LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett officials filed an appeal, sending a service delivery ruling to the Supreme Court and prolonging a three-year battle with local cities.
Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said the county "has no choice," but to file the appeal.
That legal maneuvering, she said, would allow negotiations to city officials to continue. After months of failed mediation, the negotiations began again when Nash was elected in March.
"We're looking at it from every angle we can," Nash said of the issue, which could lead to citizens paying different tax rates if they live in a city. "I'm focused on the practical aspects. The best chance to get a rational agreement on it is to negotiate."
In addition to the one-page notice of appeal, county lawyers asked this week for a stay of the Judge David Barret's September ruling, which would force the county to set up separate service districts, dilineating unincorporated areas from cities in various ways.
In the document seeking the stay, officials said complying with Barrett's deadline of setting up eight separate special service districts by Nov. 1 would "have significant negative consequences for all the residents and businesses of Gwinnett County." The expense to form the districts would be wasted if the order is overturned under appeal, the motion said.
Last week, the county filed a 14-page motion for clarification of Barrett's ruling. The motion asks for clarification on issues regarding transit, Recorder's Court, police, planning, parks and recreation, tourism promotion, hotel-motel taxes, zoning, development and regulatory fees.
The county and 15 local municipalities still are under sanctions for failing to reach a service delivery agreement, including the loss of qualified local government status, state grants and permits and use of police radar equipment.