ATLANTA -- To prep for consolidation, Bibb Countys lawmakers will make a few legal changes this year to agencies that oversee economic development, tax assessments and more than 30 other functions.
Their legislation on any major overhauls, eliminations or combinations of boards or agencies wont be filed until next year.
To get through that its going to take more time than we have, said state Rep. Nikki Randall, D-Macon, who is senior member of Bibbs delegation in the state Legislature. Weve kind of decided as a delegation that thats our summer project.
This year, they are aiming for straightforward but critical changes, such as who names members of boards and authorities. Now, both the Macon mayor and Bibb County Commission chairman sit on some boards or make some appointments. But the consolidated Macon-Bibb County no longer will have those two offices. There will be a county mayor under consolidation.
Lawmakers have until the annual legislative session ends, probably in April, to amend references to offices that will no longer exist when the new government is seated next January.
The Macon-Bibb County Consolidation Transition Task Force has started making recommendations that are very detailed, such as clarifying the power of the Board of Assessors over the chief appraisers job.
Those are the kinds of questions Randall and her colleagues will have to weigh, then put into law. Some authorities may get smaller. Term lengths could change. They could make any adjustment the law allows.
Its possible to merge or eliminate boards, but thats something the delegation will consider in research and public consultation this summer, said state Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon.
There is no intent to merge or eliminate any boards or authorities now, Peake said.
Lawmakers also must consider the arcane set of laws that govern what legislators can do with boards and authorities.
For example, the count of people on some of the boards is frozen because they were created under an old legal vehicle called a local constitutional amendment, said state Sen. David Lucas, D-Macon.
Next year, boards and authorities may have to be formally dissolved and re-created if they need major overhauls.