Last week the Chamber released the most recent survey of members asked to vote for issues we should address this year.
One question with 90% voting yes, “does the business community support allowing the citizens the right to vote on city–county consolidation”.
The city commission last approved this being put to a vote. County Commissioners last voted to prevent the consolidation process from moving forward. The issue can’t be revived unless they change their mind.
That’s exactly what should happen.
You need look no further than the need for a consolidated police force, to reduce Crime and improve public safety, to seriously consider this decision.
Two study commissions spent years and thousands of taxpayer dollars looking into the pros and cons of combining Albany and Dougherty County governments and services. They found it would save millions and recommended the process be brought to a public vote.
We cannot allow commissioners to be more concerned about their continued re-election with new larger districts, or the reduction in the total number of commissioners, in the new government rather than the public’s right to vote.
Based on this and many other issues, a smaller more effective number of commissioners would be a welcome change.
If commissioners are against consolidation, fine. They can explain to voters why they think it’s a bad idea. But for a couple of commissioners to keep tens of thousands of Dougherty County voters from having the chance to decide how our government, the government we pay for, should operate is just inexcusable.
Written by Jim Wilcox, general manager of WALB.