Bibb County Commissioners and members of the public we spoke with voiced mixed reactions Thursday to the idea of the state legislature passing a consolidation package without a public vote.
State Rep. Allen Peake said people attending public information hearings have been telling lawmakers that they want to stop talking about consolidation and go ahead and do it.
A fast and easy way to do that, says Peake, is for the eight-member Bibb legislative delegation to put together a unification package and get it passed without voter participation.
Macon resident Ann Hanse could go along with that plan.
"If the legislature does it, I think it will get done. And that's better than what we've had in the last twenty years," says Hanse.
Bibb County resident Lori Obenauf says after debating the issue for thirty years, it's time for lawmakers to get it done.
"It's time to do something," says Obenauf. "It didn't take Columbus thirty years to get it done, it didn't take Augusta or Athens thirty years to get it done. Macon and Bibb County seems to be stuck in a quagmire.
Claire Swaim lives in the city, which gives her a different perspective.
"Obviously, I live in the city so I like the idea. But there are probably a lot of people in the county that want to be able to weigh in on whether or not it's a good idea," says Swaim.
And the divide in public opinion also extends to county leadership.
Bibb County Commissioner Sam Hart says he could be open to any route the delegation takes towards consolidation, but it gives him some hesitation to not put the package before voters.
"It's a different day, it's a new group and new efforts and new energies in Macon. And I certainly would be willing to listen," says Hart. "I think for me, it would be important in terms of what they're proposing, and how much local involvement there will be in determining some of the items."
County Commissioner Bert Bivins disagrees. He says lawmakers should trust the public to make the best decision.
"Does anybody have something they want to do that they know the public won't like?" asks Bivins."If you're going to do something that you intend to satisfy the public then why not have the referendum?"
He says the decision is too enduring, and important, to move forward without voter input.
Opinion is equally divided amongst city leaders.
Mayor Robert Reichert says he'll support whichever plan the delegation comes up with.
But several council people say voter input is critical.