The Union Recorder

July 29, 2013

Joiner not seeking reelection

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — City Councilman Phillip Joiner, District 4, announced Friday he will not seek reelection.

The pending City of Milledgeville ethics board hearing for the ethics complaint filed against Joiner is approaching Aug. 20.  The Councilman reiterated that the ethics filing has had “zero impact to this decision.”

“Before the ethics complaint was filed, this was something I had given a lot of thought to,” Joiner said. “After months of really deep prayer and long talks with my wife, I've decided I will not seek reelection in November.”

Speaking on the impending hearing, Joiner “looks forward to having my side of things explained.”

The Councilman doesn't deny the mistakes made throughout his term.

“I am a human being, and I have made mistakes. I don't deny that I'm an imperfect person, but the ethics charge by one person does not in any way impact my decision to not run,” Joiner said.

A wife and stepdaughter weren't in Joiner's life back in 2009 when he took office. He said priorities changed.

Recently, one of those new priorities was a renewed involvement in the performing arts. The Milledgeville Players' production 'Kiss Me Kate' rehearsals are taking up his time.

“This past four years has slowly degenerated my physical and emotional health. I've started to feel reenergized with something that has nothing to do with government and politics,” he said. “While there are parts of being a City Councilman that I truly enjoy, I've decided that I know what makes me happiest, and I've decided to trade back.”

Joiner missed the most recent joint City Council and Baldwin County Commissioners meeting July 18 due to play practice adding to his tally of 14 regular, called or work session council gathering absences in the past 12 months.

Though missing during the joint dinner discussing the government unification charter, Joiner said he is up to speed.

“While I wish I could have been in two places at once, I do have multiple responsibilities,” the Councilman said Friday.

Being a career politician was never the plan. Joiner wanted to represent the “young folks that thought they weren't being represented.”

Now, young people have a voice in Milledgeville, according to Joiner.

The District 4 representative said the city has grown throughout his term.

“I think we have the perfect mayor for this town and Council by and large has gotten along very well and improved a lot of things,” Joiner said.

He is proud of his work with the approved Milledgeville skate spot and helping citizens “under the radar.”

“There are so many people that I've helped one-on-one,” Joiner said. “That's the thing I love and will miss, but I still have five more months. I'm not under any circumstances going to resign. I will finish my term.”

The Councilman said he would continue to do the elected job void any filter.

Going back in time isn't an option. Joiner admits to his mistakes.

“I want to make it clear that none of the mistakes I've made were trying to do anyone harm or trying to misrepresent people,” he said. “They were just human mistakes.”

Though the 2014 Council board won't feature Joiner, he said the community would still notice a heavy presence.

Qualifying for City Council races is is set for late August. Local resident Walter Reynolds has announced his intentions to run for the District 4 seat.

Joiner's term expires at the end of the year.