By Joel Hall
Gov. Sonny Perdue signed House Bill 811 into law this week, granting Clayton County a fifth state court judge. In addition, the governor signed Senate Resolution 176, renaming a portion of Highway 138 to "Lake Spivey Parkway."
Both bills were signed on Thursday. State Rep. Michael Glanton, chairman of the Clayton County Legislative Delegation, said the additional judge will help relieve a "tremendous burden" on the courts and decrease the court system's current backlog.
"Even in uncertain times, there are some things that you can't delay," Glanton said. "One of those things is justice. With the increase of cases moving through [the court system,] it was necessary for us to consider adding a fifth state court judge. This was a joint effort between the courts, the Board of Commissioners, and the legislative delegation.
"It brings relief to the judge's grueling schedule," Glanton added. "It brings an opportunity for the guilty and innocent to receive justice" in a more timely manner.
Glanton said the renaming of Highway 138 to Lake Spivey Parkway will include the portion of the road between Interstate 675 and the Jonesboro city limits. He believes the renaming will create a marketable identity for that section of the highway.
"That is a really big deal," he said. "The significance of naming this portion of the highway is that it creates a destination. It's similar to when people say, 'I'm going to Buckhead or Atlantic Station or Eagle's Landing.' We're hoping that this will bring high-end restaurants and medical offices.
"It improves on our tax base and our economic posture for the entire county," Glanton said. He added that the portion of the highway will continue to bear the honorary name of "Charles 'Ed' Holcomb Highway" despite the renaming.
Clayton County Commissioner Michael Edmondson, who championed the creation of Lake Spivey Parkway, said the renaming will help attract "quality commercial development."
"Clayton County needs more jobs and it needs better-paying jobs," Edmondson said. "Highway 138 to the city limits of Jonesboro is predominately undeveloped commercial land. By naming Highway 138 Lake Spivey Parkway, you are creating an identity ... It lends a brand to the area. I am interested in multi-story office spaces, addition medical-related industries, and any other type of higher-paying jobs that the right kind of development can attract."