Consolidation must wait for another time - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Consolidation must wait for another time

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  • Worth Co. hosts open house

    Worth Co. hosts open house

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:24 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:24:37 GMT
    It's already back to school time for some south Georgia students. Classes start tomorrow in Worth County.On Monday afternoon, all the schools held open houses for parents and students.At Worth County elementary, families got to met the teachers and get acquainted with the school.The Principal says the staff is ready, and parents told us they appreciated the open house."We are just going to keep going strong with things that we have done in the past, we had a very successful school year last y...More >>
    It's already back to school time for some south Georgia students. Classes start tomorrow in Worth County.On Monday afternoon, all the schools held open houses for parents and students.At Worth County elementary, families got to met the teachers and get acquainted with the school.The Principal says the staff is ready, and parents told us they appreciated the open house."We are just going to keep going strong with things that we have done in the past, we had a very successful school year last y...More >>
  • Lee Co. Woman speaks out about scary home invasion

    Lee Co. Woman speaks out about scary home invasion

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:20 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:20:11 GMT
    A Lee County woman says she'll think twice before opening her front door after a frightening home invasion.Tonya Stewart says Friday night a group of young people rushed inside her home and beat her up.Her husband ran to help. In the meantime, her 2-year-old niece suffered a busted lip.Stewart ended up with bruises and a black eye.“I just felt like my house was in danger and my life was in danger. I felt like I was gonna be killed or someone in my house was gonna be killed. I had a little gir...More >>
    A Lee County woman says she'll think twice before opening her front door after a frightening home invasion.Tonya Stewart says Friday night a group of young people rushed inside her home and beat her up.Her husband ran to help. In the meantime, her 2-year-old niece suffered a busted lip.Stewart ended up with bruises and a black eye.“I just felt like my house was in danger and my life was in danger. I felt like I was gonna be killed or someone in my house was gonna be killed. I had a little gir...More >>
  • Football coaches stress hydration as South Georgia heats up

    Football coaches stress hydration as South Georgia heats up

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:12 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:12:23 GMT
    Football is an intense, and grueling collision sport, and when South Georgia heats up, practice is even more stressful on the body."We don't wanna lose a kid because of the fact they are not hydrating themselves," says Monroe Head Coach Charles Truitt.That's why coaches stress the importance of staying hydrated on and off the field."We preach when they get home at night after football practice, to hydrate themselves and then we they get up in the morning hydrate themselves," says Truitt.After...More >>
    Football is an intense, and grueling collision sport, and when South Georgia heats up, practice is even more stressful on the body."We don't wanna lose a kid because of the fact they are not hydrating themselves," says Monroe Head Coach Charles Truitt.That's why coaches stress the importance of staying hydrated on and off the field."We preach when they get home at night after football practice, to hydrate themselves and then we they get up in the morning hydrate themselves," says Truitt.After...More >>

December 5, 2006

Albany --  Many Dougherty County voters aren't happy that the commission bypassed them in making a decision on government consolidation.   They aren't the only ones. The consolidation study committee which spent years researching the issue, says the whole thing was mishandled. Tonight, one of the commissioners who voted against it says he was elected to speak for the people and a public referendum on the issue isn't necessary.      

The recommendations of two study committees fell by the wayside when county commissioners failed to adopt the charter.  "The commission effectively has short circuited that process and at this point, the voters don't have any recourse," said Charter Commissioner Don Kea.

Don Kea served on both the consolidation study commission and charter commission. He researched, studied and traveled to communities that were consolidated and is amazed that the process came to such a sudden stop.

"I was stunned, absolutely stunned that they could do such a thing," Kea said. "It was obvious that the people are the ones to decide on issues like this, and for the commission to decide that they know better than the thousands of people who are registered voters in Albany Dougherty County is absurd to me."

Art Searles, who voted against the charter, says he's better informed than the voters and he should be the one making the decision. Searles says, "You start talking about, 'Let's let the people decide.' We live in an apathetic society. Those folks that live in my district elected me to make these kinds of decisions. Now if that's arrogant, I'm sorry."

City Commissioner Bo Dorough says he's sorry too. Sorry that the people won't get a chance to vote on the charter, nor will the city commission.  "As a citizen I feel very disappointed. As a commissioner, I feel it is an injustice in so far as a great deal of money has been devoted to the study, volunteers their time and participation in the process."

He believes that regardless of how a commissioner feels about consolidation that they should let the charter go to the people so they can decide. Dorough says, "Once the referendum was presented to voters, then those commissioners would have had the opportunity to express their opinions, and even call on their constituents and supporters to oppose consolidation."

But the possibility of consolidation is still alive. Any of the commissioners who opposed it, can ask that it be placed back on the agenda.   "Now that it's defeated, I don't want to touch it anymore."

So will he make changes and put it back on the table? "Oh no. No, no, no. I'm done with this, I hope."

But Kea hopes the three dissenters will re-consider and that the issue will come up for a vote again.

Art Searles says he's mainly opposed to consolidation because it would require changing the charter which would call for non partisan races, off year elections and low pay for commissioners.    

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