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Posted: March 21, 2010 12:01 a.m.

Petition to circulate for Social Circle de-annexation

Rep. Holt wants to introduce legislation to bar drag strip

 Rep. Doug Holt (R-Social Circle) spoke to the Concerned Citizens of Social Circle on Thursday night about his proposed legislation that would de-annex land in Newton County from the city of Social Circle.

 After much deliberation and discussion, a vote was taken by the members present, and the CCOSC narrowly elected to support Holt's proposed legislation. The group has formed a new committee to start collecting signatures to send to other local representatives, whose support Holt will need in order to present the final bill to the governor.

 "You already have my support," Holt said. "It's Sen. Douglas and Rep. May you need to speak to."

 

Under Holt's bill, all Newton County land that was currently under Social Circle's jurisdiction would be returned to Newton County, and in accordance with state law, the two – Social Circle and Newton County -- would have to come to agreements in the future if any more land would be annexed between them. Under the current law, residents whose property borders on Social Circle land can apply for annexation without needing approval from Newton County.

 

Social Circle was grandfathered into a new policy which began in 2000, having first acquired Newton County land in 1987.

 

He encouraged people to mail or call with their comments, stating that this makes the process easier to verify the residents calling were Newton, Walton or City of Social Circle residents.

 

Holt said that this was a "permanent" solution to the problem, due to the land-use plan Newton County drew up several years ago. The Board of Commissioners has also stated in a letter that was sent to the City of Social Circle that they do not endorse the plans for Donnie Clack's proposed motorsports complex, and would not approve the rezoning of Newton County land to accommodate the project.

 

Holt explained that there were only 13 more days of the General Assembly remaining, and for the bill to be passed before the house went into recess, the group would need to act quickly. He stated that the group had approximately two and a half weeks to convince Rep. Jeff May (R-Loganville) and Sen. John Douglas (R-Social Circle) to vote with him so he could present it to the governor.

 

"So long as (the governor) doesn't veto it, it will pass," Holt said.

 

Social Circle Mayor James Burgess, who stated on Tuesday at the monthly city council meeting that the city should try to hold onto annexed property for future growth, will be speaking at the CCoSC's next meeting. Many CCoSC members voted that they were undecided on Holt's legislation, wanting a chance to hear Burgess' points before any official position was decided. CCoSC founder Jenny Cole, and several of the other founders, shared this belief.

 

Many members of the CCoSC, though, believed the drag strip needed to be stopped by any means necessary.

 

"We will absolutely not have this in our town," one said. "There is no way we will let this happen. N-O."

 

Clack was present at the meeting to hear Holt's presentation. He declined to speak formally or take questions from CCoSC members at the meeting.

 

The Concerned Citizens of Social Circle meet every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Social Circle. For information on the group, visit www.ccosc.com.

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