Or, cynical politics at its finest.
If you follow the state legislature closely, you may recall that before the last session, a bill, (HB22) — sponsored by Mary Margaret Oliver, 82nd; Michele Henson, 86th; Howard Mosby, 83rd; and Dar’shun Kendrick, 93rd — was introduced to halt the incorporation of any new cities in DeKalb. More accurately, it rendered any new city movement dead on arrival because of new, onerous requirements. That idea fell flat.
In March, during the session, SB270 — sponsored by Fran Millar, 40th — was introduced to provide for a referendum on the City of Lakeside. A group from that community came together, held meetings, took donations and completed a feasibility study. A study by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government* (at UGA) showed that a City of Lakeside is feasible with no tax increases.
HB22 was going nowhere fast. Enter HB665, allowing for the creation of a City of Briarcliff or Tucker or Muddy Waters. Oddly enough, HB665 was sponsored by Mary Margaret Oliver-82nd, the same legislator who submitted HB22 that would have halted all new cityhood movements. Even stranger, HB665 just proposes to create “a new municipality”. Contrast that with SB270 which states clearly a proposal for the City of Lakeside.
Why would anyone who felt strongly enough to file a bill to halt new cities in DeKalb file another bill to start “a new municipality” in the very same session?
Folks, this is cynical politics at its best. HB665 was a Trojan Horse that used the hope for a new city as the “gift”. Once inside the cityhood debate, Briarcliff could be pitted against Lakeside. Throw in a dose of conflict with Tucker and, from the outside, it looks like chaos.
Now, with Operation Muddy Waters firmly underway, the AJC published this article: “Calls growing for pause in cityhood movement.” That was the plan all along. That was the stated goal of HB22 and the unwritten goal of HB665. That sure is some interesting maneuvering.*For more than 85 years, the Carl Vinson Institute of Government has worked with public officials throughout Georgia and around the world to improve governance and people’s lives. From Georgia’s early days as a largely agrarian state with a modest population to its modern-day status as a national and international force in business, industry, and politics with a population of almost 10 million, the Institute has helped state and local government leaders navigate change and forge strong directions for a better Georgia.