Bilderback wins Monroe chairmanship; voters re-elect Evans

pramati@macon.comNovember 6, 2012 

Two years after losing his Monroe County Commission seat, Republican Mike Bilderback won the race for commission chairman, defeating incumbent James Vaughn by a 5,560-to-5,264 tally Tuesday night.

Bilderback lost his District 3 seat in 2010, but he managed to edge Vaughn for the chairman’s seat this time around. Vaughn has served as chairman the past four years.

Last month, Bilderback said he opposes the county issuing bonds and borrowing money to complete projects. He said he would rather wait to collect sales tax money to pay for the projects.

Bilderback also said he wouldn’t have entered into a contract with the Macon Water Authority for the county’s water needs. Rather, he wants to use the county’s own water treatment plant, which was refurbished for $750,000, to serve the entire county.

In other Monroe County races, voters re-elected District 1 Commissioner Larry Evans to four more years and approved a referendum to allow alcohol sales on Sundays in a 7,028-to-4,036 decision.

Evans, a Democrat, has served on the board of commissioners since 1987. He defeated Republican Donald C. Smith 1,431-1,061. Smith, a retired consultant with the Georgia Department of Transportation, has never served in elected office, but he ran unsuccessfully in the District 4 Republican primary in 2010.

Evans said he considers the election season to be a 365-day per year event and that he is constantly working for his constituents.

“I appreciate their support,” Evans said. “I try to be proactive. I don’t want to wait until my constituents have a problem. I try to keep ahead of all their problems.”

Evans said his biggest priority is to settle some of the county’s debts. Monroe County was forced to take out a loan earlier to repay money when Plant Scherer overpaid the county by $1.5 million for environmental improvements. The county has had to borrow $2.5 million to finish out the rest of the calendar year.

“We’ve got to make some serious cuts without cutting services or employees,” Evans said.

Evans said the county also must find a way to attract more jobs while competing with counties such as Bibb for new industries.

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.

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