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Dacula councilman speaks out against county policy

Maybe Dacula is just about right size for Tim Montgomery.

The Dacula city councilman Tuesday spoke before the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners, lambasting them for the size of government and its intrusion into his plans for an animal hospital.

Montgomery was upset about a decision that day that gave him a waiver from having to build a sidewalk in front of the Winder Highway development. The state had requested the sidewalk waiver, but according to a Gwinnett County development regulation, Montgomery isn't freed of the cost. He has to put the money in an escrow account that will pay for sidewalks in a portion of the county that was developed before the requirement existed.

"If we need sidewalks, we need to initiate taxes to pay for sidewalks," Montgomery said, calling the requirement, "a coward's way out of raising taxes. ... That borders on extortion."

During his impromptu speech to the board, Montgomery talked about Ronald Reagan bringing new conservatism to the country and reducing the size of government.

But county officials said the escrow payment has only been waived twice in three years and they believed in the project.

"One of the biggest issues we hear about as commissioners is a lack of sidewalks," Commissioner Mike Beaudreau said. "It's simply money that's put aside."

Reminder

Don't forget about tonight's political forum, the first since the primary runoff in August.

The United Ebony Society is sponsoring the event at 7 tonight at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center.

All candidates in the Nov. 7 general election have been invited to the event.