Casey Wields His Bat

And he does a damn fine job of it too:

State Senator and Republican Lt. Governor candidate Casey Cagle called today for any and all necessary action to prevent Fulton County from selling six parks in the newly-incorporated City of Sandy Springs.

The Fulton County Commission voted Wednesday in a party-line vote to auction off the property even though it is located in the newly-formed City of Sandy Springs.

It is a petty, petty thing to have done.

20 comments

  1. northside elephant says:

    “The deal to sell six Sandy Springs parks on the open market has unraveled.

    Bowing to intense political pressure, Commissioner Robb Pitts on Friday reversed his support for the sale — which could have seen 74 acres of public parks replaced by homes, business and high-rise office towers.”

    Source

  2. 4ofspades says:

    Just so everyone is clear of where Handel stood on this issue. I recieved this on 6/21.

    CHAIRMAN KAREN HANDEL – EMAIL UPDATE
    June 21, 2006

    Today, a motion passed to sell various capital assets in Sandy Springs at fair market value to any interested party. The motion was offered by Commissioner Boxill and passed 4-3 along party lines (FOR: Pitts, Boxill, Darnell, Edwards – AGAINST: Handel, Riley, Lowe).

    In a stunning betrayal of the people of Sandy Springs and all citizens in the unincorporated areas of North and South Fulton, Commissioner Pitts voted in support of this motion. Commissioner Pitts was elected in 2002 in large part by making a commitment to support the people of Sandy Springs. I am intensely disappointed in his action, which will require the citizens of Sandy Springs to enter in a bidding war for assets they have already paid for once!

    This sets a very disturbing precedent for any future cities in Fulton County. Both North and South Fulton stand to pay a heavy price if this policy is enacted as each new city is formed, since this action will clearly extend to the new cities of Milton, Johns Creek, Chattahoochee Hills and South Fulton. The citizens of these areas could lose the very parks and recreation spaces they currently enjoy – and have helped build – if the new cities cannot afford to purchase them from the County.

    I urge everyone to call, email or write Commissioner Pitts and urge him to do the right thing and take action so that he may rescind his vote and the board may consider a policy that is fair and equitable, not just for Sandy Springs, but any of the new cities coming forward in the next few years.

    Please visit my website at http://www.chairmanhandel.com.

  3. larry smith says:

    I am pretty sure Fulton County will regret hacking off the next LG. I’m hearing Casey is pretty wrapped around the axle about this, and ready to pull out all the stops to prevent it from happening.

  4. 4ofspades says:

    LS,
    Just curious, what can a “hacked off next LG” do about it? Besides it looks like enough pressure has been put on Pitts to make he reverse his vote.

  5. larry smith says:

    4,

    Two things:

    1) The legislature could stop the sale at the state level.

    2) Fulton has a long shopping list of funding and other issues it brings to legislature every year.

    You’re right, though, looks like Pitts has been smart enough to figure the math out on this and is backing off.

  6. RiverRat says:

    Sure the move was petty by Fulton County. But I’m not entirely certain what business it is of an LG or a state senator from Gainseville.

  7. larry smith says:

    Tech/River,

    The LG represents the State of Georgia. Sandy Springs is located in the State of Georgia.

  8. GabrielSterling says:

    The state government has everything to do with this. At the end of the last session, Sen. Vincent Fort filibustered the last half hour or so. Because of that the bill that would have defined how assets were transfered to new cities, like Sandy Springs, Johns Creek and the the City of Milton, was killed.

    Cities are creations of the state and the rules governing the transfer of assets. So Casey, or any state candidate, does actually have a great deal to say how this will happen.

    I suspect that one of the first bills passed in January and signed will be the bill defining the rules of how these transfers take place.

  9. RiverRat says:

    Larry, Gabriel makes a much better arguement about Cagle’s interest in this story beyond courting the North Fulton GOP vote, which this most obviously is about. If state law governs transfer of property in situations like this (and I’m no lawyer, I have no idea if that is accurate), then Cagle has at least a legitimate pretense on which to get involved.

    Of course the entire issue could be avoided if Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb, Gwinnett, and Clayton would consider consolidating portions of the counties into a unified government. NYC is one example where such consolidation has allowed localities to maintain local control over local issues, such as many zoning issues, while allowing a broader regional authority to manage larger issues, like transportation.

    Can anyone tell me why a unified county-municipal government for everything, say, within I-285 wouldn’t be ten times better than what currently exists? For one thing, it would entirely eliminate petty BS like this stuff currently going on with Fulton County.

  10. GabrielSterling says:

    As I understand it, one huge obstacle is the Voting Rights Act. If one consolidated governments in the Metro area, the net effect as the law would view it would be to dillute minority voting strength.

    On a more practical level, most existing governments just don’t like giving up power and patronage.

  11. northside elephant says:

    Sandy Springs is fortunate to have some of the best leadership in the state. Eva Gallambos, the city council, Sen. Judson Hill, Rep. Joe Wilkerson, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and others have fought hard for the little city.

  12. larry smith says:

    RiverRat,

    State law covers the transfer of property in ANY situation, and it covers the details of such transfers down to precise minutae in the case of county/city issues.

    The legislature left some elements of the Sandy Springs incorporation open with the assumption those issues could be resolved cooperatively to the benefit of the citizens. In the event that doesn’t happen, the state government has not only the right, but also the obligation to step in. This is clearly such a case.

    And, thanks for your critique of my argument. It’s great to know you care, even if you don’t understand.

  13. RiverRat says:

    Larry, sure, the state has the ability to supercede most local issues. That doesn’t meant that it is really Cagle’s business what goes on in Fulton County, the same way that Earl Ehrhart really has no business sticking his nose into Atlanta’s stuff. He CAN, that doesn’t mean he SHOULD.

    I guess a better question is why did Rep. Willard et al leave this issue alone the first time around, and why did Cagle speak up now instead of the people in the state government who have been a part of all this stuff since the beginning? What business is it really of Cagle’s?

  14. larry smith says:

    River Rat,

    The guy’s trying to do something positive. Why are you griping about it? Is it that you dislike Cagle or that you want the county to sell the parks or that you just like whining?

    There’s not much other logic behind your argument. Hell, the legislature has an entire committee that does nothing but deal with this kind of crap day in and day out.

  15. RiverRat says:

    First, Cagle wasn’t needed – the existing system worked out the problem. Pitts changed his mind in about a day’s time because people righfully got pissed.

    Second, this was a local issue, and Cagle does not represent Fulton County or Sandy Springs in any way shape or form currently. As Lt. Governor, he would be a state-wide elected official – which makes his involvement in a local issue like city/county parks a bit of a stretch. Despite state laws which may govern these sorts of things, they aren’t really his business either (see next point).

    Third, in terms of state government, the legislative committee which would deal with this sort of issue is the SLGO committee, which defers this sort of thing to a local delegation, in this case the Fulton County and Sandy Springs delegations – neither of which Cagle is not a member of since he doesn’t represent any entity involved.

    I don’t have any particular problem with Cagle, and if I were to have to choose between Cagle and Reed, I guess Cagle is preferable. I’m a Democrat, so I don’t really have a dog in the fight. I just figured I’d point out Cagle’s blatant pandering in an area he has no real business getting involved in.

  16. larry smith says:

    You may call it pandering, but it sure looks a lot like being responsive to the people who put you in office to me.

    Would you rather have elected officials who just do whatever they want to do?

  17. Jack S says:

    If they were trying to open casinos on those park lands I’m sure ralph would find a way to get involved.

  18. RiverRat says:

    Larry, you said

    You may call it pandering, but it sure looks a lot like being responsive to the people who put you in office to me.

    That is my point – they didn’t put him in office. That is why it is pandering. I would rather have elected officials who dont’ try and but their nose in other people’s business. I thought the GOP was all about local control – does that not apply when you start competing for state wide offices?

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