Praise for Rick Hutto

I have given Rick a lot of grief for siding with the bad hotel plan in Macon — the one on Coliseum property. I think he deserves that criticism, being a guy as smart as he is and choosing that plan.

So, I want to sing his praises too today. He stood firm on seeing on the position that Macon should have nonpartisan elections.

Out of 500+ municipalities in Georgia, only Macon has nonpartisan elections (excuse the typo, please. Macon is the only municipality in Georgia with partisan elections), which adds over $35,000.00 to the cost of elections here. Rick has been vocal about needing nonpartisan elections. And he held firm in the Ordinance and Resolutions Committee vote last night.

Interestingly, four people voted for nonpartisan elections and five voted against the idea. It won’t make it to the agenda tonight at Macon’s City Council Meeting, but the Council could force the issue onto the agenda tonight. There are enough votes to do just that.

9 comments

  1. Erick says:

    Yes Tommy. In addition to significant taxpayer savings, which in and of itself makes it a good idea for a city as cash strapped as Macon, most of the ideas a municipality deals with are not partisan issues.

    Additionally, having nonpartisan races would encourage candidates to talk more about issues and ideas rather than hiding behind their party label. That does not happen at the local level.

  2. Tommy_a2b says:

    I find the opposite happens.

    In conservative cities the candidates talk issue yes but no one covers everything and they purposely avoid issues in which they are liberal. The opposite being the case in liberal cities. Also in partisan elections say for State Senate or House, I rarely see candidates getting elected who do not talk the real issues.

    Cash strapped is also no excuse in my book because the city could save even more money by changing their election schedule to even years instead of odd. Maybe you should add that to your platform. In my area I just get real tired of candiddates saying they are conservative (in municiple races) and then blaming the tax assessor or commissioner for all the tax increases. Especially when the law is pretty clear that municipalities are suppose to roll back millage to compensate. I admit I know nothing at all about Macon but win or loose I think partisen is important. It can be a key indicator for the masses where someone stands on issues and when they don’t hold up to that parties values then the party can go after them. I also realize that most municipalies are run by liberals partisen or not. I being conservative would be on the short end of the stick in most cities but I atleast would know what I was getting.

    What are your thoughts?

  3. Erick says:

    Tommy, it’d have to get General Assembly approval because the default is for municipalities to have elections in odd numbered years.

    And, of course, Republicans have no shot in Macon outside of Ward 5, without nonpartisan elections.

  4. GabrielSterling says:

    Erick:

    I don’t know about the rest of Georgia, but in Fulton County; Sandy Springs, Atlanta, Roswell, Alpharetta, Milton and Johns Creek, are all non-partisan.

  5. Brian from Ellijay says:

    Erick I think you have a typo in this. Are they currently partisan? Or non partisan?

  6. Tommy_a2b says:

    OK you need Legislativa approval to change to even years. That is not hard to get unless someone in the Legis is really angry at someone in Macon’s Government structure. I actually think the state should move all municipalities to even years as a cost saving action. Maybe I’ll work on that next year.

    I still do not know which way you are leaning or thinking. Let’s say the dates get moved to even years, now how do you feel about partisan races?

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