Political Notebook: Bibb DA named one of most influential attorneys in state

June 20, 2014 

Bibb County District Attorney David Cooke already has the ability to send people to death row. But now a publication said Cooke’s influence is unusually widespread.

James Magazine named Cooke one of the most influential attorneys in the state. The magazine praised Cooke for launching “an impressive anti-gang initiative and prosecutions that have netted significant results.”

Cooke’s office in the Macon Judicial Circuit also includes Crawford and Peach counties.

Cooke said in a statement he was humbled to be honored on the list alongside people such as former Gov. Roy Barnes, former Sen. Sam Nunn and former Rep. Buddy Darden.

Perry in the spotlight

A number of Perry officials noted their appearance in recent Political Notebooks, and they may have been hamming it up more than usual during a recent City Council meeting.

Community Development Director Mike Beecham said a developer is planning to build a roundabout, to be the city’s first.

“Yes, it’ll be chaos,” he quipped.

Council member Joe Posey suggested, “There’s your headline for tomorrow.” City Manager Lee Gilmour offered his own take: “Council approves chaos.”

Beecham later clarified his actual position on the roundabout: “I think it’ll be fine.”

Bibb schools attorney goes Hollywood

A Bibb County school system attorney has gotten some additional recognition as a representative to the stars.

Patrick Millsaps, a partner at Hall Booth Smith, has been a manager for Stacey Dash, known best for her acting role as Dionne in the movie “Clueless,” as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in December.

Now Deadline, a Hollywood-focused website, reports that Millsaps is launching a talent management company called HBS Management. Other partners are bringing talents such as actress Mischa Barton.

Millsaps was Newt Gingrich’s chief of staff during his brief 2012 presidential run. Deadline quoted Millsaps as making this comparison: “DC and Hollywood have so many similarities in common. Once you’ve run a presidential campaign, you’ve seen it all. The difference is in politics, you don’t know what anyone’s motivations are.”

Taylor moves into the city

Jim Taylor is a pretty prominent face at all sorts of Warner Robins meetings, and he partnered with the city to help build the Warner Robins Nature Center & Botanical Gardens.

It hasn’t been a bad run for a resident of unincorporated Houston County.

But Taylor sought, and this week got, approval to have his home annexed into the city limits. He cited the quality of city services, which will likely lower his homeowner’s insurance rates by several hundred dollars a year because he’ll get better fire protection.

City Council members not surprisingly welcomed him into the city, but they also urged him to sing the praises of the fire department.

Choo-choo for you too

Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert has long been an advocate for passenger rail service, hoping for an in-town light rail system, links to surrounding towns like spokes of a wheel, and a main line fast enough to make Macon-Bibb an Atlanta exurb. All of those are still dreams, but they’re a tiny step closer to having something to link to.

Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo on Friday said four Southern coastal states should develop a “shared vision” of service from Washington, D.C., to Atlanta.

Talking to a Virginians for High-Speed Rail group, he said Northeastern states are working on a 40-year plan for rail service between Boston and Washington, and nine Midwest states already have a long-term plan. Szabo said similar planning here could eventually mean “seamless” passenger rail from Atlanta to Boston.

He was touting the Grow America Act, a four-year, $302 billion transportation bill now in Congress that includes $19 billion for rail.

Writers Jim Gaines and Mike Stucka contributed to this report.

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