February 17, 2016 8:00 AM
Union County is one of eight counties within the state of Georgia governed by a Sole Commissioner. With less than 22,000 citizens I feel I have better representation by the numbers, than I did when I lived in Gwinnett County where each commissioner represents about 180,000 citizens.
Of Georgia’s 159 counties, 102 have less than 30,000 residents. If we are serious about less government in our lives perhaps we should start at home with more of our counties reverting back to a Sole Commissioner form of governance.
Union County is fortunate to have a dedicated public servant, Lamar Paris, serving as our Sole Commissioner. As a result things get done quickly and efficiently. And with a re-election rate of 60+% over multiple terms, it would seem his performance is satisfactory for the vast majority of voters.
Of course there is a pretty severe downside electing the wrong person in a Sole Commissioner form of government. But doesn’t that put the onus back on each voter to look behind the campaign ads and rhetoric and to do their homework so that the right person holds the office? We voters have gotten lazy in our campaign due diligence because a multi-person commission has reduced the impact of the negative consequences of electing one or two of the wrong people.
With the return of personal voter responsibility we could have less government at our county level and Georgia could lead the way in showing the rest of the country how to do more with less. Then, who knows, maybe we could start to cut the more than 325 Georgia cities with populations of less than 2500. But the cities are a subject for another day.