Reichert: ‘If we don’t pass a budget, we have failed as a government.’

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Some programs in Macon-Bibb are at risk of being cut or financially reduced next year, and commissioners are working to make sure that doesn’t happen.

For almost two hours, commissioners met on Thursday along with Macon-Bibb Mayor Robert Reichert to discuss the details for the first budget for the consolidated government. 

District One Commissioner Gary Bechtel says even though there are still questions as far as what money will go where, the budget is about 90 percent complete.

"I think we’ve got to figure out how to maneuver within the $10.1 million that has been allocated for outside agencies," Bechtel said. 

Commissioners agree–the biggest question is what’s going to happen to funding for the Tubman Museum and for the Museum of Arts and Sciences along with other programs. 

The Mayor announced earlier they would have to pull thousands of dollars from the museums’ funding.

"We can’t afford to have other doors close from the museums in particular. The other side of the coin is we’ve only got ‘x’ number of dollars to go around," District 2 Commissioner Larry Schlesinger said. 

He and other commissioners talked about possibly reallocating money from other areas to keep the museums’ doors open.

"We just have to make some difficult choices. I don’t know if they’re right choices, I don’t know if they’re wrong choices. It’s really rearranging the numbers and robbing Peter to pay Paul," Schlesinger said. 

Leaders say at the end of the day, their biggest goal is to get a clear budget presented by the July deadline. 

Commissioners will meet again next week to continue discussions on the county’s finances. 

A budget must be in place by July 1st.

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(478) 745-4141 ext. 311 Skyler joined the 41 NBC News Team in April 2013. He anchors the news at 6 p.m. and also covers stories going on throughout the day. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia, a suburb right outside of Atlanta. Before heading to Middle Georgia, Skyler worked as a stage manager for WSB- TV in Atlanta. Skyler graduated from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia in 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Multimedia Communication. He went to school initially to be an architect, but one step inside of the student radio station changed everything. While at Georgia Southern, he was exposed to radio and television and became the Program Director of the student radio station and was a part of a team that received a Southeast Regional student Emmy for their work on the program "Inside Georgia Southern Football." Skyler anchored and reported for Georgia Southern University's "Eagle News." There he covered the 2010 midterm elections live as well as reported on stories in the community. In the Spring 2012, Skyler interned for Clear Channel in Los Angeles, California. Skyler is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. In his free time, you can find Skyler watching the latest movies and reading up on all things in Hollywood. He also loves spending time with his family and friends and finding inspirational quotes. He loves telling stories about politics, tax dollars at work in the community, and highlighting people and business who don’t normally get the spotlight. If you have any story ideas, email Skyler at shenry@41nbc.com.