GwMA Focus on Cities and Counties For June Meeting in Buford's New Arena

July 1, 2017
Gwinnett Municipal Association members and guests gathered at the new Buford Arena on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 to hear from Georgia Municipal Association Executive Director Lamar Norton and Association County Commissioners of Georgia Legislative Director Clint Mueller.  Mr. Norton and Mr. Mueller both represent organizations that monitor and support state and federal legislative and policy initiatives on behalf of Georgia’s local governments.

The meeting began with the attendees treated to song selection of the Buford Alumni Chorus and tours of the Buford Arena.  The facility was designed to house the large crowds attending Buford’s basketball teams and other sporting events.

Mr. Mueller and Mr. Norton addressed the meeting as a panel.  After introductions by GwMA President Steve Edwards both talked about the 2017 General Assembly and efforts addressing legislation dealing with taxes, permitting, local government liability, franchise fees rights-of-way.  While each association is unique, both directors stressed the respect of the individuals and efforts to find common ground on issues.  Several bills were highlighted and comments were made about their impact on local governments.

Both speakers spoke about the importance of Gwinnett County.  The Gwinnett house and senate members are positioned to guide issues that not only impact Gwinnett but other parts of the state.  Mr. Mueller and Mr. Norton commented on the difficulties of rural Georgia cities and counties.  They asked that our members note that jobs, education and infrastructure challenges face rural cities and counties even though more metro-counties continue to grow and prosper.

Ending on a poignant note, Lamar Norton announced that this would be his last Gwinnett Municipal Association Meeting as he was retiring at the end of July 2017.  GwMA members expressed appreciation for his leadership and support.  Lamar Norton has served GMA since 2002 and he will be missed.