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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Election Day for voters is just a little under two weeks away. 41NBC News is introducing to Macon-Bibb voters, candidates for commission.
Decision 2020: Meet Tim Rivers, Macon-Bibb Commission Candidate for District 7
Candidate name: Tim Rivers
Running for: 7
Occupation: Former Officer
Campaign Facebook: Tim Rivers
Q. Tim Rivers, you’re running for District 7, tell us, what are your plans and how you do you get your fellow commissioners on board?
A. One of the plans that I planned on doing, I planned on reducing blight by getting more business to come back to South Macon. Also, a lot of people don’t realize that I am still mandated by the State of Georgia as a Law Enforcement Officer. So with that being said, as a District Seven candidate, I know how to reduce the crime in south Macon area. And that’s one of my biggest plans is to stop slum lords for taking advantage of the elderly, and taking advantage of the citizens in South Macon. Because everybody knows by now that abandoned houses are common ground for criminal activities.
Q. How do you plan on specifically reducing the blight and also addressing the Sheriff’s concerns with crime since they go hand in hand, and it’s part of your campaign?
A. I’m glad that you mentioned that. What I want to do as a District seven-candidate, and if I am elected, is I want to take on blight by again, bringing business here and fixing abandoned houses. You know, if we can’t revitalize abandoned houses, they shouldn’t be here, then we should knock them down. And also, I want to partner with Bibb County Law Enforcement or with the Law Enforcement Officer. I want to partner with them in the available partnership so that we can together because one person can’t reduce the crime alone. All of us have to come together and stop youth violence and stop domestic violence. So, that’s one of the things that I want to do.
Q. With the Sheriff’s office, there have been talks across the board for pay increases. And now with budget talks and COVID-19, is there still room in the budget to allow these pay increases when you guys revisit the topic again in January?
A. One of the things that I want to do as a District seven-candidate is I want to fix the salary discrepancy for our public safety workers. And yes, of course, I think it’s going to be enough funds in the budget to make sure that happened with our whole public safety, without public safety workers and central workers, we won’t get anywhere. Instead of going forward, we will go backward.
Q. Are you talking about taking those funds out of the reserve fund balance?
A. Yes, ma’am absolutely. Because think about it. If we don’t, then a lot of our own Deputies, a lot of our Fireman’s going to go to other agencies that have a more competitive advantage.
Q. How do you plan on replenishing that fund balance then, since they’re already taking 10 million out and if you need, they’re projecting three to eight million for pay increases, so it’s not completely depleted. How do you plan on rebuilding that once the funds are taken out?
A. Well, one of the things that I already talked to my team about is us personally writing grants for our Deputies, because it is some grant funds that are available for law enforcement agencies as far as equipment-wise, as far as salary. So somewhat some of the things that we already talking about implementing.
Q. Recovery efforts from COVID-19, what are your plans when you guys do revisit? Not just pay increases, but everywhere. You know, we have to bring our small businesses back. We have to get the economy back booming to what it was, people in our hotels. You know, we lost a lot of money from losing Cherry Blossom. So how do you plan on helping with the recovery efforts?
A. On the recovery efforts, that’s a good question. The recovery efforts, what I already had a discussion about is again, on allocating funds from … excuse me, let me rephrase that. Being an advocate of going to talk to people about a bailout, possible bailout money, and I know those funds are possibly going to all be available later.