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Turner to represent BOC in municipal negotiations

Photo by Hugh Osteen

Photo by Hugh Osteen

— The Clayton County Board of Commissioners granted municipal leaders’ wish Wednesday and gave new commission Chairman Jeff Turner authority to deal directly with the cities in ongoing sales tax and service delivery negotiations.

The commission voted unanimously to appoint Turner as its representative in Local Option Sales Tax and service delivery agreement negotiations with the county’s seven municipalities. The county and its cities have been locked in a stalemate over the issues for more than a year and the cities were prepared to sue the county in an attempt to get increased LOST funds until a last-minute stay was reached last month.

The county and the cities have agreed to a 90-day extension of the negotiating period but the cities put four conditions on that agreement. One of those stipulations was that Turner had to be at the negotiating table. The first meeting between the two sides is expected to take place this month.

Because the cities have decided to tie service delivery and LOST negotiations together, both issues have to be negotiated simultaneously.