The Union Recorder

Opinion

September 12, 2012

Residents can still get involved with proposed unification

MILLEDGEVILLE — Nearly a year ago, Baldwin County residents were urged to turn out for a series of informational sessions on merging city and county government. The four forums that ensued, hosted by Partners for Progress, aimed to equip residents with information on unification and its many variations with regard to city and county government. Since then, the exploration of unification has continued. A steering committee has since answered the charge for drafting a new charter proposal, comprised of a diverse group of residents who will lead the process of forming a unification charter for Milledgeville and Baldwin County.

The committee meets regularly and even maintains a website to ensure a degree of transparency in the process. Members meet to explore the charter development process, discussing issues such as existing city and county ordinances, education, constitutional officers, employee benefits, levels of service and other issues that must be addressed in any new, unified charter that is developed.  

Information on the committee is available online for anyone interested in finding out more about the process at www.mbcunifica

tion.wordpress.com and how it has been approached in other communities.

It is projected that the charter development process will be a months-long process. Once the charter is written, with input in the process from others in the community, districts will need to be drawn and the charter will be incorporated into a piece of legislation passed by the General Assembly. It will then move to the U.S. Justice Department for approval before an election can be held. The charter must also include specifics on the type of grace period there will be in the transitional unification process where both governments will still be functioning.

Formulating a charter to unify any local government is dictated by the specifics that are included in the agreement, and those specifics are determined by the citizens. We’ve seen in recent months how the government merger process is being undertaken in other communities such as Dalton, and most notably, Macon, where voters moved in favor of unification in July.

There is still an opportunity for the community to be involved in seeing this process through.

There are many ways to examine unification and means by which to approach the process. Opponents of unification contend that fewer elected officials means less accountability and that consolidated government means a larger and less responsive bureaucracy. Proponents often argue that unification streamlines government and eliminates overlaps in services and resources. Still others debate whether there are cost-savings in the process and if it allows for equal representation in government. The truths lie in the charter, and issues and concerns should be examined now, on the front end, rather than later down the road.

1
Text Only
Columns
Editorials
Letters
Poll
AP Video
Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday