Mayor gives input on possible city-county consolidation bill - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Mayor gives input on possible city-county consolidation bill

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By Len Kiese - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany and Dougherty County leaders didn't move forward with a government consolidation recommendation.  Now a state leader wants to bypass local leaders and give voters a chance to decide.

State Representative Ed Rynders plans to submit a bill to give the people of Albany and Dougherty County a chance to vote on consolidation.

The Carl Vinson Institute studied the idea and recommended a consolidation but county commissioners voted no and the city never voted.

Mayor Willie Adams says he and Dougherty County Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard should have been given a chance to give input on the bill.

"I'm somewhat disappointed that there was no consulting with either one of us about this happening and we were pretty much just recently called and told that it was happening. It's going to make it harder to sell to the people when it's done like this," said Adams.

"It is the economics. As the only member of the Appropriations Committee that represents the Dougherty County delegation, I see first-hand how tight the budgets are at the state, county and city levels. This is an opportunity for the people to decide how they want to be governed," said Rynders.

Mayor Adams says during his first glance at the bill Monday evening, he noticed some inaccuracies.

Normally, local legislation such as this is only introduced in Atlanta at the urging of local leaders.

State Senator Freddie Powell Sims told WALB News 10 Monday night that no local leaders have even mentioned consolidation to her and she wouldn't support the bill without their input. She also said it doesn't serve our area well to argue over this issue when it's more important to work together to create jobs and stabilize the economy.

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