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Patrick to pitch unified government plan Tuesday night

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City council, fiscal court to weigh creating committee to study possible merger

By The Staff

The Lawrenceburg City Council and Anderson County Fiscal Court will meet Tuesday, Aug. 16 to hear a presentation on unified government.
The meeting, which is open to the public, is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the Anthony Stratton Building, located in the county park.
Attorney Walter Patrick, who has spearheaded the effort, will make the presentation on what is required to unify government, including the creation of a commission to study the issue.
Doing so will require the city council and fiscal court to approve the study, followed by the mayor and judge-executive appointing a commission of up to 40 people to carry it out.
The city council and fiscal court will meet in a combined regular session, giving each the opportunity to vote, if they choose.
The idea of unified government surfaced last year when Patrick invited several dozen people to a meeting at the American Legion. None of those invited held elected office at that time.
Patrick has held several meetings since during which he laid out the basics of unification, which is allowed under state statutes.
He said once a commission is created, it will have two years to make a recommendation to both elected bodies, including how a countywide elected body would operate.
If approved by the city council and fiscal court, the measure would eventually placed on a countywide ballot and voters would then determine if the change takes place.
If approved by voters, the city council and mayor’s position would be eliminated and replaced by an elected countywide council led by the judge-executive. It would also allow for a county manager, who would oversee day-to-day operations.
Paying for the study is statutorily done by the city council and fiscal court, although Patrick has said that he intends to raise private funds and seek grants to cover the costs, if possible.