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Commission, PCI meeting ‘pleasant’

A better line of communication is what Poarch Creek and Escambia County officials said came out of the long awaited meeting between the two governing bodies Tuesday night at Wind Creek Casino and Hotel in Atmore.

Following the months-long legal and verbal battle between the two over the issue of taxation of current PCI trust lands, Commissioners Brandon Smith and David Quarker, who represent the western portion of the county, and Creek tribal council members sat down to discuss possible solutions to the ongoing dispute.

Tribal Councilman Robert McGhee said he was satisfied with the progress made during what he feels was the first of several meetings.

“The meeting went great,” McGhee said. “We were glad to have the opportunity to sit down with Commissioners Quarker and Smith and it looks like this is the beginning of getting things back on track.”

Smith and Quarker each agreed the meeting opened a much-needed window of communication they hope will be sustained.

“I had a good feeling about it,” Smith said. “We’ve got a long way to go as far as repairing the relationship, but Poarch told us how they felt about some things and they were able to answer a lot of questions for us, and we answered questions for them.”

“It was a very pleasant meeting,” Quarker said. “As far as the details, I can’t get into any until we sit down with the rest of the commission. But we both agreed we needed more communication and respect between the two governments.”

For the complete story on Tuesday’s meeting see the Saturday, July 28 edition of The Atmore Advance.