Consolidation issue returns to local leaders - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Consolidation issue returns to local leaders

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Mayor Willie Adams Mayor Willie Adams
County Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard County Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - With the issue of consolidation back in the hands of Albany and Dougherty officials, the question is will they deal with it and bring it to the voters?

Senator Freddie Powell Sims told us she felt it was an issue for Mayor Willie Adams and County Commissioner Chairman Jeff Sinyard to take back to their boards, so she wouldn't bring it to the Senate.

So what's local leaders plan?

With the consolidation issue likely not going anywhere in the Senate, bringing the issue to legislature has at least re-ignited the discussion in Albany and Dougherty County.

"This past week we have met with each of our commissioners and talked with each of our commissioners and plan to re-educate and bring back up all the issues that we talked about two years ago to the existing commissioners,"  said Dougherty County Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard.   

Both city and county leaders say this charter needs some work. The city has been sitting on a list of needed changes for nearly a year and a half. So both sides will go back to the drawing board with questions.

"Obviously we'll try to clean the charter up and have the best document we can," said Sinyard.

"Nobody has addressed it's going to cost us three to five million dollars to get this thing started up, meaning different police cars and different changes, computers, and all that, nobody to my knowledge has explained these cost factors," Mayor Willie Adams said.

For Mayor Adams it's a matter of priority and right now consolidation isn't number one. "It's certainly not number one priority, like I told you the number one priority I have is jobs and trying to get as much money back from the stimulus package as I can for infrastructure of the city."

He expects the region to receive a lot of attention from expanding business, but said they won't be interested if the community continues to debate issues that aren't important.

Sinyard has said his goal is to make a decision that takes the issue back to the voters before the next session.

Mayor Adams said he's sent the city's concerns and changes to the county commission to be reviewed and discussed.

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