The Union Recorder

Local News

July 5, 2013

Commissioners considering term, election changes

MILLEDGEVILLE — A June Baldwin County Commissioners strategic planning session held at the Middle Georgia Regional Commission’s Macon location identified possible changes to the county’s board structure.

The commissioners see staggered terms, electing a chairman at-large and non-partisan elections as necessary summer talking points.

Commission chair Sammy Hall, District 3, said the board discussed the issue last month.

“If there are no objections, I’d like to see us begin work on that and have it on our next work session agenda,” Hall said Tuesday.

Commissioner Henry Craig, District 4, said the county should address each point as separate ballot issues.

Hall asked County Attorney David McRee to do some research and bring preliminary documents up for discussion later this month.

“If we are going to do it, we need to get the legislation developed so it could be introduced this next session,” Hall said. “We might do one or we might do two or three. We don’t know.”

Craig said state representatives would most likely need a document by October in order to have the legislation introduced during next session of the Georgia General Assembly.

McRee said in this case the board could pass a basic idea of the new terms or election format. Folks at the capitol would then draft the legislation, according to the county attorney.

“But do we get to look at it before they pass it?” Hall joked Tuesday. “Because I don’t trust them necessarily.”

McRee explained the status quo.

“They draft it, and then send it down for you to look at the things you’d want to have changed,” he said. “You would have some input in that, but initiatively at the local level, you’d just be passing a resolution that says we are directing our legislative delegation to pursue this for us.”

Identifying which districts get the short or the long terms in the future is a point of debate for upcoming meetings.

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