A group of past Macon County Commissioners spent an hour reminiscing about their triumphs and reflecting on lessons learned in front of an audience that included two Election Day hopefuls last week. The lunchtime program was the third in a series from the Macon County League of Women Voters examining the county’s growth from the perspective of those who served it during key moments.
Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, faced a group of 50 Macon County teachers and staff last Tuesday in the library of South Macon Elementary School, and it was not a happy crowd.
In its quest to cut the fat ahead of the looming county revaluation, Macon County is turning to its retirement policies. Commissioners recently voted unanimously on a pair of personnel policy changes that will tighten up post-retirement health benefits for county employees.
As this year’s budget talks kicked off, Macon County Schools presented its petition for a $500,000 funding increase to pay for teacher raises and insurance increases, but County Manager Derek Roland’s proposed budget doesn’t include any of those extra dollars. He’s asking commissioners to fund the school system at $7.3 million, the same amount as last year.
REACH of Macon County won’t find out for another month or so whether its application for a $909,000 grant toward a new building gets approved, but the shelter for victims of domestic abuse is optimistic about the outcome. Already, REACH is working to raise the $303,000 it would need to unlock the grant, and the organization is knocking on the doors of county government for help.
More than three months after the State Bureau of Investigation started looking into $50,000 worth of embezzlement from the Macon County Board of Elections, a return to normalcy is in sight for the elections office. Kim Bishop, the county elections director who was placed on paid investigative leave when the investigation launched, has submitted her resignation, and the county board has sent the state board its recommendation for her replacement.
For nearly a year, REACH of Macon County has been helping domestic abuse victims in Jackson County. The group has handled more than 400 cases in Jackson since last July.
“To be honest with you, we feel like that number should be higher,” Andrea Anderson, the group’s executive director, told the Jackson County commissioners recently. “We definitely have been talking and trying to figure out how to reach out to more victims.”
Not everyone was happy about the free shoes. Betty Cloer Wallace was more concerned about the “holy war.”
It’s been three months since Macon County officials unearthed $50,000 worth of embezzlement, but a return to normalcy is just beginning to crack the horizon at the Macon County Board of Elections. Hours after sending a petition requesting that the state board remove the elections director suspected of stealing the money, the board got the OK from county commissioners for the funds it now needs to get through the rest of the fiscal year.
There’s only one primary in the Macon County commissioners’ races, but it’s a good one to watch. It might well be a political bellwether.
“You have varying opinions on what’s best for the county,” said Macon County Commissioner Jim Tate, a Republican running for re-election.