrace Our Green Space Race'. The events will start at 10 AM, and we plan to be finished by noon. All routes will be marked with signs and on course volunteers.
Events include:
Arrive by 9:30 for sign-in. The 20K bike ride will start at 10:00 AM, followed directly by the 10K skate, 10K run, 5K run, and 2K walk to follow in that sequence. I plan to run the 5k. Please join me!
You can go to to watch the House of Representatives live, when we are in session.
Please contact me at any time to share your thoughts.
Capitol Office: Coverdell Legislative Office Building, 511-E, Atlanta, GA 30334.
Capitol Phone: 404-656-6372
Home: 2306 Briarcliff Commons, Atlanta, GA 30345
Cell Phone: 404-387-0373

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