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08 January 2010

Milton County: Fifteen, Four And The Fight Of A Lifetime

In Thursday's Gainesville Times, Associated Press reporter Shannon McCaffrey writes of the efforts to re-create Milton County out of Fulton County's northern half [McCaffrey, Shannon (2010-1-7). Push to split away from Fulton County raises race. Gainesville Times. Retrieved on 2010-1-8.].

As usual, the folks who want things to stay as they are claim race is fueling the calls to split up Georgia's largest county. They say the people who want to resurrect Milton County are racist whites who want to get away from the blacks in Atlanta and south Fulton.

I say that's just b.s.

Fulton County has become too bloated and too large to function. If the existing Fulton County government functioned the way it should, then this entire debate on new cities and a new county would be a moot point. If Fulton County operated the way its neighbor to the south, Fayette County, operates, very few people would be calling for the re-creation of Fulton County. But the reality is that Fulton County is dysfunctional.

Outgoing Speaker Pro Tempore Mark Burkhalter (R - Johns Creek) wrote in a March, 2009 editorial that he and his colleagues in the General Assembly were offering more efficient county government closer to the people in response to Fulton County’s dysfunction [Burkhalter, Mark (2009-3-3). Bring back Milton County? PRO: More efficiency, less expense for Fulton. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved on 2010-1-8.].

The Declaration of Independence says, "Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes. . ."

The people of north Fulton feel that they’ve tried and tried and tried for years to make Fulton County work. And that now, their only option is to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them to the state’s largest and most dysfunctional county in order to “institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

So here's where the efforts to resurrect Milton County stands.

The Milton County bill, or House Resolution 21 as it is known in the legislature, passed out of the House State Planning & Community Affairs Committee last February on a vote of seven to one.

It takes 120 votes in the House and 38 votes in the Senate to pass any constitutional amendment. The GOP currently holds 105 and 34 of those votes respectively meaning that the operative slogan here is fifteen, four and fight.

Fifteen votes in the House, four votes in the Senate and the fight of a lifetime for the re-birth of Milton County.

Do I support the re-creation of Milton County? In the words of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, "You betcha!"