Commissions continue consolidation talks - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Commissions continue consolidation talks

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Dougherty County commissioners continue to listen to concerns about city/county government consolidation. Monday morning, Melvin George told the commission he believes the way the referendum will be held isn't constitutionally sound.

He says the constitution provides one vote for each person. But the way the referendum would happen would allow city residents to vote twice and unincorporated residents to vote once. Here's why: In order to dissolve the charters for each government, a vote has to be taken for both. Both would be worded the same, and would both need to be passed in order to create a consolidated government.

He said, "We don't want to vote in a flawed and fixed voting system as it is now. Straighten the voting system and we'll vote for anything.

Commissioner Jack Stone agreed with George and said that's why he could not support a vote for consolidation since the people in the county would not have as strong of a voice as those in the city.

Both commissions are still discussing possible changes to the proposed charter. State Representative Winfred Dukes sent a letter to the city and county asking that they be prepared with their versions of the charter by December 1st, in order to be ready for when the General Assembly convenes next year.

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