Warner Robins public works director announces bid for mayor’s seat

chwright@macon.comJune 4, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- The city’s public works director announced his intention to run for mayor Tuesday, pledging he would use his knowledge from 21 years of working for the city to run it.

Joe Musselwhite, public works director since 1994, became the fifth to announce a run to be the city’s next mayor. Standing in front of City Hall with 40 supporters, Musselwhite said he wants to continue serving the community after retirement.

“My greatest ability will be my availability,” Musselwhite said in his short remarks. “We’re going to move the city forward. We already have a great city. We’re going to make it even better.”

Musselwhite said he can’t talk about issues yet because he’s still a city employee. He submitted retirement paperwork Monday, and his last day will be Aug. 23. Qualifying for the November election opens Aug. 26.

“I assure you when issues come up, I’ll be there to talk about them, defend them, and take up for you and yours, and support the ones I like and not support the ones I don’t,” Musselwhite said.

Musselwhite did mention $19 million earmarked for industrial development in the 2012 special purpose local option sales tax and pledged to work with Perry, Centerville and Houston County to put it to the best use. He said he’s accustomed to working with the other entities.

And, like others, the city employee said a relationship with Robins Air Force Base is vital.

“We’ll keep that line of communication open night and day and help them any way we can,” he said. “I encourage all of you to do the same every day.”

Mayor Chuck Shaheen said he wishes Musselwhite well, calling him a leader in the community.

“Joe has been very instrumental over the last 20 years in building our city,” Shaheen said. “If you want something done, give it to Joe Musselwhite.”

Shaheen also attended an announcement earlier in the day for Councilman Daron Lee where Lee said he’d be running as the mayor’s successor, not opponent. Shaheen declined to comment on whether he endorses Lee and has not said whether he will seek re-election.

Lee, Councilman Mike Brashear, retired firefighter Randy Toms and Robins Air Force Base employee Chuck Chalk also have said they intend to appear on the November ballot for mayor.

To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.

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