City and County officials are working to address concerns over Macon-Bibb's service delivery strategy.
The plan will transfer 142 city employees to the county and treat them as new hires. Those affected by the changes met at the courthouse today to voice their concerns about pay and pension, among others, to Mayor Robert Reichert and Chairman Sam Hart.
Hart says the two bodies haven't been as transparent as they could when explaining the changes to those affected.
"I just want you to know now, that the County and City are both committed to try to make sure we do this in a fair and equitable way," said Hart. "One of the things that might have thrown us all off is when we talked about being a new employee--well, you would be a new employee to the county--but really what we had in mind then were those pre-employment kinds of things you have to do."
Tenured city employees who are moving to the county are worried about having to go through six month probationary periods and drug tests. Some asked if employment records from the City could just be shared with the County, but Laura Mathis, Director of Public Administration at the Middle Georgia Regional Commission says the city attorney will have to determine if that is legal.
Mayor Reichert believes this move is one of the first steps toward consolidation of Macon and Bibb County.
"If the community should pursue consolidation, this will obviously have a precedential effect on how to consolidate the departments," Reichert said.
All employees in Animal Control, Engineering, Inspection adn Fees, and Traffic Engineering will be transferred from the City to the County on July 1. The Parks and Recreation Department will be split into two entities. Parks will remain with the City and recreation will stay with the County.
Actuarial work is going on right now to determine transferred employee benefits, and officials should have more answers on that by the first week of February.