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Albany Commission tentatively votes to send merger charter to state Capitol

At its work session minutes ago, the Albany City Commission voted unanimously to send a charter proposing consolidation of the Albany and Dougherty County governments to the Legislature.

All votes at work sessions are provisional and must be ratified by votes at business meetings. The next commission business meeting is Dec. 15.

The vote contained to items on which the city and County Commission could not come to terms -- pay rate for the commissioners of the merged board and whether the mayor/chairman of the merged board should be a full-time or part-time position.

City commissioners said they wanted both boards to send a single charter to Atlanta and note that those two areas could not be resolved locally.

If the County Commission follows suit and the city panel gives approval next week, the proposed charter could be taken up by the 2010 Legislature as a substitute for a charter that has already passed the House. If approved by the Legislature, Albany and Dougherty County voters would have to approve the measure in a referendum before it could take effect.

After discussion, City Commissioners gridlocked with the county about the position of the new mayor, arguing that if both governments combine, their would be no realistic way to expect a CEO to fulfill the duties of both the city and county as figurhead on a part-time schedule.