Macon residents in Alveno Ross’ City Council district will get to pick from some familiar faces.
The lineup for the Nov. 2 race was settled Wednesday with three candidates: Henry Ficklin, a teacher who served 28 years on the council; Ron Lemon, a chiropractor; and Michael Ryan, who has fought development near Mercer University.
Ross resigned last month to take the chief appraiser’s job in Augusta. Though the Nov. 2 election to fill his seat is nonpartisan, each candidate initially wrote on qualifying forms at the Board of Elections that they affiliated with the Democratic Party. Ryan scratched that out and wrote “Independent” shortly before qualifying ended. Lemon also submitted the necessary paperwork and paid the $300 filing fee before the end of qualifying Wednesday.
Ficklin, 61, is a lifelong resident of Bibb County, including 34 years in the council district. A minister, he also teaches at Southwest High School, where he leads the school’s Law, Government & Justice Academy. He is in the midst of a lawsuit against the school system, claiming age discrimination kept him from being promoted to principal. He was first elected to City Council in 1979 and last led the council’s Appropriations Committee. He left that seat to make an unsuccessful run for mayor in 2007.
Ficklin received a doctorate in educational leadership from Mercer University last month. He said his experience could help with ongoing issues such as debates over retirees’ benefits and negotiations with Bibb County.
“The council needs someone who can step right in without having a learning curve so the council can continue to do some of the things they’re doing,” Ficklin said.
Lemon, 48, has lived in the district for a decade and in Bibb County for 24 years. A graduate of Palmer Chiropractic College, he runs Middle Georgia Chiropractic on Vineville Avenue.
Ryan, 62, lists his occupation as “(former) teacher, lawyer & carpenter.” He remains an inactive member in good standing of the Georgia Bar Association and was certified as a Georgia high school and middle school biology teacher for five years. He has lived in the district 25 years.
In recent years, he sued Bibb County over its secret purchases of property near the county jail. He has been trying to get the Macon City Council to preserve as greenspace some property near his Carling Avenue home.
Ryan and Lemon did not return phone calls seeking comment.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.