Our choice for mayor of Warner Robins

December 1, 2013 

It’s wonderful that a community can send six names to the ballot seeking the office of mayor and most had the right resume. But, there can be only one when Tuesday’s runoff election is over.

In the general election, the Editorial Board’s selection, Mike Brashear, didn’t fare well, garnering less than 10 percent of the poor turnout. The two left standing for the runoff, Randy Toms and Joe Musselwhite, prove that Warner Robins likes their mayors homegrown.

Both Musselwhite and Toms were produced locally and are similar in experience though in different fields of work. Toms was a city firefighter and Musselwhite headed up the city’s Public Works Department. However, neither has held elective office. Both, of course, want the best for Warner Robins and have a particular affinity to the city’s workers.

The next four years will be challenging. Another round of base realignment and closure is on the horizon and the next mayor will have to prod and cajole city residents into doing things they might not see the need in doing, such as creating a new transit system. The two competing bases have transit in their communities, but Warner Robins lacks such service.

Because both candidates approach the job with the same amount of elected experience, or lack of, it comes down to who do we believe is the fastest learner and can bring the right touch (personality) to the job. We endorse Randy Toms. We believe he has the right skills for the job that will require a regional approach in the fight to keep the base. He will have to join a team of elected officials in all the neighboring counties and communities. His experience as a chaplain will come in handy and maybe his experience as a bailiff as well.

The other race on the ballot, the Post 1, citywide seat has Chuck Shaheen, the present and soon-to-be former mayor of the city, and Councilman Mike Daley. In the general election we endorsed Daley and we continue to stand by our reasoning. While Shaheen would bring his single-term experience of mayor to the council, that could be a bad, rather than good thing. It’s helpful to quietly offer suggestions to the new mayor and be a valuable member of council. But we believe he would be a disruptive influence. Daley brings his single-term experience to the council where he has acquitted himself well. He’s a straight-shooter not known for bombastic outbursts and we think he has the right temperament and skill to be an asset on council and to the new mayor.

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