Members of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame’s authority board received their first looks Tuesday at proposals from the five cities vying to become the new host for the museum.
Music hall of fame officials declined a Telegraph request for copies of the cities’ proposals, citing a three-day grace period to meet the open records request.
Last week, representatives from Macon, Athens, Dahlonega, Dunwoody and Woodstock turned in proposals to hall officials that outlined each of their bids for the hall.
Tuesday, authority board members were instructed by officials from the Georgia Department of Economic Development on the process they need to follow as they evaluate each city’s proposal.
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They were told to grade each city’s entire report using an established scale and judge the city’s overall bid on its own merits without comparing them to the other proposals.
Each bid will receive a score based upon a 100-point scale from each board member.
The authority board will have the right to contact representatives of each organization making a bid in order to ask further questions. The cities will not be allowed to request an audience of the board to further their cases, however.
The nine board members from around the state were also required Tuesday to sign forms that included confidentiality clauses.
Board member Karla Redding-Andrews became the board’s new chairwoman after the meeting, replacing James V. Gillis IV of Athens. Board member Kirby Godsey was selected as the new vice chairman, which means he’ll become chairman when Redding-Andrews’ term expires.
Redding-Andrews said that despite their connections to Macon -- she is the daughter of Macon soul legend Otis Redding, and Godsey is the chancellor of Mercer University -- the process will be fair to all the cities bidding.
“We’ll fight doubly hard to make sure it’s a fair process,” she said. “I’ll remain impartial even though in my heart, I want to keep the hall where it should be. ... We can be objective, because we have to go by the rules.”
The board will have a conference call Dec. 29 at 10 a.m. to determine if any additional interviews need to be conducted. If so, those would take place at a meeting scheduled for Jan. 3 at 11 a.m. at the music hall.
Redding-Andrews said she is hopeful the board will have a final decision about which city it will choose by Feb. 1.
Once the board makes its decision, it will then forward its recommendation to the governor, lieutenant governor, the speaker of the House, and the chairpersons of the House and Senate appropriations committees, officials said.
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.