Whitfield County names 5 to consolidation charter panel

Whitfield County names 5 to consolidation charter panel

June 21st, 2011 by Mariann Martin in News

IF YOU GO

  • What: The Dalton-Whitfield County Charter Commission meeting

  • Where: Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center

  • When: 2-5 p.m. Wednesday

DALTON, Ga. - Whitfield County commissioners appointed five people to the consolidation charter committee at a specially called meeting Monday evening.

The committee is to study the possible consolidation of city and county governments and write a countywide charter by April. It is scheduled to hold its first meeting Wednesday.

Tangela Johnson, Ray Broadrick, David Renz and Viola Ibarra are the four civilian appointees representing the county. County interests also will be represented by Commissioner Gordon Morehouse, appointed Monday evening, and Chairman Mike Babb, who is required by law to serve on the committee.

Dalton officials previously appointed City Councilmen Georga Sadosuk and Gary Crew, Celeste Cresswell, Phil Neff, Marshall Maudlin and Frank Thomasen.

Varnell Mayor Pro Tem David Owens and representatives from Cohutta and Tunnel Hill, whose names were not available Monday, round out the 15-member group.

Officials hope to place the consolidation question on the ballot in November 2012.

In other business, county commissioners voted to table a motion that would have doubled the county transit fare from $2 to $4.

With the increase in fuel prices and general inflation, the average cost per trip is about $12, County Finance Director Ron Hale told county commissioners. The county covers a third of that cost, with a third coming from state and federal funds and the final third coming from passengers.

Whitfield County's current prices do not meet federal requirements that fares cover 10 percent of costs associated with operating the transit service, Hale said.

Hale recommended doubling the fare by Aug. 1, but offering a discount of $3 per ride for customers who buy a coupon book for multiple trips.

County commissioners told Hale they would like to see any fare increase with discount options for senior citizens.

"We'll go back and take another look at it," Hale said.

Contact staff writer Mariann Martin at mmartin@timesfreepress.com or 706-980-5824.