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Warner Robins city charter back up for discussion at city council meeting

Last month, State Representative Heath Clark released a study calling for changes to the Warner Robins city charter, saying it is 'confusing.'

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — "What can we do to move forward and address the charter issues that we're having right now?" asked Councilman Larry Curtis.

Curtis moved to have a discussion about changes to the city charter during Monday night's city council meeting.

That was the question on a lot of council members' minds.

Some on the council, like Curtis, said the changes need to happen now, while others say they need to take time to make sure they get it right.

In the UGA study released last month, State Representative Heath Clark called the current charter 'confusing' and called for changes.

Councilman Larry Curtis was among those calling for the changes to happen sooner rather than later.

"I think we should move forward and get it done. We've been talking about it for a long time."

Councilman Daron Lee agrees.

"We should move forward on a discussion before the end of this year so the state legislator may vote when they go into session," he said.

Councilman Tim Thomas said he would like to have some input before he leaves office.

"Even though I was not reelected, I've put a lot of time and study into these charters and what we should and shouldn't do," said Thomas.

Mayor Randy Toms said he is concerned at how quickly some think these changes can be decided.

"I think that for us to try to rush to a decision before the end of the year. I think that's counterproductive."

During the meeting, Councilman Keith Lauritsen called for a citizen group to give some input into the changes.

"There are a lot of decisions to be made. I would like to have some more citizen input. I would like to recommend a charter committee," he said.

As for Councilman Holmes, he doesn't want to just follow a plan that another city has. He said it has to be specific and work for Warner Robins.

"Don't bring me somebody else's stuff and except me to go along with it for the city of Warner Robins. We're gonna have to adapt to what is best for the city," he said.

Councilman Curtis said the first thing that needs to happen is to hire a city administrator.

The discussion over the charter ended with council members of the mayor agreeing to schedule time to talk further, with the possibility of inviting the public.

RELATED: Warner Robins Post 2 candidates prepare for runoff election

RELATED: 'Disorder and confusion:' Rep. Heath Clark says it's time for charter changes in Warner Robins

RELATED: UGA report highlights Warner Robins' muddled lines of authority

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