A long-discussed contract governing Macons liability for the Macon-Bibb County Workforce Investment Boards spending is expected to be up for final approval at the full City Council meeting Tuesday night.
It was placed on the council agenda at the Ordinances & Resolutions Committee meeting Monday night.
No one is particularly thrilled with this contract in general, Councilwoman Lauren Benedict said. But the agreement does give the city more protection and sets some rules for Workforce than exist now, in the absence of any contract, she said.
The intergovernmental agreement between the city, Bibb County and Workforce splits liability for any misspent Workforce funds between the city and county, according to Assistant City Attorney Stuart Morelli. Right now, as the federally designated fiscal agent for Workforces $1.3 million in annual funding, the city would bear all such liability. No misspending has been alleged, but council members have worried for months about the possibility.
The agreement would require Workforce to buy enough insurance to reimburse the city for any financial mismanagement, Morelli said. Workforce has been in the process of disassociating itself from the city as much as possible, becoming an independent nonprofit agency.
The Macon Water Authority will manage contracts and construction on $7 million in stormwater improvement projects, under an agreement also placed Monday for final approval Tuesday.
The water authority proposes to charge only its actual cost, a fraction of what a private management firm would likely seek. The agreement was proposed in August but tabled, and won committee endorsement after addition of language guaranteeing the encouragement of bids from minority-owned firms.
Council President James Timley and Councilman Henry Gibson are asking the administration to find enough money to equip city police officers with Tasers.
In mid-January council members expressed surprise that all first-responding officers didnt already have Tasers. Police officials said only the 17 members of the SWAT team had them. Council members said a Taser might have prevented the Dec. 21 death of Sammie Junebug Davis Jr., shot three times in the chest by Officer Clayton Sutton. That shooting is still under investigation, and has drawn public protests.
Gibson said the resolution seeks Tasers for officers of sergeants rank and below, who are likely to respond to service calls. The measure is expected to be referred to the Appropriations Committee for discussion.
A resolution from Councilman Ed DeFore asking Bibb officials to put the Filmore Thomas Recreation Area and new recreation centers in Lizella and south Bibb County at the top of the priority list for funding and construction should also head to Appropriations. The proposal drew angry comment from several council members Monday, who said the county should fund and begin work before city and county governments merge at the start of 2014. Benedict, Timley and Councilman Henry Ficklin voted against placing the resolution, with Ficklin arguing that those projects -- though needed -- shouldnt come ahead of repairs to existing recreation centers.
All of that work was promised in the special purpose local option sales tax voters approved in November 2011.
Councilman Tom Ellingtons request for the task force working on consolidation to recommend legislation to keep all city employees under existing pension plans drew a rehash of arguments and suspicions about the consolidation process.
City and county employees already vested in existing plans are already protected by state law against changes. But its been uncertain whether employees with less than five years service with the city would be able to stay in the current plans or would be transferred to a new-employees pension system that the consolidated government would set up.
Ellingtons resolution, headed for the Employee Development & Compensation Committee if the full council approves, would seek assurance that all current employees could keep the plan under which they were hired.
To contact writer Jim Gaines call 744-4489.