Focus Should be on the People

Rep. Mark Hamilton

January 5, 2012

Mark Hamilton

Rep. Mark Hamilton

It is hard to believe that while writing this article, the 2012 legislative session start is only a month away. That means I have already been made aware of some of the legislation that will probably be introduced within the next several months that may affect city government and the citizens we serve. As Chairman of the House Governmental Affairs committee, I want to provide some insight from my perspective on working with city leaders in the legislative process and the importance of state and city government partnerships.

The annual regular legislative session may only last 40 legislative days but the work on legislation has truly become a year round process. While much of the legislation work occurs during the session committee process, if you have waited to make contact or attempt to develop a relationship with your respective representative and senator, you are very likely already operating at a disadvantage. I have a great relationship with my mayor and communicated with him several times since the last session and have also had contact with the GMA Governmental Relations staff. What relationship and interaction have you had with your state delegation members?

I am amazed at times when people talk about the strained relationships between the state and city government. I find myself reminding elected officials that we both work for the same people, the citizens of our respective areas, and we should focus our attention and efforts on them and not the branch of government that we think we work for. This is truly the only way that we can have a successful partnership, a partnership where we work together to provide the services and accountability to the great citizens of Georgia that we work for.

I hope each of you will find success this next year in developing good working relationships with your state delegation members as they need you as much as you need them. And please remember, the citizens you both serve need you even more. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.