Elbert County Commissioners Briefly Discuss Possible Consolidation

September 10, 2012

During the Elbert County Board of Commissioners work session late last week, the topic of consolidation was discussed.

County Administrator Bob Thomas said that consolidation is slowly becoming a more common occurrence.

“I won’t say it is a trend, but are you seeing it more and more in the state of Georgia. As funds get tight, we are fighting for the same dollars. So if you eliminate the number is trying to receive those dollars, theoretically you would be better off financially”, said Thomas.

Thomas did say that consolidation, in some cases, may not work as intended. The example that was given was Athens-Clarke County, where they have noticed over the years that consolidation hasn’t really saved them any money.

District Three Commissioner Frank Eaves said that this option should be seriously considered.

“I think it is something we need to start thinking about. The main thing I think we need to keep focused on as we do it is that we all serve the same people”, said Commissioner Eaves. “If we can all come together as leaders and agree we serve the same people, and do the right thing for the people. We need to forget about these little power struggles, and of course I know that is easier said than done.”

If the county decided to consolidate it would create one government body for the entire county, but before that could happen, there would have to be a majority vote in favor of the consolidation is all three entities in order for it to pass.

The commissioners decided during the work session that they wanted to get more information on the consolidation process before moving forward with anything.