2010 Georgia Code
O.C.G.A. 36-36-114 (2010)
TITLE 36 - LOCAL GOVERNMENT
PROVISIONS - PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS ONLY
CHAPTER 36 - ANNEXATION OF TERRITORY
ARTICLE 7 - PROCEDURE FOR RESOLVING ANNEXATION DISPUTES
§ 36-36-114 - Arbitration panel; composition and membership
36-36-114. Arbitration panel; composition and membership
(a) Not later than the fifteenth calendar day following the date the municipal corporation received the first objection provided for in Code Section 36-36-113, an arbitration panel shall be appointed as provided in this Code section.
(b) The arbitration panel shall be composed of five members to be selected as provided in this subsection. The Department of Community Affairs shall develop three pools of arbitrators, one pool which consists of persons who are currently or within the previous six years have been municipal elected officials, one pool which consists of persons who are currently or within the previous six years have been county elected officials, and one pool which consists of persons with a master's degree or higher in public administration or planning and who are currently employed by an institution of higher learning in this state, other than the Carl Vinson Institute of Government. The pool shall be sufficiently large to ensure as nearly as practicable that no person shall be required to serve on more than two panels in any one calendar year and serve on no more than one panel in any given county in any one calendar year. The department is authorized to coordinate with the Georgia Municipal Association, the Association County Commissioners of Georgia, the Council of Local Governments, and similar organizations in developing and maintaining such pools.
(c) Upon receiving notice of a disputed annexation, the department shall choose at random four names from the pool of municipal officials, four names from the pool of county officials, and three names from the pool of academics; provided, however, that none of such selections shall include a person who is a resident of the county which has interposed the objection or any municipal corporation located wholly or partially in such county. The municipal corporation shall be permitted to strike or excuse two of the names chosen from the county officials pool; the county shall be permitted to strike or excuse two of the names chosen from the municipal officials pool; and the county and municipal corporation shall each be permitted to strike or excuse one of the names chosen from the academic pool.
(d) Prior to being eligible to serve on any of the three pools, persons interested in serving on such panels shall receive joint training in alternative dispute resolution together with zoning and land use training, which may be designed and overseen by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government in conjunction with the Association County Commissioners of Georgia and the Georgia Municipal Association, provided such training is available.
(e) At the time any person is selected to serve on a panel for any particular annexation dispute, he or she shall sign the following oath: "I do solemnly swear or affirm that I will faithfully perform my duties as an arbitrator in a fair and impartial manner without favor or affection to any party, and that I have not and will not have any ex parte communication regarding the facts and circumstances of the matters to be determined, other than communications with my fellow arbitrators, and will only consider, in making my determination, those matters which may lawfully come before me."
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