An Idea at the Right Time

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The City of Macon and the county it is in, Bibb, have long toyed with the notion of merger. The idea rarely gets anywhere because all the parties involved cannot agree on leadership and the county residents who live outside the city are not sure they want to take on the city and its debt and poor management decisions.

The city and county have, however, merged many departments. Stebin Horne, a city councilman and, no doubt, future candidate for higher office, has come up with a great idea.

As Macon Mayor Jack Ellis begins his search for a new police chief, one city councilman says the time is right to turn the police department over to the county.

Councilman Stebin Horne said he will provide the City Council with a resolution asking that the police department be turned over to the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office. The resolution is being drafted by the city’s attorney.

Horne said the move would eliminate double taxation for residents and provide officers with a pay scale – something the sheriff’s department has.

“This would be an opportune time to do this because with the resignation of the chief there would be no issue about who would control the department,” Horne said. “It would be (Sheriff) Jerry Modena, and he was elected by the whole county.”

Modena said he would be happy to take over law enforcement in the city if that is decided.

Sadly, the idea will probably never get off the ground. The mayor and certain members of City Council will most likely not want to give up tangible benefits of power that come with presiding over the city police department. Nonetheless, the idea would benefit the Macon Police Department and save money in the long run (if done right). This idea’s time has come.

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Erick Erickson

1 comment

  • While consolidation of services has some merit. It would see to me that if any of these consolidation proponents were serious about getting their financial house in order they would take care of what they have the ability to influence first.

    The city is not on the edge of bankrupcy. They have a serious leadership deficit, which will be taken care of next year. There are still 90,000 plus citizens who are spending money (sales tax revenue), property taxes and all the fees that go along with living and doing business in Macon.

    If Stebin were serious, he would write a resolution and pursue reorganizing the city charter reducing councilmen to seven. This is something that could be done and he could get a great groundswell of support.

    Stebin only needs to drive out to Lizella and the seemingly endless miles of wooded area and farmland. He would quickly change his mind on consolidation. The needs of the people in the county are vastly different than the needs in the city.

    If we cannot get any better leadership than we have now, what makes him think spreading his misery to the county will be any better? For me, his intentions are suspect.

By Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson

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