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May 3, 2014

Now two groups analyzing unification charter

(Continued)

MILLEDGEVILLE —

“This committee has been charged to get down to the details of the document,” the mayor said. “The latest amended version [of the charter] is what this committee will actually begin with. Our hope is that through their discussions they will get the information that’s often asked of us as far as how it’s going to affect taxes, the structure of the government with law enforcement and fire protection and those types of things. That’s why we put both of our managers on the committee.”

The mayor isn’t yet sure how this information gathered will make it to the general public. He said notes or minutes will likely be disseminated to the respective elected bodies and media.

At the moment, this committee makes two that are studying unification particulars.

State Rep. Rusty Kidd (I-Milledgeville) formed a seven-member citizen team in late March to help him introduce the document during the 2015 legislative session, in time for the November 2016 ballot.

Former city attorney Jim Peugh heads the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Unification Study Committee consisting of the Rev. Tony Fraley, businessmen Travis Strickland, Jeff Owens and Jimmy Ivey, Georgia College Sociology and Government Department Chair Dr. Costas Spirou and former county commissioner Linda Fussell.

This group will meet once a month at different publicly accessible city and county locations to gather unification-related input starting Thursday at Central Georgia Technical College.

Peugh invited city elected officials to next week’s 4 p.m. gathering. The general public is welcome.

Members of the original charter writing committee will be part of the process also. Peugh said hearing all sides with pros and cons is key in this effort.

Kidd said this group will “be anything but secretive.”

Commissioner French said the elected official based committee sits in a holding pattern until a meeting with Kidd, the mayor and commission chairman. He said there is no need for separate groups.

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