Bibb County voters will decide Tuesday whether to extend a 1% sales tax to fund $185 million in school initiatives.
Meanwhile, voters in cities in Houston County will elect council members.
Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.
Whether to continue the Education-Special Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST) for school improvements is the only item on the Bibb County ballot.
If approved, revenues generated from the tax measure would fund a host of projects including a new elementary school, a performing arts center, improved technology, safety and security systems, new school buses, building renovations and upgrades to athletic fields.
The Victory in Progress Committee that supports the tax measure made a final push for the E-SPLOST at a news conference Friday that was aired live on the Bibb school district’s Facebook page.
Macon-Bibb Mayor Robert Reichert, a self-proclaimed cheerleader for the school funding mechanism, and Robby Fountain, chairman of the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority, were among those who spoke in support of it. A video about the benefits of the measure was also shown.
“We are building a first-class community,” Reichert said at the event at the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce. “We are becoming the hub city of the Middle Georgia region.
“But everybody knows that you can’t have a first-class community without (a) first-class public school system, and that’s what we’re here about to help endorse the continuation of this one penny sales tax because it’s doing great things for the community, it’s doing great things for our students and it’s helping to build ... a more promising future for all of us,” he said.
All of Macon-Bibb’s 31 voting places will be in use for the yes or no vote on the measure.
Meanwhile, in Houston County, council elections include three contested races in Warner Robins.
In Post 2, Stephen Baughier, Charlie Bibb and Eric Langston face off for the vacant seat once held by Carolyn Robbins, who did not seek re-election. Robbins died Sept. 30.
Bibb, an ordained minister, is the pastor at Liberty Independent Baptist Church and an electronics technician at Robins Air Force Base.
Baughier operates Camp Financial Independence, which conducts personal finance retreats around the nation.
Langston, who narrowly lost a previous bid for a Warner Robins council seat, works at Robins Air Force Base where he manages a small fleet of special operations helicopters.
Post 2 is the only at-large seat at the ballot, which means that all registered voters in the city may cast ballots in this race.
In the Post 4 council race, incumbent Tim Thomas is being challenged for the seat by Kevin Lashley.
Thomas, who was first elected to council in 2013, operates rental properties.
Lashlely is a project manager for Servpro of Houston County, which provides fire and water damage cleanup services.
Thomas’ wife challenged Lashley’s eligibility to run for office by alleging he had not lived in the city for a year before qualifying as required, but the challenge was rejected. Lashlely has said that he lived a few years outside of city limits until moving back into the city more than year before qualifying.
In Post 6, incumbent Larry Curtis Jr. is facing opposition from two council hopefuls, Miranda Britt and Jon Nichols. Curtis was appointed to fill the unexpired term of the late Mike Davis, who died in office.
Curtis is an equipment specialist in supply chain management at Robins.
Britt, is manager of her family’s business, Britt’s Northside Service Center.
Nichols, manager of Bug House Pest Control, has previously served as a councilman in Centerville when he lived there.
Five polling places are being used for the election.
The election in Perry includes one contested council race.
Four candidates —John James, Jimmy McLeod, Gary Moulliet and Joy Peterson — are vying for the District 2 Post 2 seat vacated by William Jackson,who did not seek re-election.
James is an attorney based in Perry, Peterson is a retired, career educator, McLeod is a retired Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter maintenance worker, and Moulliet is retired military, having served in both the Marine Corp and Air Force.
Perry voters have one polling place: the James E. Worrall Community Center at Rozar Park.
Centerville has one contested council race on the ballot.
Post 3 Councilman Micheal Evans, a program manager at Robins who previously retired as a lieutenant colonel with Air Force Reserve, faces a challenge from Susan Lemme, a retired branch manager for the Middle Georgia Regional Library System.
Additionally, voters will decide a referendum on extending the start time for Sunday alcohol sales by the drink at restaurants by 90 minutes from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Such sales are now permitted from 12:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Sundays.
City Hall is the sole polling place.
Staff writer Wayne Crenshaw contributed to this report and Telegraph archives were used in this report.