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Questioning the Candidates Part 4: Bringing New Businesses to Downtown

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Updated: Wed, 11 Sep 2013 10:47:51 EST

The Macon-Bibb County Consolidated Election is almost here.

WGXA sat down with all seven candidates running for mayor and asked them the same series of questions.

In this segment we asked: What would you do to bring diners and shoppers back to downtown?

"Man, I'd be using the media. If you use the media and use it right, and not use it as PSA's get the other individuals involved. I'll try to do this incentive program where rather than giving incentives to all these big businesses I'd give it to our local businesses downtown and try to work out incentives with them to open up all the shops." -Joe Allen

"I don't know whether you can totally drag everybody back downtown. But you've got a large number of students downtown from Mercer, and you've got the hospital downtown and people moving into the downtown area I think you'll see as more people move downtown and you make it a safe community and you lower the taxes, you'll see your businesses take back over downtown." -Charlie Bishop

"Well right now most of our downtown area closes up after 5:00 they don't have any incentive to bring them in. Well how do you bring them in if everybody says oh downtown is so crime ridden and everything else, well again you have to have more police awareness downtown more visibleness for the police downtown." -David Cousino

"I think what we have to do, number one is have adequate housing and we're working on that. A lot of people are doing a lot of good work. We started with the Broadway lofts during my administration and it has continued. But safety, or the perception, or the lack thereof, that public safety is something that we take very seriously." -C. Jack Ellis

" I think newtown and what they're doing with the lofts is right on the money and as you know the County gave $5 million toward that effort. They gave it to Bibb Development Authority but they again contracted with NewTown to make sure that they use that money to leverage downtown development." -Sam Hart

"I would continue the second street corridor initiative it has been very successful to date in generating a lot of enthusiasm there is already development by private enterprise in rehabilitating some delapidated storefronts on second street. We are in the process of building the connector between second street and little richard penniman/mercer university boulevard. " -Robert Reichert

"I think that the State Patrol is being put here by this current administration. Put downtown to keep people from coming downtown because they want families to move in to these lofts they want families to move in, they want to move the bars out. They want to get the bars out on second street where the mayor wants to have his second street plan. They want to get the bars out from down here, that's why they're putting lofts in." -Anthony Harris 

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