Ga. lawmaker wants accountability among development authorities

ATLANTA — A Georgia state lawmaker is sponsoring a measure he says will require development authorities to provide quarterly reports, so counties, municipalities and local school boards can stay informed on new and existing development projects.

House Bill 921 is known as the Development Authority Transparency and Accountability Act.

“I have been speaking with several constituents who have asked that something be done about the mess that has recently occurred in Cobb concerning the Cobb Development Authority,” state Rep. Matt Dollar, R-Marietta said in a statement. “I have been working with several leaders in our community towards a solution. The necessity of this legislation is a direct result of the recent debacle that revealed that there are serious problems with the current system.

“The taxpayers need more accountability from the appointed boards and the economic development community needs to know Cobb’s word can be trusted,” Dollar added. “This piece of legislation will allow more transparency and accountability in these authorities without jeopardizing the future of economic development in the state and region.”

Dollar also said he will introduce a resolution to create a Development Authority Study Committee. The committee would study local development authorities and their relationship with county and municipal governing authorities, and local school boards, and address concerns of transparency and accountability.

The committee would also consider findings of the state audit on development authorities released in December, which determined that local development authorities need to do a better job of ensuring the members are ethical and discussions take place in public meetings.

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