New Bibb County Commissioner Gary Bechtel, a longtime member of the Bibb County school board, noted Wednesday that the county commissioners work well together because its a smaller group.
During the past couple of years, Bechtel often found himself in the minority when it came to some of the policies proposed by Superintendent Romain Dallemand. Bechtel usually voted with fellow board members Lynn Farmer and Susan Sipe, while the other five members of the board of education -- Tom Hudson, Ella Carter, Wanda West, Susan Middleton and Tommy Barnes -- voted often enough in support of Dallemand that critics dubbed them the BOE 5.
As Commissioner Joe Allen told Bechtel at the start of his first meeting, Here, you only need three votes to get something passed.
We always had three votes! Bechtel exclaimed.
With some restructuring of the command staff at the Bibb County Sheriffs Office, Commissioner Lonzy Edwards wanted to be assured that Chief Deputy Russell Nelson would still be in charge of the jail.
Sheriff David Davis assured him that Nelson would be. Edwards then wanted to know if there was still spaced reserved for Commissioner Joe Allen at the jail.
I have space for all the commissioners, Davis replied.
Chairman Sam Hart, who is elected to a countywide seat, wanted to make sure Davis knew that the cells should only cover Districts 1-4.
Said Davis, The chairman gets his own suite.
It was worth a try
The National Republican Congressional Committee spent $1.7 million fighting Democrat John Barrow in a district heavily favored toward Republicans -- and Barrow won with 53.7 percent of the vote just two months ago.
In an unusual twist, the National Republican Congressional Committee decided to ask Barrow to reconsider his victory in the 12th Congressional District, which includes Laurens County.
With voters poised to boot Barrow out of office in the next election, why not just bow out now? the organization wrote in an e-mail. There was no obvious response from Barrow -- including a lack of a resignation letter. In all, 259,121 voters thought the election was worth participating in, and a prompt retirement would throw away their efforts.
Getting ready for Atlanta
If youve got a question or concern about the upcoming legislative session, a session next week can help you get some answers.
State Sen. Cecil Staton, R-Macon, is holding a town hall meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Bolingbroke Fire Station, 8033 Rivoli Road. He will discuss proposals for the upcoming legislative session and provide a budget overview for fiscal year 2013-2014.
Scheduled to join Staton are state Reps. Allen Peake and Robert Dickey.
Staton serves as Senate majority whip. He represents the 18th Senate District, which includes portions of Bibb, Crawford, Houston, Monroe, Peach, and Upson counties.
The task force thats working to consolidate Macon and Bibb County governments has no meetings scheduled for next week, after a tentative Finance Committee was canceled.
The full task force is slated to meet Jan. 16 at 3:30 p.m.
All meetings are held in the offices of the Middle Georgia Regional Commission, 175 Emery Highway, Macon.
Writers Phillip Ramati, Mike Stucka and Oby Brown contributed to this report.