Dry Run for the Doggie Death Penalty? The First “Dangerous Dog” Hearing is Underway Before Macon-Bibb’s Board of Health, With a Verdict Expected Monday Evening, March 9, 2015. Even After the Verdict, There’ll Be Lots of Questions Left to Answer.

2015-03-04 18.38.03

By Dave Oedel, March 8, 2015, Macon, Georgia:

On December 29, 2014, three dogs, Coco, Pearl and Justice, pit bull mixes, got out of a contained backyard in the Brookefield subdivision off Bowman Road in north Macon at 140 Brookefield Drive, apparently from a hole in the high board fence that is typical in the neighborhood. Walking in the neighborhood was a visitor to the subdivision from Miami, Florida. His name? Renalto, an eight-year-old Schnauzer. At the end of a brief, frenzied encounter among the four dogs, Renalto was dead.

Renalto’s owner, Claudio Naranjo, 38, visiting her friends Zarina and Tora Gore who live at 304 Millwood Court just around the corner and about five doors away, was injured with bite punctures to her hand while trying to separate the dogs. Some of the punctures on one hand received stitches. … Continue Reading

Thoughts on Meeting the Legally Mandated Cuts in Macon-Bibb: Why There’s No Way to Avoid the Tough Conversation About Personnel Cuts, and What Can Practically Be Done to Achieve Them

budget cuts

By Alan Wood, March 8, 2015

Editor of Georgia Watchdog

Macon-Bibb County has around 2,200 local governmental employees, not counting  jobs related to the school system. The salaries of these government employees make up the lion’s share of the consolidated budget. In fact, around 80% of the entire budget outlay goes towards salaries. When consolidation was still in discussion, there was a mandate that the newly merged entity must cut costs by 20% by FY2019. That provision is a major reason consolidation was finally approved after so many failed attempts in the past. People looked forward to the tax cuts that a consolidated government had promised to deliver.

Based on the 2014 budget, a 20% cost reduction would be approximately $33 million. Some progress toward that goal of about four percent annually was already achieved in that 2014 budget, though, so the good news is that somewhat less, probably “only” about $27 million more, is additionally required to meet the promised and legislatively required goal of cost reduction.  Still, the easiest cuts have been made, and it’s important that the Macon-Bibb government continue in earnest this year to look even harder at cost savings.  In this article, I’d like to offer my assessment, and a few suggestions to reach that goal. … Continue Reading

A Response to Justice Kennedy from the Heart of Georgia: What Would Georgia Do If the Supreme Court Ruled Against Forcing Federal Subsidies Through “State” Health Insurance Exchanges that the States Didn’t Establish?

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

By Dave Oedel, March 8, 2015, Macon, Georgia:

Should the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act at the Supreme Court prevail, there’s already considerable speculation at the Supreme Court about what states like Georgia would do next. Would states like Georgia, those that didn’t establish state health insurance exchanges before, then establish exchanges to retain federal insurance subsidies for some of their citizens? The answer matters. It may affect how the legal challenge will be treated by the Supreme Court when it issues its decision, probably during the last week of June, 2015.

Georgia is a special case, because it’s generally considered among the more-likely candidates to establish its own exchange in the event of a challenger victory. But there’s also a good chance, perhaps a better chance, that Georgia won’t establish an exchange even then. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy might want to take note of that possibility, and why it is a possibility. … Continue Reading

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