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Georgia’s Sole Commissioner System: Pros and Cons

Jan 23, 2023 | 0 comments

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Jan 23, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments


Georgia is ranked after the six the fastest growing counties. This means that is well ahead of the curve. Counties such as walker, Chattooga, and Beckley, have been under the sole commissioner system for a long time. The sole commissioner system has its followers and critiques. The sole commissioner system is said to be advantageous especially in decision-making. Most Commissioners, for instance, Steve Taylor of Bartow County says he does not have to arm wrestle with any one when making decisions (Walker, 2014). All the county needs is the approval by one commissioner. The system is good since it is less expensive. The system has its disadvantages, for instance the growing population needs much attention of the County Commissioner. One commissioner will not handle matters in the right manner because all the pressure is on him. It is also dangerous to leave all county powers to one person. Such instances lead to abuse of office and discrimination.

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PART 2: Response.

I agree Georgia is ahead the curve. Rural Counties such Chattooga in Georgia can full adopt the sole commissioner system without any difficulties. There are many advantages associated with having a sole commissioner. All this commissioner requires is the supporting staff such as the County clerk and the human Resource Division. All the other positions are scrapped off meaning therefore that it is easier to make decisions especially on urgent matters in the County. Walker County in Georgia still uses the sole commissioner system.

Despite all the advantages having, a sole commissioner has its own disadvantages. It is highly possible for the Commissioner to abuse his power in this kind of system. There have been a number of lawsuits on whether the sole commissioner system discriminates against black people. In Walker County for instance, no black person has held the office of the County Commissioner. It is the lack of a black Commissioner that caused some Counties to abandon the system (Omarzu, 2012).


Yes, the number of counties with the sole commissioner system has immensely reduced. Voters are now given the chance to vote in a full board of commissioners to manage their affairs. Georgia is said to be the last state in the United States that still appreciates the sole commissioner system. Sole-commission counties cannot have vigorous and open public disclosure among commissioners, for there is only one. Bleckley County, Georgia, has always had a form of government whereby a single commissioner holds all legislative and executive authority. In 1985, the state legislature authorized the county to adopt by referendum a multimember commission consisting of five members elected from single-member districts and a chair elected at large, but voters defeated the proposal, although they had previously approved a five-member district plan for the county school board.

Though famous for its high productivity, I believe having a sole Commissioner in this era is too remote. Matters concerning the citizen’s affairs need not to be placed at the hands of one individual. Having a sole commissioner necessitates biasness and abuse of office. The Cole commissioner system is becoming outdated and less useful especially with the growing population of the State of Georgia.


I do not agree the sole commissioner system should be appraised. I believe that the system worked well in the previous years. Currently the population of Georgia has almost doubled. This means that the needs of the people are quickly expanding. A single person cannot make decisions day after day. It is not only tiring but also demanding. Such a system is dangerous and requires very vigorous Counter-check system to make sure that there are instances of abuse of office or biasness (Kunerth, 1992). Most sole Commissioners have served for over a decade. I do not think it is easy to remove a sole commissioner from office. It would be better to have a full board of commissioners who will vote on matters concerning the citizens. Furthermore, come matters such as health and security need not to be handled in haste. Such matters require proper research and input and it would be therefore difficult for a sole commissioner to handle.

Works Cited

Omarzu, T. (2012). Walker County has one of Georgia’s remaining sole commissioners. Time Free Press.

Walker, D. (2014). Sole commissioner system a plus for Bartow industry, also plenty of prime acreage. North West GA News.

Kunerth, J. (1992). It Can Be Lonely At The Top – But There’s No Split Vote. Orlando Sentinel.

5/5 - (1 vote)