The contest between challenger Robert Abbott and incumbent Joe Allen may be the most cordial of this season’s electoral contests. When the two have appeared together it’s more of an old home week than a battle for the district seat on the Bibb County Commission.
Abbott is all about lowering taxes and many of his ideas, such as looking at using natural gas for the county’s fleet of vehicles bears investigation. However, the $1,000 cost Abbott quotes is on the low side. Most conversions that would be applicable to a municipal fleet would cost between $8,000 and $10,000 because the conversion systems have to be EPA approved. Still it’s admirable that Abbott is thinking out of the box. His other idea -- that the county really can’t do because it would take an act of God in the state General Assembly -- is to convert, when they expire, the special purpose local option sales tax and E-LOST to taxes that would provide property tax relief.
Allen, true to his mantra, is a man of the people. He will call a town hall meeting to get citizen input at the drop of a hat, many times to the consternation of his fellow commissioners. But aside from calling town hall meetings, Allen’s work can be seen most visibly at Lake Tobesofkee, a jewel in the county’s crown that is often overlooked. His vision for the lake includes more amenities including a water slide and convention center. Lake Blackshear in Cordele is one of the models Allen has used in envisioning what to do at Tobesofkee,
Allen says he’s not going to run for the new consolidated commission, however, he did not go as far to say he wouldn’t run for mayor in the new government. But that will be a decsion for another day. There will be many others, in the political scene and out who will be jockeying for the next few months to see how and where they fit into the new political structure.
We cannot ignore the other sides of Allen. His charity, Kids Yule Love, has been operating for 26 years, always on a shoestring. Somehow, Allen has been able to provide Christmas for thousands of youngsters. As most people know, Allen’s heart is in the right place, even when his actions appear contradictory.
We endorse Joe Allen.
Board members:Charles Bass, Betty Bond-Toussaint, Gigi Cabell, Leroy Mack, Giles O'Neal, Gene Strauss, Sherrie Marshall and Charles E. Richardson.