Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Now we are faced with jobs leaving Macon, not mediocre jobs, but jobs that put real private money into the local economy. Now we are left with a lopsided economy that is made up of more takers than givers. Supposedly, the SPLOST was going to pay off the jail expansion bonds that would eliminate debt service payments each year. What is the status of the SPLOST collections? Is the money coming in as projected? The government has outgrown its use in Macon and Bibb County.

We do not need two separate policing entities; we do not need a new court house; we do not need 15 City Council members; we do not need 5 County Commissioners. We need a merger that cuts this ridiculous government down to perhaps seven county wide managers, and we need one county wide police department. The Mayor's position could be reduced to a figure head position only that could cut out at least $700,000 from the City budget. Private businesses merge and cut out the fat because of have to positions, but those in the government turn a deaf ear to pleas from taxpayers for relief. The public works department needs to be privatized, as there must be a strike going on in the City. Take a look at the intersection of Spring Street and 16 exit where the grass is knee high, and take a look at 75 N along Riverside Drive to name just a few areas that look so bad. There is no excuse whatsoever that the grass is not cut along our roads, and if the government workers won't do their jobs then we need to hire people that will!

Who is going to force a consolidated government? Taxpayers could force consolidation by appealing property tax revaluations and tax increases. Property tax revaluations in this area are based upon variables that are falling apart as I type this blog. For one thing the revaluations were going on in 2004 when houses were inflated by the lowest mortgage interest rates in the last forty years. Lenders were much too generous with mortgage loans, and investors that could not afford expensive homes were able to buy homes with variable interest rates at artificially low starting rates or they were financed with balloon notes with no money down. We are the leading state for mortgage defaults and Bibb County is at the top of the list. Interest rates are on the rise, and when this happens it becomes a buyers market. Not only are we faced with rising interest rates in Bibb County, we are faced with increased crime and a population decline because good paying jobs have left the County. There is not a week that goes by that I do not get an update that at least six or seven vehicles have been stolen or that counterfeit money is circulating in the community.

How can our property be worth more in a County with all of the problems that I have described above? I have two rental properties in the Shirley Hills area, and now I am faced with having two of the nicest homes in Fleetwwood Downs. It makes me want to cry to look at the investments that I take pride in by looking just across the street at one home that has now been painted "Smurf Blue" , one home painted with red trim and another one painted pink! Then down the street another home owner has a monster truck parked in front with no less than five cars parked in the yard, and right next door to me a neighbor has what looks like a flea market in his back yard. I have no choice but to keep my homes up, put a nice fence aroud the back yard and hope that renters appreciate the modern appliances and the fact that I maintain the yards myself with a lawn service. I sure cannot sell these houses without a loss.

I pray that other home owners are smart enough to appeal their property tax revaluations because if enough of us do so then they will have to be thrown out. Will we ever get off this track that we are on in this County, and will we ever consolidate? That is the $64 million dollar question for sure.

1 comment:

KAT said...

So true. I do feel we need an alternate courts facility in light of the buildings both the city and county rent. I would say, if we consolidate, that Macon City Hall should be the new courts building. There should be another facility for the consolidated government.

Our county wants to pay the Medical Center an extra 900+K for indigent care this year. This is a facility where the bigwigs earn tons of money and they allowed their trauma unit to lapse to Level Two status.

Let's say no to the Medical Center and tell them to sell Carlyle Place if they want extra cash.

I will say this; let's strike while the iron is hot and press hard for consolidation now. The good thing about our fiscal crisis is that it makes for a fertile climate to demand change.