Peachtree Corners mayor issues statement about city charter changes

In response to concerns about proposed city charter changes, Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason released a message to citizens Jan. 10 stating changes are the result of the need to comply with current state law.

The goal of the city’s original charter as a “city-lite” was to maintain a limited service concept, keeping services provided directly by the city to a minimum. This requires the city to outsource to a public-public or public-private partnership for any other required services. For example, the city provides community development directly but outsources police service in a public-public partnership with Gwinnett.

Additionally, the concept required the use of a public referendum to approve adding more services directly thus allowing citizens the ultimate control over the size of government and higher taxes.

Under the legislature’s new rules, a city’s ability to meet its responsibility to provide services cannot be limited, even by a referendum.

To protect the city and attempt to honor the city’s founding concepts, city leaders are proposing a local ordinance to address the concerns. According to Mason, “We are proposing to adopt a local ordinance that would cap the millage rate at 1 mill and require a referendum should city council ever want to raise the millage above the 1 mill cap. In our current charter, only the legislature can increase the millage cap. Now, it will be in your hands.”

Peachtree Corners currently has a zero-millage rate with no plans to add a police force or increase public official’s salaries.