Commonwealth Journal

Local News

June 20, 2013

Ferguson opting out of unified government

Burnside, Science Hill take wait-and-see stance

Fergsuon —

Ferguson has joined Somerset in opting out of any possible merger of city and county governments in Pulaski County.
Melody Jones, city clerk at Ferguson, said Ferguson City Council, at its regular meeting Monday, June 3, unanimously adopted a resolution not to participate in a united city-county government.
Ferguson Mayor Allen Dobbs said the city council acted “ ... because they felt it was the right thing to do. It was their decision.” He said the resolution was verbal; that the city attorney will put it in writing.
“You never know what the outcome will be ... you just never know,” Dobbs said.
  Burnside City Council and Science Hill City Commission both are still in a wait-and-see mode. 
“Nothing has changed,” said Burn-side Mayor Ron Jones. “The study is not complete ... we’re just waiting to see what happens.”
“That’s the way we are,” said Science Hill Mayor Bill Dick. “We’ve taken no official actions.”
Existing boundaries of incorporated cities in a merged city-county government would disappear and the cities would revert to communities without governments.
Eubank, because it straddles the Pulaski-Lincoln county line, would not be eligible to be a part of a merged city-county government, according to state law.
Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler has shown absolutely no patience with the study currently under way to determine if merged governments in Pulaski County would be feasible and more effective.
“What part of no doesn’t he (Luke B. Schmidt) understand?” said Girdler. This was the gist of his reaction this week when asked about Schmidt’s announced plans to request a meeting with Girdler to get permission to study infrastructure and operational methods of Somerset’s government.
“I think of a southern response (to Schmidt’s request for a meeting). “Oh, how nice, but no thanks,” Girdler laughed.

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