Political Notebook

Macon-Bibb officials push to restrict renaming Ed DeFore sports venue

Empty Ed Defore Sports Complex after Central/Baldwin game in 2011.
Empty Ed Defore Sports Complex after Central/Baldwin game in 2011. jvorhees@macon.com

Could a clause about the name of a Macon sports venue throw a wrench into negotiations between the county and school district?

The issue arose after an amendment was added by the County Commission to a memorandum of understanding between the two bodies. The request was that the Bibb school board would not change the name of the Ed DeFore Sports Complex after it purchased it from the county.

The school district’s attorney said the current school board had no intention of renaming the facility, but was reluctant to saddling future boards with the restriction, County Attorney Judd Drake informed Macon-Bibb officials this week.

Bibb school Superintendent Curtis Jones said Thursday they hope to resolve the issue in the next few days. He doesn't think the name clause will be a problem, but he wants to make sure he fully understands what he would be committing Board of Education members to in the future.

The sports complex is named after the political veteran who at one point served on both the Macon City Council and Board of Education at the same time.

DeFore was a staunch supporter of youth sports during his 40-plus years in local government. And his popularity in the community would cause some major pushback if a school board attempted to remove his name from the site, several commissioners espoused this week.

The memorandum also states that the county will provide $750,000 for a new west Macon sports complex with the remaining funds coming from the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation.

Stanley Dunlap: 478-744-4623, @stan_telegraph

Telegraph reporter Andrea Honaker contributed to this report.