The Fayette Citizen-News Page
Friday, November 6, 1998
Reader says northern residents need to be included in survey

Letters from Our Readers

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I would like to respond to recent reports in the local media about the Coweta Vision 2020 plan for future growth in Coweta County.

Some Newnan residents, and I emphasize that it was only some, are quoted as saying that "many residents in north and east Coweta have no real ties to the county and may become a destabilizing force" that "don't even know who the local politicians are," and that "they didn't come here to be part of Newnan."

Like most residents of north and east Coweta, I have very real ties to this county. My wife and I both work here, not in Atlanta. We have four children in three of the local schools. We go to church in this county. While I may not be willing to tolerate a status quo which unfairly favors the minority of this county living in and around Newnan, i would hardly consider myself a "destabilizing force."

Concerning local politicians, I have made it a point to know who they are especially the school board members. In 1997, the voters approved a sales tax for capital improvements in our schools. Any reasonable person reading the ballot would have concluded that at the high school level, the funds would be divided almost evenly among the three schools. That did not happen. Instead, one high school, Newnan, was allocated more of the tax dollars than the other two high schools combined.

Another reason I got to know our politicians is because, like a lot of people, I believe in equal representation for all voters. Unfortunately, that does not exist in Coweta County. The voters elect five county commissioners and five school board members from districts which are supposed to be approximately equal in population.

Two more school board members are elected-at-large. However, even though north Coweta and east Coweta have a majority of the registered voters in this county, they together elect only 40 percent of the district members for both the school board and the county commission. A minority of voters in and around Newnan elect 60 percent of the county commission and of the district members of the school board.

Those Newnan residents were right about one thing. I did not come here to be part of Newnan. If I had, I would live in Newnan, instead of 10 miles away. I came here to be part of Coweta County.

I should also add one note of caution to the people of Market Street Services conducting research for Coweta's Vision 2020. I do not think I would tell the residents of Senoia or Moreland that they are not part of east Coweta or that they are newcomers or outsiders. They might object.

Peter Skrmetti
North Coweta

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