A proposed Georgia constitutional amendment (HR 21) allowing the creation of a new Milton County did not pass out of the House by March 26, so the proposal is thought to be dead in the General Assembly for this year.
The bill did not pass the House of Representatives before “Crossover Day,” the point at which legislation usually must pass one legislative house or another. The failure was greeted with approval by two legislators who represent portions of Buckhead.
“Judging from my e-mail inbox, my constituents are relieved and my friends in North Fulton (County) are furious,” Rep. Ed Lindsey (R-Atlanta), who represents a large part of Buckhead and a smaller area of Sandy Springs, said in open letter on the “Future of Fulton County” he e-mailed March 27.
Rep. Elly Dobbs (D-Atlanta), who also represents part of Buckhead, wrote in a March 29 e-mail, “I strongly oppose the creation of another county because of the negative impact it would have on Fulton County’s tax base, causing a huge tax increase on Fulton property owners. During these tight budget times, the state of Georgia does not need to spend tax dollars on the creation of a 160th county.”
Lindsey wrote that he had three concerns about HR 21 regarding its effect on his Buckhead constituents.
First, he wrote, it would leave his community “behind with the same county political leaders in charge who have created our government quagmire through their bloated fiscal policies and blind opposition to needed reforms. In short, Buckhead should not be left alone and stuck with the bill in this dispute.”
Second, he believes HR 21 is unjust to his Buckhead constituents and to citizens of Atlanta and south Fulton County because it “strips away from us the important constitutional right to vote on this issue.”
Third, Lindsey wrote, “It has become an unlikely distraction for not only my constituents, but all residents of Fulton County from more realistic solutions to reform our county government.”
More than 90 percent of the population of Fulton County and 80 percent of the land area lie within a city. Lindsey wrote that he believes “the county government should be limited to only performing those duties that are mandated by the state or agreed upon between the cities and the county. This should lessen the footprint of our county government and provide relief to all of our county’s citizens.”