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Mayor Robert Reichert gives last State of the Community address

Reichert stressed to the audience to "ask the candidates" about their vision for the community.

MACON, Ga. — Mayor Robert Reichert shared his plans for Macon-Bibb County's future at his sixth and final State of the Community talk.

"As we approach my exit, we need to recognize that this is not our final destination," said Mayor Robert Reichert.

Reichert used the metaphor of driving on an interstate for his 12 years in office and his exit. 

"...But also where we are headed next, after we stop to 'change drivers,' so to speak. What is our ultimate destination?" Reichert asked the audience. 

He told the audience to ask the candidates about their vision for the city by looking back on his time as mayor.

"But now, let's think back to December 2007 when I was inaugurated as Mayor of Macon, and I inherited a negative fund balance," he said. 

The county's budget is looking up. In 2019, the budget was less than the combined budgets of Macon and Bibb County prior to consolidation.

Reichert also stressed the efforts to restore downtown and the outside neighborhoods. 

"Inclusion and equity in revitalization efforts builds trust and a sense of community," he said. 

Another focus is making Macon the hub of Central Georgia. 

"A hub city is one with a vibrant urban core that offers opportunities not found elsewhere in the region," Reichert said. 

He mentioned this can be done by making Macon the hub of higher education, healthcare, jobs, entertainment, and sports for Central Georgia. 

"So how do we grow the vibrant urban core?  Transportation is the key," Reichert said. 

He mentioned one way is through the electric buses which will soon launch along the Second Street Corridor. In 10 years, he said he hopes to see it connect all parts of Macon to the city's core, downtown. 

"So let's change drivers and get back on the road, and make it happen," Reichert said. 

So when "drivers" change out this year, as Reichert says, the community deserves a mayor who has a vision past 4 years.

The qualifying deadline for the May election is March 6.

RELATED: Mayor, Bibb commissioners clash over deal to privatize building services

RELATED: Bibb County Sheriff's Office missing 20% of force, commissioners say tax hike could fix it

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