Why I'm Running.

"Over the past 12 years I have successfully built bridges across our diverse community. We need a mayor who can continue to unify our community by strengthening existing relationships and building new ones."
Issues
Building Safer Neighborhoods

As a husband, father, and grandfather I know firsthand that our friends and neighbors cannot thrive in any other area of their lives if they do not feel safe in their homes, or at work, or in our communities. That’s why as our next Mayor, I’ve laid out below my personal comprehensive vision for reducing crime and increasing the safety of every Macon-Bibb resident, and I welcome your ongoing discussion and feedback. I believe the Macon-Bibb Mayor’s office and the County Commission need to invest whatever resources are available to make our neighborhoods safer, to continue to fully support our first responders, and to effectively and compassionately address the root causes of crime in our community.

 

As Mayor, I plan to implement the following 5 point plan to make Macon-Bibb safer:

1. Decrease Gun Violence: 

  • Over the next four years, I will work with our Sheriff and District Attorney’s offices, court system, and Commission to address understaffing of any department. 

  • Work with our Sheriff and neighborhood groups to create a new specialized community-based law enforcement unit that will patrol key geographic areas that are at high risk for violent crimes.

  • Survey our high crime areas and better address any lack of lighting our Sheriff’s Office says may contribute to higher crime rates.

  • Work with our Sheriff to implement gunshot detection/response technology in neighborhoods that have experienced high handgun crime so that more of those cases result in neighbors and/or victims finding justice.

  • Work with our Macon-Bibb legislative delegation to consider the feasibility of increasing penalties for the possession of, and/or crimes committed with unlicensed/illegal handguns.

  • Partner with our Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s office to create a new specialized court for violent felonies that involve gun possession by high-risk, repeat offenders.

2. Put Macon-Bibb First Responders first:
  • Help our Sheriff and Fire Chief attract the best possible first responder candidates — and be competitive with surrounding municipalities in hiring them — by increasing the starting salaries for all new Macon-Bibb Sheriff’s Office and firefighter recruits.

  • Implement a standard, annual cost-of-living salary adjustment for ALL law enforcement and firefighter personnel in Macon-Bibb.

  • Conduct an equipment and technology audit of our Macon-Bibb County Sheriff’s Office so that our officers have the most up-to-date equipment available to protect themselves and do their jobs.

  • Engage the greater Macon-Bibb community by supporting nonprofit foundations that provide any necessary morale or financial support for our police officers and firefighters and their families during tragedies.

3. Investing More in Macon-Bibb's Youth:

  • Support neighborhood faith institutions and community groups in the creation and implementation of after school and weekend youth activities programs.

  • Increase our mentoring, counseling, and job placement services for nonviolent juvenile ex-offenders.

4. Implementing Real Criminal Justice Reform:

  • Research and implement local Macon-Bibb tax credit opportunities for local businesses that employ ex-offenders.

  • Create a community prosecution program which would focus on deterring low-level crimes through both prosecution and intervention in the lives of juvenile offenders through a partnership with the Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s office.

  • Initiate a public review of the “Use of Force” policy for the Sheriff’s Office, including substantive input from citizens and other community stakeholders.

 

5. Fighting Crime in Macon-Bibb before It Happens:

  • Help community centers and churches in key high crime areas to become “Opportunity Centers” where residents can receive targeted and intensive job training and placement services.

  • Survey Macon-Bibb residents, businesses, and community organizations on their experiences with and perceptions of the Macon-Bibb Sheriff’s Office, firefighters, District Attorney’s office, and our court system and utilize that information in an annual review of policies and practices, and publicly publish the survey results each year.

Balanced Budgets / Fiscal Responsibility

Every responsible household must live within its means, and Macon-Bibb County must do the exact same thing as well.  This is not rocket science; it simply means that the county’s revenues must exceed its expenditures, and that a balanced budget presented in the spring must remain balanced throughout the fiscal year.  As Mayor, I will fight tax increases by:

  • Ensuring county's revenues exceed expenditures.

  • Increasing the county's monetary reserve to a sum that would keep county operational for a minimum of 60 days.

  • Creating a realistic plan to pay down our debt.

  • Dedicating our efforts to increased economic growth

 

I will then use the surplus revenue to invest in:

  • Fully funding Sheriff’s and District Attorney’s offices.

  • Competitively compensating our public safety first responders.

  • Paying our employees a fair and sustainable wage.

  • Insuring the viability and longevity of the essential roles that our libraries, museums, public health and transit services provide.

Building A Better Macon-Bibb

We have to work together to continue moving Macon-Bibb forward and build a better community in which to live, work, and raise our families.  As Mayor, I plan to continue making Macon-Bibb better for all of our families by:

  • Fighting against blight by:

    • Accelerating the demolition and land banking of blighted properties in Macon-Bibb.

    • Offering attractive financial incentives to developers and purchasers who agree to transform salvageable structures into owner-occupied homes, as well as to those who agree to demolish existing structures deemed beyond repair and who promptly rebuild on site.​

  • Continuing my record of bringing more good jobs to Macon.

  • Creating enough jobs to keep our kids in Macon.

  • Being strong partners with our school board.

  • Assisting in expanding on our recent educational successes.

  • Leveraging our university success and expand on it.

  • Fighting against poverty.

  • Building age in place communities for our seniors.

  • Prioritizing walkable communities to serve young professionals and attract new residents.

  • Supporting our libraries, museums and our arts communities.

  • Investing in programs that protect Macon-Bibb’s women and children

Economic Growth / More Jobs

Economic growth and development are absolutely essential if we are to fully fund our county departments and projects in lieu of raising taxes.  Macon-Bibb County is fortunate to be centrally located in our state with direct access to interstate highways, the Brosnan Rail Yard, the ever-expanding Savannah port, the state capital City of Atlanta, and the busiest airport in the world.  As Mayor, I plan to continue expanding and strengthening our community's economic growth by:

  • Targeting and attracting business investors by making Macon-Bibb County increasingly desirable and the preferred location for investment and small business location and growth.  I plan to make it easier to do business here by:

    • Streamlining our county’s Business Development Services Department’s processes.

    • Strengthening relations among all existing economic growth agencies.

  • Fully supporting all hospital, rehabilitation, medical facilities and wherever possible, physician practices to insure their essential presence in our community.

  • Supporting and collaborating with the leadership of Macon-Bibb's institutions of higher learning in order to attract the high-paying jobs and business opportunities that will retain such a well-educated workforce.

  • Strengthening partnership with the Industrial Authority to attract mega enterprises like Khumo Tire, Amazon, Irving Tissue Company, Embraer, Stevens Aerospace and Defense Systems, and most recently, Dean Baldwin Painting to Macon-Bibb County.

  • Partnering with Visit Macon to make Macon-Bibb County a desirable and competitive tourist destination.

  • Promoting the county as a preferred location for cinematic filming in Georgia.

  • Creating a Macon-Bibb County Music Commission that will:

    • Advise our commissioners and community on local music industry and development issues.

    • Assist in the creation and implementation of programs necessary to meet the needs created by the expansion of the industry.

    • Review matters that may pertain to and affect the music industry in Macon.

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