Look for Athens to boil over in the next few days. We’re hearing that a certain state Rep. Doug McKillip, a former Democrat in the area, is backing local legislation to force a March 6 – that’s right, in five weeks – referendum on some specifics of Athens/Clarke County’s consolidated government.
The bill hasn’t been dropped. Yet. But note that March 6 is the day of Georgia’s presidential primary, when hordes of Republican voters will be driven to the polls. Not so many Democrats are expected. President Barack Obama’s name is the only one on the ballot.
As a university town, the A/CC area leans Democratic, but its government is officially nonpartisan — a mayor and 10-person commission. The latter is made up of eight district commissioners and two elected at-large.
The at-large commissioners – Mike Hamby and Kelly Girtz — appear to be one set of targets. The choice that is to be placed before voters, we understand, would do away with the at-large commissioners, in favor of nine commissioners elected by district.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider