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January 22, 2013

NARCOG to vote on compromise plan Wednesday

CULLMAN — Officials with the North-central Alabama Regional Council of Governments (NARCOG) are expected to vote on a compromise deal Wednesday in the hope of drawing Morgan County back to the organization.

Unlike now, the compromise would give Morgan County the majority vote in decision making circumstances with either six or five votes, followed by Cullman with four, and Lawrence with three or two. The proposal would also put the voting powers back similar to the way it was several years ago when population decided the number of votes each county is entitled to on the board. Currently, Cullman has the majority of votes due to having the most municipalities.

“The issue seems to be revolving around representation of NARCOG,” said Cullman County Commissioner Stanley Yarbrough, who also serves as the chairman of the NARCOG board. “Whether we have a 10-member board, or a 40-member board, NARCOG serves our seniors. If Morgan County wants the single majority vote, let’s figure out a way to resolve that.”

Dale Davis, of Lawrence County, isn’t in favor of what Morgan County is doing, saying, “I don’t feel comfortable with them shoving a proposal down our throat.” He feels it should be equal across the board for each county to have input.

“If a municipality pays dues in NARCOG, they should have some representation,” Davis said. “Why would you want to pay dues and not have some sort of say-so? I think we’ve just got to get together and see which is going to be best suited for all of us, and I think we can do that. Our seniors is who gets the most of this, though everyone gets something out of it because of what comes out of the Revolving Loan Fund, and other programs people don’t see coming out of NARCOG."

The governor has given NARCOG until the end of September to get something worked out. If nothing is settled, he would then intervene.

* Ashley Graves can be reached by phone at 734-2131, ext. 225, or by email at agraves@cullmantimes.com.

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