The Union Recorder

April 27, 2013

Unification charter complete

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE —

Georgia has eight city and county government mergers, with Macon-Bibb County the most recent. Former City Councilman Ken Vance heads up a diverse community group that recently completed Milledgeville and Baldwin County's own consolidation charter.

Tuesday, April 30 at 6 p.m. in Central Georgia Technical College's Conference Center, Vance will share the results with the Milledgeville City Council, Baldwin County Commissioners and community members. The meeting is open to the public.

The Milledgeville-Baldwin County Unification Charter Writing Committee, part of the local Partners for Progress (PFP) initiative, finished the 57-page document after one year.

“We've done a lot of research and have a document that we are all comfortable with,” Vance said. “A charter is kind of like the foundation to the house. This is a constitution for a new government, and we are going to present that to the elected officials on Tuesday.”

The entire charter becomes available for public consumption after the Tuesday gathering at www.mbcunification.com.

“We want to make it available to everybody that wants to read it, and take this time until the first of the year to really educate people about what it says,” Vance said. “People are scared of what they don't know, and an informed voter is a whole lot better voter. At the end of the day, I want you to make an informed decision.”

With a complete charter, Milledgeville and Baldwin County must incorporate the document into local legislation allowing the unification question on the ballot. After surviving all these steps, the consolidation referendum goes into city and county voters’ hands.

“Obviously, our goal is for the people to vote on whether or not they want unified government,” Vance said. “If they pass it, this will be the foundation of a new government.”

Vance said included charter timeframes kick in detailing when and how the government consolidation takes place if the charter makes it all the way.