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Fulton County Split (reaches the Senate)

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Senate study to look at splitting Fulton County

By SONJI JACOBS | Tuesday, March 22, 2005, 02:30 PM

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Senate voted 48-1 today in favor of establishing a study committee to look at the pros and cons of splitting Fulton County in two.

State Sen. Sam Zamarripa (D-Atlanta) has proposed creating two consolidated governments, called Milton and Atlanta counties. Cities from Palmetto to Atlanta to Mountain Park would all be swept into one of the two governments.

The new Milton County would begin at the northern boundary of Atlanta.

The new Atlanta County would take in everything from Atlanta to Fulton

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Interesting. I like the consolidated gov't idea. That would require some serious changes to GA's constitution though wouldn't it? The number of counties that GA can have is restricted.

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I did a search- the limit is 159 counties, and requires voters to ratify a new constitution. The amendment that created that limit also provided that Milton and Campbell counties merge with Fulton.

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Yeah, I like the idea of consolidated government. But more counties isn't what Atlanta needs, it needs fewer different government agencies. Fewer counties should help with some of the development issues Atlanta faces by having so many different counties each with their own agenda and growth management.

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Interesting. The program in the 20's that resulted in Milton and Campbell counties' being merged with Fulton was called the "Bigger Better Counties" plan, and the intent was to have more than just two counties delist and joint others. Old library books and such that I looked at in college note that proponents had hoped counties statewide would merge, among them Schley and Marion, Glascock and Jefferson, and Tattnall and Evans (those are the only ones I can remember). Didn't happen. Government favored small counties, and small counties weren't about to give up their power.

I've read a number of ideas about this. Apparently the thinking is that folks in old Milton and Campbell counties feel like they get short shrift from the city of Atlanta and from Fulton County when it comes to funding. Give us our own county and we'll have all the funding to ourselves. As paulblack notes this isn't exactly what the state needs.

I remember about two years ago or so reading of a similar idea that would have all of old Milton County plus the Sandy Springs area consolidate with the city of Alpharetta, and all of old Campbell County join either Fairburn or College Park, and all of the center of the county then be annexed by Atlanta. Thus there would be three cities, no unincorporated areas, and the county government would be more or less evenly controlled one third by Alpharetta, a third by Atlanta, and a third by Fairburn. I guess nothing ever came of that.

I'm sort of surprised to find that the current bill has no provision for old Campbell County.

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Since I posted this on another board - I'll share it with you all:

From: http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/nor...5/03fulton.html

What next for Fulton County?

Incorporation: New city of Sandy Springs would deduct more than $20 million in taxes from Fulton.

By D.L. BENNETT

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 04/03/05

A new city of Sandy Springs would leave Fulton County with fewer people to serve, less money to do it with and a surplus of equipment, property and employees.

The new city of 85,000, carved out of neighborhoods north of Atlanta, would put 81 percent of county residents within one of 11 cities. And, as Fulton's second-largest city, it would siphon off more than $20 million in taxes that businesses in Sandy Springs now generate to support rural south and north Fulton.

No matter how painful the process, the discussions need to move forward

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