Post 1 candidates both express support for administrator position

Warner Robins candidates say redevelopment a poriority

The Warner Robins Post 1 at-large council seat up for grabs is headed to a runoff election next Tuesday.

Jacob Reynolds caught up with the two candidates and learned about their priorities for the council if elected.

Daron Lee first served on Warner Robins' City Council from 2010 to 2013.

He says he's most proud of his work getting the City to prioritize redeveloping northern Warner Robins and helping the Housing Authority apply for grants.

He says he knows the work isn't finished, which is one reason he's running again.

Lee says this time around they can learn from Macon.

“Once Macon cleaned up its blight, it started to clean up its blighted areas, as a matter of fact they were awarded a Hope 6 grant back in the past, and they were able to rehab and revitalize areas and after that you see industry come in, you see private owners investing back in that area in Macon Bibb. We need the same thing to happen here,” Lee said.

He says northern Warner Robins needs to become a priority and they need to use existing funds to start cleaning it up and make it more inviting.

Eric Langston is running against Lee and serves on the city's Development Authority.

He says the Authority knows that area needs improvement, which is why they're focused on using the Tax Allocation District to pay for improvements.

Langston said there are some things they can do quickly to make it better.

“There are some buildings that are vacant, there's some blight issues, there are some solutions to the current problems that can be resolved and they're manageable. It's one of those areas where the city is growing so quickly that priorities are elsewhere,” Langston said.

Langston says he's seen the current leadership miss opportunities so he's running to try to help grab some of those opportunities.

He told us his work with the Base's civilian employee union, AFGE, improving workforce relations is one of his biggest accomplishments.

The two also weighed in on the city administrator debate which has, at times, become heated.

In August, the current Council approved the creation of the position in a 4-1 vote.

The position did not specify a salary and would not go into effect until the end of 2017. No city leaders have publicly said when that roll would become filled.

So with soon-to-be former Councilman Chuck Shaheen's yes-vote leaving the council, we asked candidates Lee and Langston what they felt about the position.

“At this time, until I've seen something different, I support the administrator because it has the background of public works and finance and other various departments here in this city of Warner Robins that are needed,” Lee said.

“A city administrator or city manager form of government is a 21st century approach to managing a local government. With that said, I would say that I do support the move to a city administrator,” Langston said.

The two did say they would be open to other options or solutions. However, Langston said he’d want the mayor’s position to remain fulltime and the administrator would have to answer to mayor and council.

The election is December 5th across the city at every polling location. Early voting is underway through Friday at Warner Robins City Hall on Watson Boulevard from 8:00a.m. to 5:00p.m.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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