Dougherty Co. Consolidation committee urges reconsideration - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty Co. Consolidation committee urges reconsideration

December 11, 2006

Dougherty County-  Consolidation study committee members are urging Dougherty County Commissioners to reconsider their vote.  Last week, commissioners tied three to three on the issue of allowing a referendum on consolidation.  The people who studied the issue are hoping the commissioners who voted against it will change their minds.

Although the Consolidation Charter wasn't on this week's Dougherty County Commissioner's agenda, Dr. Donald Kea who's served on both commissions to create the charter brought it up.

"Unanimously 20 citizens across the county felt that it was an idea that was feasible and ought to eventually be decided by the voters," said Kea before commissioners. 

"That's all I wanted to do Monday was remind them that they've invested a lot of money, each citizen's invested a lot of time in the study, and in the construction of a proposed charter to simple allow all of that to go drown the drain at this point through their inaction, to me is irresponsible," said  Dr. Don Kea, Consolidation and Charter Commission Member.

Two commissions took more than three years and spent more than $150,000 tax payer dollars to recommend a partial consolidation. Commissioner Jack Stone said he's received many phone calls since the decision from residents who feel he made the right choice in not supporting a public vote.

"I've had between 50 and 60 phone calls since last week and every single one of them, not even one, said I did the wrong thing, everyone said that what I did I need to do because they want to get this thing off the table," said Jack Stone, County Commissioner.

Stone said many county residents felt outnumbered and that their vote wouldn't count up against city residents. Kea's hopes his plea will reach one of the three commissioners who voted against putting the charter on the ballot.

"If a commissioner wanted to bring this back up and put it back on the table because it was not as vote that dealt with regulations that it was a particular issues that involves the state and the county that it can be brought back to the table, but it will have to be a commissioner that felt compelled to do so for obvious reason," said  Jeff Sinyard, County Commission Chairman.

While initial hearings were poorly attended, getting the public involved might spark interest.

"The only way people are going to be interested in this whole issue is for it to come to a public vote," said Kea. 

That can't be done unless one of the commissioners would have a change of heart, so far no one has.

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