Macon voters will get a second chance to make their voice heard in an August 16th runoff as C. Jack Ellis and Robert Reichert vie to be the next chief executive of the Central Georgia’s largest city for another four years.
Of the 28 voting precincts in the city of Macon, Ellis won 17 total precincts. Ellis’ strongest precincts included the following: East Macon 1 (Health Department on Emery Highway) , East Macon 2 (Church of God at Jeffersonille Rd.), East Macon 3 (St. Paul A.M.E. Church at Shurling Drive), East Macon 5 ( New Griswoldville Baptist Church at Truitt Place), East Macon 6 ( Florence Bernd School at Ocmulgee East Blvd.) Godfrey 1 ( Pentecostal Temple at Anthony Rd.), Godfrey 2 (Memorial Gym at Long Street), Godfrey 3 (Central Church of Christ at Key Street), Godfrey 4 ( Bruce Elementary at Houston Ave.), Godfrey 5 (Jessie Rice School), Godfrey 6 (Glenwood Hills Baptist Church at Rice Mill Rd.) , Godfrey 7 (Harvest Cathedral at Rocky Creek Rd.), Hazzard 1 (Macon Mall), Hazzard 5 (W. T. Morgan School at Faubus Ave.) and Hazzard 6 (Agnes Barden School).
Among the Vineville precincts, #3 (Brookdale Elementary), #4 (Joseph B. Riley Elementary), and #5 (Bellevue Baptist Church) provided a strong showing for the former two-term mayor.
Ellis accomplished many things during his two terms and has put forward a plan to help redevelop and revitalize East Macon in a plan entitled Vision 2020.
“We cannot have an island of prosperity in a sea of disparity, and that’s what a lot of Macon is right now. We have 12 years to get it right,” Ellis said.
For a city of approximately 91,000,the area of East Macon has been underserved and undeveloped for decades and the former two-term mayor wants to make a difference in jump starting this area of the city.
Around Fort Hawkins–located in East Macon– scores of residents have left the area over the past ten years. Vacant houses and blight has become a recurring problem and is something Ellis wants to address if he becomes mayor on August 16th.
Ellis gave several examples of redevelopment projects, completed and started during his eight-year stint as Mayor of Macon. Those included: Beal’s Hill and areas near Tindall Heights, a government housing project and similar blighted areas that were redeveloped. He expressed his hopes to raze Davis Homes in East Macon, providing Section 8 vouchers to current residents to find other housing and to be invited back to live in new property in the same area. In this plan also would be home ownership options for those who choose to relocate and use their Section 8 vouchers for homes in the area. The homes would be renovated.
Once elected Ellis also hopes to form a Bicentennial Committee, consisting of seven to nine members to begin putting a plan in place to begin a redevelopment plan of action. Detailed community input will be a large part of this committee’s duty to implement into their plans.
Ellis discussed his plan for economic development to continue once the Macon Marriott City Center hotel was built, but the plan was not followed through.
“The East Macon community has been neglected in the area of commercial, economic and housing developments. People on this side of town have seen very little development. There is blight to my left and to my right. I plan to begin redevelopment here at this spot and climb back to Emory Highway,” Ellis concluded.