Albany delegation vents its differences - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany delegation vents its differences

By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - At a legislative luncheon sponsored by the Albany-Dougherty Chamber of Commerce, the gloves came off.

The three representatives and one senator talked about struggles they had during and after the session over consolidation and losing money for South Georgia projects.

And it may have been the launching pad they need to move forward with an agenda for next year.

After weeks of public disagreements, the Albany delegation of state legislators put their problems on the table today.

"If we can't work it out here in Albany with all of us, it's going to be real hard for us to work it out in Atlanta," said Rep. Winfred Dukes, and Albany Democrat.

"Senator Sims, for anything I may have done in the past, real or imaginary, I think it stops. I think the escalation needs to stop," said Lee County Republican Rep. Ed Rynders.

The group has publicly bickered about not sticking to agendas set before the session started, bringing up consolidation without informing local leaders, and not getting money for Darton and ASU. Now that all those issues are out, will the delegation be able to move ahead together?

"There were obstacles there and hopefully those obstacles have been aired, we can clear them up and work together as a delegation," said Albany Democrat Sen. Freddie Powell-Sims.

"We have to because the people of our community are depending on us to do this," said Dukes. "It is not about us. It's about those people that we represent."

"Disagreements happen," said Rynders. "In other delegations this isn't abnormal, you're going to have spats from time to time. My whole purpose today was to make sure that we did clear the air."

And can move ahead to serve the people they represent.

Rep. Rynders says he's hopeful city and county commissioners will move forward on the consolidation issue in the coming months.

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