Macon-Bibb mayor cuts funds to agencies, covers employee pay scale

Lester Miller focuses on community needs with no tax increase but plans to spend COVID-19 American Rescue Act funds to help agencies stripped in budget.

Macon-Bibb+County+Commissioner+Bill+Howell+leads+prayer+before+Tuesday%27s+meeting+following+the+mayor%27s+budget+presentation.+

Liz Fabian

Macon-Bibb County Commissioner Bill Howell leads prayer before Tuesday’s meeting following the mayor’s budget presentation.

Macon-Bibb County Mayor Lester Miller said his first budget tries to “paint where it ain’t” in an effort to prioritize spending to needs outlined by the Macon-Bibb Forward advisory team without raising taxes.

In focusing on the strategic areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, public safety, workforce development, recreation and tourism, Miller outlined his proposals Tuesday.

The budget cuts funding for multiple agencies Miller hopes to help fund through COVID-19 American Rescue Act money due the county. The mayor mentioned a $15 million shortfall due in part to the new employee pay scale as rationale for the cuts.

Miller also wants to review SPLOST project allocations to better focus money on current needs and envisions the OLOST passing with voters for a rollback on the millage rate.

Commissioners will further discuss spending priorities at this coming Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting beginning at 9 a.m. live on Facebook. Miller plans a public hearing June 1 at 5 p.m. to hear the public’s thoughts on the spending plan and encourages input.

The following is a summation of Miller’s budget proposal in live Tweets from Civic Journalism Senior Fellow Liz Fabian during the presentation in Commission Chambers.