City of Canton, Other Cherokee Cities Propose Public Framework for Service Delivery Negotiations
Mayor Bill Grant and the members of the Canton City Council unanimously adopted a resolution this month requesting a public process for negotiating Service Delivery with Cherokee County. The same resolution was also adopted by Holly Springs, Mountain Park, and Woodstock City Councils. Waleska will hear the resolution next month.
“The citizens and businesses of our community expect their elected officials to work together to assure services that they pay for are provided in an efficient manner and that there is not unnecessary duplication of efforts between the cities and the county,” stated Canton Mayor Bill Grant. “We are currently listed by the State of Georgia as not meeting Qualified Local Government Status, which can prevent assistance and funding from state agencies. Our residents pay state taxes and deserve to be eligible for those services.”
The Service Delivery Resolution adopted by Canton, Holly Springs, Mountain Park, and Woodstock calls for the appointment of two elected members of each City Council as well as two Post Commissioners for Cherokee County to act as conferees to negotiate Service Delivery in a good faith effort and to do so publicly. The Resolution calls for three public meetings between all parties to discuss what are considered to be outstanding issues in the provision and funding of services. The meetings are proposed to occur on Wednesday, February 26 at 6 p.m. at Canton City Hall to discuss Parks and Recreation; Wednesday, March 25 at 6 p.m. at Woodstock’s Chambers at City Center to discuss Roads and Stormwater; and the final meeting at a Cherokee County Facility (to be named by March 1) on Wednesday, April 22 at 6 p.m. to discuss Sources of Funds, Uses of Funds and Special Tax Districts. If Cherokee County’s Board of Commissioners agree to the process, meetings and dates, these would be advertised by the hosting local government and would be public meetings under Georgia’s Open Meetings Act.
The City of Canton appointed Councilor JoEllen Wilson of Ward 1 and Councilor Nick Estes of Ward 3 as conferees on behalf of its citizens. The City of Holly Springs appointed Councilmen Kyle Whitaker and Michael Zenchuck. The City of Mountain Park appointed Mayor Jim Still, Jr., and Councilman Mark Murphy. The City of Woodstock appointed Councilmen Colin Ake and Warren Johnson.
Service Delivery is a required strategy that must be adopted by counties in Georgia as well as municipalities within those counties outlining all local government services, the locations of those services, which local government provides the services and how it is funded. Service Delivery Strategies are required every 10 years. Cherokee County’s most recent Service Delivery Strategy was due October 31, 2018. The cities of Canton, Holly Springs, Mountain Park, Waleska and Woodstock jointly approved and submitted to Cherokee County copies of forms (Form 2’s) outlining all 68 local government services provided in Cherokee County on October 30, 2019 in hopes to move the process along.
“The leaders of Canton, Holly Springs, Mountain Park, and Woodstock are confident that a public negotiation process where concerns and opportunities for efficiencies and tax equities are discussed in an open and transparent manner will result in a timely negotiation that benefits the residents and businesses in our cities,” added Mr. Grant.
The cities are awaiting response from the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners to the Resolutions.
Press inquiries to City of Canton
Billy Peppers, City Manager