A judge says Macon and Bibb County residents will have a chance to object to plans to launch the new Macon-Bibb County government sooner than the law contemplates.
Superior Court Judge Edgar W. Ennis Jr. has scheduled a hearing for 9:30 a.m. Dec. 6 in the Bibb County Courthouse to review Robert Reicherts request to allow the new government to be sworn in and meet Dec. 31.
Reichert, the current Macon mayor and mayor-elect of Macon-Bibb County, said a judges order is necessary to get ordinances, administrators and other necessities of government started before the government actually launches Jan. 1.
The legislation establishing the new government says the commissioners should be sworn in about two weeks later than that. Reichert contends that the delay would lead to the absurd result of having a political subdivision of the state exist without a governing authority to control it.
In a ruling calling for the hearing, Ennis called for Macon and Bibb County governments to make any arguments against Reicherts request at the Dec. 6 hearing. It also ordered Reichert to publish a legal notice inviting residents to attend the hearing to make their support or opposition known.
Fervent opposition is unlikely. Bibb County Commission Chairman Sam Hart has endorsed the plan, and Reicherts petition to the court includes an affidavit from state Rep. Nikki Randall, chairwoman of the Bibb County legislative delegation, which said the date discrepancy is just an error.
Reichert filed the case as a resident, the current Macon mayor and the Macon-Bibb County mayor-elect. He is represented by Jeffery O. Monroe, an attorney who serves on the task force working to consolidate the two governments.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.