By DOUG NURSE
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Prospects for resurrecting Milton County cleared its first hurdle Wednesday when a state House committee gave its approval.
“Today’s passage of the constitutional amendment to re-create Milton County … is a significant step towards the long-deserved independence of North Fulton County,” said Speaker Pro Tem Mark Burkhalter (R-Johns Creek) “The net effect for our residents will be lower taxes, improved services and increased home values.”
Called House Resolution 21, the proposal passed out of the State Planning and Community Affairs Committee by a 7-1 vote. The resolution has several more steps before Milton County becomes real. Next it has to pass through the Rules Committee, then it goes to the House floor.
The resolution calls for a statewide referendum on a constitutional amendment to allow formerly existing counties to become resuscitated. It would have to garner two-thirds majority in the House and Senate before being placed on the ballot.
Supporters argue Milton County, which would include all Fulton County cities north of Atlanta, would create a government closer and more responsive to the people, and that it would operate more efficiently and be more accountable than Fulton County. It also would allow the tax money generated in north Fulton County to stay in north Fulton County.
Opponents say tearing Milton County from Fulton County would be costly and difficult, and isn’t necessary. A struggling Milton County merged with Fulton County during the Great Depression.