MILLEDGEVILLE — The foundation charter for a Milledgeville-Baldwin County, Georgia Unified Government was completed by the eight-member Unified Government Charter Writing Committee and released for public input May 1.
Writing committee member Dr. Stan Aldridge and Rev. David Luke, with the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber Board of Directors, updated the Chamber Eggs & Issues crowd Wednesday about the document and the ongoing work towards letting citizens vote on government consolidation.
“We are serious about it,” Aldridge said. “We think it has a lot of positives for the community.”
When the charter writing process began, the group solicited city and county government expertise though they received little from elected officials.
Aldridge said in hindsight the committee should have taken a different approach when releasing the nearly 60-page charter.
“Because we had little input from the city and county elected officials, we made a bad decision. When we had our final document ready, we said we are going to present this with no changes from anybody,” Aldridge said. “That is a decision we have withdrawn. We agreed to take proposed changes through Sept. 1. We will meet in the next couple of weeks to revise the charter as it stands now.”
Once changes are implemented, the writing committee will request a joint meeting with city and county officials to discuss the edited document.
“At that point, I think we will ask for a vote from them,” Aldridge said. “Most importantly, we'd like them to support an initiative to send (the charter) to the legislature and the Department of Justice to give the people of Milledgeville and Baldwin County a chance to vote and let them decide whether they want consolidation.”
Luke said the recent attempt to take government unification from dream to reality missed a few steps.
“There were some changes overlooked as we perused the document in its current form. The committee quickly adapted and made those changes,” Luke said.