The Union Recorder

Local News

October 4, 2013

City candidates attend Patriots forum

(Continued)

MILLEDGEVILLE —

He was on the first advisory board for Milledgeville Main Street among other interests.

Chambers wants the community to keep up the enthusiasm and hard work.

“One thing I'd like to see that's a take off from what we have started as far as the City Council and County Commissioners in our joint meetings is to focus on not only these two entities but the Board of Education. Get these groups together and get the community involved,” Chambers said. “Stay the course. There is so much to be done. We have a comprehensive plan it just needs dusting off.”

• Mayor Richard Bentley (Incumbent):

The Council-Manager form of government has been the norm of Bentley's two-term tenure.

The current Milledgeville Mayor said the city is fiscally stable compared to counterparts.

“Our budget is balanced. We have a reserve for the first time in our history, and we did all of this without raising taxes,” Bentley said. 

The industry and state facility closures, happening in an 18-month period, sucked thousands of jobs away.

“We lost the quicker than we could put them back, but we do no wallow in self pity,” he said Thursday.

Central State Hospital redevelopment efforts could turn the tide taking vacant buildings and putting them back on the tax rolls, according to Bentley.

“What we need to be is creative, innovative and progressive,” the mayor said. “Help me finish the drill.” 

• Mayor Johnny Grant (Challenger):

John W. Grant Jr., of J.C. Grant Company Jewelers., is a former City Councilman and mayor.

Grant said jobs is the main issue. The economic development team is the “best in my lifetime,” according to Grant. 

“Back off and let them do their job,” Grant said. “Don't try to micromanage them like (city) have so many times in the past.”

Grant worked with four different mayors and wanted to give politics a chance one more time to help the citizens of Milledgeville.

“We are fortunate to have good colleges here. The only thing lacking is jobs,” Grant said. 

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