The thought of consolidation has been mostly out of sight and mind since the measure finally passed muster last July, however, there are a number of people involved in making sure, as much as possible, that the transition to the new governmental structure occurs smoothly. The two administrations, Bibb County and the city of Macon, have been doing their part on the financial side of the ledger.
Last month, the city received a very favorable audit report from Mauldin & Jenkins the auditing firm. Outside of a few reporting errors, the firm gave the city an unqualified opinion (thats good) on the state of the citys finances. Wednesday, the same firm, reported out the results of the county audit and the results were good, as expected. The county has received 27 consecutive awards for its financial reports from the Government Finance Officers Association. Finance Director Debra Martin has been a good steward of the countys financial picture following in the footsteps cast by former Finance Director Bill Vaughn.
What does all of this have to do with consolidation? A bunch. The new government will take over in January 2014. How well it handles finances will be a large part of the initial test to determine whether the effort is working or not. And with both governments having a clean audit going in makes the process of blending financial responsibilities down the road that much easier.
We should add that the two governments cant sit on their hands for the next 11 months. There is still business to be done and from all indications, neither Mayor Robert Reichert or Bibb Chairman Sam Hart plan to let grass grow under their feet while waiting for consolidation to appear.