Chatham Co. Board of Commissioners share their legislative priorities for 2024

Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 6:23 PM EST
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CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The Chatham County Board of Commissioners met with lobbyists to discuss their legislative priorities for 2024.

In this meeting, commissioners brought up all sorts of issues, ranging from annexation to mental health care.

The chairman of the board says meetings like this one are important to give County commissioners the opportunity to share their priorities with state law makers..

“We don’t have the funds nor do we have the time to be running back and forth to Atlanta during the legislative session,” Chatham County Commission Chairman Chester Ellis said.

Commissioners brought up 27 different priorities but the issue of annexation was one of the most common.

“We just don’t have clear directions as to how the county should work with the annexation that’s going on,” Ellis said.

About a quarter of the priorities brought up today had to do with annexation whether it was about specific rules or how it’s impacting industrial zoning.

One of Commissioner Tanya Milton’s main points was that a moratorium should be placed on warehouses.

”It’s going on all across the county and it’s now intruding into community’s who really do not think that they can survive with all the emulsion that comes from those trucks running, the lights that run all day and half the night, all night, at four o’clock in the morning, looking like a football field,” Tanya Milton said.

Another common point raised by commissioners was affordable housing, homelessness and mental health care.

“It affects us, and ultimately, it will affect our community, with not being able to provide resources for the homeless, A lot of them have mental issues, a lot of them have addictions, so those things are important too. We need to, we need to really work toward getting some funding so that we can help with resources for mental health,” Milton said.

Lobbyists say they’re already planning out their next steps.

“We’ll work really closely with the commissioners, and the chairman and the county manager and decide which of our, who in our legislative delegation we should really approach about each issue,” Norton said.

Commissioners say they’re looking forward to seeing the progress that comes out of this meeting.