Lucas, Davis vie for Macon Water Authority board seat

After 31 years of serving on the Macon Water Authority board, Javors Lucas is running for a sixth term. He faces a Democratic primary challenge from real estate agent Regina Davis, who ran unsuccessfully against his daughter for Macon City Council five years ago.

The winner of the primary does not face a Republican challenger for the Ward 2 authority board seat. After a 2009 change approved by the Georgia Legislature, for the first time the term of service will be four rather than six years.

The authority board, which includes five directly-elected members and one representative each from Macon City Council and the Bibb County Commission, sets policies and rates for the agency which provides water and sewer service to Macon, Bibb County and some surrounding towns and counties.

From his first campaign, Lucas, 89, promised to focus on helping residents get what they want from the authority and on looking out for employees. He said he aims to provide more of the same.

“I’m always trying to look out for the customer and take care of them,” Lucas said, adding that he often fields customer calls.

“Most of their problems are high bills, and sometimes they’re having a problem with their service that is causing the bill to be high. Things like that I can send people out to check on, and I feel good that I can straighten out a situation,” he said.

The retired federal employee and sign painter has served longer on the board than anyone else except Chairman Frank Amerson. During Lucas’ tenure, water service has expanded and the authority built a new reservoir that now bears Lucas’ name.

When asked what improvements he thinks the authority has made recently or what he’s most proud of during his tenure, Lucas said he couldn’t think of anything in particular.

“We have our meetings and we vote on various things,” he said. “When things come up, I weigh them and vote for or against them.”

He said he thinks the authority works smoothly and efficiently, and he praised its annual kids’ fishing derby.

Davis, 50, has no criticism of Lucas and no specific agenda for changes she would make if she won the authority seat. But she says she could offer a fresh perspective.

“I’m interested in serving the community and bringing new leadership ability and knowledge to that position,” said Davis, who also promised to emphasize customer service and meeting the needs of employees.

Although she has never held public office, Davis ran for Macon City Council five years ago and for Georgia General Assembly while living in Atlanta in 1996. Despite coming in third in the City Council race, she garnered enough votes to force a runoff between sitting council members Willette Hill-Chambliss and Miriam Lucas Paris. Paris is Javors Lucas’ daughter.

Davis, a Macon native, is a real estate agent with Dominion Realty Group who is working on a master’s degree in professional counseling through Liberty University. She served as a pastor when living in Atlanta and now runs an Internet-based ministry with an hourlong show twice a week. She is president of the board of the Macon Area Interdenominational Conservatory of Music, which provides low-cost music lessons to young people.

To contact writer S. Heather Duncan, call 744-4225.