MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Bibb County commissioners passed a resolution against proposed legislation to require the budget and millage rage of the county's Board of Education to be approved and set by the county government.
During a special session Friday morning, the board listened to a resolution against the bill.
"In a word, a bad idea," Bibb County Commissioner Lonzy Edwards said.
The proposed bill will remove the Bibb County Board of Education's tax power and control of its own budget. Instead, the BOE would need to get its finances approved by the new Macon-Bibb County consolidated government.
"It's going to be really, really hard to do what the government is charged with doing and at the same time, take on additional responsibility for overseeing another governmental entity," Edwards said.
Edwards, along with Chairman Sam Hart and commissioners Gary Bechtel and Bert Bivins are against the bill. They say the school district's budget is complicated and it would cost the county money to be in charge of it.
"If we were given this task, we certainly would have to hire somebody, get them trained," Hart said. "Rather than being in a position to reduce the cost of government, we'd be increasing the cost of government."
Those against the bill also say it goes against the will of the voters who gave the board taxing power back in 2004.
"I think it should stay with the school district, and the voters should hold these elected officials accountable for their actions," Bechtel said.
Commissioner Joe Allen disagrees. He says the BOE should have never had the power to begin with.
"I never thought it was right then. I think that right now we've downsized government, we're consolidating government. We should have one taxing authority in Bibb County," Allen said.
But they all agreed on one thing: if this bill gets presented, then it should come back to the voters to make a decision.
As of now, the bill has not been brought forward to the Georgia General Assembly, but Chairman Hart felt the commissioners needed to come out with an opinion before anything happens. He hopes the legislators will listen and put a stop to this bill.