MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – As Macon-Bibb voters prepare to head to the polls on June 9, 41NBC is introducing candidates for local elections.
Decision 2020: Meet John Adams, Macon-Bibb Commission Candidate for District 1
Candidate Name: John Adams
Running for: District 1
Occupation: Sales Manager
Campaign Email: Adamsfordist1@yahoo.com
Campaign Facebook: Adams for District 1
Q: What do you view as the best thing Macon-Bibb has to offer compared to the rest of Middle Georgia?
A: Macon-Bibb has to offer great restaurants with the same high-caliber food as Atlanta, Savannah, and surrounding areas. I’ve got a lot of customers in the food business. We just got a great group of restaurants out there that can really bring revenue into Macon.
Q: What are the top priorities that you’ll need to address as a member of the commission, and what would be your plans to get your fellow commissioners to support your priorities?
A: Well first off, we have to worry about our first responders, Macon-Bibb Fire Department, the Sheriff’s Office. Those guys definitely need some kind of pay raise because it’s hard to get people to come and put their life on the line and do what they do every day. I think not being in that position, like so many of them on the commission that’s never done that before, they really don’t understand what they’re going through. Like when they get that call and they have to rush into a burning building and pandemics going on, they have to take quick actions and save people’s lives. With the Sheriff’s Office, you get that call and have to respond, whenever they show up, they don’t know what they’re getting into. They only get what the 911 call says and they show up and have to be quick on their feet. So to get people on my side I feel like we’ll have to look at the budget to see where they have money going. At the end of the day, we have to give the sheriff and find out what his needs are. That also comes from us. We have to know where the sheriff is coming from and his employees are coming from.
Q: That goes into my next question — you touched on pay raises for our first responders. The plan is to give our county employees, in general, raises. Do you think there’s room in the budget for these raises?
A: The thing is, the budget needs to be looked at. I don’t know where all of the money is paid out to now. I know I pay a lot being a homeowner, and the people in my area, in District 1, pay a lot for their housing. I mean we really have to look and see where the money is going first. We don’t know the ins and outs yet, being the new commissioners coming in. I believe there is with my background in transportation and my background in sales, doing budgets because I have sales reps I have to do budgets for. As a district manager, I have to achieve my budget and how we’re going to get there.
Q: Where do you rank blight among the county’s priorities?
A: See, over here in District 1, north Macon, we don’t have much blight. But I feel like with everybody, the surrounding commissioners from other areas if we put our heads together with taking care of the blight problems in other neighborhoods and made it attractive for other builders to come in and give them a deal on it. Because right now, no one is paying property taxes on it. So if we brought builders in and offered them some kind of incentive to go in and fix the neighborhood up. One act of kindness builds a chain reaction. You have one guy next to a blighted property, he feels run down because he’s put money in a place he lives. No one wants to live in a bad area. So if builders came in and we gave them some sort of incentive to rebuild these neighborhoods, it’d start a chain and we’d all have beautiful places to live in. As far as where they have blight, I don’t think they really worry about it that much. They talk about it, but they don’t really do anything to combat the blight problem.
Q: What would you do to make sure the commission is an effective legislative body?
A: I would have to research that question because I’m not really sure about that.
Q: To go off of that question, I’ll reword it. How do you plan on working with the other commissioners to make sure that Macon grows and prospers, especially since we’re dealing with this pandemic?
A: It’s going to take everyone working together and everybody getting on the same page. I know everyone has their own ideas of shelter in place and it’s not safe. The business I’m in, I take care of restaurants, schools, churches, places like that, our side of the business, especially the restaurant side, takes a hit financially also. We want to get back to work, we want to do things. But you know it comes with, we have to train people on how to do the right thing. I believe with my experience and the things I do, I can actually be of service to all of the people on commission on how we can get back to business and everybody being safe. This coronavirus is still going to be here, long after we decide to go back to work, it’s still going to be here so how are we going to prevent people from getting sick? Well, we can’t put a law in place saying you have to live your life saying you have to stay six feet away forever because nobody is going to do that. With me able to explain hand washing, hand sanitizing, sanitation that restaurants have to take because they have the health department to deal with before they were even open and health inspections. So these restaurant owners and business owners put a lot of thought and effort before this coronavirus even came. I feel like just working with the commissioners on how we can get back to business as normal. Everyone says this is the new normal, but I refuse to accept the new normal. I feel like this is something that will eventually pass, but the coronavirus will never go away. So the commission needs to work together to make sure it’s safe for all individuals. It can’t be just one way, it’s got to work for everybody.
Q: What needs to be done to support the sheriff’s office and the community’s concerns about crime?
A: As I said before I have to ask the Sheriff what he needs and listen to him. Being on the outside looking in at a problem, you have to listen to people, people in a neighborhood where they’re having crime problems. You have to talk to these people and find out what they need. Me being in north Macon, we don’t have as much crime and violence as certain areas, so I can’t really relate. So I’ll have to talk to people and find out what they need from the commission if I get elected so I can try to help. I think a lot of people don’t talk to people to find out what they need. They just assume they know what they need and know what’s best, but that’s not always true. We work for the people in our districts. Not only our districts but the whole city of Macon.
Q: What are some things you’re hoping to change about District 1?
A: What I would like to change about District 1 is definitely the property taxes is number 1. The last year, I’ve had two tax increases, we had a value increase. I really don’t see where District 1 money is going or all of the rest of the district’s money is going. I really want to work on property taxes, and I want to work with the Sheriff to find out his needs to create more patrols for neighborhoods and response times when someone calls 911. There’s definitely some drainage issues over here in District 1 — we need to take a look at some neighborhoods. I live in the Wesleyan Woods area, and there are no fire hydrants. When [the fire department ] shows up to put the fire out, where are they going to get the water from?
Q: Is there anything else you would like your constituents to know?
A: I’m an everyday citizen just like they are. I work a full-time job, I have a wife, I have three kids. I’m fighting the e-learning just like everyone else. I mean it’s rough. I want them to know I’m going to fight for them on property taxes, getting things done that need to be done in our area. I want to talk to them. I want to find out how I can be of service to them. That’s what it’s about. It’s working with everybody. Nobody has the right answer. It takes a group of people to make sure we all work together to get things done.