Politics & Government

Political notebook: City clerk job provides Warner Robins City Hall intrigue

Warner Robins Mayor Randy Toms on Monday is expected to appoint a city clerk, a position that City Council must confirm. The position is unusually powerful, something like a super department head, overseeing some sub-departments, such as finance, purchasing and taxes.

Toms put the position on the agenda for the April 6 meeting, but then withdrew it before the meeting began. He told The Telegraph he wouldn’t comment on whether the same person would be appointed.

City Council members told The Telegraph the last person nominated is a city employee now working for another department outside City Hall. Toms didn’t say why he pulled the item from the agenda, but at least one City Council member is interested in having candidates from within the city clerk’s department be considered.

What will happen? Stay tuned.

FINAL DEAL

A settlement agreement between former 21st Century Partnership leader MaryTherese Grabowski and the Georgia Department of Defense makes it clear that nothing else should come out of the dispute, in which Grabowski claimed she was fired for blowing the whistle on misdeeds at the Georgia National Guard.

Grabowski had to dismiss all the lawsuits and warranted that nobody else would ever make a claim on her relationship with the Guard, for which she can never work again. She is to get two checks totalling $288,000. A check for $192,000 is to go to an account with her attorneys at Thrasher Worth. Taxes are the recipients’ worries.

Georgia got an agreement not to be sued again. The settlement is of “disputed claims, the validity, existence or occurrence of which is expressly denied by the State of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Defense,” which admit no fault in the dispute.

MACON MAYORAL MICROPHONE MAGIC

When Cherry Blossom Festival CEO Jake Ferro asked a Columbus couple what drew them to the festival last month, they said it was Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert.

“Mayor Reichert’s voice was heard on the radio all over the state for 30 days,” Ferro told festival volunteers.

This year, the festival recruited some of the community’s most familiar broadcasters to record public service announcements.

When the Georgia Association of Broadcasters chose the perfect pitch person for the statewide campaign, Reichert bested the bunch.

“The couple, they were just thrilled to hear the mayor’s voice and his enthusiasm, so they came to check it out,” Ferro said. “And they stayed all day that Saturday.”

You can hear Reichert’s PSA at www.macon.com.

FALLING TIME

A PolitiFact Georgia look at whether the legislative session must end at midnight on its final day concluded that it’s not over until the gavel bangs.

But it also lead PolitiFact to remind us of one of the stranger times in Macon-related history. In 1964, state Rep. Denmark Groover of Macon, clad in a suit, with one calf slung over a railing and the rest of him on the wrong side of a balcony, grabbed a clock and tried to stop it from moving to mark the time for adjournment. The clock, instead, fell to the floor, and the House continued its discussion on redistricting.

A picture of Groover’s actions is very much worth a look.

IDENTITY INTERESTS

The city of Perry recently agreed to hire ChandlerWorks of Franklin, Tennessee, to help Perry create a strong brand identity. ChandlerWorks’ marketing materials listed some places the firm has done work, including Macon-Bibb County; Dublin, Ohio; and Providence, Rhode Island. Some of the other examples of branding likely haven’t made a strong impression on Middle Georgia just yet.

Among the more prominent application branding materials offered to Perry reviewers were those of Fremont, Nebraska, and Elk River, Minnesota.

If you’re familiar with the effectiveness of those branding campaigns, please drop us a line.

SUPER SITE

Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills recently told The Telegraph that, with the closing of Plant Branch, the Georgia Power-owned site could host a automobile maker or other large factory. The site should have at least 2,000 acres, rail access and of course plenty of water from Lake Sinclair.

In contrast, the Pooler “megasite” development location -- at the intersection of Interstates 16 and 95 near Savannah -- has just 1,500 acres. Putnam County’s site doesn’t have such easy access to the interstate highways, but it’s not far from Interstates 75, 16 and 20. Putnam County Manager Paul Van Haute said the site should be ready by early 2018.

Liz Fabian and Mike Stucka contributed to this report.

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