Mayoral candidates weigh in on public behavior's influence on Robins AFB's future

Warner Robins City HallĀ 
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Warner Robins early voting is set to pass the 2013 mayoral elections total and there is still a day left to early vote.

Jacob Reynolds has spent all week asking the candidates for solutions to important issues, like the relationship with Robins Air Force Base.

WMAZ has reported on disagreements and sometimes feisty moments between elected officials in Warner Robins.

Some people in the City have speculated that local politics might affect decisions made at the Pentagon on base closures, or sending future missions to Robins.

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We asked the candidates for mayor what they thought about that.

Current Mayor Randy Toms says he agrees that the public behavior of elected officials is important to the city's image. But he says recently, that behavior has been better than in the past.

“You're going to have some disagreements. We had that one meeting where things got a little bit out of hand, but I think for the most part I did what I said I was going to do and that is I've brought a calm atmosphere to the city of Warner Robins and I plan on continuing to work towards making sure that the atmosphere stays calm,” Toms said.

The Mayor also added that he has heard of times stories of elected officials’ behavior made it to other base towns.

Joe Musselwhite says with modern technology, poor public behavior here in Warner Robins can be seen at other Air Force Bases like Tinker and Hill and across the country.

“Bickering and fussing and fighting has got to stop here. We need to act in a professional manner, we need to respect one another, and that all does reflect on Robins Air Force Base and I agree a 100 percent that this has got to stop and will stop,” Musselwhite said.

Councilman Chuck Shaheen says in his time in city government that topic has never come up as a problem during base closing discussions.

“I have just never seen any BRAC issues that talk about any elected officials but be that as it may, let's just move forward. I've got a plan to bring the council in to work closer with your mayor and your staff, that's going to be the key,” Shaheen said.

Shaheen added that officials should focus on reducing crime, improving the schools and improving communication among elected leaders to reduce tension. He said as mayor he would meet with council members to inform them about items and issues on the agenda before council meetings, to try and avoid surprises and tension.

During an event detailing his first 90 days at Robins Air Force Base, 78th Air Base Wing Commander Colonel Lyle Drew says he's not concerned.

“Not at all, we have a great relationship with all our elected officials. I see them multiple times per month at a variety of venues and we have great opportunities to exchange ideas and to learn from each other,” Drew said.

Early voting continues through Friday at City Hall from 8:00a.m. to 5:00p.m.

Election day across Central Georgia is November 7th