Mayor Pro Tem says county jobs could be at stake due to administration’s plans

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Some county jobs in Macon-Bibb could be on the line according to Mayor Pro Tem. Al Tillman.

The District 9 Commissioner held a news conference addressing dozens of complaints over trash pick up services over the last few months. Not only does he believe that poor services being provided was intentional…but also a part of a bigger plan.

“What happened with this trash issue in Macon-Bibb County?” Tillman said.

It’s a question many have been asking since late last year.

“All of a sudden when you ask for $300 up front, it’s like suddenly the bottom just fell out,” he continued.

Now the mayor pro tem believes he has an answer.

“This administration deliberately caused the trash issue in our community that everybody has been upset about and raising sin about for a long time,” he stated.

He says it all started earlier this year with budget issues.

“The director blames the commission, he says there’s been a hiring freeze, he needs Knuckle Boom Trucks that were rejected by the commission, he’s down 10 people on collections side, and he needs 6 CDL drivers,” Tillman explained.

Tillman says that’s when he and other commissioners began to pick up on the administration’s plans to privatize–and let Advanced Disposal take over commercial trash pick up.

“The work staff would be offered jobs at parks and beautification, recreation jobs or they’ll be out of the door,” said

They were plans he says weren’t discussed with the commission.

“What I wanted to do was be transparent,” he said.

Tillman says the bottom line is this, “If we’re trying to make a decision to go in a different direction than sharing information giving it to advanced disposal to give them more funding to do something at least the public needed to know.”

Whether and how they’ll move forward is still uncertain. County spokesperson Chris Floore issued this statement in response:

The issue with collection has been one discussed for several months now by our community, publicly by the Commission, and privately as we worked to find a solution to provide more effective services. This includes the tabling of buying new equipment; a resolution by the Commission to study in-house versus private services; several meetings on amendments to the current contract; and notifications to the Commission about service impacts.

Our goal the past several months has been to work with the Commission and ADS to come to an agreement as to which services ADS and the Solid Waste Department will provide, and how much it will cost us. The public deserves to have this matter resolved, and they deserve a smooth delivery of garbage, recycling, and yard waste collection.

The limbo which our department and ADS have existed these past few months has further impacted the ability to provide services since neither can hire people nor buy equipment without knowing what services they are to deliver. This has impacted other departments as we’ve left positions vacant should we have need to offer employees other jobs because of changes in services. Our employees deserve to have this matter resolved because they are the ones working harder and harder with fewer resources to keep up with the demand for more collections.

At no time do we believe our department has purposely provided poor service. Rather, they have – as all of our department have – been operating with reduced budgets, fewer people, and less and older equipment.

We reached out to Solid Waste Director Kevin Barkley for comment but have not heard back as of yet. Tillman says he has signatures from more than 19 of Barkley’s employees who agreed with his findings.

Categories: Bibb County, Local News

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