MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - If you want to give your opinion on ways to help push the city of Macon and Bibb County forward to make it a better place for everyone, there is a new opportunity for you.
The Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce, the Macon-Bibb Industrial Authority, and several local non-profits have teamed up with Atlanta based Market Street Services to help make Macon be the best place it can be.
Some of the groups involved include the Community Foundation of Central Georgia, Georgia Power, Peyton Anderson Foundation, and the Knight Foundation.
Market Street Services is a community development strategy firm, according to its CEO Mac Holladay. In short, that means Holladay will help the city analyze areas where it needs improvement, where its strengths lie, and how it can move forward.
Through a series of studies, questionnaires, and data collection a plan will then be drawn up to get as many different groups involved to work together "under one roof".
"The first thing to realize and to work on through the research, is to find where is the community," Holladay explained. "What's really going on? What does it look like?"
Holladay said, that starts with community input and looking at the local workforce.
Holladay has done this type of work before in other cities, which is why the Chamber of Commerce decided to hire him.
Robbo Hatcher with the Macon Economic Development Commission (MEDC) said it was Holladay's long resume that made the decision that much easier. Holladay has done this type of thing before for cities like Austin, Greenville, and Nashville.
"We want to build a vision for Macon-Bibb County," Hatcher is quoted in a mailed news release. "And in the process, develop cooperation, communication, and trust to effectively and efficiently implement that vision going forward."
Holladay said he will begin his work by analyzing the economy, community projects, educational opportunities, and local industry. That part will take approximately six to eight months, then implementation of the created plan will begin. That puts it in line to begin implementation at the same time Macon and Bibb County consolidate.
Part of Market Street Services' responsibilities, will be to make sure that the plan is drawn together, all parties involved know who is leading the project, a budget is followed, and that outcomes can be objectively quantified and tracked.
There's a chance for you to be a part of this process as well. You can fill out a survey by and give your opinion by clicking here.