To paraphrase a modern slogan, in local government law "little goes right if the contract's too tight." For the layman who bargains in good faith with a municipality or county, the introduction to this principle can be a jolt. TO be told that his contract was not a contract, because it would have unduly bound the local government, must prompt serious doubts in his mind about the law commanding this result. To be told that he is legally presumed to know this must confirm his suspicions. But the principle is a well-established one, existing in most jurisdictions from early times. Its wisdom has rarely been questioned by the authorities, and the courts appear to afford it fairly routine treatment in the cases. In Georgia, the principle is embodied in the statutory law, and a line of relatively few judicial decisions have evolved it over a period of time. Its history makes for a rather compact chapter of local government law.
R. Perry Sentell Jr.,
Local Government and Contracts that Bind
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/fac_artchop/164