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Advice + Knowledge
Best Practices For Streamlining the Permitting Process
January 2018 / First Edition
The permitting process can be daunting. Many Georgia cities have streamlined the permitting process by implementing best practices to offer more transparent solutions, and to encourage economic development to improve their communities.
Municipal Courts: A Guide for Municipal Elected Officials
December 1, 2017 / First Edition
To help educate elected municipal officials on necessary components of municipal court operations, the Georgia Municipal Association is pleased to provide the first edition of Municipal Courts: A Guide for Municipal Elected Officials to our members. By reviewing this publication, municipal elected officials and municipal employees will gain a greater understanding of municipal courts, their operations, and the laws which govern them. The Appendix contains several model documents developed by GMA: a city self-assessment of municipal court best practices; a model municipal court judge ordinance and contract; a model municipal court prosecutor ordinance; a model resolution appointing a municipal court prosecutor; and a model contract with a probation service provider. As with any model documents, GMA recommends that city officials consult with the city attorney before adopting any contracts, ordinances, resolutions, or other model documents.
Preparing Tomorrow's Leaders Today: A Guide to Creating Youth Councils
July 2017 - First Edition
Throughout the state, city leaders are beginning to see their younger citizens as a resource for community problem-solving. In these cities, youth councils are working with elected officials and other city leaders to tackle important issues, and discovering that their voice matters to their city leaders. This publication has been produced to help you in your decision on how to establish a youth council and which versions would work best for your city.
Immigration Mandates on Municipalities
April 2017 - Fourth Edition
This edition contains information on and from Senate Bill 529, which passed in the 2006 Session of the Georgia General Assembly, House Bill 2, which passed in the 2009 Session, House Bill 87, which passed in the 2011 Session, Senate Bill 160, which passed in the 2013 Session, and Senate Bill 269, which passed in the 2016 Session.
Occupation Taxes and Regulatory Fees: Make Them Work for Your City
May 2015 - Second Edition
This guide is an overview of the current law governing occupation taxes and regulatory fees and should be helpful to municipal officials when implementing occupation tax and regulatory fee ordinances.
Government in the Sunshine: A Guide to Georgia's Open Meetings and Open Records Laws for Municipal Officials
August 2014, eleventh edition
GMA is pleased to provide for municipal officials a review of the key features of the Georgia open meetings and open records laws. These laws were significantly revised in the 2012 session of the Georgia General Assembly.
Growing Cities, Growing Georgia: A Guide to Georgia's Annexation Law
January 2014, sixth edition
The purpose of this publication is to provide a step-by-step guide to the present annexation laws contained in Title 36 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated for use by lay persons, city officials, city staff and particularly, local government attorneys.
Georgia Model Municipal Charter
January 2014, fifth edition
GMA is pleased to provide this revised Georgia Model Municipal Charter as an aid to city officials who wish to modernize their existing city charter. While a complete revision of a city charter requires action by the General Assembly, many amendments can be accomplished by a mayor and council acting pursuant to the Home Rule Act of 1965.
Distilling the Basics of Municipal Alcoholic Beverage Regulation
January 2014 - Third Edition
This publication is to familiarize city officials with some of the important basics in the area of alcoholic beverage regulation.
2014 Georgia Municipal Redistricting Guide
Redistricting, or "reapportionment" is the redrawing of the boundaries of an elective political district. It may be the most difficult task that governing bodies in republican forms of government face. It involves making difficult decisions constricted by extremely complicated federal and state jurisprudence in the context of a political process.
SPLOST: Building for the Future
June 2012 - Third Edition
This publication has been prepared to provide municipal officials a discussion of legal and policy considerations relevant to the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). This publication is intended to assist municipal officials in identifying issues so that they can discuss them and appropriately consult with their city attorney.
Municipal Officials Guide to Tax Reform: HB 386
Passed during the 2012 Legislative Session, HB 386 had several provisions that did not pertain to local governments’ revenue, such as the personal income tax exemption for married filers, state jet fuel tax exemption expansion, changes to the state tax credit for conservation easements and capping the personal income tax retirement exclusion.
A Survival Guide for Newly Elected Municipal Officials
February 2012, 4th Edition
This publication has been prepared to assist newly elected officials in becoming more acquainted with their roles and responsibilities as mayors and council members in Georgia. It contains numerous tips to help officials perform their duties and avoid unnecessary pitfalls.
Renegotiating Local Option Sales Tax (LOST)
State law requires periodic renegotiation of the LOST distribution certificate. This publication has been prepared to inform city officials who will be involved in the LOST renegotiation process about the requirements, processes, and timelines that are set forth in state law.
Ethics in Government: Charting the Right Course
July 2010, revised
This publication is intended to be a guide assisting city officials in both considering the process of developing and enacting comprehensive codes of ethics and in facing ethical dilemmas on a day-to-day basis
Guidepost to Municipal Sign Regulation
January 2009, third edition
The purpose of this publication is not to provide a comprehensive discussion of all aspects of sign regulation. The materials are intended to highlight several, but not all, areas where legal issues commonly arise concerning municipal sign regulation.
The Arbitration Handbook: For Annexation Land Use Disputes
In the 2007 legislative session the Georgia General Assembly passed House Bill 2 placing into law a procedure for resolving annexation disputes between cities and counties when there is a proposed change in zoning or land use.
Parliamentary Procedure: A Guide for City Officials
This publication is intended to serve as a guide to municipal governments for simplified procedures to follow in the course of a council meeting.
A Budget Guide for Georgia's Municipalities
This publication has been prepared for municipal officials as a practical guide to the budget process. It includes definitions of budgeting terms, an explanation of the roles of stakeholders in the budget process, and a step by step guide to developing a municipal budget.
Gaining Ground on Infrastructure in Georgia's Cities
This guide is a discussion of sources for capital projects funding and is intended to assist municipal officials in identifying issues so that they can discuss them and appropriately consult with their city attorney.
A Road Map to Travel Policies for Municipal Officials
This publication provides an overview of the legal and policy considerations in establishing travel policies.