Commonwealth Journal

News Live

May 30, 2013

SPCU consultant wants meeting with Girdler

Somerset —

The consultant for the current study to determine feasibility of merged city and county governments in Pulaski County says he will soon request a meeting with Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler for permission to study the infrastructure and operational methods of Pulaski County’s largest city government.
“I hope we can meet ... that he (Girdler) will allow us to get a good look at the city’s operation,” said Luke B. Schmidt, of L.B. Schmidt and Associates.
Schmidt was responding to a question from the Commonwealth Journal:
“With Somerset opting out of the merger study –– and, knowing Mayor Eddie Girdler like we know Mayor Eddie Girdler, we think you’ll find he traditionally stands strongly behind his positions –– Question: “In what direction does the study go without Somerset?”
Responded Schmidt: “It’s obvious that Somerset has elected not to participate in the terms of funding the study  ... we are disappointed but we respect that.”
Schmidt concedes a study of this type is often controversial “ ... and that’s a good thing,” he said. Merger of governments is not to taken lightly, he added.
Schmidt said he will soon be in contact with Mayor Girdler.
“I hope we can meet and that he will allow us time to get a good look at the operation and infrastructure of Somerset’s government,” Schmidt said.
Highly publicized and sometimes criticized was Girdler’s negative reaction when Somerset-Pulaski County United (SPCU) announced plans for a study to determine if merged city-county governments would be more efficient and feasible for Pulaski County’s more than 63,000 residents. Girdler was not available for comment about a possible meeting with Schmidt when this article was written.
  SPCU, chaired by developer Brook Ping and composed of more than 80 of the county’s movers and shakers, has made it clear from the start it is not advocating merged governments, only a study to determine the feasibility.

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