City of Augusta's meeting with EMS provider Gold Cross doesn't go as planned
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WFXG) - City leaders were supposed to have their first contract negotiation meeting with EMS Provider Gold Cross on Friday. It ended up happening without Gold Cross present after the city determined the meeting had to be done in public.
Commissioner Ben Hasan tells FOX54 that decision came from the City Attorney's office based on the participants in the meeting.
“We were notified yesterday evening at about 6:10 that gold cross would not be attending the workshop,” Hasan says.
Commissioners say Gold Cross pulled from the meeting once they found out that it was open to the public, saying they do not negotiate contracts in public.
“It is really unprecedented to try and hold a contract negotiation in a public forum where there are many details, you know when you’re dealing with a private company that doesn’t need to be public,” says Commissioner Brandon Garrett.
Friday's snag comes as the city tries to move its partnership with Gold Cross from a memorandum of understanding to a contract. Something many on the Commission believes gives the city more accountability in ensuring Gold Cross is holding up its end of the deal.
Commissioner John Clarke says the two sides are going to continue to work together, despite Friday's confusion.
“Gold Cross is at the table, they never left the table. We’re at the table. The table moved a little bit, it’s not a major setback, we’re going forward,” Clarke says.
Since Gold Cross was not present at Friday's meeting no action, or negotiations could be made. Commissioners tell FOX54 that city staff will go to the negotiating table with Gold Cross in the coming days.
Once the two sides agree on a contract, its contents will be brought before the full Commission for approval. That could come in the next few weeks.
The city's current MOU with Gold Cross expires on Dec. 31, 2022.
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