CHATHAM COUNTY, GA (WTOC) - Voters have chosen to not incorporate Skidaway Island into its own city.
Voter turnout was at 72.51 percent. 3,656 voted against the measure, with 2,193 voting for the island to become incorporated.
Several voters say this was a non-political referendum that ended up being very political. No names of politicians were on the ballot, but signs campaigning for and against incorporation lined roads on the island just the same. Voters acknowledged the topic was an emotional one that created some division in the community. One woman told me what she tries to focus on as a voter.
“To look at both sides, to respect everyone’s opinion, and to think about Winston Churchill’s words about listening to what other people have to say and be respective of what they have to say and know when to be quiet,” said Janet Day, Skidaway Island voter.
Inside The Village Bar and Grille on Skidaway, a big group from the ‘no incorporation’ camp celebrated as the final, unofficial results came in.
“I think that the vote was overwhelming and it was a resounding victory in favor of the facts, and the facts are we just didn’t know enough to pull the trigger on incorporation, and I think once the dust settles, I think our sleepy island community will go back to the way we were before this discussion manifested. I surely hope so,” said Carl Varnedoe, Skidaway Island voter.
Representative Jesse Petrea told us last month if the incorporation failed, that it would be off the table. Some residents said with more time to consider and vet the incorporation proposal, they would’ve been more open to the idea.