WARNER ROBINS – Mayor Chuck Shaheen said Tuesday he’s had enough and he’s not going to take it any more.
At the City Council meeting, the mayor said a Macon official told him last week that news about Warner Robins was welcomed in Bibb County because “y’all are taking the heat off us.”
“I don’t want to hear that,” Shaheen said. “Whatever is needed, I’ll do it. Our city is bigger than the mayor and council.”
City council meetings have been well attended this year since Shaheen took office in January, but they have mainly been characterized by rancor and harsh disagreement between Shaheen and city council members.
That’s going to change and is changing, he said.
“The council has been helping me with the law enforcement center and we’re close to 100 percent agreement,” he said. “All our departments are working together, working hard, and that gives me great pride. We’re going to get better, and that’s the perception I want.”
On another topic, Shaheen said he has information on an audit that would be performed by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia. He noted that cities such as Savannah, Rome and Columbus have undergone a similar audit.
“They look at our policies and procedures and can give us suggestions on how we can do it better,” he said.
He said he talked with institute officials Tuesday but did not say when such an audit would begin.
An ongoing audit, approved by the council last month, came under scrutiny from residents who questioned the validity of it being conducted by Stan Martin, a former city clerk who was fired in December.
Shaheen said he has no information on that audit, but added he felt the city wanted to be sure it had a balanced audit.
The audit Martin is doing looks at city personnel and purchasing records from the beginning of this year. Council member Bob Wilbanks, who spearheaded the audit, was absent Tuesday.
Tony Robbins, chairman of the Downtown Development Authority, said he was impressed with the professionalism shown at Tuesday’s meeting.
“It’s imperative that we set a precedent and support the mayor and support the council,” Robbins said. “We don’t need people in government trying to nullify elections,” referring to a recall effort against Wilbanks that was rejected last week by Vida Rawls, city elections superintendent.
Shaheen ended the meeting on a high note, saying there will be an announcement Friday concerning the law enforcement center.
“The council has helped me tremendously with this,” he said. “I’ll tell y’all about it Friday.”