Last Evening, June 7th I attended the "Macon Speaks" public forum at the Shrine Temple on Mecca Drive in South Bibb County.
The purpose of the meeting which was sponsored by several organizations to glean information from the Citizens of Macon and Bibb for the upcoming City of Macon Primary and the General Election. The input from the Citizens will be used to fashion questions for the upcoming public forums where the Candidates will hopefully answer questions/concerns that the people have generated.
I attended the meeting with a prepared list of Comments/Concerns which I publish here:
- Keep your Campaign Real!! Tell us what you are going to do!
- When elected work to accomplish what you stated you would do during the campaign!
- If an incumbent - Tell Us your success stories!
- Keep your Campaign positive!
- Remember that you are campaigning to serve "We The People!"
- When elected strive for the "common" good of all citizens!!
- Always work for what is best for the long term versus short term gradification!
- Remember that not all of your actions as an elected official will be popular!!
- Remember "Teamwork!"
The meeting started a few minutes later than the 6:30 P.M. start time with seventeen attendees. The crowd grew to about 22 within a matter of about 20 minutes.
We were all given touch pads to vote our concerns on twelve pre-developed concerns. The results were interesting. Education was placed at the top of the list by the majority of the attendees. A vision for Macon was also a priority concern. In fact all twelve of the pre-developed concerns received a high priority vote.
We then had the opportunity to develop several concerns which included reducing crime, budgeting as well as several other items.
The Fanning Institute of the University of Georgia conducted the meeting and will do three more within the next week. The Great Expectations - Macon Speaks are well announced in the local print and electronic media.
Here’s when and where the three remaining neighborhood meetings will be held in which residents can express their concerns on issues most important to them in the upcoming city election:10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 11, Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, 2789 Millerfield Road.
5:30-7 p.m. June 14, Museum of Arts & Sciences, 4182 Forsyth Road, Macon
7-8:30 p.m. June 14, Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, 301 Cherry Street, Macon.
After everyone presented their concerns and the event was concluding I heard the following comments:
"More People need to be Involved!" This from a 23 year old male.
"Pass the Torch to Younger People!" from a young female.
"Establish a Vision and Keep on Focus!!!"
I left the meeting feeling confident that the People of Macon will be more focused on who they elect this Fall. The general mood of the group was that this is the year that the young citizens will be involved. In fact over half of the attendees were of the younger ages which has not been very common in previous events that focused on elections.
I sincerely hope that the future will be much brighter for the Middle Georgia Area and I hope that the electors of Macon take their responsibilities very serious.