Not included in Matt's story, but interesting, are the results of an August poll of 573 city residents, who were asked where they get their news about city government:
41 percent — Local TelevisionAs for the rest of the study, here's the lede of Matt's story:
23 percent — The Telegraph
15 percent — Other newspaper(s)
6 percent — News sites on the Internet
5 percent — Radio
3 percent — City of Macon Web site
3 percent — City of Macon Television
2 percent — Word of mouth/neighbors
2 percent — Other
1 percent — Refused to answer
The city of Macon must develop a culture of accountability, invest more heavily in its employees, empower innovation, plan for the long term and review its relationship with Bibb County.While there are about 200-pages of department-by-department reviews, when it comes to the broad strokes, I could have told you that for free.
In fact, anyone who's been halfway paying attention the last few years could have told you that for free. This study cost $420,000.
It's one thing to pay consultants to help you fine-tune things, or when you don't understand the problem. But when EVERYONE AND THEIR BROTHER KNOWS that:
- the city needs more revenue, or less spending
- the 15 member city council is meddles
- the city and the county don't get along very well
- the city's finance department has lacked accountability, which kind of goes hand in hand with A FEDERAL GRAND JURY INVESTIGATION OF THE DEPARTMENT under the previous administration
When all that is fairly obvious, you probably have some low-hanging fruit to work on without needing a $420,000 study to get into the minutiae.
Now, to be fair, I'm sure this was a good study. I have a friend from college at the Institute who worked on it, in fact.
And this wasn't city money. It was from a grant Mayor Robert Reichert got to help develop more efficient city government. Still, I question how much can be learned from any report of this type that you couldn't also get by reading The Telegraph the last few years and talking to a few city employees.