Macon-Bibb County Economic Development Commission Vice President Pat Topping presented the City Council this week with an Olympic torch from the recent Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada.
The torch was manufactured for the Olympics by Bombardier Aerospace, the Canadian company that employs 100 Middle Georgians at the Macon Downtown Airport. It was given to local community leaders as a token of appreciation.
The torch, which will be shared jointly between the city and the county, provided a few moments of levity for the council.
Instead of simply handing the torch over to a colleague, Councilman Erick Erickson pretended to run with it in slow motion a la “Chariots of Fire” when he was ready to pass it along. Councilman Larry Schlesinger wryly asked how to turn it on, and Councilman Virgil Watkins made the room generally uneasy as he toyed with it.
Councilman Mike Cranford caused the biggest laugh.
After Topping suggested the city display the torch in the front of City Hall, Cranford asked Topping if he knew where the county was thinking about putting the torch. Topping replied he did not.
“Oh, well, we can tell the county where to stick it,” Cranford joked of the somewhat contentious debate between the city and the county about negotiating a new service delivery strategy and the county’s decision to move forward alone with a July vote for a new sales tax vote.
Once the raucous laughter died down, Cranford feigned sheepishness and said, “What? I was just talking about the courthouse” as a location.
Carl Spackler for City Council?
As City Council’s Community Resources and Development Committee discussed awarding the city’s pool contract this week, council members noted that they’d received an “anonymous letter” in their mailboxes detailing potential problems with using any company except for AP Pools, the local provider that has handled the contract for the past six years.
Even after the owner of AP Pools, Alex Pietrzak, admitted that he put the letter in the office mailboxes, council members continued to refer to the “anonymous letter.” Some members referred to issues in the note as if they were indisputable truth, and the rest of the members poked fun at them for that.
Councilman Erick Erickson, who has been absent recently because of his work for CNN, joked that he received an anonymous note in his mailbox that informed him about an object that “looks like a Snickers bar” floating in the pool at Freedom Park, and it was going to cost $100,000 to remove it.,
His point was that just because an unsigned letter says something is fact doesn’t mean the council has to treat it as fact. But Councilman Larry Schlesinger was thinking about something else at the moment.
“In (the movie) ‘Caddyshack,’ it’s a Baby Ruth,” Schlesinger noted about Erickson’s allusion to the 1980 cult classic. The film features a scene with Bill Murray’s character, groundskeeper Carl Spackler, who dons a hazardous waste suit to fish out a candy bar that’d been dropped into a pool accidentally and mistaken for, well, something else.
While the council didn’t vote to hire a company to run the city’s pools, there are no reports of anything floating in the water, either.
So, we’ve got that going for us.
A celebratory cake prepared for a reception hosted by U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., for Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox was marred by an unfortunate misspelling of his last name. Isakson’s press secretary, Sheridan Watson, said the senators held the reception during the Braves’ April road trip to Washington, D.C., after honoring Cox in the Congressional Record for his long tenure and outstanding accomplishments.
Watson said when staffers realized the mistake, they immediately began cutting the cake and serving it to attendees so the mistake wouldn’t be widely detected. The group that handles catering functions for the Senate, Restaurant Associates, has issued a formal apology to Cox, Watson said, because the off-site bakery they used took the order over the phone “and that’s where the mix-up was.”
This is Cox’s last year as the skipper of the Braves.
Carter’s experience includes solid waste management committee leader
In a story last week, The Telegraph described the political experience of former Monticello Mayor Susan Holmes, a Republican, and Democrat David Gault, a Jones County commissioner, who are both running for the state House District 125 race.
But we didn’t have details to print on the political experience of Mary Alice Carter of Mansfield, a Republican also seeking the post, so we couldn’t include them in the story.
Carter has since built a Web page listing experience as the secretary of the Jasper County Republican Party. But she was also leader of the county’s solid waste management committee.
Bibb County Commissioner Joe Allen recently asked about the county’s proposed massage parlor ordinance. While County Attorney Virgil Adams described how Macon was handling a similar ordinance, Chief Administrative Officer Steve Layson reached out to Allen. Reached out, that is, and gave him an impromptu neck rub.
No code officers or business licensing officials were called.
The subject came up later when Commissioner Lonzy Edwards, a minister, was talking about tax collection with Tax Commissioner Tommy Tedders. Edwards said he looks through the Bible for references to tax collections. Tedders said only a few of those biblical-times businesses are still around.
“If you could collect taxes on that (other) profession ...” Edwards started.
“If I could just pin them down,” Tedders replied. “The city’s trying to do that now, aren’t they?”
Tedders snuck in another zinger later. Allen and other commissioners asked Tedders to come into their meeting on short notice to address complaints about interest charged on overdue county tax bills that Allen said had been paid on time. Turns out Allen’s wife paid the tax bill a couple months late.
“She wears the pants in my house,” Allen said.
Tedders said people with questions should call his office. Allen rejoined, “If it can happen to me, it can happen to anybody.”
Telegraph staff writers Mike Stucka and Chris Horne compiled this report.