Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Headlines for June 16, 2009

The Warner Robins City council is looking at raising the mayor's salary. The ordinance would raise the mayor's pay from 100 to 125-thousand dollars a year. The move would also raise city council pay by more than 2-thousand dollars. The increase would not go into effect until January of next year. Current Mayor Donald Walker says he is against raising the mayoral salary during these trying times. The proposal would affect the new mayor who will take office in January. City elections will be held in November and Walkers says he is planning on running. Tax payers will have a chance to comment on the proposal before any vote is taken.

Some City council members in Macon want to shrink the size of that political body. Erick Erickson and Nancy White say 15 council members are too many. They prefer 11. They submitted a resolution to the council's ordinances and resolution committee. Their idea is to remove all but one of the citywide Post One seats. This would save 40-thousand dollars in salaries. Prior attempts to cut the size of city council have failed. In a separate resolution they're also asking that the city end partisan elections. Macon is the only city in the state that still holds them.

A new car dealership has opened in Macon. Kia Motors will replace the Saturn dealership at Hutchison Auto Mall. This is the second Kia dealership to open in Middle Georgia in the last few months. In October, Riverside Ford sold its Kia dealership to Jeff Smith Chrysler in Perry. The Korean Kia is currently building a new plant in the Columbus area.

Just one year ago, researchers at the University of Georgia predicted blueberries would emerge as a profitable fruit crop in Georgia. This year, high-gusting winds, cold temperatures, and flooding rains ruined nearly fifty percent of the harvest. In an already struggling economy, market demand for blueberries has also decreased, farmers are getting less money for the crop and quality is low. Despite these challenges, growers in Georgia’s southeastern blueberry belt remain optimistic. They’re already planning next year’s crop.