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Wake Up Macon!

March 2008



Political Watch: Mayor Reichert Flip Flops On Housing Authority Appointments




By James Wright



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



Last month, I touched briefly on a subject that the citizens of Macon , Georgia have been concerned about. Due to the importance of the political issues and the citizen’s need for awareness of what elected representatives are up to, here is a brief recap of the events.

The former mayor of Macon, C. Jack Ellis, appointed four new members to the board of the Macon Housing Authority. Ellis did not send the appointments to City Council as traditionally, former mayors had done. Ellis and the city attorney had researched and found that this practice was not necessary; the law did not require it. The Macon mayor could appoint on his own power. After the appointments, the Housing Authority filed suit to require that the mayor send those four appointments and all future appointments through City Council. After losing in Superior Court, the Authority appealed and lost yet again in the Georgia Court of Appeals. The Housing Authority then appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court. It was around this time that Ellis’ tenure as mayor ended and current Macon mayor Robert Reichert took office. One of Reichert’s first acts as mayor was to negotiate a settlement for the lawsuit with the Housing Authority and to reappoint the original four members, thus doing away with Ellis’ appointments.

The lawsuits were filed because the mayor didn’t go through city council, but the hypocrisy of this entire case is that the Housing Authority (who brought the original suit) did so because the appointments didn’t go through city Council. Suddenly, after Reichert reappoints the original four members (without going through City Council, I might add), the Housing Authority is now happy with the end result.

And how about this? Recently, another Housing Authority board member has left and what does Reichert do? Of course, he sends this one to the Macon City Council and the Housing Authority seems happy with this. After all, it no longer matters; the original four desired board members remained with the Housing Authority.

It appears that our elected leaders are intent on doing business as usual, rather than working toward the desires of the people. Rather than being concerned about real issues, such as crime, unemployment, and homelessness, we found ourselves mired down in the same old self-serving politics that we thought we had traveled beyond. We must insure that all of us (citizens and elected officials alike) do not conform to the pattern of this world with its behavior and customs that are usually selfish and often, corrupt. Our refusal to conform to this world’s values must go deeper than the level of behavior and customs. It must be firmly grounded in our minds. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, wholly acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans: 12:1-2

It is time for the citizens of Macon to move beyond merely casting a vote and become more politically involved in the actual operation of the city. Rather than simply asking questions, citizens should make every effort to attend as many City Council and Bibb County Commission meetings as possible. There, we will find the answers that we seek. The citizens have a responsibility to make Macon a better place. They can do this politically by electing high-principled leaders and morally, by serving as a positive influence for the good in society. The churches and the neighborhoods should work together in an effort to improve the community for the many essential services that are needed.

Macon residents must become more involved in planning for tomorrow. Planning for tomorrow is time well-spent. Worry about tomorrow is time wasted. Careful planning is thinking ahead about goals, steps, schedules, and trusting in God’s guidance. Each person must be actively involved in the decision-making process.

For his inconsistency, Reichert loses 5 points from his score on this month’s grading. The City Council members who spoke up at a recent council meeting, questioning Reichert’s inconsistency, will gain 5 points each. Those City council members are James Timley, Elaine Lucas, Alveno Ross, and Charles Jones. These council members are to be commended for speaking up and debating the issue as they were elected to do. 3 points will be deducted from the remaining council members who merely accept Reichert’s blatant inconsistency.





Official Grade
Mayor Robert Reichert 40 - 5 = 35
City Council Members
City Council President Miriam Paris 45 - 3 = 42
Tom Ellington 45 - 3 = 42

Virgil Watkins, Jr.

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



I propose a Town Hall Meeting in which Mayor Reichert explains to all the citizens of Macon exactly what he has done and why.

The citizens of Macon must let Mayor Reichert know that this type of flip-flop will not be tolerated. Perhaps the mayor who said “Together We Can” should have campaigned with “I Can!”

Future watch: Any issues pertaining to annexation should be thoroughly discussed and debated through referendum; voted on by Macon ’s citizens.

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 .



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