PAYNE CITY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -- State Representative James Beverly spent the weekend talking with his constituents in Payne City, and a majority of them are still not in favor of consolidating governments with Macon and Bibb County.
When the majority of Macon and Bibb County residents said yes to consolidation, the majority of Payne City residents, 9 of the 16 who voted, said no. Now, Representative Beverly who's district covers a portion of the tiny town, says he's not ready to sign off on a bill that the majority of his constituents don't support.
Beverly says he spoke with about 30 residents over the weekend, including the mayor. About 60% told him they don't want the merge to happen. He says he understands why it would be easier to abolish the city charter, but he also supports his constituents decision.
"I think that we want to move forward as a region together but the wonderful thing about living in America is a democracy. People get a right to vote for their destiny and you can't ignore that. I mean we are not socialists, we are not communists. We are people who believe in democracy," says Beverly, "People have a right to vote for what they believe in and how they want to govern themselves and who they want to represent them, and that's what the people said."
Beverly says a majority of the people who don't support consolidation told him they're afraid their tiny town will lose its identity.
This week, the Georgia House of Representatives is expected to vote on a bill that would abolish Payne City's charter, along with seven others that call for non-partisan elections for some of Bibb County's local offices.
State Representative Allen Peake told 41NBC in January, he expects the bills that call for non-partisan elections will pass through the house.