Athens-Clarke County Unification 25th Anniversary

Athens-Clarke County 25th Anniversary of Unification Logo

25th Anniversary of Unification Ceremony - January 14, 2016


Athens-Clarke County Unification Ceremony - January 14, 1991


Unification Timeline


  • 1966 - Voters pass a local constitutional amendment authorizing the Georgia General Assembly to create a charter commission to study consolidation of the City of Athens and Clarke County.
  • 1967 - Georgia General Assembly passes local act creating the first Charter Commission.
  • 1969 - First referendum held on March 12. The measure fails, passing in the City of Athens (60%), but not in Clarke County (29%).
  • 1971 - Georgia General Assembly passes second local act.
  • 1972 - Second referendum held on May 24. The measure again passes in the city (52%), but fails in the county (42%).
  • 1981 - Georgia General Assembly passes third local act.
  • 1982 - Third referendum is held on February 16. The measure again passes in the city (55%), but fails in the county (45%).
  • 1983 - Revised Georgia Constitution changes consolidation procedure.
  • 1988 - Citizen group Quality Growth Task Force forms to examine issues related to the future of Athens and Clarke County. From this group, the Government Reorganization Committee forms and considers consolidation, now referred to as “unification.”
  • 1989 - A joint resolution of the Government Reorganization Committee of the Quality Growth Task Force, City of Athens, and Clarke County Commission creates a 15-member Commission on the future of Athens and Clarke County (Unification Commission).
  • 1989 - Unification Commission presents draft of charter to local representatives in the state legislative delegation on December 21.
  • 1990 - Charter is passed by the General Assembly on March 1.
  • 1990 - Districting plan for Athens-Clarke County is approved by the Justice Department in May.
  • 1990 - Fourth referendum is held on August 7. The measure passes with 58% support in the city and 59% in the county.
  • 1990 - Election for Athens-Clarke County CEO (Chief Elected Officer, a title later changed to Mayor) and Commissioners is held on November 6. A runoff for some offices is held on November 27.
  • 1991 - Newly elected officials of the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County take their oaths of office on January 14.

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