Election season is in full swing as we approach November, and the Mayoral seat is up for grabs in Milledgeville.
Gary Thrower was elected Mayor in 2015 in a special election for the seat. Now, two-and-a-half years later, he’s running for office again in hopes to finish projects he’s started.
But he’s got a challenger, political newcomer Mary Parham-Copelan.
One of the top items on both Thrower and Copelan’s lists of things to do if elected is to remedy the city’s water issues they’ve faced over the last few years.
Copelan says the city needs to bring in people from outside the area to help.
“Our planning needs to be restructured," Copelan said. "We need to bring in more consultants, more engineers about how we can open up Milledgeville-Baldwin County as a whole.”
Thrower says that’s already something in the works. He says the city and county have been meeting with outside consultants on a new design for the water authority.
“We’ve brought in a design team to say, 'Let’s look at the total picture,'" Thrower said. "Let’s look at the plant, let’s look at the distribution, let’s look at all of our issues and let’s come up with a game plan that remedies it all at one time.”
Thrower says the new plant would cost an estimated $30 million, and says right now the city has a financial plan, if that’s the direction the city votes to move in.
Copelan says she wants to make sure communication is clear between city officials in order to move that process forward.
“We’ve got to communicate with each other," Copelan said. "We’ve got to look at the outside sphere that we can contact and say, 'Hey, how can we make Milledgeville better? Not so much as bringing everything from Augusta or Athens, or another city, but what works for Milledgeville?'”
Both Copelan and Thrower say they’re committed to Milledgeville.
“My goal is redeveloping, restoring and making a difference in Milledgeville, and I want to make a great difference here," Copelan said.
“I’m not a politician. I could care less about playing those games," Thrower said. "I’m just after the endgame – let’s move Milledgeville forward.”
Election day is November 7th.