Georgia Tech Hosts Smart Communities Workshop
On July 21, GMA partnered with the Georgia Institute of Technology, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), ACCG, Georgia Centers of Innovation, the Metro Atlanta Chamber, and Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), to host local governments, government associations, and industry and academic leaders for a Smart Communities Workshop. The Smart Communities Workshop is the first step in a larger initiative to launch a Georgia Smart Communities Challenge, a Georgia-wide peer-network and technical assistance program to support smart community projects with local governments.
Five Ways to Promote Civic Health Through Community Design
The Assembly Civic Engagement Survey points to many opportunities to enhance civic engagement. This article, the first in a series, looks at five simple, relatively low-cost design opportunities that have emerged from the ACES research.
A Mayor's Guide to Public Life
Gehl Institute, a non-profit organization with a mission to transform the way cities are shaped by making public life an intentional driver for design, policy, and governance, recently published a resource entitled, "A Mayor's Guide to Public Life."
Norton Receives Georgia Key Citizen Award
GMA Executive Director Lamar Norton received the Georgia Key Citizen Award during the association’s annual meeting in Savannah on June 25. This award is GMA’s highest form of recognition.
Three Inducted to Municipal Hall of Fame
The Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) inducted the late Johnnie Lee Roper, Douglas commissioner, Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler, and Warner Robins City Attorney Jim Elliot, into the Municipal Government Hall of Fame at the association’s annual convention in Savannah Monday, June 26.
Hubbard Elected President of GMA
Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard was elected president of the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) during the association’s annual meeting in Savannah on June 25. She is the first official from the city of Albany to serve as president of the association in 72 years.
Cities Recognized for Ethics Ordinance
Several cities were recognized for becoming recertified in the “Cities of Ethics,” designation at the Georgia Municipal Association’s (GMA) Annual Convention in Savannah, June 26.
Jim Walters Named 2017 Renaissance Award Winner
The Georgia Cities Foundation has selected Jim Walters, a business owner, developer and investor in the city of Dublin as the recipient of its 2017 Renaissance Award. Walters accepted the award during the Georgia Municipal Association’s (GMA) Annual Convention in Savannah on Saturday, June 24.
GMA Completes First Multi-Week Online Training Course
In April, GMA completed its first multi-week online training course, Community and Media Relations. This course, offered through the Harold F. Holtz Municipal Training Institute, spanned a six-week period and offered video-recorded lessons, interactive discussion boards and assignments that uncovered the importance of building effective working relationships with the media and the role the media plays in informing the public and shaping their opinion of municipal governments.
Georgia Supreme Court Sides with Attorney General and GMA on Transportation Tax Suit
In a unanimous decision announced on Monday, June 5, the Supreme Court of Georgia held that local sales and use taxes imposed on the retail sale of motor fuel are not “motor fuel taxes.” The court's decision affirms the trial court’s dismissal of the action brought by the Georgia Motor Trucking Association (GMTA) and three trucking companies that contended that sales taxes imposed by local governments on motor fuel can only be expended for “providing and maintaining an adequate system of public roads and bridges” and “road and construction maintenance.”
GMA Begins Search for Next Executive Director
During the May 12 meeting of the GMA Executive Committee, the committee finalized plans to conduct a search for the association’s next executive director. The committee will retain the services of The Mercer Group, Inc., a management consulting with more than 40 years of experience.
Trump Administration Releases Proposed 2018 Budget
On Tuesday, May 23, the Trump Administration released its proposed FY2018 budget. In all, the proposal would cut about $54 billion to programs that benefit cities, including elimination of CDBG grants, TIGER grants, EDA, NFIP Flood Hazard Mapping Program, CDFI grants, and elimination of the Appalachian Regional Commission; and significant cuts to Byrne Grants, funding for the Corps of Engineers, and water and wastewater loan and grant programs.
Information on HB 146, Firefighters’ Cancer Insurance Benefits
Recognizing a need to provide assistance to Georgia’s firefighters when they contract cancer, while also protecting the financial interests of Georgia cities, GMA worked with firefighters, elected officials and insurance industry experts to identify a compromise solution. The result of these efforts, and with support from Representative Micah Gravley and Senator John Albers, has been the 2017 passage of House Bill 146, known as the Firefighter Cancer Insurance bill.