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Old 02-27-2012, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Macon, GA
541 posts, read 667,016 times
Reputation: 414

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Folks, we have a consolidation bill. The highlights:

9 member commission by districts
1 mayor
partisan elections
law enforcement head is an elected sherriff
50%+1 pass required county-wide
50%+1 pass required in current City of Macon limits
Call for a 5 % reduction in the budget each year from 2014-2017.
Vote will occur in July 2012 (same time as TSPLOST)

So far I like it other than the partisan election part. That stinks. One's stance on abortion, foreign affairs, gay marriage, immigration, state's rights, etc is irrelevant to city/county government.

Interesting choice to vote in July, it seems it would have had a better chance of passing in November. Primary elections are always kind of weird when it comes to turnout.

What are your thoughts on the bill?
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Metro Atlanta, GA
342 posts, read 399,095 times
Reputation: 208
As a Metro Atlanta resident with ties to the Middle GA area, I think that it's long overdue. There's too much duplication of services and government, considering that Macon - Bibb County only has about 170K residents total between them. Plus, I feel that consolidation will mean an election of better quality leadership. Consolidation will be a positive for Macon and Bibb County as it has been for Columbus - Muscogee County, Augusta - Richmond County, and Athens - Clarke County.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Macon, GA
541 posts, read 667,016 times
Reputation: 414
Quote:
Originally Posted by GRS86 View Post
As a Metro Atlanta resident with ties to the Middle GA area, I think that it's long overdue. There's too much duplication of services and government, considering that Macon - Bibb County only has about 170K residents total between them. Plus, I feel that consolidation will mean an election of better quality leadership. Consolidation will be a positive for Macon and Bibb County as it has been for Columbus - Muscogee County, Augusta - Richmond County, and Athens - Clarke County.
The biggest point I believe is the election of better quality leadership. Currently the city limits of Macon stand where they did in the 1960s so over the years the residents of the actual city limits have become poorer as many of the working residents have moved farther out. Now it is to the point where a majority of the residents in the city limits receive public/govt aid and quite frankly it is difficult to get quality leaders when the majority of the electorate doesn't have any real skin in the taxation game.

Getting the bill is one thing. Getting it passed countywide is another. Many in the unincorporated county don't want consolidation and there is a sect in the black community that fears the bill will reduce black power and influence in the democratic process since the current city is 70+% black and the new govt entity's residents will only be about 52% black. It should be an interesting few months as this is debated...
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Metro Atlanta, GA
342 posts, read 399,095 times
Reputation: 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by midgeorgiaman View Post
The biggest point I believe is the election of better quality leadership. Currently the city limits of Macon stand where they did in the 1960s so over the years the residents of the actual city limits have become poorer as many of the working residents have moved farther out. Now it is to the point where a majority of the residents in the city limits receive public/govt aid and quite frankly it is difficult to get quality leaders when the majority of the electorate doesn't have any real skin in the taxation game.

Getting the bill is one thing. Getting it passed countywide is another. Many in the unincorporated county don't want consolidation and there is a sect in the black community that fears the bill will reduce black power and influence in the democratic process since the current city is 70+% black and the new govt entity's residents will only be about 52% black. It should be an interesting few months as this is debated...
The quality of political leadership, as well as getting the school system straightened out are the two most important issues facing Macon at the present time. Macon already has the infrastructure, rail and highway network to be successful, it's just that Macon has grossly failed when it comes to electing visionary leadership in politics, as well as visionary leadership when it comes to the school system. You hit the nail on the head in that the population of Macon has become not only poorer, but also older. I see it in my own family where the younger generation have either moved to North Macon, or to the surrounding counties, while the older generation clings to their little oasis of retired professionals in NE Macon. There has definitely been a brain drain in the City of Macon.

Macon is definitely at a crossroads. Hopefully, consolidation will be the catalyst for Macon to get back on the right track. Otherwise, Macon could possibly be another East St. Louis, IL or Gary, IN within the next 30-40 years.
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:36 PM
 
877 posts, read 654,442 times
Reputation: 150
I think a lot of people in Augusta would tell you to think long and hard before going down this road.

It's still government... Augusta has been consolidated since the 90's and we're still finding out just this year about many of its details/duplication services/etc... Too many indians and not enough chiefs IMO... more gets said than done and what does get done is borderline, if not outright bribery in some cases. Commission meetings are a three-ring circus and an embarrassment to the city.
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Old 02-28-2012, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Macon, GA
541 posts, read 667,016 times
Reputation: 414
Quote:
Originally Posted by tckr83 View Post
I think a lot of people in Augusta would tell you to think long and hard before going down this road.

It's still government... Augusta has been consolidated since the 90's and we're still finding out just this year about many of its details/duplication services/etc... Too many indians and not enough chiefs IMO... more gets said than done and what does get done is borderline, if not outright bribery in some cases. Commission meetings are a three-ring circus and an embarrassment to the city.
You could say many of us are so excited because we are desparate. Our city council members should charge admission to their meetings as it often rivals an episode of Maury. I am under no illusion that consolidation is the utopia many make it out to be, but quite honestly I don't see how it can't at least help us not come within 500 votes or reelecting a mayor who would like to recreate Ghana in our town and actually steal the photos from City Hall at the end of his tenure!

Thanks for the head's up and I have no doubt that the transition will be a debacle. But did I mention that C Jack Ellis could never get elected countywide! That is enough for me right there.
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Old 02-28-2012, 04:50 PM
 
877 posts, read 654,442 times
Reputation: 150
I understand that... now you're just going to have under qualified commissioners, all of whom wouldn't get elected countywide...

They'll make decisions not on what is best for Macon, but for what is best for their district. In summation ---> gridlock. The mayor will be a figure head with no real power and essentially a waste of taxpayers money... along with his secretaries and other assistants.

It's a catch 22, but be careful what you ask for...
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Macon, GA
541 posts, read 667,016 times
Reputation: 414
Quote:
Originally Posted by tckr83 View Post
I understand that... now you're just going to have under qualified commissioners, all of whom wouldn't get elected countywide...

They'll make decisions not on what is best for Macon, but for what is best for their district. In summation ---> gridlock. The mayor will be a figure head with no real power and essentially a waste of taxpayers money... along with his secretaries and other assistants.

It's a catch 22, but be careful what you ask for...
True, but I can be hopeful. You are ruining the ignorant bliss i was enjoying!
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:23 PM
 
877 posts, read 654,442 times
Reputation: 150
It's not ignorant bliss... it's you, much like me, seeing what "could be", but never is because of a multitude of reasons that just shouldn't be. I understand your frustration, trust me...

Change happens whether we like it or not... hopefully your change will be better than the leadership (incompetent hacks) that Augusta chose through consolidation.

Sorry, wasn't trying to be the buzz kill! Proceed with your city-data.com consolidation party!
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:22 AM
 
33 posts, read 32,605 times
Reputation: 18
The majority of Macon has destroyed it. We need this to help fix Macon back up.
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