MACON, Ga. — Bibb County Commissioner Joe Allen sponsored a proposal to spend more than $2 million from the county’s general fund to give all employees a $1,000 Christmas bonus.

Bibb County Sheriff David Davis has addressed commissioners before, asking for salary increases for deputies and other county employees so Macon can compete with surrounding counties. 

“We're down to 1,800 and if we keep going where we're going, we’ll keep losing the experience that we have to have,” said Allen.

Davis says the bonuses will help the county retain the deputies it currently has, but it will not attract people to take open positions.

“It shows the commissioners are concerned about the employees and especially those lowest paid employees so those thousand dollars will really make a difference,” said Davis.

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Mayor Robert Reichert and Commissioner Larry Schlesinger both said they did not like the idea.  

“Rather than a one-time fix you need to fix the pay scale and figure out what comparable pay should be,” said Reichert.

Reichert says the county needs to be building the general fund for emergency spending, not taking money out of it.

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In 2021 and 2022, the county will need to pay nearly $10 million of the general fund for pension and debt obligations.

The operations and finance committee voted to support the bonus plan. Commissioner Joe Allen, Virgil Watkins, Elaine Lucas, and Scotty Shepherd voted in favor, while Schlesinger voted against it. 

Schlesinger said they needed to build the reserves. 

The plan is scheduled to go up for a full commission vote next Tuesday.

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