Reichert says he is encouraged by the election of a new county commission chairman, Sam Hart. The commission under incumbent chairman Charlie Bishop has not been willing to have consolidation talks.
An August survey of 400 city residents and 200 unincorporated county residents conducted by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government showed 49 percent favor consolidation. The idea was more popular with city residents than with county residents. Nearly a quarter of those polled did not have an opinion.
There are several other merged city-county governments in Georgia, including Augusta-Richmond and Columbus-Muscogee.