Wireless telecommunication companies seeking to pass state laws in their favor argue the main impediment to broadband deployment is the local governments. We’ve found this to be quite the contrary. Cities across Georgia are approving small cell permits at a high rate.
A city’s charter is an important and guiding document for the city. It is a law that cannot be ignored. When your city council adopts ordinances, they must be consistent with the city’s charter and applicable state law. Sometimes the mayor and city council disagree on who has certain powers under the charter. The city council may pass ordinances to clarify this or simply to shift power, but when do their actions come into conflict with the charter?
Georgia’s roadway infrastructure network is a key reason the state has been named the No.1 state in the nation in which to do business. To continue to be the best state in which to do business Georgia has continued to invest in its roadway infrastructure. House Bill 170, approved in 2015, was a landmark step that will generate nearly $1 billion annually. But additional innovate financing mechanisms also continue to be funded and made available to Georgia’s local governments.
“Be nice.” That’s the sage advice of Dalton, a bouncer at a rough bar, as portrayed by Patrick Swayze in the movie Road House (admit it, you’ve watched the movie on cable TV). While Dalton was focusing on how to handle unruly customers, I believe there’s quite a bit of wisdom packed into those two words for us as city officials.
“Local control.” As city officials and employees it is the mantra that drives us to improve our local communities. Politicians running for federal and state offices also speak glowingly of local control—well, until it becomes inconvenient to their goals. But what does “local control” really mean and how does it really work in the complex world of federal and state laws?
We finally realized that if we wanted to improve the competitive position of our local businesses, save existing jobs and be attractive to new companies wanting to locate in Thomasville, the community had to provide this important service by constructing a fiber optic-based, municipal network. We met with heads of local industry, education and healthcare to further gauge local support.
Due to strong legislative and political leadership, this progress has truly positioned Georgia to become the transportation, logistics and mobility capital of the United States. However, there is still work to do. To achieve our goal, the state needs to continue to foster bold, visionary leadership into the future.
I'm excited to begin this next phase of my career as your Executive Director of GMA, and I am grateful for the opportunity to lead such an amazing organization. I have heard from so many GMA members and appreciate the outpouring of support and encouragement as we embark on this journey together.
The gas industry in Georgia understands the importance of proper training for responding to gas emergencies, which is why these professionals have partnered with us at the Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs (GAFC) to create the Georgia Pipeline Emergency Response Initiative (GPERI).
One thing that invariably happens to us as elected officials is that people and organizations want our time, and they want us to engage with them. To be effective leaders that have a broad understanding of what is going on in our communities, regions and state, we should want to be engaged with others.
Georgia has been named the number one state to do business four years in a row. As Georgia’s economy grows, the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) strives to ensure a steady flow of qualified workers for our existing and new employers within Georgia.
I’m proud to share that some of the recent GEDA programs have focused on placemaking and film development. These programs have highlighted the ways that cities can benefit from and partner with GEDA. In building these new programs and seeing the benefits of the GEDA network, we’ve seen cities take their concerns in public safety, infrastructure and broadband and make developers from across the state aware of their needs and opportunities for new investments.
It’s election season in Georgia. This fall, many cities will be electing new councilmembers and mayors who will take office in January. We applaud every candidate who is willing to take up the mantle of public service.
We should all embrace the opportunity of greater broadband deployment, at better speeds, with the latest technology. Yet how we deploy this technology matters. If we’re going to provide the telecom industry with unfettered access to public property, then the public’s interest must come first.
As more Americans, including Georgians, look for affordable, walkable city living, and how to provide housing choices that can fit more modest budgets—from millennials looking for their first homes, to Gen X looking to move into a city, to Boomers looking to age-in-place—continues to be as elusive as Sasquatch. Creating more housing choices within our historic cities may just be the single biggest challenge we face now that Georgia cities have again become desirable places to live. But a promising new idea may help cities create more housing choice that can fit gracefully into the existing fabric of cities large and small. The irony is, we have had this exciting new idea right in front of us for over a hundred years.