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Midway council aims to hire officers, update utilities ordinance

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POSTED: May 20, 2011 9:43 a.m.

Midway City Council will meet today with the hopes of hiring two police officers. The city has funded an additional officer for the current budget year and now also seeks a replacement for Officer Jeanette Griffin, who resigned earlier this month.

At the regular council session May 9, officials began the process of updating the utilities ordinance. One of their goals is to address a problem cited by Mayor Dr. Clemontine Washington: “Many of our water customers are not paying their bills in a timely manner.”

The mayor said the present system in which customers have 20 days from the billing date to pay for their water leads to delays, lost revenue and an increased workload for city employees. Washington presented a possible model bill, which tells customers that it is the only statement they will receive. In the model she offered for discussion, no late notices or cutoff warnings would be sent.

The council only is in the preliminary stage of revising the ordinance and will discuss changes and consider drafts before enacting a new ordinance. One idea suggested at the council session was to reduce the 20-day payment period to 10 or 15 days.

Councilman Terry Doyle said he thought a subcommittee would be formed to go over proposed utility changes “with a fine-tooth comb” and streamline the process.

The Midway council gave its support to the Coastal Georgia Greenway project, a 155-mile corridor of trails for walking, biking and other uses. It runs alongside U.S. Highway 17 in Midway. The greenway will link Savannah and Richmond Hill to the north and Riceboro, Darien, Brunswick, Woodbine, Kingsland and St. Marys to the south.

The council approved a resolution presented by city attorney Richard Braun to update Midway’s status as a Georgia Municipal Association city of ethics. Midway has been a certified city of ethics for several years.

The GMA explained that certification is not an approval of past or present conduct by the city or any city official. Instead, it is an attempt to raise awareness about ethics issues at the local level and provide a local forum for the airing and resolution of legitimate concerns.

The use of a local ethics ordinance allows citizens to raise their concerns and participate in the ethics investigation process at the local level, where the voice and influence of the individual citizen is strongest, according to GMA.

Of Liberty County’s seven municipalities, four are listed as cities of ethics: Riceboro, Flemington, Hinesville and Midway.

The next regular Midway council meeting is set for 6 p.m. June 13.

 

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