EDITORIAL: We need more legislators with Groover’s eagle eye

November 23, 2013 

This last election season in Bibb County is one for the record books and it’s not over yet. Not only did the date of the election shift several times, the new software from the state and its implementation by the Bibb Board of Elections has been a disaster.

While we don’t know what the hearing will produce in the issue between voters from District 2 getting District 3 ballots and vice versa, it’s pretty apparent that mistakes were made and a special election may have to be held to right the wrong. Can that election be held before the new year? The simple answer is no.

There are more oversight woes that should draw a bead for our ire. Mayor Robert Reichert has to put on his former legislator hat to correct a timing problem in the consolidation legislation. While the bill creates the new consolidated government on Jan. 1, the legislation mandates Jan. 14 for the swearing in of the new mayor and commission. Oops.

Now Reichert has to go to court to get a consent order so the new government’s elected leaders can take their oaths of office on Dec. 31. We hope they didn’t have plans for New Year’s Eve.

While none of the parties -- the city, county or local delegation -- objects to the consent order, the issue the judge may have to consider is the legislation itself. It specifies that the only way to change the legislation is through the General Assembly or by the new government under “home rule” powers in the Georgia Constitution. However, since there won’t be a new government, as it stands now, until Jan. 14, the home rule option is out. And the General Assembly doesn’t convene until Jan. 13, so it can’t go back and fix the error.

Such a mess.

Where is the next Rep. Denmark Groover when we need him? This sort of thing would have attracted his eagle eye and he would have Grooverized it into compliance to make the legislation make sense.

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