Politics & Government

Final forum held in Warner Robins before runoff

WARNER ROBINS — Hopefuls for both mayor and the City Council Post 1 used the candidates forum Monday night to push their platforms one last time before voters take to the polls today.

Both Linda Faye Carnes and Mike Daley, who face each other for the council seat, said they bring experience handling budgets and other key areas of business to the table as the city prepares for a major overhaul among its top leadership. Daley went a step further, touting his leadership at various levels in the transportation industry.

“We’re going to have a young, energetic mayor,” he said. “I bring the senior-level business experience. I can be the sounding board for the mayor, and put the business experience I have to use for the citizens of Warner Robins.”

When asked how to handle the city’s current pet overpopulation, both agreed neutering and spaying animals could immediately ease growth in that area.

“I know there’s a lot of animals, but I know we need to have control over them,” Carnes said.

Mayoral candidates Chuck Chalk and Chuck Shaheen went back and forth on several ideas.

Shaheen said he could see term limits of two four-year terms for a mayor, while Chalk said he could see term limits but wouldn’t advocate for them. Shaheen said the vote of Clifford Holmes Jr. for him as mayor gives him confidence. Holmes finished third in the mayoral race in the general election. Chalk said he did not see where it would be decisive.

The two deadlocked on the idea of building a $10 million law enforcement center on the site of Jimmy Perkins Memorial Field.

“Perkins Field is a great location. Unfortunately, it falls on Perkins Field,” Chalk said. “It’s good to have it close to City Hall. The proximity is needed because you always see a bunch of people walking between the police department and City Hall.”

Shaheen said both the price tag and the location are mistakes.

“We only have $5 million (approved),” he said. “Let’s renovate some of these old buildings around town. We’ve got to make sure we look down the road with this decision. And every person I have talked to has said they do not want a law enforcement center at Perkins Field. I’m not for tearing down parks. You can’t speak out of both sides of your mouth.”

Some questions took aim at Shaheen. One asked where he owned property in Warner Robins besides his residence. He said he and his wife own land in the city where they are building a home. He also was asked what role State Rep. Willie Talton would have in the police department.

“Why not use his expertise?” said Shaheen, who said Talton would not come on board as the police chief in his administration.

To contact writer Marlon A. Walker, call 256-9685.