Congratulations to Brookhaven on your 8th Birthday
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Congratulations to Brookhaven on your 8th Birthday

Eight years ago on the 12th of December, Brookhaven, Georgia, officially began operations as Georgia’s newest municipality. From those early days to the present, the community rallied around progressive policies of creating livable and workable spaces for all of its citizens. In that effort, the City Council has proposed and supported the creation of a Public…

Brookhaven becomes 2nd DeKalb city to pass anti-street racing law – City Attorney Explains Key Differences
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Brookhaven becomes 2nd DeKalb city to pass anti-street racing law – City Attorney Explains Key Differences

From an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution by Zachary Hansen Brookhaven’s city leaders passed an ordinance Tuesday night that imposes a fine between $500 and $1,000 for violators, who could also receive up to six months in jail. In addition, vehicles used in a street race can be impounded for 30 days or until the case is settled….

When Crossing a “Bridge to Far” Equals “Good Trouble”
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When Crossing a “Bridge to Far” Equals “Good Trouble”

Georgia’s Governor Kemp has said that a mask mandate is a “bridge too far;”* but we learned from Congressman John Lewis** that crossing bridges, even in the face of violent opposition, is good trouble when it means saving lives and making a difference. Cities across Georgia need to stand up for their citizens and assert…

The Devastation of Failing to Listen
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The Devastation of Failing to Listen

I was raised by a pacifist who wholly believed Dr King and Mahatma Ghandi’s creed of nonviolence. Then I learned about WWII and confronted bullies on the playground and realized that sometimes violence is a necessary response to injustice and violence. I enlisted in the Marines to put action to my belief that I was…

Public Hearings Online in Georgia – Chris Balch Clarifies
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Public Hearings Online in Georgia – Chris Balch Clarifies

In an article published today, the AJC stated (without citation or authority) that public hearings by local governments had to be held in person. That is flatly incorrect. Georgia cities, including Brookhaven, have been conducting public hearings via online platforms throughout the COVID-19 crisis and will continue to do so. The Open Meetings Act, O.C.G.A. § 51-14-1et seq., allows…

Governor Kemp’s Executive Order 05.12.20.02 Opens Pools But Leaves Much to the Imagination
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Governor Kemp’s Executive Order 05.12.20.02 Opens Pools But Leaves Much to the Imagination

Yesterday afternoon, the Governor issued Executive Order 05.12.20.02. Written in the intensely bureaucratic language we have come to expect, the Order is far from a model of clarity. By omission, the Governor has directed that public pools are allowed to reopen. Pools are not included or directly mentioned in the Executive Order but they are…

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Chris Balch’s Ordinance for Brookhaven, GA, Designed to Save Lives During COVID-19, Adopted by GMA and ACCG

Chris is thrilled that his recent ordinance for Brookhaven, GA has been adopted by multiple municipalities, the Georgia Municipalities Association, and the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia It’s about saving lives and flattening the curve of COVID-19  to prevent its spread and not overwhelm our healthcare system, while still adhering to the City’s Charter…

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Chris’ Recent Article in For the Defense

Defending Land-Use Cases When the Elected Official Is the Problem What to Do When They Say Something They Shouldn’t Have By Christopher D. Balch A well-conducted investigation will go a long way to helping a defense, but it is as much about public relations as about finding the truth and protecting public trust. Do the…