“It’s tragic in the sense that it’s un-American,” Senator Girdler continued. “In America we believe in the freedom of speech and freedom to petition the government, and we are not even petitioning the government. We are simply seeking knowledge.”
Senator Girdler emphasized that SPCU is not recommending a merged form of government.
“What we are simply doing is asking to study the issues,” said Senator Girdler. “ ... To see if there is any way that we can turn good government to great.”
Pulaski County Treasurer Joan Isaacs stated she spoke with representatives with the Kentucky Department of Local Government to make sure the county is authorized to contribute to the SPCU study.
“I want to thank every one of you guys for being willing to donate your time and stand up and try to help the county out and move us forward,” Maxey said to SPCU members.
If a consolidation of governments is deemed feasible, fiscal court, Somerset City Council and governing bodies of Burnside, Ferguson and Science Hill by ordinance would create an official Unified Government Commission made up of between 20 and 40 members to plan a structure for a unified city-county government.
Pulaski Fiscal Court would appoint half the members of a Unified Government Commission, and the remaining members would be appointed by participating cities prorated on population.
The commission would propose a new government structure to be presented to voters in the county. If approved, existing governments would be disbanded and the new governmental structure put in place. Committee leaders say implementation of a city-county government would take up to four years, or more.
Ping said SPCU’s consultant, Luke Schmidt, of L.B. Schmidt & Associates, LLC, out of Louisville, would need at least four months to carry out the study.