Moving Without Moving

When first we moved to our suburban North Atlanta home, we were surprised. We thought we were moving to Alpharetta. It said so on the address. But when we started acquiring utilities, we learned otherwise. Though less than five miles from City Hall, we’re not actually in Alpharetta at all. What if there is a fire? Call the county. What about garbage collection? Call someone else. So there we were: unincorporated. Alpharettans in name only.

Now, we’re moving. Or rather, a city may soon manifest around us through the magic of state legislation. State Rep. Jan Jones is introducing a bill “proposing creation of a city called Milton in far north Fulton County.”* But really, this is not so much a creation as it is a designation. “The area proposed for incorporation is essentially everything that’s not already in a city north of Alpharetta and Roswell to the Cherokee and Forsyth County lines.”* And that means us.

If the proposed name sounds familiar, it should. To combat the economic hardships faced by Georgians during the Great Depression, the State Legislature of 1931 developed a program known as ìBigger and Better Counties.î As a result, Milton Country and Campbell County merged with Fulton County in 1932. In recent years, efforts have been made to restore old Milton County. Usually, the argument points to the use of North Fulton tax income to solve problems down in The Big City. Historically, this perennial crusade has been led by State Rep. Mark Burkhalter, but he’ll probably be too busy. House Speaker pro tem is a big job.

But I have to wonder … who really wants to be a Miltonian?

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