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Legislators won't back Reichert on annexation

If Macon Mayor Robert Reichert continues with his plan to annex some unincorporated parts of Bibb and Jones counties, he won't be getting support from the local delegation to the General Assembly.

Members of the local delegation — comprised of state senators and representatives from the two counties — met this morning, formally deciding not to take a vote that could have helped push Reichert's annexation forward. State Sen. Cecil Staton, R-Macon, leader of the delegation, issued a statement today that said Reichert and City Council would have to move forward with the plan with a referendum.

“As a result of a meeting between the Bibb County Delegation and some members of the Jones County Delegation, there were no motions made and not enough votes to pass anything regarding annexation," Staton's statement read.

"The Mayor of Macon and the City Council still have their legal rights to move forward with this if they wish to call a referendum. Only those affected by the Mayor’s plan would be allowed to vote in that case. Again, there were not enough votes in the delegation to pass any recommendation regarding legislative action.”

Staton said nearly all of the delegation attended the meeting with the exceptions of Rep. Jim Cole, R-Forsyth, and Rep. Tony Sellier, R-Fort Valley, who was ill. Staton said Sellier sent a letter to the delegation indicating he would vote against annexation.

Reichert described himself this afternoon as "non-plussed" with the results of the meeting.

"I don't understand why (the delegation) is not taking it up," Reichert said. "They've decided not to decide, I guess, which may be a decision in and on itself. Maybe they want to be vague. I certainly accept their decision, (but) I'm not happy with it."

Staton said there was no consensus to vote on annexation, nor did any of the representatives present make a motion to vote.

"Clearly, there weren't any votes to take any action," Staton said. "The general view was that the Mayor and the City Council have the authority to call for a referendum. There's really no need for us to be involved."

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