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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?

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

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

Can Firefighting Reform Be Randy Parker’s Legacy to Firefighting? How a Macon Firefighter’s Death Might Serve as a Siren Call for Change

By Dave Oedel

A 46-year-old firefighter from Macon-Bibb County, Georgia, Lieutenant Randy Parker, died on Wednesday evening, February 11, 2015, after he plunged through the floor of a small, burning brick ranch home at 2320 Fairview Drive in south Macon. Parker left a wife and two children. Those eulogizing Parker at Macon’s City Auditorium on February 16 described him as a loving father, husband and church member, and an enthusiastic, well-liked, hardworking firefighter.

Macon-Bibb Fire Chief Marvin Riggins eulogizing Lieutenant Randy Parker at Macon's City Auditorium on February 16, 2015.

Macon-Bibb Fire Chief Marvin Riggins eulogizing Lieutenant Randy Parker at Macon’s City Auditorium on February 16, 2015.

Parker’s death is a profound tragedy for his family and the community too.

If there is any solace in Parker’s loss, it may be that it gives us the opportunity to rethink firefighting policies, practices, decision-making, economics and culture – characteristics that are typical of firefighting not only in Macon, … Continue Reading

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