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report print email Source: Editorial: Commissioners challenge GOP legislation curbing powers
One Man--One Vote
February 17, 2013 | 03:48 PM

Redistricting: One Man/One Vote

By Michael Fitzgerald, Johns Creek

One Manâ€"One Vote. It is a simple premise that stands as a cornerstone of freedom and the representative republic of these United States. It depicts the notion that every man’s (and woman’s) vote carries the same value as the other. It is one of the core freedoms that millions of American soldiers have fought and many have died for. It is what Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his life to ensure. Equal representation. One man---One Vote.

However, in Fulton County, the One Man/One Vote concept does not apply!
It only takes simple math and objective observation to prove Fulton County, in its current form, does not adhere to this basic American tenant.

Do the math: According to the Census of 2010, Fulton County has a population of approximately 921,000. In what is generally termed “North Fulton County”, due to growth and populace trends, the population approaches 400,000. One need only observe current district commission boundaries to determine ONLY ONE of the 7 district commission seats represents just under half of the county’s population. Commission District 3’s (Commissioner Hausmann) voting strength is diluted compared to ANY other District in Fulton County.

Observe: Also worth noting is the location of the homes of the County Commissioners. Five of the seven commissioners live in what is generally considered Atlanta and South Fulton County. An additional commissioner, District 4 Lowe, lives just outside the Atlanta city limits.

Unequivocally, this gives Atlanta and South Fulton lop-sided and disproportionate clout on the Board of Commissioners that its population simply does not warrant.

Over the years and decades, the results of this significant imbalance of voting strength and lack of representation has resulted in exactly what one would expect: Unresponsive (if not downright vindictive) elected officials, atrocious 3rd world roads, pathetic infrastructure, non-existent planning, zoning chaos, weak emergency protection, excessive taxation, redistribution of tax revenues, distant and absent county services, and on and on.

Borrowing one of Commissioner Emma Darnell’s favorite termsâ€"Is that “Fair”?

The years of being under-represented in Fulton County bears a blunt resemblance to why Americans rebelled against King George in 1776!

And indeed, the citizenry of N. Fulton have and continue to rebel. To extricate themselves from the Fulton Commission powers, they formed new cities (Sandy Springs, Milton, Johns Creek) and solidified a passionate and entrenched yearning to form their own county to remove themselves from demonstrable and continuing long-term tyranny.

After years of untenable suffering, another step in righting this wrong is finally under way. The newly proposed bill from District 50 Representative, Chairperson of the Fulton delegation and former Fulton County Commissioner Lynne Riley, would dissolve one of the county-wide elected districts and leave six commission districts. Only the Chairman would be elected county-wide.

With six district seats and redrawn district boundaries, the power of Atlanta, South Fulton and North Fulton would---FINALLYâ€"come into a balanced representation on the Fulton County Commission.

It is simple: Equal Representation. One manâ€"One Vote.

Who could argue with that?



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