Consolidation study needs a tune-up -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Consolidation study needs a tune-up

April 12, 2004

Dougherty County - Incomplete, flawed, appalling - those are just a few words Dougherty County Commissioners used to describe the Albany-Dougherty consolidation study. It contains many mistakes. And now, county commissioners are questioning where the consultants found the information in the report.

Behind welding masks and under car hoods, work the 7 employees that make up the vehicle maintenance division of the Dougherty County Public Works Department. But, you wouldn't find these employees in the consolidation report by consultants Del Delaper and Associates.

"They showed 40 people in Public Works and we have a total of 68," said County Public Works Director Gerald Kirksey. "So where they got that information from, I have no idea."

The study omitted 15 positions in the County's Public Works Department, including those in the vehicle maintenance and engineering divisions. And, the report showed DCP has 46 employees, but the department has 52 employees. Some county leaders say these mistakes show the consultants didn't do their job.

The job of the consultants, under the contract with the consolidation study commission, was to interview all department heads. But, they never talked to the County's Public Works Director, Police Chief, or County Administrator.

"I don't think the study is adequate. I think my three year-old nephew could have done it better," said County Commissioner Brenda Robinson-Culter. County commissioners were upset to find several mistakes in the study.

The study incorrectly stated the City's Human Resources Department handles county employee benefits and said race issues are stopping DCP and APD from working together. "I have no idea what precipitated that issue, because that has not been an issue we've had any concern about," said DCP Chief Don Cheek.

Many people on the consolidation study committee are also dissatisfied with the holes in the report. And Monday, members even talked about not paying the consultants in full until they interview all department heads and answer some questions about where they got their information. A "tune-up" that county commissioners insist is needed.

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