Thursday, July 19, 2007

On Jekyll Island

I've tried to follow the issues surrounding Jekyll Island fairly closely and was pretty pleased with the outcome, which included the preservation of the southern end of the island from future development, as well as the redevelopment of existing, run-down properties.

Still, I'm a little confused by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle's appointments to the Jekyll Island Oversight Committee, which feature, well, no one with actual connections to that region. In fact, it flies in the face of conventional wisdom and ultimately proves to be a de facto thumb in the eye of the folks down there who have worked hard to not only protect the island, but want to have a needed local voice on the committee.

Sen. Jeff Chapman has been a strong advocate for folks down there, and he was passed over, as was Athens-Clarke County's own Sen. Bill Cowsert and Sen. Regina Thomas from Savannah. All three of those candidates were recommended by the residents of Jekyll Island, but ultimately not chosen. And it's puzzling seeing how this group would have been politically diverse (two Republicans and one Democrat); featured a representative from the area, one from a nearby metropolitan area and then one from another region from the state; and the majority have a direct connection to and understanding of this particular community.

Who was picked? Three Republicans with no geographical ties to the region in Sen. Chip Pearson, Sen. Tommie Williams and Sen. Ross Tolleson ... three Republicans who also advocate for increased development, which is contrary to the wishes of that community.

So, again, the Republican leadership in Atlanta continues to confound me as the party that likes to tout itself as the great protector of local control has once again opted to, well, not give local citizens control.


Blogger Nicki said...

Chip Pearson = very bad news. He's a dependendably pro-development rep.

1:21 PM  

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