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Special Contribution


Pulling a survey chain is demanding work. Pulling a survey chain for thirty years manifests (at best) perseverance. Pulling a survey chain, for thirty years, around the boundaries of "Local Government Law" approaches the Sisyphean.' Such obstinacy demands a marking of the occasion-a staking of the claim that sheer persistence counts for something. If continuity contributes order, then "Local Government Law" deserves distinction. Presumably, it numbers among the most "orderly" of presentations appearing in these annual "Georgia Survey" issues.

Alas, the presumption falters. Rather, review reveals, each year's installment goes its own way, both in organization and in substance. Few analytical themes unify the respective articles, and presentation styles unaccountably ebb and flow. Even subtopic headings "diverge, combine, appear, and disappear in seeming disorderliness."'

Typically, this untidiness might be blamed on the student editors, but there is difficulty in that tactic. The author's fight for freedom from editorial control is famous. The editors have long since despaired of his conversion. If there is fault, those editors promptly avow, it is the author's alone.

Slight solace might be taken in analogy. These analytical wanderings fall only ten years short of the mark set by Moses. Perhaps an additional decade will bring Commandments of order to this endeavor as well. Presently, however, such aspirations remain relegated to the promised land.

Although conditions thus bode awkwardly for a "survey of the surveys," a few facets might nevertheless be tabulated. At the least, those facets will place the thirty-year exercise in context. Hopefully, they will reflect a scholarship of good faith.

Highlights in place, the endeavor will seek observations from the present occupants of the Georgia Supreme Court and the Georgia Court of Appeals. What better source for reflection upon three decades of judicial decisions than justices and judges of the courts that rendered those decisions?