Brookhaven elects first mayor, council members

by: Tony Thomas Updated:

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - The soon-to-be-formed city of Brookhaven has an elected mayor and city council.

J. Max Davis defeated Sandy Murray Tuesday to become the mayor-elect of what will be DeKalb County's largest city starting Dec. 17.

Davis took more than 60 percent of the vote.

Rebecca Williams, Bates Mattison, and Joe Gebbia won City Council seats as well.

Their celebrations will be short-lived though as they must get a city up and running in just 13 days. 

Channel 2's Tony Thomas asked the mayor-elect if the city can be a functioning city in such a short time?

"Well yeah it will be a functioning city. We won't be providing all the services we will eventually provide," Davis replied.

Eventually those services will include a police department and code enforcement. But first, newly elected city leaders must begin hiring employees, adopting laws and finding a City Hall.

Davis said his top priority is to make sure the city gets its finances in order and building a police department.

He hopes to have city law enforcement in place within four to five months. DeKalb County will continue to handle most services in the short term.

Turnout for the special election was relatively light with only 6,371 people voting. Brookhaven has nearly 30,000 eligible voters.

Outside of one precinct, voter Amy Cohen said she's not sure the city can get things prepared quickly enough.

"I'm definitely concerned about that. I'm concerned about how the city is going to run, where the money is going to come from and all that," she said.

A state appointed committee has been working for weeks trying to prepare for cityhood.

Volunteers have also been working on committees. Dale Boone serves on one committee and believes the city can be up and running quickly.

"I just see this being more faster than most people think," he said.

The mayor and council will begin meeting informally on Wednesday, but can't take any official actions until Dec. 17.

"I feel we are ready to hit the ground running. I know we are going to make some mistakes but I know we are going to get things right," Davis said.