Tallassee Mayor Candidates Prepare For Showdown


By Lisa Blackwell

A week from Tuesday, Tallassee voters will decide a runoff in the mayor's race.
It's a showdown between current mayor George McCain.. and former mayor Bobby Payne.

In this last week before voters head to the polls the candidates seem to be focusing on spending, how to attract more business and who's more accessible to the public.
Current Mayor George McCain beat out Bobby Pain four years ago and now says he's running on his merits. He says he's made improvements to water, sewer and gas, added a new park downtown, took control of the airport and achieved a AAA bond rating for the city.
"Been a lot of things that we've done that haven't been done before, so with that we're trying to convert our city into a progressive city to keep our young people with children here," said McCain.
The city has around 8.5 million dollars in bonds issued that must be paid. McCain says around three million was outstanding when he took over. He refinanced it at a lower interest rate and then added to it. He says as of right now, the city can handle payments into 2014. His opponent Bobby Payne says he's concerned about all the spending.
"Some of the things this money went to fix and repair was infrastructure and that's fine but by the same token before you know it if you don't watch it in a small town like we are you can borrow and borrow and borrow and then you're too far in to back up," said Payne.
Payne says people have complained there is less access to the current mayor. He accuses the mayor of hiding behind a closed door.
"If the door is closed I'm sure somebody could knock on the door, but you don't actually know if he's in there or not, so consequently have your door open, have an open door policy," said Payne.
The mayor disputes his accessibility. He says anyone can see him.
"The lady at the front handles all of the public works and that sort of thing, people come in that door and she directs them in here as a courtesy and so it is an open door policy I never turn anyone away for any reason," said McCain.
Some residents on the street seem divided. Sandee Richardson says she hasn't yet decided.
"I don't know who to vote for, Mayor Payne did a good job when he was a mayor and then I thought we needed a change so I voted for McCain and I don't think we got a change," said Richardson. 
While both candidates seem to have a different approaches in mind for running Tallasee, it seems the election will come down to the person voters have in mind when they head to the polls.
Voters will decide next Tuesday.

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