Political veteran facing newcomer in District 1 race | Elections | Macon.com

12
Aug

Political veteran facing newcomer in District 1 race | Elections | Macon.com

ATLANTA — North Bibb County’s District 1 Commission seat looked like a walkover for school board veteran Gary Bechtel until there was a last-minute entry from novice Harold Young.

To rev the area’s economic engine, Bechtel said Macon-Bibb County needs to offer a well-educated work force to add to its current business-friendly offerings, including its geography, water and a regional airport.

“We’ve got an education system that I was part of. … I’m well aware of the problems that exist,” Bechtel said. Term limits ended his dozen years on the Bibb County school board in 2012. He said there are too many dropouts and too many students transferring from school to school.

Young said Bibb County residents need a reason to spend their money at home.

“If our people become proud of the city they live in, they will be more apt to spend money here,” he said.

“The central place (downtown Macon) shouldn’t be empty like that,” said Young, adding that he would advocate a “nice” and “safe” truck stop to leverage the traffic between Savannah and Atlanta, as well as some sort of entertainment center for families, a scaled-up version of the now-closed Starcadia amusement park. He’d also like to reopen passenger rail service from Atlanta through Macon to Savannah.

via Political veteran facing newcomer in District 1 race | Elections | Macon.com.

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