Rep. Tom Dickson, R-Cohutta, said the bill should have its first reading and be assigned to a committee on Monday. The bill would allow the Dalton City Council and the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners to create a commission to study consolidation and, if commission members think the idea is viable, to propose a charter for voters to consider.
Commissioners and City Council members had requested in February that members of the local delegation introduce the commission bill. But earlier this month attorneys for the city and for the school systems raised questions about whether a merger of the city and county would force Dalton Public Schools and Whitfield County Schools to merge. Last week, attorneys with the General Assembly’s Legislative Counsel said a merger shouldn’t affect the school systems.
Dickson said a separate piece of legislation clarifying that Dalton Public Schools would remain independent should be introduced next week.