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Wake Up Macon!

June 2008



Political Watch: Wake Up Macon Author James Wright Meets Mayor Reichert & Council Members




By James Wright



The views in this editorial do not necessarily represent those of The Georgia Informer or its staff



On May 22, 2008, I was given the opportunity to meet several of Macon, Georgiaís elected officials including Mayor Robert Reichert, City Council President Miriam Paris, Councilwoman Lauren Benedict, Councilman Larry Schlesinger, and others.




Left to right: Macon Mayor Robert Reichert & Editorialist James Wright



While speaking with some of these officials, a few things became clear.  The Bibb County Commissioners are adamantly opposed to Reichertís annexation proposal.  When the proposal went before the committee, it was blocked from any kind of vote.  Why do they so oppose this legislation?  Could it be that county residents donít want to pay city taxes?  This seems to be the primary reason that is rumored around town.  But many county residents work inside city limits and enjoy all the benefits; police protection, job security, restaurants, shopping, historic sites and museums, without having to carry any of the tax burden.




Left to right: Macon City Council President Miriam Paris & James Wright




Although the Commission has a civic and elected responsibility for the county of Bibb and the city of Macon, it seems that their only concern is for those issues that affect the county.




Left to right: Macon City Councilman Larry Schlesinger & James Wright



The majority of voters throughout Bibb County live within city limits.  These are the people who voted in the members of the Bibb County Commission.  It is time for voters to use the power of their vote to elect different commissioners; those who would support their interests when it comes to legislation like Reichertís proposed annexation.  It appears that the Bibb County Commissionís main focus is on what would benefit the county rather than the city.  I wonder: When traveling, do these people identify themselves as Maconites, or Bibb Countians?




Left to right: Macon City Councilwoman Lauren Benedict & James Wright




The City of Macon is at a defining moment in history.  The new mayor and the members of City Council support the growth and expansion of the city of Macon.  It is preposterous that two members of the Bibb County Commission held the entire city hostage by preventing the vote for annexation from going before the full Commission and ultimately, the voters of Macon.  Commissioners Joe Allen and Elmo Richardson prevented the annexation proposal from even coming to a vote of the Commission.  It never left the committee.  This action prevented a public vote on the issue; it effectively denied the citizens of Macon fair representation.  Because the primary election is in July, a public vote on the issue of annexation wouldnít have cost the taxpayers a dime.  Can you say filibuster?



Filibuster: a: the use of extreme dilatory tactics in an attempt to delay or prevent action especially in a legislative assembly b: an instance of this practice.



It is time for the citizenís votes to count.  It is time for a change in the manner that our elected officials conduct the peopleís business.  This is a perfect example of two elected officials who have denied the citizens the right to speak on this very important issue through the ballot process.  The citizens of Macon must remember the names Joe Allen and Elmo Richardson and rectify the shortcoming that these officials have inflicted on them through this filibuster by voting against them in the next election.  Every elected official that does not produce should not represent the citizens.  ďI am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be more fruitful.Ē John 15:1,2 (NIV)



Mayor Reichert and the City Council are trying to change the city of Macon through positive growth.  This requires positive thinking, cooperation, and concern for each other.  Allenís and Richardsonís actions have the effect of impeding progress and growth for the city.  Simply put, they showed a neglect and disregard of the citizens they were elected to serve.  ďAnyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesnít do it, sins.Ē James 4:17 (NIV)



For their inexcusable actions, Allen and Richardson will have 25 points deducted from their scores.  Commissioner Bert Bivins, who voted to send the proposal to the full Commission, will receive 25 points.



Sitting in on a City Council meeting was enlightening.  Members were working on the budget and I was delighted to see that three of the council members raised questions concerning each budget matter that was on the table.  These three members were James Timley, Tom Ellington, and Ed Defore.  For showing concern for the citizens of Macon, these three council members will receive 20 points.  Mayor Reichert receives an additional 20 points as well, for continuing his aggressive efforts to bring positive change to the city of Macon.






Official Grade
Mayor Robert Reichert 50 + 20 = 70
City Council Members
City Council President Miriam Paris 42 + 3 = 45
Tom Ellington 45 + 20 = 65

Virgil Watkins, Jr.

42 + 3 = 45
Nancy White 42 + 3 = 45
Elaine Lucas 50 + 3 = 53
Alveno Ross 50 + 3 = 53
Erick Erickson 42 + 3 = 45
Charles Jones 45 + 5 = 50
Larry Schlesinger 42 + 3 = 45
Lauren Benedict 42 + 3 = 45
Lonnie Miley 42 + 3 = 45
Ed DeFore 45 + 20 = 65
Rick Hutto 42 + 3 = 45
James Timley 53 + 20 = 73
J. Michael Cranford 42 + 3 = 45
Bibb County Commissioners  
Joe Allen 50 - 25 = 25
Bert Bivins 55 + 25 = 80
Lonzy Edwards 50
Elmo Richardson 50 - 25 = 25
Charlie Bishop 50



I was dismayed that there was not a single Macon resident in attendance at this meeting.  The citizens of Macon must begin sitting in on City Council and Bibb County Commission meetings if they expect to know whatís going on or have any say in the very issues that affect them on a daily basis.  Voters mustnít rely on the Macon Telegraph to present the facts as it sees them; they must look for themselves.


Any citizen desiring to read more of these editorials concerning political watch may do so at .


Citizens may read the minutes of all Macon City Council meetings at .

Bibb County Commission minutes can be found at .



As always, Carpet Express is at the forefront of positive forward movement for all people into the 21st century .


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