Franklin-Simpson Merger Idea Ready to Leave Committee

By: Jon Hardison
By: Jon Hardison

A 30-member committee formed to explore the possibility of a city-county government merger for Franklin and Simpson County will decide in the next two weeks whether voters will have a chance to have their say.

The committee has concluded months of information gathering and will submit a final report within the next two to three months. Now, the members will vote by mail-in ballot on a recommendation to move the merger idea to the charter committee stage.

A charter committee would be charged with drawing up a detailed outline and draft of the proposed merged government, including job descriptions for elected officials, and the outline of basic government services. The charter committee would be made up of 11 members appointed by the county, and nine by city government.

Once the charter committee submitted its draft, the public would get a chance to vote on the idea in the 2006 general election, and if the merger passed, it wouldn't go into effect until the terms of then-elected officials expired (no earlier than 2010).

County Judge Executive Jim Henderson says he believes most citizens are intrigued by the prospect of having only one governing body, as long as there taxes don't climb any higher and services remain the same or improve.

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