People Protest Consolidation in Downtown Macon
A union group in Middle Georgia rallies against consolidation on Saturday by marching from Macon City Hall to the Bibb-County Courthouse to protest the merging of Macon and Bibb County governments.
More than 50 protestors including union members of the “Service Employee International Union" (SEIU) and "National Association of Government Employees" (NAGE) held signs while marching through downtown. They were bringing awareness to why consolidation is bad.
"Jobs are going to be laid off, it's not going to save the city any money," State House Representative Candidate Gerald Harvey said.
After gathering at city hall, people marched through downtown Macon to the Bibb County Courthouse. On the steps, seven community leaders including Bibb County Commissioner, Lonzy Edwards and city council member Lonnie Miley spoke out against the bill. Miley said if the proposed changes are beneficial more counties in the United States would have already consolidated.
"There are over 3,000 counties in the United States,” Miley said. “Out of 3,000 and some counties there are only 34 counties that are consolidated in the whole United States."
Some protestors like SEIU President Anthony Collins also said they don't believe consolidation will lower taxes.
"I don't believe taxes will go down,” Collins said. “The county is going to help the city and the city is going to have to help the county and with that is a tax increase because you know you have a bigger area you've got to maintain."
A bigger area with less people in charge according to protestors.
"Only thing that I see this bill accomplishing is reducing the number of elected officials," Harvey said.
While many people are still making up their minds about consolidation, some have already cast their ballot. Early voting is currently underway for the July 31 primary. People living in Bibb County can cast an early vote at the board of elections office at 2445 Pio Nono Avenue.