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March 13, 2013

City to request open meeting with county

MILLEDGEVILLE — An April joint meeting of city and county government officials is in the early proposal stages, city Manager Barry Jarrett said Tuesday.

Jarrett responded to Baldwin County Commissioner Henry Craig's open request for a joint council and commissioner meeting.

“I'd strongly suggest to this council that you entertain having such a meeting,” Jarrett said. “I think it would be beneficial to both groups and the community. I'd like for the city to step out first and make this offer.”

Jeanette Walden, District 2, supported the idea.

“We need to meet and see what direction they are going in,” she said.

Steve Chambers, District 6, also said the city and county should share minutes. Mayor Richard Bentley mentioned a public meeting goes a long way to sway public sentiment the two sides don't get along.

“That will serve the public better than anything we can do separately,” Bentley said. “It's a very good way to start.”

Chambers said the two sides shouldn't see each other as competitors.

“At some point we need to channel the competitiveness together,” the councilman said.

Jarrett said he would contact county staff to setup an April meeting.

 

• First vote in favor of new district map

Council passed first adoption concerning the reapportioned election districts. New census numbers legally require the City of Milledgeville to alter its six voting districts based on new population shifts. 

City council began the process in January.

The current version has the six districts falling at an optimal 8.81 percent deviation range from the target population of 2,748 per district. Districts 1, 3 and 5 are primarily minority under the current setup.

A second vote at the next council meeting sends the redistricting blueprint to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for approval.

The DOJ must approve any redistricted map proposal using the one person, one vote rule and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as a rubric. 

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