Citizens Advisory Board

August 25, 2013 

Charles Bass

Bass is a retired mathematician and a Republican. He believes it is important to choose candidates with the best experience and personal qualities for all elective offices. The goals for the public good should be determined before consideration of expenses. After clear goals are in mind, consideration should be given to optimizing serving public needs within available resources. Taxes should never be increased faster than the rate of inflation.

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Bob Berlin

Berlin received his law degree from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. He was a senior partner in the law firm of Berlin and Hodges and he served as a Municipal Court judge. In the 1970s, Berlin served in the Georgia House of Representatives. He is one of the founders of Decision Management Associates Inc., a firm that provides mediation services and training in leadership and other areas for various industries and professions.

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Gigi Cabell

Cabell is a paralegal and translator and politically independent. She believes our goals as voters should be to achieve the best government possible, in accordance with the principles upon which this country was founded. We rightly demand equity, quality, accountability, transparency, efficiency and cost-effectiveness in the public services delivered.

However, cost reduction alone is no guarantee that the other five expectations will be met. Government fulfills a necessary and vital function in regulating activities which affect the ability of citizens to exercise their basic rights and in balancing the interests of the individual with the good of the whole.

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Bill Curry

Curry is professor emeritus of psychology at Wesleyan College where he served for almost 40 years. He holds a doctorate in psychology from UGA and is married to Julie Curry a retired Special Education teacher. They have one daughter who is a research librarian and faculty member at Mercer University. He enjoys gourmet cooking, caring for his pets, Daisy, a German shepherd and Charlie, a Maine Coon cat, and UGA football. He is a moderate Democrat and is interested in helping elect strong leaders who can quietly strengthen the Macon community and move it forward in a positive direction without the negativity and drama that is sometimes associated with some current elected officials.

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Amy Elton

Elton is an American Sign Language/English interpreter. She is a constitutional conservative and has lived in Macon for nearly 20 years.

Her experience and view of life is that the best comes from people when the most is expected of them: “I believe that when a government seeks to mandate charitable hearts, they cease to be charitable. I find that the shallowness with which our country’s history is currently taught belies the brilliance and thoughtfulness of its founding. Finally, I believe that you want and know what is best for you and your loved ones and I would not presume to advise you on such matters. That is why our individual freedoms require that our laws and regulations remain few.”

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Mary Lou Ezell

Ezell was born and lived in Detroit, Mich., until her family moved to Atlanta when she was 14 years old. She is a charter member of High Street Unitarian Universalist Church in Macon. She and her husband, Roby, have six children and 12 grandchildren. Ezell received a B.A. in history from Georgia State University, a master’s degree in elementary education from Mercer University and a specialist’s degree in supervision and administration from Georgia College and State University.

In 2008, she retired from the Houston County Board of Education after 35 years where she was an elementary school principal for the last 24 years. During her tenure she was elected to “Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities,” was a Georgia Distinguished Principal, a principal of a School of Excellence and a High Performance Principal. Since retirement, she works part time as a clinical supervisor at Middle Georgia State College and spends time with her grandchildren and several volunteer organizations. She enjoys yoga, reading and walking.

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Shawn Fritz

Fritz is a retired senior officer in the United States Air Force. He is currently employed as a defense contractor. He is a staunch constitutional conservative. If forced to choose a party (only because the aforementioned affiliation is not an official party) he claims the Republican Party. However, he is extremely disappointed in the way so-called Republicans are conducting the nation’s business.

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Philip Lengel

Lengel is a lifelong resident of Macon. He holds a B.S. in International affairs and modern languages, a minor in economics and a certificate in international business from Georgia Institute of Technology. After graduating from Georgia Tech in 2011, he returned to Macon where he serves as technical assistant at Industrial Hydro-Blast. Lengel is a fiscal conservative who considers the Libertarian perspective to be of increasing relevance to modern political discourse. He believes the central role of government is to provide a handful of key public goods and to do so in an efficient, responsible way.

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Leroy Mack

Mack is a lifelong resident of Macon and a graduate of Northeast High School. He attended Macon Junior College, where he was elected vice president of the Student Government Association. After leaving MJC, he attended Georgia College and received a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a T-4 in secondary education. He worked at Brown & Williamson as a quality analyst for several years. He transitioned to the Department of Family and Children Services where he served for 25 years before retiring as a supervisor. After a year of retirement, he went back into the classroom as a substitute teacher for the Bibb County Board of Education.

Mack considers himself a conservative Democrat. His political philosophy is based on the belief that government should facilitate a “hand up” rather than a “handout.” The role of government is to maintain infrastructure, to make laws, to protect citizens from threats, to accurately determine and collect taxes and to maintain law and order.

He believes government, and therefore politicians, should act for the good of the whole community devoid of the influence of lobbyist, special interest groups or their own political agenda. Only then does government function for the good of the community.

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Don McGouirk

McGouirk is a retired broadcast executive and is an Independent. He believes we should identify the candidates or ideas that will make the community a better place for his grandchildren. He loves this area and wants them to want to live here. Sometimes he has to hold his nose and vote for the lesser evil, but he feels we all must vote. We don’t get to gripe unless we vote.

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Jonathan “Jon” Merrill

Merrill is an eighth-grade Georgia History teacher at Howard Middle School. He is a Republican. He believes leaders, who are elected to public service, should serve the public. To do so, they are expected to be champions for justice, the caretakers of individual rights and role models of what is right. Their decision-making must be based, not on political self-interest, but on the common good of the entire community. Citizens should not only want this from our leaders, they should demand it.

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Giles H. O’Neal

O’Neal works in rural land sales and is an Independent with moderate conservative leanings. However, especially on the national level, he have become very disillusioned with the lack of integrity evidenced by both major parties. He fears that the failure, or inability, of many of our citizens to become properly informed on the issues will lead to the nation’s downfall. This he sees as an increasing problem on the local political level. Candidate’s political philosophies should not be the product of political opinion polls.

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Gene B. Strouss

Strouss is a retired Human Resources manager and generally votes Republican, with a little Libertarian thrown in. He believes in limited government based on the Constitution, state Constitution and/or local charter. “That which governs best governs least.”

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Betty Bond Toussaint

Toussaint works in Clinical Services and is a Democrat. Her political philosophy is that government should always act in the best interest of all people and create laws that will ensure peace, safety and equality for all.

She believes in freedom of individual choice as long as that choice will not impede on the rights, liberty and safety of others.

Toussaint views political leaders as a reflection of the communities from which they are elected and they have a personal responsibility to act with integrity and to put aside personal biases and work for the good of all citizens.

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