Political Notebook: You really like me!

December 20, 2013 

Macon-Bibb County will become the fourth-largest city in Georgia when consolidation kicks in, covering about 156,000 people, and that higher profile has piqued the interest of at least two organizations.

The Georgia Municipal Association wants the new commission to come to dinner and hear a presentation on what GMA membership can offer, Macon-Bibb County Mayor-elect Robert Reichert told commissioners-elect earlier this month. And they’ll soon hear from the Association County Commissioners of Georgia as well, he said.

“Both of them want to court us, because we are both a city and a county,” Reichert said.

GMA wanted to host a gathering this month, but commissioners want to schedule it in January. Reichert said he wouldn’t mind joining both groups, but the new government doesn’t absolutely have to join either one.

Proof is in the paying

One of the first big tests for the new Macon-Bibb government’s Finance and Human Resources departments -- and especially for the public administration software bought from New World Systems -- will be issuing the first paychecks to nearly 2,000 city-county employees.

That first payroll is due to go out Jan. 10, according to Ben Hubbard, the city’s Human Resources director.

Facing the fallout

In one of his last acts as a Macon city councilman, Tom Ellington successfully pushed to have fallout shelter requirements for government buildings stricken from the new Macon-Bibb County government’s codes.

So, if years from now you notice a small difference in your tax bill, you can certainly thank Ellington if you see him. If, on the other hand, your skin is sloughing off and your nose won’t stop bleeding -- but you have no safe haven to turn to, you can also remember Ellington.

Third time’s the charm

In case you missed it, there’s to be a new runoff election Jan. 14 between Larry Schlesinger and Henry Ficklin for the Macon-Bibb County District 2 commission post. Register to vote by Monday. Absentee ballots are available now through Jan. 10. If you have questions, call the Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections at 621-6622.

Coming together

The Macon-Bibb County Commission will meet in the commission chambers of City Hall at 11 a.m. Dec. 31 for a swearing-in ceremony and a slate of important business.

No more meetings of the transition task force are scheduled. The task force itself is to be dissolved by the will of the new Macon-Bibb County Commission. But if commissioners want another meeting, they may run into trouble: Much of the prescribed membership involves specific positions from old governments that cease to exist Dec. 31, such as Macon’s police chief, the Finance Committee chairman for the Bibb County Board of Commissioners, and the Macon City Council president. That may be a bit moot, however. It’s a good bet that almost anyone who’d served in such roles for the task force would be willing to offer advice if asked.

Massive misdirection

The Georgia Republican Party sent out a news release warning of attacks on Gov. Nathan Deal from liberal attackers over a lawsuit brought by disgruntled former employees of the state’s ethics board, known as the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.

The release itself is less than transparent, though. It’s a statement written by Republican National Committee member Randy Evans, who never actually identifies himself as Deal’s attorney. And the statement talks only about the lawsuit, even though it comes in the same week as news of federal subpoenas over records involving ethics complaints against Deal. Those federal subpoenas are not mentioned by Evans, who lauds Deal’s transparency without offering much of his own.

The letter also came through an official Georgia Republican channel to support Deal, who is facing at least two Republican challengers.

Naming the new fire station

The Bibb County Board of Commissioners is having a “naming ceremony” for Fire Station No. 109 Monday. The station, located at 5462 New Forsyth Road, is being named for former Bibb County Commissioner Elmo A. Richardson Jr.

The ceremony will be held at the station, located just south of Bass Road, at 10 a.m. Monday.

Writers Jim Gaines, Phillip Ramati, Mike Stucka and Oby Brown contributed to this report.

The Telegraph is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service