Politics & Government

Political notebook: A ticket to slide?

Urban planner Scott Page has been doing a little experimenting with downtown Macon parking.

His research shows that at any given time, half of off-street parking is available and about a third of the on-street spaces are empty.

Page admits he leaves his car on the street much longer than the two-hour limit, to test law enforcement, but has never been ticketed.

“Sorry, mayor,” Page told Robert Reichert at the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce breakfast this week.

“That will change later today,” Reichert quipped back.

“I have to go move my car,” Page replied.

MARIJUANA AND A MOVIE

State Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, along with Rep. Micah Gravley, R-Douglasville, announced that the “Growing Hope” film that tracked House Bill 885 through the Georgia Legislature is now online.

Peake is among the interviewees in the movie, which tracked a bill drafted by Peake. Peake continues to push for medical use of a marijuana plant extract, cannabidiol.

The movie is available at tinyurl.com/growinghopefilm.

Peake has been discussing having the movie screened in Middle Georgia.

HOUSE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS PICKS FAMILIAR LEADERS

The state House Republican Caucus has re-elected its leadership, including House Speaker David Ralston of Blue Ridge.

But the leadership panel continues to be heavy with Middle Georgians, including Majority Leader Larry O’Neal of Bonaire, Majority Caucus Chairman Matt Hatchett of Dublin and Majority Caucus Secretary/Treasurer Allen Peake of Macon.

MEDICARE PART D WORKSHOPS SCHEDULED

Staff and volunteers from the office of U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., will hold workshops to help people with Medicare Part D issues. Medicare open enrollment runs through Dec. 7.

Sessions are 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday at the W.E. Knox Civic Center, Chamber of Commerce, 161 W. Clinton St., Gray; and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday at Middle Georgia State College’s Eastman campus, 71 Airport Road, Eastman.

FIXING UP OUR IMAGE

Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert went to Savannah this week for the annual conference of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and he spoke there Thursday on “leveraging history for a better future.” He started with plugging NewTown Macon and the Historic Macon Foundation, according to his prepared remarks. He said that in the past two years Macon has overtaken Savannah in the number of historic preservation projects underway.

Macon is ideal for preservation projects for a combination of reasons, Reichert said, because there are lots of old buildings, relatively cheap property and a range of preservation incentives. Of course, he didn’t omit praise for the merger of the city and county governments, arguing that consolidation has brought together a broader range of partners in preservation efforts.

STATE OF THE STATE

Georgia’s economy played a starring role in the election fight between Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and Democratic challenger Jason Carter.

While Site Selection magazine ranked Georgia the nation’s best state for business two years in a row, a Forbes ranking puts Georgia about a third of the way down its list, averaging No. 16 among states for business and careers. It ranked 4th for regulatory environment and 13th for growth prospects on the good side, but ranked No. 38 for quality of life and economic climate. Labor supply was ranked 21st, and business costs were 27th.

Forbes wrote that “Georgia’s once robust economy has slowed in recent years, but the state still maintains a pro-business climate.” It flagged the state for having 19 percent of the population below the poverty line, one of the worst in the nation.

Had Carter been asked for his input, he’d probably point to the unemployment rate, which has been the worst in the nation.

TERMS OF ENDEARMENT

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss decided to retire after two terms in the U.S. Senate. U.S. Sen.-elect David Perdue vowed to serve no more than two terms.

Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson has set 11 a.m. Monday, in the state Capitol, as the time and location for his announcement that he plans to run for a third term in the Senate.

Yes, we did just finish one election and avoided several anticipated runoff elections. So now we’re officially already working on 2016 races.

Writers Liz Fabian, Jim Gaines and Mike Stucka contributed to this report.

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