The Union Recorder

Election 2013

October 28, 2013

District 3 Q&A: Phillip Smith

Phillip Smith is a native of Milledgeville. He grew up on the south side of town in Hardwick, near Central State Hospital. He is married with two children and works as a business manager.

District 3 Q&A: Phillip Smith

Phillip Smith is a native of Milledgeville. He grew up on the south side of town in Hardwick, near Central State Hospital. He is married with two children and works as a business manager.
Q: Why should citizens of your district vote for you?
A: I will work for the public rather than government to address the many issues that affect us. Ambition and effort is what it will take to serve the public well. This district cannot elect the same public representative and expect different results from our government. We require active representation concerning current issues. I will do my very best to encourage job growth and improve city services.
Q: How would you define your job as mayor/councilman/councilwoman?
A: I will be part of a group of representatives working together to understand and implement public opinion. The best ideas about how to improve Milledgeville come from the public and city employees. Specifically, I will investigate the practices and expenditures of government and present that information to Council. I define this job as rising to the occasion of what is required for Milledgeville's jobless economy and the improvement of our low income areas.
Q: Will you support allowing a unification measure to go to ballot for citizens to decide - yes or no? Please explain your answer.
A: Yes, when presented a measure that does not reduce public representation in the form of local elected representatives from the current 12 (city and county), to no fewer than 9, actually saves money, and would not dilute city services. I am concerned that consolidation is more favorable to government than to the public. We could be served well by consolidating the city departments of general, police, and fire buildings and grounds. There are many areas of our operations that need to be considered to improve efficiency. I am concerned that fewer representatives will mean less public control of taxes and all other aspects of local government.
Q: How will you implement your vision for Milledgeville?
A: I have spent many months working with leaders about the current issues facing our local government. If elected, I will spend time in each city department. I have started a process of representation that can only be continued by voters. I will devote full-time effort to what has always been considered to be a part-time position. This district and this city can no longer afford part-time representation.
Q: What should the city do to address emergency service issues/concerns with the county?
A: By expanding and advancing our capabilities we now provide improved services. It is no longer necessary for city residents to repeat their emergency after a location is determined. Under the past technology calls could not be traced or “held open” once transferred to the city. The upgrade was instituted in the interest of safety and improving communication.
Q: Do you feel the city's ethics policy makes a strong enough statement? Should changes be made to the policy?
A: (First Question): Yes. (Second Question): No.
Q: What, if anything, do you feel the city should have done differently in handling its first ethics complaint under the new policy?
A: This is an important addition to our city government and affords the public a process for complaint(s). As with any new process, I'm sure information can be gained from the first experience to guide us through the next, if any.
Q: How can city officials strengthen communication between city and county leaders and departments?
A: Communication will be improved when the communicators care to do so. There is approximately a 60/40 split of city leaders and candidates (including department heads) who are active in the issues and the lesser half who ignore calls and give evasive answers. In time, all of our efforts will be known. I will continue to communicate with leaders and note those that lack in this area. With so many people involved in our public policy, our communication is essential. Failure to do so demonstrates apathy or incapability.
Q: As a member of Council, how will you support the Central State Hospital redevelopment efforts?
A: The CSH RDA is a job creator and an essential resource of our economy. The Authority has a plan of independence from city funding by third year. We should remain focused on efforts to provide this resource as a necessary community service. I approve of the current state legislation (HB 495) (the ability of the authority to make a more timely transfer of property when opportunities exist with private corporations) proposed, and expect the legislation to be approved by the state next year.
Q: What is your view of the chain of command in city government and who holds city officials accountable?
A: Council, the city manager, department heads, supervisors, and employees each are responsible for implementing and suggesting public policy. Furthermore, I submit the following: “There is only one force in the nation that can be depended upon to keep the government pure and the governors honest, and that is the people themselves. They alone, if well informed, are capable of preventing the corruption of power, and of restoring the nation to its rightful course if it should go astray.” (Thomas Jefferson)
Q: How will you support the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Communiversity project at the former Shaw building and what other efforts can be made to retain young professionals in this community after they graduate?
A: This project will give new businesses common phone, fax, internet and shared office space for reasonable rates and a great example of how we should spend public money to encourage economic development. When employment opportunity exists in Milledgeville this will cause people to live here after graduation and relocate here. I will support this project and work to ensure that we do everything we can as a government to encourage sustainable private sector jobs and innovative economic development initiatives in our community.

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Election 2013
  • District 6 Q&A: Steve Chambers

    Incumbent Steve Chambers, 56, is married to Teresa Wilkinson Chambers.

    November 4, 2013

  • District 6 Q&A: Andrew Strickland

    Challenger Andrew Strickland has been involved in public service for the past 10 years, delivering emergency care to the sick and injured as a paramedic.

    October 31, 2013

  • District 5 Q&A: Daniel McDonald

    Challenger Daniel McDonald, 32, is a graduate of the University of Georgia and an AmeriCorps alumnus who moved to Milledgeville in 2008 to report on local government for The Union Recorder.

    October 30, 2013

  • District 5 Q&A: Pam Beer

    District 5 City Council challenger Pam Beer and her husband, Pat, have lived in Milledgeville for 16 years.

    October 30, 2013

  • District 5 Q&A: Richard Mullins

    Incumbent Richard Mullins Jr. is a lifelong resident of Milledgeville and most importantly of District 5.

    October 30, 2013

  • District 4 Q&A: Walter Reynolds

    Walter Reynolds is a lifelong resident of Milledgeville and Baldwin County. He is a graduate of Baldwin High School and Georgia Military College.

    October 29, 2013

  • District 3 Q&A: Denese Shinholster

    Incumbent Denese R. Shinholster is currently one of the senior most elected officials serving in city government.

    October 28, 2013

  • District 3 Q&A: Phillip Smith

    Phillip Smith is a native of Milledgeville. He grew up on the south side of town in Hardwick, near Central State Hospital. He is married with two children and works as a business manager.

    October 28, 2013

  • District 2 Q&A: Jeanette Walden

    Incumbent Jeanette Walden, District 2, is running unopposed.

    October 25, 2013

  • District 1 Q&A: Dr. Collinda Lee

    Incumbent Dr. Collinda Lee, District 1, is running unopposed in the Nov. 5 Municipal Election.

    October 24, 2013

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