Officials hope for solution on third day of mediation

LAWRENCEVILLE - City and county leaders will meet with a mediator for the third straight day, after failing to reach an agreement on a service delivery strategy.

The court-appointed mediation began Wednesday and mayors, commissioners, lawyers and staff met for another seven and a half hours Thursday behind closed doors.

The service delivery strategy, a state-mandated agreement on which government provides services such as police, expired at the end of February. Gwinnett County sued its 15 cities to begin mediation, which left the governments ineligible for state permits and grants until a judge reinstated them earlier this month.

"It's moved forward in a positive way," County Administrator Jock Connell said of Thursday's proceedings.

Both Connell and Suwanee Mayor Dave Williams said they hoped to reach an agreement by the end of today.

"There's a strong commitment on behalf of the cities to resolve this," Williams said, noting that 11 mayors and "several" council members attended the session Thursday.