ViewPoint: Consolidation talks continue - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

ViewPoint: Consolidation talks continue

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January 11, 2007

Albany -- Last week the City of Albany's commission decided to continue the study of the charter of the proposed city/county consolidation. This is a good move.

It appears they want to be ready to vote on the matter, when one of the three County Commissioners, Hayes, Stone, & Searles, comes to his senses and allows the process move forward.

Three years ago, 20 private citizens were appointed to a study commission to determine if Albany and Dougherty County should join the other three large municipalities in Georgia who had the foresight to look down the road at what would benefit their own communities and consolidated their governments.

For the last year, the charter commission labored to provide a workable charter defining what our new consolidated government would look like. We applaud their diligent efforts.

Together both groups provided eleven opportunities, for the public to make comments and offer suggestions at well advertised forums. There was certainly no groundswell support to kill this process.

We applaud the respect that Commissioners Sinyard, Hudgins, and Lingle showed toward our community by voting to move the process forward. Each commissioner, whether they agree or not with the concept of consolidating our two governments, understands that the voters in Albany and Dougherty County deserve and have been guaranteed the right to determine how they should be governed.

But then the vote of these three arrogant Commissioners' Hayes, Stone, & Searles, completely dismissed all their efforts. Each commissioner attempted to give an explanation for their vote to the media. One even said that you the voters, are not bright enough to understand the complexities of the charter issue.

Let's remind them that we have had one City Commissioner sent to prison and one County Commissioner has just pled guilty to theft by taking. If the voters are wise enough to keep themselves out of prison, they are wise enough to vote on consolidation.

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