The city of Milton has been working to convert its Milton Grows Green sustainability initiative into a Keep America Beautiful affiliate, but City Manager Chris Lagerbloom said the city has have received pushback from Keep North Fulton Beautiful, the affiliate covering Milton, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs.
“According to Keep Georgia Beautiful, the affiliate that has a service area has to willingly relinquish it before it can be given to somebody else,” he said.
According to Lagerbloom, the city may have started off on the wrong foot by not thanking Keep North Fulton Beautiful enough for the work they have done in Milton, but he said they have since tried to rectify that situation by sending Mayor Pro Tem Bill Lusk and Community Development Director Kathleen Field to a Keep North Fulton Beautiful board meeting to offer thanks for their work and attempt to smooth things over.
Despite these actions, the group has not released that area for Milton to form its own affiliate.
When asked about the stalemate, the board of directors for Keep North Fulton Beautiful sent a statement saying they have met with Milton officials about the matter.
“We have been fully cooperative in this process and clear and specific about the steps necessary in order to move this request forward,” the board said in a statement. “To date, they have not acted upon our requirements.”
The statement did not go into detail about what requirements the city has not met. Lagerbloom said at one point Keep North Fulton Beautiful was requesting one of Milton’s employees who used to work for Keep North Fulton Beautiful dissolve the web name for a potential Keep Johns Creek Beautiful she created while working with the city of Johns Creek through Keep North Fulton Beautiful.
“I don’t mind drawing parallels between things that I think parallels exist between,” Lagerbloom said. “But we’re really talking about two independent things … this almost feels like a quid pro quo and I don’t like to get into those quid pro quos.”
As for the policy preventing new affiliates taking over old territory without the consent of the other body, Lagerbloom said while he understands the intent, the policy has put the city in a bind.
“They described it to me as this keeps a renegade group from coming in and just strangle-holding away from somebody who’s doing good things,” he said. “The problem I have with the whole thing is, Keep North Fulton Beautiful ceases to provide any service in Milton.”
Keep North Fulton Beautiful’s board did not comment on recent projects.
Lagerbloom said he is talking with Milton City Council to decide how to move forward in the next few months.