We were happy to report when HB 282 failed to advance on the floor of the Georgia General Assembly House in a bipartisan vote. We were equally pleased to learn that at least one Georgia community passed an official resolution opposing the bill while it was making its way through the committee process.
Alpharetta, an Atlanta suburb, is home to 57,000 people and calls itself the "Technology City of the South." The community has no municipal network and no current plans to invest in one, but nevertheless passed a resolution on February 25th which opposed HB 282.
A Bob Pepalis article on the decision quoted Councilman Jim Gilvin:
"Once again I think this is just a state legislator jumping into local business. And I appreciate their concerns, but we do a pretty good job around here, I think. And if residents don't think so, they will be more than happy to let us know," Gilvin said. "I'd appreciate it if they'd just let us handle our government."
Pepalis heard similar sentiments from Councilman Chris Owens via email
"This goes not only beyond local control, but also impacts our ability and other communities ability to be masters of our own destiny and influence on development as well as provides services to their constituents, both residential and commercial," Owens said. "If that's something in a community's best interests, who better to make that decision than a community rather than the state on behalf of the community."
First, the resolution [PDF] sums up the real world affects of the proposal, if it had passed:
WHEREAS, House Bill 282 would tie the hands of municipal officials in their efforts to build digital networks they need to attract economic development and create a high quality of life for their citizens; and
WHEREAS, House Bill 282 is a bill that would undermine self-determination of cities in the digital age as illustrated by the following:
- Before a city could provide new high speed Internet, cable, telecom...