Sole Commissioners

An interesting quirk of local government in Georgia is the sole commissioner (as opposed to the more common Board of Commissioners).  According to the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at UGA, Georgia was the first and only state to allow this form of county government.  There are currently eight counties in the state still governed by a sole commissioner – Bartow, Walker, Chattooga, Murray, Pulaski, Towns, Union and Bleckley. 

Bartow County voters may have the opportunity to remove their county’s name from that list in November.  According to the Rome News-Tribune, State Rep. Jeff Lewis is considering introducing local legislation in the General Assembly that would put the question on November’s ballot.  While local legislation usually passes the House and Senate with little fanfare, the proposal’s ultimate fate lies with the voters in Bartow County who rejected a similar proposal in 1992. 

Any thoughts on this form of local government? 


  1. Bartow’s sole commissioner, I believe, was a long time Democrat who just switched to the GOP. Wonder why Lewis, also a former Democrat who switched, seems intent on replacing him? Maybe worried that a real Republican will take over?

  2. gopdawg says:

    I’m from Bartow County– and yes, Clarence Brown used to be a Democrat until this last election and the same for Lewis in 1994– however, Lewis has represented the conservative values of Bartow well these last 14 years– however, I FIRMLY believe that we need a multi-member county commissioner system not for partisan reasons, but for representation, let’s hope my neighbors feel the same way…

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