Tonight, the Martin Luther King Commission held an open forum at the Douglass Theater to discuss concerns surrounding the community. The 'Macon Miracle' and consolidation stirred up a lot of emotion from both the panelists and the residents in attendance.
State Representative James Beverly was the only member of the Bibb County Legislative Delegation at the meeting. He talked candidly about the status of the consolidation bill.
Beverly says they're close to coming up with a finalized bill. He believes it will drop within this session.
He says the issues that the delegation is wrestling with are a lot of the same concerns expressed by the residents.
"One is what is the economic impact of consolidation. Two, how do you have proportional representation, and then, can you get buy in from the stakeholders in the community? Can we do that? If we can do that successfully, then it will pass. If we can't, then it won't," says Representative Beverly.
Another panelist, and Bibb County teacher, Kimberlyn Carter expressed her concern about the lack of data surrounding consolidation. She believes that will keep the voters from making an educated decision about combining local governments.
Carter also spoke passionately about Dr. Romain Dallemand's strategic plan. She calls the 'Macon Miracle' a dynamic document. Carter says it's not set in stone, and it needs to be looked at carefully before it's judged.
"The plan deserves it's opportunity to be heard and to be heard fairly, and to be heard wholly, and to be responded to in a way that is respectful not only to the messenger, but of those who will receive the message," says Carter.
She says focusing on the teaching and the learning are the two most important parts of the Macon Miracle. Carter believes they will have the biggest impact on the longterm success of the school system.