New funding will help promote participation in Macon-Bibb County consolidation

MACON, GA. --(February 20, 2013) -- In an effort to engage more residents in shaping the region’s future, Knight Foundation today announced it will provide funding to make the consolidation of Macon-Bibb County more open and transparent.

“The $62,200 grant will help forward the transition task force’s goal of creating a new, consolidated Macon-Bibb County focused on serving the public, rather than merely merging the two existing governments,” said Chris Floore, City of Macon Director of Public Affairs.

With the Knight Foundation grant, the Task Force will be able to:

  • Purchase new equipment to ensure all meetings are streamed, then archived online; 
  • Facilitate forums for people to ask questions, get answers, and raise concerns and for the task force to learn what is most important to them;
  • Distribute a survey as a way to learn what is important to people and how they would like to receive information about the process and
  • Develop a dedicated website for consolidation information.

“With dedicated funds and a strategic plan, we can set an expectation for transparency, two-way communication, and open government for the new, consolidated Macon-Bibb County, as well as governments and agencies across the state and country,” Floore said.

“Thanks to the generous consideration of the Knight Foundation we can help set the tone for a transparent new government that engages the citizens of Macon-Bibb County to be a part of this historic transition; says Kevin Barrere, Public Affairs Officer for Bibb County. “We will establish open communication that will encourage a more positive interaction between our local government and all the people that it serves.”

The effort to promote transparency in this process has already begun, including:

  • Live streaming and archived video of all meetings by the City of Macon’s Multimedia Team at www.maconbibb.tv;
  • Regular updates of committee and task force meetings provided via media coverage, through email announcements, posted on the city and county websites, posted in departments, and promoted through social media;
  • Presentations being made to local organizations and groups;
  • Using Facebook (www.facebook.com/MaconBibbCounty) and Twitter (@MaconBibb) to promote media coverage, announce meetings, and link to updates; and
  • An online survey seeking input directly from the public that can be found through the City’s and County’s websites.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit KnightFoundation.org.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.