As I warned, district voting is back again

Tue, 02/26/2008 - 4:20pm
By: Letters to the ...

Is the current attempt to force district voting on the citizens of Fayette county a result of the re-opening of the topic by the commission? I hope not.

In August of 2007, I voted against a change in the commission’s residential districts proposed by Commissioner Frady. One reason for was my concern was about regenerating the district voting issue.

Commissioners Frady and Maxwell both said that they were willing to take that risk. Commissioners Smith and Horgan supported them and I lost that vote 4-1.

A short explanation of how Fayette County elects its county commissioners: Two “posts” are “at large.” A candidate can live anywhere in the county and is voted on by all the voters in the county. Three “posts” are located in “districts.” The candidate must live in the district but is also voted on by all the voters in the county.

Fayette County has voting for all local officials “at large” for the County Commission, for School Board and in each and every town/city in the county.

Those who support a change to “district voting” want the commissioner to live in a certain district and to be voted on by only the voters who live in that district. I don’t support that change.

Connie Biemiller is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for state House Distinct 66, currently held by Virgil Fludd. She wrote a letter in which she may be suggesting that she does not approve of the way Virgil has chosen to force his desire, district voting, on the people of Fayette County. If that’s what she said, I agree with her.

She also says she supports “district voting”; she would pursue it in a different way. I don’t agree with her on this.

She believes that a court would (should) force Fayette County to change its method of electing its government because other counties do it another way and because “district voting” is incorporated into our constitution.

I like Ms. Biemiller. She did an outstanding job during the struggle against the PSC plant in south Fulton County, on Fayette’s border, that was flooding parts of our county with fumes. I like Virgil. But, as political leaders, I don’t like Democrats very much. This issue involves some reasons why.

First, Representative Fludd. He obviously believes that the state of Georgia should be able to force local governments and citizens to do his will. I don’t believe that and neither do (most) Republicans.

Then, Ms. Biemiller. More “reasons why I’m not a Democrat.” They have a tendency to find whatever they wish for in the constitution, and ignore what they don’t. And, to have courts force people to accept these things that Democrats make up.

Please show me where, in the U.S. Constitution, it dictates the form of government that local communities must use? It does not.

She says that we should change our form of government because “all of our neighboring counties have district voting and we will be mandated to do the same — it is a given.”

Again, where does the constitution say that local governments should have the same form of government as their neighboring governments? It doesn’t say that either.

I’ve checked the list of types of county governments in Georgia on the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) website.

In this list, 113 are district, 16 are combination (the same listing as Fayette), and 22 are “at large”. The number of members on boards varies from one to 11. Eight are “sole commissioner”; there is only one member of the commission. Lengths of term vary. Some are full-time some, are part-time.

There is a list of neighboring counties on a flyer circulating about this issue. It says, “One of these things is NOT like the others!” It lists Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Pike, Rockdale and Spalding. The flyer says they have “district voting.”

This flyer is incorrect. Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Fayette and Douglas are “combination.” Rockdale is “at large.”

What does this mean? That each county chooses the form of government that best suits them. They are NOT all the same. If “district voting” is the only “constitutional” method to elect commissions, then there are many counties that should be in trouble!

Despite vocal complaints and disputes at various times, we all believe that Fayette County is the best place for us to live; we are not forced to live here.

Peter Pfeifer

County Commission, Post 3

Peachtree City, Ga.

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