Committees working on merging Macon and Bibb County governments didnt make many decisions Wednesday, but they plowed through page after page of legal minutia and promised to dig through more before follow-up meetings next week.
The Human Resources Committee of the consolidation task force looked over a proposed organizational chart and employee policy manual for the new government, which will take over Jan. 1. Meanwhile, the Laws Committee talked taxes, business licenses and streets in reviewing a unified version of existing city and county ordinances.
Reconciled ordinances and employee policies, as vetted by the task force, are expected to be adopted as a package as one of the new governments first acts.
The draft organizational chart calls for one county manager and two assistant county managers, with one assistant overseeing functions such as finance and human resources, and the other overseeing infrastructure departments such as engineering, vehicles and streets.
The Human Resources Committee discussed some minor changes to the proposal, such as grouping 911 service with the Emergency Management Agency and Macon-Bibb County Fire Department under a director of Emergency Services, said Laura Mathis, deputy director of the Middle Georgia Regional Commission. But final decisions and any questions about the 226-page policy manual will wait until a special committee meeting Monday.
Likewise, after two and a half hours of going over detailed ordinances, the Laws Committee agreed to leave final decisions until Oct. 9, when members will have had time to read them more thoroughly.
Former Macon City Attorney Pope Langstaff, recruited to help reconcile any discrepancies between existing city and county ordinances, suggested that the task forces recommendation include any laws the existing governments pass by Oct. 15, when the runoff election for Macon-Bibb offices will be held. New laws passed after that should be sent to the new government as an appendix, to be considered but not necessarily adopted automatically, he said. The committee agreed.
The county tax structure is broader than the citys, Langstaff said, so his combined version is based on Bibbs. But he included one city feature, allowing the mayor to revoke a tax delinquents licenses or permits issued by the local government.
It just gives the consolidated government a little leverage, Langstaff said.
Conversely, the citys regulations of various activities are more extensive than the countys, so he followed most of the Macon code for that. But Langstaff said he left out or raised questions about some regulations which are outdated and might should be considered for omission.
To contact writer Jim Gaines, call 744-4489.