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Milledgeville’s City Manager Targeted for Termination: When is Retaliation Wrongful?

By Dave Oedel

For 27 years, Barry Jarrett has worked his way up the Milledgeville city employment ladder, through water and sewer all the way to city manager. As manager, Jarrett has served for several years during tough times for Milledgeville when some major local employers were closing, including correctional facilities, Rheem, Shaw, and Central State Hospital.  Jarrett is now the highest-ranking African-American employee in a city that is financially stronger than its county, in part due to Jarrett’s stewardship.

Jarrett got a jolt on February 16, 2015, though, when … Continue Reading

Is Macon Really on the Move?

By Alan Wood

Editor of Georgia Watchdog

When I chose the title for this article, I thought I’d give my opinion, support it with some facts, and that’d be the end of it. But once I started thinking more deeply about the subject, I realized this is quite a complex topic, with lots of facets and nuances. You’d need to look at employment, population growth, shopping, attractions, education, culture, tourism, entertainment, crime, and dozens of other issues to really be able to fully delve into trying to answer this question.

So instead, this article will serve more as an introduction to the question of whether Macon is “on the move” or not. In this first edition of the series, I plan to talk first about some personal memories of Macon some decades ago, and a bit later about something called urban scaling — as well as what Macon can learn from some real historical antecedents, ancient cities.

… Continue Reading

SB 81: End Dallemand-Type Superintendent Appointments

By David Dorer

Macon has an aching problem with a former school board superintendent. On January 28, 2015, Romain Dallemand demanded $10 million from Bibb’s school board for alleged violations of his severance agreement, as well as for alleged libel and slander. Macon-Bibb County responded with a counterclaim for $7.5 million – a drop in the $51 million bucket of unsubstantiated expenditures identified in an audit of the school board.

A bill proposed last year in Georgia’s House of Representatives aimed at amending Georgia’s constitution to provide for the possibility of direct election of school board superintendents in Georgia. It passed Georgia’s House last year.  However, two of three Macon House of Representatives members, James Beverly and Nikki Randall, voted against it.  Only Allen Peake voted for it. A similar bill has now been proposed by the Senate this legislative session, but hasn’t been approved. I think it should be. … Continue Reading

Saving Lives and Costs in Hancock County: Governor Deal’s Proposal to Improve Rural Health Care in Georgia

By Senator David Lucas, Georgia Senate District 26

Hancock County, which is in my Georgia State Senate District 26, shut its hospital down fourteen years ago, in 2001, the first in a wave of rural hospital closures in Georgia. Unfortunately, Hancock County is still paying $644,000 annually in debt service for the former privilege, now a continuing burden, of having had access to that long-closed hospital.

Today, Hancock County’s county seat, Sparta, lies about 63 miles away from the regional medical center in Macon. Although there is some emergency treatment in Hancock County, opportunities for more complex diagnosis and care are lacking there.

Constituents of mine in Hancock County are at risk of dying unnecessarily from lack of access to state-of-the-art health care. A possible case in point involved a nine-year-old boy who flipped a golf cart in Hancock County, but died within about 45 minutes, … Continue Reading

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