Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Macon City Council

A picture is worth a thousand words. This picture is of multiple pictures, so it's worth, like, a million I guess:

It's from the lobby of Macon City Hall, where city council members (and the mayor) have their pictures hanging. Notice the empty spaces. If that doesn't tell you what kind of turnover we had in these most recent elections, I don't know what does.

The "old" council held its last regular meeting last night, and the "new" council takes over next Tuesday. It will be interesting to see what happens.

They won't have Mayor Jack Ellis to fight with anymore, and there seems to be a shiny-happy feel to Macon politics right now, what with Robert Reichert winning the race to replace Ellis by such a huge margin.

But the council, several members told me last night, could become more contentious than ever. There is a divide between old and new council members, particularly when it comes to the city's convention center hotel deal, which several new members made a top issue in this summer's campaigns.

The "old" guard, or at least much of it, was for the deal. Already current and incoming members are jockeying for position on influential council committees, as well as the president and president pro tempore seats. Deals are being cut, alliances formed.

Wait and see, but the next few years could bring, instead of a fractured relationship between council and mayor like we've had, a fractured council itself.

As one retiring council member said Tuesday night, "There's just too many egos."

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