Plan now for growth

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A group of Valley Grande residents made a proposal Monday night that has merit: Make the next elected council be comprised of residents from wards or districts – only the mayor would be elected at-large.

Currently, the at-large town council consists predominantly of representatives from the Martin Middle School area, according to resident Ken Melton.

“Those who live in Ocmulgee 219 area, they have no neighborhood representation.

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Likewise Lazy Acres, they have none.

The Pardue area, Deep Woods, people on Persimmon Tree Road, North Persimmon Tree Road, essentially, have no neighborhood representation,” Melton said.

While council members represent the entire citizenry, splitting the

town into districts could make the representation more equal.

There are other ways to encourage equal representation, however, as expressed by Mayor Tom Lee.

One is to encourage residents from different parts of Valley Grande to throw their hats in the ring in the next election, two years from now.

The state code does not require a town the size of Valley Grande to be split into districts, or wards. At-large elections are legal.

But is it smart?

Valley Grande has shown promise as being a town that is progressing and developing in a smart, planned way.

And the area is sure to continue its current growth.

So why not be prepared for that growth? As more residents come into the town, it may only be a matter of time before districts are a better solution.

It makes sense for elected officials to take the next two years to devise a plan for more equal representation throughout the town – before the growth comes.