Consolidation committee is ready to hold hearings - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Consolidation committee is ready to hold hearings

January 12, 2006

Albany -- The charter commission on consolidation has completed the draft and is now ready to hold public hearing to get input about the idea of unifying city and county governments and services.

A study showed a consolidated government could save taxpayers millions, but it's already being meet with skepticism by some.

Albany and Dougherty County wouldn't have as many commissioners under a proposed consolidated government charter. Under the proposed charter, there would be nine, instead of 14, commissioners leading the government.

There would be eight commissioners representing districts and one at large commissioner.

Charter commission chairman George Brown hopes citizens will keep an open mind. "I want them to become educated. I don't think they should make a decision on this without having a complete education on what consolidation can and will do," said Brown.

After the public hearings, the new charter will go before the General Assembly. It must be approved by state lawmakers, the Justice Department, and finally by voters. It will take at least another year.

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