This is a map of the areas to be annexed by Macon. The dark green is the present city and the light green is the area to be annexed.
Just from the map alone, the annexation plan really makes sense. And by the way, I think in the grand scheme of things, annexation makes total sense for the city and for those to be annexed. They should still, however, have the right to vote on the matter.
To the right is just one example why. That plot of land covers my preacher’s home. As you can see, some areas of the city limits go through people’s back yards. There is no creek or road or any other landmark to determine where the city limits are, just someone’s back yard. It was done a long time ago to gerrymander people in and maintain some sort of nonsensical racial balance that could have at least been done using census tracts instead of backyards. The perverse result is that in some neighborhoods, city garbage trucks run up one side of the street to a handful of houses and county garbage trucks take care of the rest of neighborhood.
But, because there is no public hearing on this matter, I think there are a couple of questions we should ask. To be sure, there was a work session on the matter with Council and Mayor, but it was not advertised to the public as such and I had the flu and couldn’t attend to ask these questions.
So, here are three more sections of the map.
Keep in mind that one of the selling points on this annexation plan is to clean up the city lines, make it easy to understand what is and is not in the city limits, make services more efficient to deliver, etc. Also, the Mayor had to keep the racial balance because if there were too many whites brought in, Robert Brown and David Lucas would be sure to kill the plan.*
I think some of the issues about these three images may be related to points in the above paragraph, but I’d still like to know.
So let’s get to the pictures.
In the one above, why not use Wesleyan Drive to the West and I-75 to the north as the boundary and just encompass that? It would have made things even cleaner and there is not substantial population in that area.
Now this one is my favorite and a question lots of others have been asking: who lives in the area bounded by Bass, Rivoli, and Forsyth that does not want to be annexed. On the surface, at least, it would make a great deal of sense to clean up the map further by taking in that area now. Likewise, there are not a lot of people living in that area and there are large acreage houses in the area which would expand the tax base.
This last one just totally dumbfounds me. You have a section of land that is bordered on the north by Jones County and on every other side by the city. Why on earth would you not just go on and take that last little area? I don’t even know what’s out there. But we’re going to be annexing swampland for goodness sakes. Why not take this sliver and be done with it?
[UPDATED:] Thanks to Tom Ellington for explaining this one. There are no roads to that area from the rest of Bibb County. You have to go into Jones County to get there. And that would make it virtually impossible for Macon to maintain its ISO rating, etc. That no longer dumbfounds me, but makes a lot of sense.
All, I think, are questions that would be worth having answers to. Again, they may have been answered in the work session, but I had the flu. Of course, the public has not even had a public hearing.
*Some of you are now thinking [cue whiny voice] “But if we added too many blacks, Cecil Staton would kill it.” [/whiny voice] While I’m sure that thought makes you feel better, I can guarantee you that the issue of race has not been brought up on the Republican side of the delegation, but has been brought up consistently on the Democratic side.