On February 4, 2020, Rev. Dr. Ralph Hawkins delivered the invocation at the start of the Macon-Bibb County Commission Meeting.

Dr. Hawkins is pastor of Northminster Presbyterian Church on Wimbish Road. He began his ministry there in September 2018, having served churches in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Georgia over the last 25 years. He and his 14-year-old daughter Ella live here in Macon, and she attends Mount de Sales Academy. In addition to pastoral ministry and being a dad, Ralph is also an avid railroad historian and photographer, maintaining a scrapbook of railroad pictures and history at hawkinsrails.net.

Three young women named Ella led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance at the meeting.

Ella Cole Alderman is a member of Northminster Presbyterian Church and a 9th grader at Mount de Sales Academy. She loves singing and musical theater and is a cheerleader and academic team member.

Ella Hawkins is a member of Northminster Presbyterian Church and a 9th grader at Mount de Sales Academy. She loves ballet and contemporary dancing at Dance Arts Academy, musical theater at school, and cross-cultural mission service through her church.

Ella Smith is a member of Northminster Presbyterian Church and a 9th grader at Mount de Sales Academy. Ella plays volleyball, basketball and soccer for the school. She also enjoys playing piano in her free time.

Oratorical Contest

Commissioners heard from one of the winners of this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission’s Oratorical Contest. Rutland High School Sophomore, Phoenix Blackwell won third place in the contest. He came to share a portion of that speech with everyone in attendance. You can watch it here.

After Phoenix recited an excerpt from his winning speech, the Commission voted and unanimously approved a resolution recognizing February 2020 as Black History Month in Macon-Bibb County.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratorical Contest Winners -Cicely Jackson, 1st Place Howard High School (has not confirmed) Zachary Fergason, 2nd Place Howard High School (will not be attending) Phoenix Blackwell, 3rd Place Rutland High School (confirmed)

Cicely Jackson from Howard High School won First Place, and Zachary Fergason, also from Howard High School, won Second Place. To learn about the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission and its mission in the community, visit the Commission’s website here.


Consent Agenda

Commissioners approved several alcohol licenses for local businesses. Click each one for more information.

Old Business

The Commission approved a resolution respectfully requesting our Local Legislative Delegation support state legislation allowing for an OLOST referendum. OLOST stands for Other Local Option Sales Tax. Click here to read the resolution and learn more.


The Board approved a resolution for the Tax Commissioner to utilize a Judicial In-Rem sale process as an alternative to the subsequent tax sale process.

Commissioners approved a transfer of $99,500 from the Sheriff’s Office Commissary Fund to the General Fund to pay for a Comprehensive Class and Compensation Study.  You can read more about this here in this commission resolution.

The Board approved putting $200,000 in SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) funds toward the Edgewood Avenue, Telfair Street, Elm Street Blight Project. Here’s a story from WGXA News’ Tiffany Thompson about the Blight Project and how the nearby church believes it will help their neighborhood.


Commissioners approved spending $228,000 purchase a fire engine and equipment.

The Board approved a budget transfer within the Extension Services budget from part-time salaries to contract labor temporary workers.

Commissioners approved an agreement with Spatial Focus, LLC for SmartAddress. It’s a project to consolidate address datasets from various departments and other sources.







The Board approved the 26th adjustment to the SPLOST timeline and budget. It will cover new equipment and furniture at Delores A Brooks Recreation Center, and equipment at John Drew Smith Tennis Center.


Commissioners approved support for the Pleasant Hill Cultural and Historical Revitalization Project. Read more about it in the resolution here.


The Board asked for Requests for Proposal regarding the installation and maintenance of surveillance cameras in various areas for law enforcement and crime deterrence.

Commissioners approved a scope of work and pricing plan with Schneider Electric for energy savings.







The Board approved a lease agreement allowing Contour Airlines the use of the South Hangar at the Middle Georgia Regional Airport.

Commissioners approved a $21,000 settlement with MYDGOLF, LLC.

The Board approved a consent order with the Georgia Department of Agriculture regarding the Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare Shelter.


Commissioners hold Board Meetings on the First and Third Tuesdays each month at 6 p.m. at Government Center. We stream the meetings live on our Facebook page, and then post them at http://www.MaconBibb.TV .