MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -- Except for one question, the audience at Tuesday's "Good Morning, Macon" meeting was quiet.
The gathering, hosted by the Macon-Bibb Chamber of Commerce, was centered around a consolidation update given by a consolidation task force member, Leonard Bevill. He was surprised there weren't more comments from the audience.
"I was taken aback," said Bevill.
The focus of Bevill's presentation was transparency. He stressed the importance of openness, and incorporating community input into the consolidation process. He didn't go into specific detail about any of the decisions made over the past six months.
"I think the biggest thing to ease fear in the community is that we want to make this a transparent process," said Bevill.
BB&T City President, Scott Seigel says he's been keeping up with the process. He liked the quick talk about transparency and the task force team's goals.
"I do keep up with it in other ways through the chamber and some other opportunities that I have so I'm a little bit more aware than what was going on today... I just really appreciate all the time and dedication everyone is putting into it," said Seigel.
College Hill Alliance Program Director, JR Olive was happy to hear the task force is committed to transparency, but he was hoping the meeting would be a little more informative on what's happened so far.
"I know there's big concerns about pensions, there's big concerns about the police and just details like that... I was hoping for some more details as far as decisions that have been made," says Olive.
Similarly, a big topic of discussion at the transition task force's finance committee meeting, also Tuesday morning, centered around details. From financing the new public safety and administration system, to figuring out when the city and county will begin the rebranding process, a lot of questions were raised during the 7-am meeting.
"Are we concerned? Yes we're concerned. January 1 is right around the corner, so we just have to speed up our process," said Pearlie Tolliver, Chair of the Consolidation Finance Committee.
That's why Tolliver suggested additonal meetings for the finance committee, because one hour, once a week just isn't enough."
"We have got to start to look at things that we can do now, and we don't have that kind of time to do that kind of work at a 7 o'clock meeting," said Tolliver.
Today, the finance committee decided they'll recommend that the city and county finance what could amount to around $4 million in public safety and administration software and hardware upgrades. A big bill, Tolliver says, the finance committee just cannot afford to foot.
"Those expenses go way beyond the budget we have. We're pretty close to a million," said Tolliver.