‘Placeholder bill’ introduced in regards to incorporation of Chatham Islands

‘Placeholder bill’ introduced in regards to incorporation of Chatham Islands

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - State Representative Jesse Petrea says he and State Senator Ben Watson have decided to introduce a “placeholder” bill for the possibility of a referendum on the incorporation of the Chatham Islands.

In a Facebook post, Petrea says the placeholder bill allows the issue to survive to be further discussed in 2020. The 2019 legislative session ends Tuesday.

One of the conditions of the plan calls for the broad middle, who have yet to understand the issue, to educate themselves on the pros and cons.

One Islands resident believes that if elected leaders put the issue to the people for a vote, things like meeting organization and education on the matter should be monitored by neutral parties.

“They will go ahead and appoint a committee, and that committee will be responsible to them," said Marienne Helmes, a resident of the Islands. "And it will be a committee that is completely neutral, which it needs to be. It has not been neutral.”

Petrea also says they’ve seen a sharp increase in people opposing incorporation since the Skidaway Island incorporation vote on March 19.

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