DECISION 2013: Four Vying for Warner Robins Post 1

DECISION 2013: Four Vying for Warner Robins Post 1

WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -- In the race for the city wide post one seat, four candidates are duking it out for the position.

Mike Daley wants to continue working for the people of Warner Robins. He's held the post one seat for four years, and he's not done leading.

During his time in office, Daley believes he exemplified the qualities a leader should have: trustworthiness, competency, honesty, and reliability.

"Regardless of the pressures that I've been under. I've made good solid decisions on behalf of the citizens of Warner Robins," said Daley.

The businessman believes Robins Air Force Base should remain a top priority, but add growth to that. In order to keep taxes low, and keep the services coming, he believes diversifying, and attracting new business ventures to the city is critical.

"We've got great opportunity for economic development. We've got land in Peach County. It's just right there for us, all we've got to do is bring the businesses and development in," said Daley.

Over two of his opponents, Daley says his experience sets him apart. When it comes to Mayor Chuck Shaheen running for his seat, the incumbent feels it would be better if the new mayor didn't have the old one sitting in his or her chamber.

"I just don't think it's a good situation for a new mayor and I refer to it as a new coach, to come in with the ex-coach sitting on that person's staff," said Daley.

Mayor Shaheen is ready to move into Daley's seat. In response to working with a new mayor, Shaheen feels he'd been an asset if he's on council.

"It's not me against them or us against them. It's we need to work together. Now I've been in this seat so I understand the pressure that they deal with not just on one instance but on a day to day basis. So hey, the person's going to make some mistakes but I want to be here to pick em up, dust em off, let's move on," said Shaheen.

Shaheen said the move from mayor to council is partly a family decision. He told 41NBC this decision was a good one for him and his family, and still allows him to serve the city. If elected, he pledges to be there for the citizens in the same capacity he was during his four years leading the city.

"I have answered every phone call. I have returned every e-mail and returned every text from not just the council, but from every citizen," said Shaheen.

The mayor added, he knows where the SPLOST money is dispersed, how to balance a budget without furloughs or layoffs, and that electing him to the post would be a vote for a man who already knows how things are done.

The base is still a priority for Shaheen, who mentioned he thinks he's the only one running for post one who has a base pass. Another goal of his is to bring mass transit to Warner Robins.

"We want to do that at no cost to the tax payers, and I've got a plan to do that. 20% is for fees, 60% can be offset with grant money, and then the other 20% can be offset by selling advertisement on the side of the bus," said Shaheen.

Charlie Scott, a man who's got more than 30 years of experience as a warner robins fire lieutenant, is looking to serve in a new way.

"I just love serving this city. This is where I'm going to be the rest of my life and I want to give something back," said Scott.

Scott is a native of Warner Robins and sits on several local boards including the board of directors of Meals on Wheels.

If elected, Scott believes he'll bring peace and harmony into the council chamber, but the residents are his top concern.

"I would bring communication and collaboration with the mayor and the council but I would put the residents number one priority," said Scott.

A big goal for Scott is to retain police officers in the city. He said there are several openings on the force, and he believes the right incentive program is not in place to keep people in Warner Robins.

"You going to have to come up with something strong incentives in the program. they have one now in place. If you go to college, you first pay your tuition and they'll reimburse you if you pass, but you have no incentive once you get a degree, they don't pay you for the degree," said Scott.

Scott also has plans to bring more recreation to the city, a platform he shares with opponent Reverend Jeffrey Walker.

Walker says there's problems with criminal and gang activity in the north side of Warner Robins. He believes more recreation on that side of town could help curb the problems.

"If you came up Houston Road in front of the fire station, that property there is for sale. They could put a basketball goal out there," said Walker.

He's got a plan to alleviate congestion in the city as well. Walker has a vision to build what he's coined the "North East Parkway."

"Just before you get to that Macon Bibb County line and bring that overpass over to and behind the base, it would stop traffic. it would alleviate the traffic congestion," said Walker.

He also added it would create new jobs, just by hiring people to build the road, and start up businesses along it. Walker says he's seen studies that show there is already federal stimulus money for projects like this.

Walker, who's run for other council seats in the past, is determined to be a voice for the people of Warner Robins if he's elected.

"I will never forget that the city wide seat and every council seat belongs to the citizens," said Walker.

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