What progress has been made since the hiring of the Consulting firm?
As mentioned above, after hiring SDS Consultants, multiple meetings have taken place with the intent of attempting to reach an agreement.
If the outstanding issues are resolved, will the County share in the expense of the Consulting firm?
SDS Consultants was retained by Clayton to represent its interests, but if a resolution is reached and the County would like to pay a portion of those expenses that proposition can certainly be explored.
Prior to hiring consultants, did you seek assistance in resolving your differences from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs?
Clayton and the County did use a representative from the Georgia Mountain Regional Commission acting in conjunction with the DCA when attempting to reach an agreement in 2015. Since that time, Clayton did not seek any further assistance and is not aware of any further assistance that could have been provided.
If so, have you used the Intergovernmental Coordination service, which includes sections on “Arbitration of Annexation” and “Disputes and Alternative Dispute Resolution”?
These services were not utilized but would perhaps be similar to the mandatory mediation that must occur if current negotiations are not fruitful.
Can the citizens help?
Yes, it is important that citizens remain interested and attentive to what is going on as losing Qualified Status and the contents of a Service Delivery Agreement affect us all.