City, county form joint council; to meet quarterly




Decatur County Board of Commissioners Chairman Frank Loeffler, seated left, and Bainbridge Mayor Edward Reynolds, seated right, sign a pledge to support the future work of a joint council of governments that will meet quarterly to discuss issues of mutual interest. (April 29, 2014)
Decatur County Board of Commissioners Chairman Frank Loeffler, seated left, and Bainbridge Mayor Edward Reynolds, seated right, sign a pledge to support the future work of a joint council of governments that will meet quarterly to discuss issues of mutual interest.
Decatur County Board of Commissioners Chairman Frank Loeffler, seated left, and Bainbridge Mayor Edward Reynolds, seated right, sign a pledge to support the future work of a joint council of governments that will meet quarterly to discuss issues of mutual interest.

After meeting for about an hour-and-a-half on Tuesday evening, the Bainbridge City Council and Decatur County commissioners pledged to start meeting together quarterly to discuss issues of mutual interest.

At an open meeting held at the Kirbo Center at Bainbridge State College, BSC president Dr. Richard Carvajal led the two groups of elected officials through creating a concept for a joint “Council of Governments,” with the hope of bringing them closer together after recent disagreement on issues such as waste disposal, inmate housing and local tax receipts.

Rather than talking directly to one another, the two groups of elected officials mostly responded to Dr. Carvajal, who was serving as mediator, per his request at the beginning of the meeting.

The newly created joint council–which won’t replace the two boards’ separate meetings–will meet quarterly at the Kirbo Center. The county commission chairman and the Bainbridge mayor will take turns being the chairman of the joint council. After discussing the setup for the joint council, Dr. Carvajal suggested the two groups practice discussing a topic similar to what they might put on the agenda of future meetings.

 

Video (~ 5:45): Bainbridge City Council members and Decatur County commissioners brainstorm topics they might discuss at future joint council of government meetings, that will be held on a quarterly basis.

Tuesday’s topic: Decatur County citizens’ upcoming vote on a possible SPLOST VI (SPLOST is a one-cent local tax for special projects). Early voting for the May 20 election which includes the SPLOST referendum began on Monday, April 28.

Approximately 91 citizens were in attendance at Tuesday night’s meeting, although there was no public participation. Stated purpose of the joint council: “The vision of this council of governments (COG) shall be to create a strengthened partnership between the City of Bainbridge and Decatur County, their elected representatives, and their administrative and support offices, with the ultimate goal of making Decatur County and its municipalities a more prosperous and livable place for its citizens and business community.”

Video (~6:45) – Bainbridge and Decatur County officials talk about the upcoming May 20 referendum on the proposed SPLOST VI local option sales tax for special projects, which would provide revenue to local governments for six years.




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