Three square off in mayor's race - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Three square off in mayor's race

November 1, 2005

Sylvester- Businessman Bill Yearta is fighting to remain mayor of Sylvester.

"There's unfinished business to do and I'd like to move forward," he says.

Yearta believes he has the upper hand because he is the incumbent and also served on the city council.

"I have experience. I served on the council for four years, and I've served as mayor for four years, and there are a lot of things that come up day to day in the city that require experience," Yearta says.

The father of two says he already has the know-how when it comes to economic development, attracting new businesses and bringing money into the city.

"The last four years we've gotten over $4 million dollars in grants to our community," he says.

"I want to know what's going on, I want to watch what's going on, and I want to be a part of what's going on," says Charles Jones.

Jones had worked for the city for 57 years, until January when he received a letter from the mayor and city manager saying the city accepted his retirement as the utilities superintendent. But Jones hadn't asked to leave. Still he says that has nothing to do with his decision to run for mayor.

"The way I was dismissed, I'm sure they did it in good faith, and I've accepted that and moved on from that. I just want to contribute what I've learned, and what I know to the city," Jones says.

"Citizens have a hard time trying to get an answer from the city and I think that that can stand some improving," says Jones.

That's why Jones says he'll have an open door policy, and rely on his decades of experience to help the city grow if he's elected. Worth County native Ronnie Hill says he has also has plans to improve life for Sylvester residents.

"We need some new jobs to come in, and better paying jobs. We need to bring our city councilmen closer together. They're working against each other right now," Hill says. "We've been divided for so long and everything seems to be a black and white issue, when it's really not."

Hill may be new to government, but says he'll try to meet the community's needs like more recreation for youth, and programs to encourage unity. He says if elected he wants his legacy to be more than just the first black mayor.

"Being black doesn't even matter to me. I'm here for the people, and to serve the city and the people of Sylvester," Hill says.

One thing all the candidates agree on is that they want the city to grow, but it will be up to voters to decide which man they want to do the job.

Early voting for the mayor's race is underway this week. The election will be held next Tuesday.

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