Milledgeville City Council and the Baldwin County Board of Commissioners remain at odds over a number of topics related to Service Delivery Strategy,
That’s what some of the latest documents reveal in the Baldwin County Superior Court Clerk’s Office.
The latest court filing, done last week by attorneys representing the city, seeks to have a judge rule concerning the next form of mediation that is to be taken pertaining to Service Delivery Strategy between the two governing bodies.
Attorneys representing the city’s interest contend O.C.G.A. 36-70-28 (c) that in the event that a county or an affected municipality located within the county refuses to review and revise, if necessary, a strategy in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection of this code section then any of the parties may use the alternative dispute resolution and appeal procedures set forth in subsection (d) of the code section 36-70-25.1.
“When a county and affected municipality fail to reach an agreement on Service Delivery Strategy, then a county or any affected municipality may file a complaint in Superior Court seeking mandatory mediation in accordance with the procedure set forth in that code section,” according to the city’s recent lawsuit.
The civil litigation was brought against the county by the following attorneys on behalf of Milledgeville City Council: D. James “Jimmy” Jordan and Cedric B. Davis, of the law firm of Adams, Jordan & Herrington in Milledgeville, as well as attorney J. Raymond Dickey, of Rincon.
At the request of city council, attorneys have filed the civil action against all five sitting county commissioners in their official capacities. Those officials include chairman John H. Westmoreland; vice chairman Henry R. Craig; and Commissioners Emily C. Davis, Tommy L. French and Sammy Hall.
Attorneys for the city contend that the city had no alternative but to seek mandatory mediation through the court because a revised SDS agreement still has not been reached between the two local governments.
“As a result, the city must file the instant complaint,” attorneys contend.
The complaint seeking mandatory mediation between the two governing bodies shall be assigned to a judge who does not preside or reside within the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit.
Under O.C.G.A. 15-6-13, the case can be assigned to what is known as a senior judge, and who resides in another circuit.
“The assigned judge shall appoint a mediator and mandatory mediation of service delivery strategy shall follow the procedures set forth in O.C.G.A. 36-70-25-1,” according to court documents.
Since both governing bodies have jointly participated in voluntary mediation on three different occasions, the city of Milledgeville request that the court enter an order substituting the parties voluntary mediation, pursuant to O.C.G.A. 36-70-25-1 for the court ordered mandatory mediation, attorneys said in court documents.
Attorneys also said the assigned judge also has the authority to withhold sanctions during the pendency of the mediation.
“Milledgeville requests that the court withhold sanctions during the pendency of the mediation,” court records show. “In the event the court allows the parties’ voluntary mediation to substitute for the mandatory mediation and the parties fail to agree on a Service Delivery Strategy, Milledgeville requests that the court resolve all remaining items in dispute pursuant to the provisions of O.C.G.A. 36-70-25-1 (d)(2).”