Council seeks to raise age limit to run for city office

bpurser@macon.comJanuary 7, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- City council unanimously backed Monday a resolution raising the minimum age limits for serving as council members and as mayor.

The measure now goes before the state General Assembly, and if approved, the change to the city’s charter possibly could be in place before this year’s city election. The proposal also impacts residency.

But Councilwoman Carolyn Robbins, who proposed raising the age limits, said the measure had nothing to do with the upcoming election. The mayor’s post, as well as three council seats, are up for grabs this year.

“It really doesn’t have anything to do with it,” Robbins said outside of Monday’s meeting in reference to the election.

Currently to serve on mayor and council, a person must be at least 18 and have lived in the city for at least three months, Robbins said.

That’s been the requirement since 1943, she said.

The proposed change requires a person to be at least 21 to run for council and at least 23 to run for mayor, with a minimum residency term of one year within city limits and six months within a council district to run for a district council seat. The time would be counted as of the qualifying date.

Raising the age limit places the city more in line with the age requirement of 21 to 25 of other cities, Robbins said.

Also at Monday’s meeting, council elected Councilman Mike Brashear as the new mayor pro tem, replacing Councilman Mike Daley who served in that capacity in 2012.

Council also re-appointed City Attorney Jim Elliott to continue serving in that capacity. Other routine re-appointments in the first meeting of the new year included Chief Municipal Judge Fred Graham and Municipal Judges Tracy Richards and Bo Adams.

Council also changed the city classification plan to create a full-time accounting clerk. Part-time employee Christine Parker was moved into that slot, while the number of part-time administrative services positions was reduced from five to four.

Council promoted firefighter Newell E. Dixon to the rank of lieutenant. Also, city employee Travis B. Lane was promoted to a utilities maintenance worker II, city employee Jeffrey D Stanfield was promoted to utility servicer, and Scott Welter was sworn in as a Warner Robins police officer.

In addition, council approved the sale of about an acre of city property between Moody Road and the Cherokee Hills subdivision to the highest bidder, which was the Lions Club at $1,000. The Lions Club was also the sole bidder. The property at South Pleasant Hill Road and Moody Road is located next to property the Lions Club leased from the city in December for a park, according to Elliott.

Also, the city was recognized as a 100 Best winner by America’s Promise Alliance for its efforts to support local youth.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.

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