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Milledgeville-Baldwin Co. voters to decide on consolidation | News

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Milledgeville-Baldwin Co. voters to decide on consolidation

Voters in Milledgeville and Baldwin County will say yes or no to consolidating their governments in November.

The unification charter is up for vote in November's general election. Representative Rusty Kidd is for consolidation and says uniting would lower taxes and create jobs.

"Keep taxes lower than if they were not unified," he said. "It cuts down on duplication of services and is definitely an attraction for businesses and industry to move into a county that's unified with a one stop shop."

If two people share the same position, Kidd said no current city or county employee will lose their job.

"Every city (and) county employee by law would keep their job, keep their health benefits, keep their retirement benefits, keep their seniority etc.," he said.

Kidd says unification will put a fresh face on the city and county, luring more industry into the area, but not everyone is on the same page. The committee opposing consolidation says a financial study is needed to see if the county and city can even afford it.

"The cost of changing has not even been mentioned," David Pettigrew, an organizer of the opposition group, said. "Macon paid $2 million on technology and Milledgeville being approximately one-fifth the size of Macon, we think that'd be $400,000 just for technology changes."

He says the charter will raise taxes and put a stint on economic development.

"We don't believe that larger government is necessarily better government," he said. "Matter of fact, I'm of the opinion, having dealt with large government and small government, that you get better service, quicker service and more responsible service in a smaller government."

Pettigrew's group is encouraging people to vote no in November.

Milledgeville Mayor Gary Thrower says he likes the idea of consolidation, but is against this particular charter. He says a feasibility study should be done to determine how much money it would cost to merge.

To read the charter, click here.

Follow Claire Davis on Twitter.


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