Today’s AJC has an article about HB 33 that I submitted to change the make up of the ARC Board membership. The title just about sums it up and is 100% accurate, ARC blamed with shirking Southside. I have not discussed this legislation with Steve Cash but I am very excited to see the HCCQG supporting it. “We’ve never had a level playing field as far as representation,” are Mr. Cash’s comments. This is exactly the point of the bill and as a previous legislator from Henry County there is probably not anyone else more understanding of the frustration we have with the ARC. We only have 1/3 of what Fulton has and if you add Dekalb to it we have only have 1/5 of the amount votes they have. I wonder if the Henry County Chamber of Commerce is going to support this bill. They have been pushing a “regional agenda” and even had Lisa Borders, an Atlanta City Council member, down to speak at their Chamber luncheon. I hope they will see the logic in equal representation for our local area.
Mr. Kruetler, who I respect, said “This idea about who has the most votes doesn’t really play out in the way decisions are made,”. Well I respectfully disagree and I believe it is proof positive that the big guys control it all, which is why they don’t want to give up the two automatic seats for the City of Atlanta. Why can’t she (Franklin) go out and explain to the rest of the Fulton County Mayors how important she really is? Meanwhile lobby to get the votes from the the Mayors to have the seat just like everyone else in all of the other 10 counties represented in the Commission.
I am surprised the article did not elaborate on the change to the third member from each county. As a state commission it currently only has local representation and not any state government participation. The appointment by the local delegation would not only give equal representation to each county but would also balance the power of government representation. One city member, one county member, and the newest member from the state. It also reduces the length of the third member’s term from 4 years to 2 years mirroring the members of the General Assembly which will be making their appointment.
I am also surprised the article did not address the make up of the signers of the bill. If you use the link above you view the signers but here is the signers home counties; Fayette, Douglas, Cherokee, Gwinnett, (2) Henry- Rep Lunsford and myself.
You can view my earlier post on the bill with its make up here. Shockingly Eldrin Bell from Clayton county does not support this bill, even though this would benefit his county as much as ours! First he rights a check he can’t cash for commuter rail, then he tries to squash the voice of his constituents by not supporting a referendum, and now he does not want Clayton to have an equal voice in Regional decisions. Am I missing something here? Really this is just political but it still does not make sense!
In the article they listed the members and where they represent. Below is a chart of number by county and you can determine for yourself why the ARC is pushing to urbanize the region and looking for “Regional” approaches. Actually they just want to take our money and control what we do! They not only want to control what we already pay but they also want to raise taxes for the entire region to pay for urban projects! Remember there are 10 counties and the City of Atlanta is not a county! Also remember we already have a representative style of government based on population, it is called the General Assembly. This commission is supposed to represent the views of the entire region but majority rules! Here is a simple number breakdown by county:
1. Fulton 9 members (including ATL)
2. Dekalb 5 members
3. Gwinnett 4 members
4. Cobb 4 members
5. Clayton 3 members
6. Henry 3 members
7. Douglas 3 members
8. Cherokee 3 members
9. Fayette 2 members
10 Rockdale 2 members