At a work session held Tuesday, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners approved a petition to the United States Postal Service to recognize Forsyth County as a possible approved mailing address for the county.
According to the board resolution, this measure was brought forward by U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., and if accepted would allow residents of Forsyth County to choose whether they want to keep their current city address or the new county address.
The resolution states that because Forsyth County is “unique” in that it contains one city that comprises only 3 percent of the total population, the majority of its residents are forced to use an address “that defines an area where they do not live, such as Cumming, Alpharetta, Suwanee.”
"If the representative can get this through, then the postal service will recognize that rather than a lot of the folks in the county using Gainesville, Alpharetta or Suwanee as a city name,” County Attorney Ken Jarrard said. “It'd be Forsyth County, GA, zip code."
Jarrard said that if the petition is approved by the postal service, the change would be at each resident's discretion and would not be binding in any way.
"It appears that if you wanted to use Forsyth County zip code, you could — if you wanted to keep what you had before, you could," he said.
In a 3-2 vote, the commissioners approved the motion, with commissioners Dennis Brown, Laura Semanson and Todd Levent voting for, and commissioners Cindy Jones Mills and Pete Amos voting against.
During a discussion before casting their vote, Mills and Amos, who represent Districts 4 and 1, respectively, both expressed several concerns with the motion over how quickly a vote was called and that public feedback had not been sought.
"It’s not that I'm opposed to it,” Amos said. “I just don’t think we have talked enough about it. It’s the first time I've seen it ... I think it needs to be talked about more."
"I learned a lesson through the trees at the courthouse that we need to let people know what’s going on, just ahead of time,” Mills said.
After the vote, Brown, who represents District 2, said that in the past they had been approached by several businesses that supported the measure and that approving was just the first step in a process.
"All this does is allows Rob Woodall’s office to see that we are OK with them looking into it with the postal service, to come up with some options," Brown said. "This doesn't change anything."