Macon Community News

The Macon Newsroom

Macon Community News

The Macon Newsroom

Macon Community News

The Macon Newsroom

Macon-Bibb County Urban Development Authority: Below Average Accessibility

Liz Fabian
Urban Development Authority executive director Alex Morrision, right, eyeballs the pickle ball court plans for the old Belk store during a December tour of Macon Mall.

Students at Mercer’s Reg Murphy Center for Collaborative Journalism reviewed nine local agencies on their compliance with state law as well as any extras they provided in making their work as transparent and accessible to the public as possible. You can read about the other agencies and see their rankings here.

The Urban Development Authority’s website is at

Does the website list out its key staff, governing board or other leadership and how to contact them?  It does list the UDA board members and staff, but finding contact information required some effort and was not easily accessible. We did find Alex Morrisson’s (Executive Director)  LinkedIn profile, however, no contact information for him is available on the UDA site. 

Does the agency have a public information officer? If so, is the name and contact information listed. No, they do not have a Public Information Officer.

Does the website have information on meeting announcements/meeting dates & times? If so, where is this posted? Yes, it is posted under the “Your UDA” heading, listed as “Meetings” 

Does the website have meeting agendas? No, there are no meeting agendas available, only information about when they meet.

Does the website have approved meeting minutes? Yes, it is available under the “Take-aways” section of the website.

Does the agency provide a way for the public to watch its meetings virtually as they happen? And/or does the agency have recordings of its meetings on the website or linked from the website? No, there does not appear to be a way for the public to virtually watch any of the meetings. While the minutes are posted, there are no video recordings of the meetings posted on the website or linked from the website. 

Does the agency have social media platforms and if so, which ones? Please list out each platform you can find and how it is being used. They appear to have Facebook and Instagram linked on their website but it just goes to NewTown Macon’s Facebook and Instagram, which is definitely misleading.  

Does the agency provide a way for the public to make open records requests? Yes, it has a blue button toward the bottom that reads “Request Records from the Authority.” 

Please note any other information you found on the website that would be helpful to members of the public who would want to keep up with this agency’s business. The website requires a lot of effort to find what I would categorize as basic information, such as contact info for the members. However, they do have a spot for active solicitations as well as a section called MAP (Macon Action Plan) that provides a bit more detail on what exactly they do and are planning to do. 

Transparency Grade:  Based on the laws and what the website depicts, we rate the Urban Development Authority satisfactory. As required by law, the UDA has its meeting times listed on the website and does provides minutes, but does not post agendas.

Online Accessibility Grading: For accessibility, we rate the Urban Development Authority below average. No contact information is provided for the leadership, and the social media accounts linked to the website do not belong to the UDA. While they do have their meeting times posted, that is the bare minimum, as it is required by law. Additionally, the Urban Development Authority does not have any video or audio recordings of its meetings posted.  

Transparency Grading
Excellent: Agency goes above what the law requires for just posting its meeting times and also posted agendas and minutes.
Satisfactory: Agency had its meeting times posted on its website as required by law.
Unsatisfactory: Agency did not have its meeting times and/or agendas posted on its website as required by law.
Online Accessibility Grading
Superior: Agency provided contact information for leadership, audio or video recordings of meetings and minutes from its meetings. Agency also used social media platforms to share out information of interest to the public.
Average: Agency provided contact information for leadership and was active on social media but did not have audio or video recordings of meetings and/or minutes from its meetings posted online.
Below Average: Agency didn’t provide contact information for leadership and didn’t regularly post on social media. Agency also did not have audio or video recordings of meetings or minutes from its meetings available online.




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