A new seal and motto were recommended for the Macon-Bibb County consolidated government Wednesday by the task force working on the merger.
The task forces communications team, in conjunction with the Macon Arts Alliance, held a design contest open to the public for an image to represent Macon-Bibbs government, which takes over Jan. 1. Nick Kouloungis, director of technology services for the Middle Georgia Regional Commission, said more than 20 entries came in. A review committee narrowed those to three, and the full task force voted to choose a winner Wednesday.
The winning version came from local designer Mark Strozier, Kouloungis said, though the task force does want to rearrange a couple of elements of Stroziers proposal.
The basic design is a blue ring that says Macon-Bibb County, with the city, county and new governments dates of incorporation. Inside it are four panels representing various local features. The task force asked to replace one of those with an alternative design element by Strozier, so the final version will show a Greek capital; an electric guitar body, a schematic landscape of the Ocmulgee River, Interstates 16 and 75, with airplane contrails overhead; and the Ocmulgee earth lodge. At the bottom is the Latin motto Pariter protinus, meaning forward together.
Strozier will receive a $250 prize from the arts alliance.
Bibb County Commissioner Lonzy Edwards asked whether winning the contest meant a final choice of a seal for the new government.
City Public Affairs Director Chris Floore, on the task forces communication team, said the task force was declaring the contest winner, but the final decision on whether to accept the new seal -- like many other choices -- will be in the hands of the Macon-Bibb mayor and commissioners when they take office.
Also Wednesday, the task force recommended several chapters of ordinances for the new government, assembled by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government from existing city and county ordinances with some slight changes.
Among these, one previous point of contention was settled: how to pay for new street lights, a difference representative of several variations in city and county policies.
Two options were presented: having separate policies for urbanized and rural areas, with all taxpayers sharing the cost within the city itself while adjoining property owners would bear the cost of new lights in rural areas; or establishing a uniform policy countywide, with lighting standards being equalized within two years.
The Laws Committee kind of weighed these options, said Jeffery Monroe, the committee chairman. But committee members couldnt agree, so they sent both ideas to the full task force.
Mayor Robert Reichert, mayor-elect of the new government, said keeping differing policies for differing areas would give the government more flexibility to work through changes gradually. The first option was the chosen recommendation, with the dissent of task force member Pearlie Toliver.