As promised, Georgia Rep. Steven Sainz introduced legislation on Tuesday to sunset the Camden County Spaceport Authority, less than three weeks after the county named its first members.

Sainz, a Republican from St. Marys, said in a statement that the “Camden County Spaceport Authority; repeal act” responds to the March 8 referendum vote in which voters rejected the county’s plan to purchase land for the spaceport. The bill, H.B. 1590, is co-sponsored by Republican John Corbett whose district includes the Kingsland area in Camden County.

“An overwhelming 72% of citizens who voted requested that the Camden County Commission not purchase the property intended for the development of a Spaceport Camden Industrial Park,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, a few days prior to voters exercising a right guaranteed to them by our state constitution, Camden County Commissioners
on a vote of 3 to 2 voted to activate the Camden County Spaceport Authority.”

Ga. Rep. Steven Sainz

Appointees included two commissioners and a local businessman, C.B. Yadav, who was among a group of Republican electors who falsely certified that Trump won Georgia in 2020.

State lawmakers created the five-member spaceport authority in 2019 at the request of the Camden County Commission. The authority was to act as a facilitator, Sainz wrote, not “to allow the county to have an option to circumvent the clear will of local voters.”

“As your legislator, I do not have access to any of the classified
information on Spaceport Camden to make a direct determination on the
project’s current merits,” Sainz wrote. “However, no opportunity can be so good that public
officials can forget their accountability to those whom they represent, myself

Camden County Administrator and Spaceport Camden Project Lead Steve Howard did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sainz’s bill aims to repeal the spaceport authority. As local legislation applying only to Camden County, it’s subject to different standards for passage than is general legislation. For example, it did not have to meet last week’s deadline to pass through one chamber to remain viable. Its next step is to be assigned to the House Committee on Intragovernmental Coordination for review.

Spaceport opponent Steve Weinkle, who recently qualified to run for Camden County Commission, backed Sainz’s “strongly worded” press release.

“In other words, they have all these secret plans, and they are expecting him to present them to the legislature,” Weinkle said. “And what’s really interesting is that Camden didn’t go to the legislature this year for any money; that’s still on the backs of Camden County taxpayers.”

Editor’s note: This article was updated March 23 to include additional details about the proposed act and to note that the Camden County Administrator has not responded to a request for comment.

Mary Landers is a reporter in Coastal Georgia focusing on the environment for The Current. It's a topic she covered for nearly 24 years at the Savannah Morning News, where she began and ended her time...