Veteran MWA rep draws challenge from newcomer

pramati@macon.comMay 1, 2014 

  • MWA District 1

    Dorothy C. “Dot” Black (i)
    Age: 80
    Occupation: Retired educator
    Political experience: District 1 representative on Macon Water Authority for 18 years.

    Anissa Monique Jones
    Age: 42
    Occupation: Chiropractor; biology professor, Fort Valley State University
    Political experience: Lost to James Beverly in 2011 for the District 139 state House seat.

In some ways, the race for the nonpartisan District 1 seat on the Macon Water Authority is a choice between experience and new ideas.

Dorothy “Dot” Black, 80, has served on the board for 18 years. During that time the water authority has received national attention for its success with the water system’s infrastructure.

Black drew a challenge from Anissa Monique Jones, 42, a chiropractor who has never held public office before but who said she would bring new ideas to the board if elected.

Jones, also a biology professor at Fort Valley State University, said she has the background to help keep the water and sewer systems clean.

While she praised the water authority’s progress under late Chairman Frank Amerson, Jones said the MWA needs “futuristic ideas” to progress.

“The board collectively did a great job under Frank Amerson,” she said. “But with his passing, (the board isn’t) thinking innovatively on how to move the city down the line. With my business background, I want to support and partner with those agencies that bring economic development to Macon.”

Black, however, said the authority continues to maintain the infrastructure as well as add new programs, such as school tours of the water plant and the annual youth fishing contest at Javors Lucas Lake. One of the reasons she is seeking another term on the board is to continue to work on the new programs, as well as add more.

“I’m a people person,” Black said. “I started some things I want to see through, like working with the elementary school kids when they take a field trip to the water plant.”

Black, who serves as chairwoman on both the authority’s finance and pension committees, said she wants to continue to keep rates affordable for consumers and expand services into neighboring counties.

Jones said she wants to fight for District 1, noting that the city’s landfill is in that district. Jones said some promised improvements, especially around the Jeffersonville Road area, have yet to come to fruition.

With so many industrial sites located within the district, Jones said it’s a prime area for expansion for the authority.

The election takes place May 20. Early voting in Bibb County is already underway.

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.

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