Fiscal court wants 27 on merger panel

By CHARLES PEARL State Journal Staff Writer Published:

Franklin Fiscal Court wants 27 people on a commission that will have until August 2004 to develop a charter detailing a merger plan for city and county governments.

Judge-Executive Teresa Barton, who by state statute will preside as chairwoman of the merger commission and be a voting member, recommended 26 others serve on the commission at Friday's regular Fiscal Court meeting.

Fiscal Court approved Barton's recommendation, although Magistrates Ira Fannin and Lambert Moore voted no.

Merger opponent Fannin said there's an easier route to take than the merger commission process.

"The city could drop its charter and go back to being a part of county government," Fannin said. "I have trouble understanding why we have to go through this complicated process if there's this big support for merger. I haven't heard anybody in the city saying they would like to drop their charter."

Fannin said there's no exit from merger when the merger commission route is taken.

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