Reichert: ‘If we don’t pass a budget, we have failed as a government.’

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Some programs in Macon-Bibb are at risk of being cut or financially reduced next year, and commissioners are working to make sure that doesn’t happen.

For almost two hours, commissioners met on Thursday along with Macon-Bibb Mayor Robert Reichert to discuss the details for the first budget for the consolidated government. 

District One Commissioner Gary Bechtel says even though there are still questions as far as what money will go where, the budget is about 90 percent complete.

“I think we’ve got to figure out how to maneuver within the $10.1 million that has been allocated for outside agencies,” Bechtel said. 

Commissioners agree–the biggest question is what’s going to happen to funding for the Tubman Museum and for the Museum of Arts and Sciences along with other programs. 

The Mayor announced earlier they would have to pull thousands of dollars from the museums’ funding.

“We can’t afford to have other doors close from the museums in particular. The other side of the coin is we’ve only got ‘x’ number of dollars to go around,” District 2 Commissioner Larry Schlesinger said. 

He and other commissioners talked about possibly reallocating money from other areas to keep the museums’ doors open.

“We just have to make some difficult choices. I don’t know if they’re right choices, I don’t know if they’re wrong choices. It’s really rearranging the numbers and robbing Peter to pay Paul,” Schlesinger said. 

Leaders say at the end of the day, their biggest goal is to get a clear budget presented by the July deadline. 

Commissioners will meet again next week to continue discussions on the county’s finances. 

A budget must be in place by July 1st.

Categories: Local News