The debate over Metro Government in Maury County continued Tuesday with a public forum and a good size crowd who listened to supporters and opponents. The event was put on by the Group Statewide Organizing For Community eMpowerment.
Brad Wright said they organized the forum simply to encourage civic participation in the political democratic process.
Randy Hardison a member of the Charter Community said it was “a wonderful opportunity to look at local government”. Hardison said in the end Metro Government will be no better than the people that are elected.
County Mayor Jim Bailey has come out in opposition along with the Maury County Commission and the 3 cities in the county. Mayor Bailey said local governments have done an excellent job.
“I don’t see any advantage to Metro Government,” said Mayor Bailey. “It will be a difficult job for the 11 member Metro Council to represent all of Maury County,” Bailey said.
Commissioner Kim Willis said commissioners have done a good job. “We are doing a great job the way we are running the county and city,” Willis said. “There is room to improve,” she added.
Supporters of Metropolitan Government have argued consolidation of Columbia and Maury County into one government makes sense. The late Glenn Hassee spearheaded the drive for the referendum arguing merging the two would make for a more efficient government and cut costs in the long run.
Opponents said it would cost more. Mayor Bailey said he believed it would take years and quite a bit of money for the two to merge.
Both agreed there’s no way to know the cost at this point.
“You have to be more efficient by consolidating,” Hardison said. “Will it take time. Of course, but its an achievable goal,” he said.
Given the good turnout at the voting polls, people appear to be going to the poles to decide the question.
Those who have not voted can do vote Election Day, March 6. There are 21 voting precincts across Maury County.