MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Another Middle Georgia community is considering consolidation. Milledgeville and Baldwin county leaders are getting a first look at a plan to combine the two governments.
"It's been talked about for years, debated about, starts and stops, stops and starts," Ken Vance, chairman of the Milledgeville-Baldwin County, Georgia Unified Government Charter Writing Committee, said.
But now it is written in black and white—a 57 page charter to combine Milledgeville and Baldwin County into one unified government.
"It means putting things together. It means one law enforcement agency, one fire department, one place to go to get your business license, one place to get your building license and permits and so forth. It's efficiency, at the end of the day that's what its really about," Vance said.
Vance, along with seven other charter-writing committee members, spent the last year putting the finishing touches on the document. City and county leaders, as well as the public, got a first look at the foundation for the new government Tuesday night.
"I'm a hesitant supporter I think I would say because I think it's the way we need to go but then I want to know the details of what's going to be involved before I can come out in full support," Baldwin County resident Floyd Souter said.
"I think we are poised to have change here in Milledgeville and regardless to whats in it, the difference will be something that moves us forward. I believe that we are ready for this," Milledgeville pastor David Luke said.
While some residents say they had no voice in the writing process and fell this unified government is a step in the wrong direction.
"I hink we're resorting back to where we came. I sill fell it would have been more just to us as citizens if we had been able to participate in the process prior to drawing up some legislation to change the charter," Milledgeville resident Beverly Calhoun said.
The charter calls for and elected governing body of a Chair, elected at-large, and six commissioners with one commissioner elected at-large and five commissioners elected from the curry five county districts. The elected Sheriff will be responsible for providing the law enforcement function to the citizens of the new government. It also says no city or county employee will lose their employment, seniority, tenure, pension, insurance, or retirement benefit upon adoption of the charter.
It's still in the early stages, but officials hope they can work together with the community to make Milledgeville-Baldwin County the best it can be.
Officials hope the community will look over the charter and ask questions. It will then go to local delegation for consideration to become a referendum during next year's legislative session.
Click here for more information on the Milledgeville-Baldwin County, Georgia Unified Government Charter..