Thursday, May 21, 2015

Would a township solve Sandtown's issues for the average citizen?

In most political issues, we try to boil it down to two sides. Much like a debate, we want to be for or against an issue. The reality of life in unincorporated south Fulton county is not that way. There are people who want to be annexed into existing cities, there are people who want to create their own, new city, and there are people who want things to remain as they currently exist.

Whenever one option is brought to the surface, the other two options are naturally cast against it. In the case of annexation, opponents either want their own city or prefer to be left alone. In the case of a new city, opponents prefer an existing city or want to be left alone. In the case of being left alone, both city options state that this cannot happen; at some point you have to choose or one of the city options will force your hand.

If am confident that the most prevalent opinion of the residents if forced to make a choice and stick with it would desire to be left alone. That option doesn't serve either of the city groups well. However, that opportunity did exist in the Georgia Legislature in 2007-08. The Georgia Township Act was legislation that would allow something more than unincorporated lands, but less that a full fledged city. It would have given some level of protection against annexation. It would have had elected offices, but not at the level of a mayor and city council. The key services would still be handled by the county. Town taxation would have been very limited.

To see the old township legislation for yourself, go to …and under session, select 2007-2008 Regular Session. In Keywords, type township. You should see HB 651, HB 925, and SB 89. Clicking on these bills, you will see a First Reader Summary that will give you a basic idea of what is in the bill. You can see the entire (old) bill in PDF at the bottom of the page.

These days, there are more than enough activists telling the citizens of unincorporated south Fulton, what you should want. The challenges of annexation versus a city have been officially active in this community since 2006, yet we still have no resolution. It is well past the time for the citizens to push back and make their demands for a town, be known. Push your political representatives to accomplish the things that you want…or find new people to do those jobs.

If you want to stay as close to the way you are without external threats, demand it. Let’s take actions to get township laws in Georgia. Otherwise, people will make decisions for you.

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