State Rep Ed Rynders (R-Leesburg), has, in fact, put forth HB 800, which is the Albany/Dougherty Consolidation Bill. Carol Fullerton HAS signed on to it.
Here’s what I find to be relevant about this:
I’m not sure how many members sit on the City Commission or the County Commission, but the combined Albany-Dougherty County Commission would have 8 members in single-member districts. Furthermore, I’m not sure the exact dynamics of the County Commission Chair and Albany Mayor, but there would be a single Chief Elected Officer that would be elected by the people of Albany-Dougherty County in the newly consolidated government.
There would be two ‘districts’ within the consolidated government, and basically the residents of the general district – ie, the current ‘county’ residents – would continue to receive exactly the services they receive right now, as would the residents of the ‘urban’ district – ie, current ‘city’ residents.
That said, APD and DCP would be merged into a single entity whose head would be chosen by the Albany-Dougherty County Commission.
The Court system would not be affected other than to change the names from ‘Dougherty County Superior Court’ to ‘Albany-Dougherty County Superior Court’ and similar.
For the first year of its existence, the combined Albany-Dougherty County government could not have more employees than the total of the City of Albany and Dougherty County governments had immediately prior to consolidation, and the budget of Albany-Dougherty County would be equal to the total of the budgets of the City of Albany and Dougherty County in the year prior to consolidation.
Finally, here is the exact ballot question:
Shall the charter reorganizing and consolidating the governments of the City of Albany and Dougherty County and creating a single county-wide government to supersede and replace those governments be approved?
If anyone has any questions, I will be happy to answer them according to what I personally think, but please remember that I am nothing more than a concerned citizen and am certainly not any authority on anything!
[UPDATE]: Local Media Coverage:
WALB report ‘House to vote on Albany/Dougherty consolidation‘
Albany Herald report ‘House Weighs Consolidation‘
Albany Herald editorial ‘Voters deserve right to decide‘
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