Mediation sees “progress” between county and city at Tuesday session

Published 7:32 pm Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The first day of mediation between Decatur County and the City of Bainbridge began Tuesday morning, and officials from both sides have made positive statements in regards to resolving both parties’ disagreements with service delivery strategy.
The Decatur County Board of Commissioners, along with attorney Tony Rowell, entered into executive session at the Decatur County Courthouse at 10 a.m. Tuesday. Their executive session was held in the juror’s room.
“I thought it was a good day,” Bainbridge City Manager Chris Hobby said. “Nothing is done, but I feel we made progress to get things done.”
Decatur County Commission Chairman Dennis Brinson and Bainbridge Mayor Edward Reynolds both said they were optimistic as to the outcome after Tuesday’s mediation session. Decatur County Administrator Gary Breedlove declined to comment.
William Sanders of Alexander & Vann in Thomasville is serving as mediator. Superior Court Judge James G. Tunison, Jr. appointed Sanders in January.
Mediation will continue Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. at the courthouse. If an agreement is not met by the end of Wednesday’s session, Sanders can make a recommendation to a judge not located in the South Georgia Judicial Circuit for a ruling on service delivery strategy.
Buddy Welch of Smith Welch Webb & White presented information to the Bainbridge City Council in August 2014 that said Bainbridge residents were being “double taxed” for services they were not receiving.
Bainbridge filed a petition for mediation between the city and county on Nov. 14, 2014. Upon receiving the petition, the superior court had 30 days to provide mandatory mediation via a judge who is not of the Decatur County circuit.

Email newsletter signup