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Macon-Bibb County Mayor-elect Lester Miller talks what he wants to accomplish in office

Miller took a tour of the government center for the first time since being elected Macon's next mayor

MACON, Ga. — Lester Miller sat down with 13WMAZ and discussed everything from transition plans to what he hopes to accomplish while in office. After that interview, we were the only camera in the building to watch the mayor-elect take a tour of the Government Center for the first time since being elected.

"I've been here many times, but it takes a new meaning today," Miller told WMAZ standing outside the Mayor's Office.

Mayor-elect Lester Miller first got a tour of the Office of the Commission with clerk Janice Ross. He even got to check out the county vault with records dating back decades. Then across the hall, Miller sat down with current Mayor Robert Reichert. They talked about the win and the transition coming in December and January. 

Miller told us he's ready to get to work.

"Everybody that knows me knows I'm all-in when I take on a task. I'm in 100 percent, 110 percent, usually. I don't think anyone is going to outwork me," Miller said. 

One of his first priorities is addressing the county's public safety.

"The first thing you have to do is to make sure we have a highly-skilled, highly-trained police department in all areas from community policing, to being people, as well as being well-trained, but to do so you have to have a well-paid public safety," Miller said. 

Miller says he'll work to fund the new pay scale and make sure particularly that deputies and the fire department get the pay they deserve.

Also, within his first year in office, he hopes to have a pilot program of his Justice Works Program.  

The voluntary program would allow inmates convicted of nonviolent crimes to work jobs and earn a paycheck while incarcerated. In turn, he said this would help fight homelessness. When people get out of jail, they've already worked a job and have a check stub to help find them a place to live. 

Miller said this program could also get some deputies out of the jail and onto the street to patrol.

Miller also mentioned putting in place a moratorium on liquor stores in certain areas of the county. This has been something the commission has considered before. Miller says a moratorium could lower crime and bring in better jobs.

"People come drive around Macon-Bibb County. If they're from out of town, business who want to locate here, they see a liquor store on every corner or, you know, maybe a pawn shop or places like payday loan," Miller said, "They generally think, 'This is not the place I want to be,' and they generally think that we're going to have low scores here as far as your credit scores, creditworthiness, and that plays a big part in bringing jobs here, as well as, you know, having a workforce that you need to have for new businesses."

Politics aside, Miller says his ultimate goal is to unify the community during his term by having open and honest conversations in all parts of the county. 

"I think it's going to be the first step on building a trustful relationship with everybody in the community so they can see, 'Hey, does Lester Miller really say or do what he says he's going to do?' and to do so, 'Is he really going to go to our communities and try to help us?'" Miller said. 

As for the transition team, Miller says he's not ready to release who will be on that team just yet, but he said it will reflect the campaign's diversity. 

It's been over a decade since Macon-Bibb County had a new mayor. However, Miller says he, Mayor Reichert and the cabinet have a good working relationship. 

Mayor-elect Lester Miller and the commission will start their term on January 1st of 2021. 

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