Second Round of Mediation Needed to Resolve Remaining Issues
Monday, November, 18, 2019
Eleven hours of mediation was not enough to completely resolve the Service Delivery Strategy (SDS) between the Baldwin County Board of Commissioners and the Milledgeville City Council. Both sides likely intend to return to the negotiation table and continue mediating their differences but no final plans have been made thus far. They report that some progress was made in the day-long mediation session, but several major issues remain. This was the second court-ordered mediation between the parties.
The mediation session was held at Central Georgia Technical College in Milledgeville and was attended by city council members, county commissioners, and the mayor. A lawyer from Statesboro was appointed as mediator and was a different mediator than the person who oversaw the first session.
Susan Cox, appointed by Dublin Judicial Circuit Superior Court Senior Judge H. Gibbs Flanders, heard both sides of the issue.
Jimmy Jordan, a lawyer representing the City of Milledgeville, spoke with The Union-recorder and said he believes progress occurred during the session. According to Jordan, “We were able to go through our various services. I think we agreed on about 30 of those out of 58. We have got another set that we are in agreement on the service, just still discussing the funding.”
But according to Jordan, three major issues remain on the table: the retirement of the Mega site bonds, the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, and service districts water services. Jordan stated there is dispute over how the city’s share should be calculated verses the $26 million in bonds already received by the county.
A written response is expected from the country and then negotiations could potentially continue.