MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Middle Georgia mayors are teaming up trying to figure out how to strengthen the local economy to withstand deep defense cuts on the horizon.
Macon Mayor Robert Reichert and Warner Robins Mayor Chuck Shaheen appeared on the 41NBC News at 6, talking about the regional coalition of mayors formed to get through the sequester--the cuts in military spending that are set to happen March 1st if Washington doesn't come up with a budget deal.
The sequester would affect Robins Air Force Base How much, we don't know; but both Mayors believe strengthening the local economy and creating jobs on the outside of the base by bringing business to the area will be the best defense against the defense cuts.
"We have a seat at the table, if businesses want to come to Houston County we can run their sewer (the City of Warner Robins owns their water, sewer and natural gas), that makes us real strong. We are on an aquifer, so we've got plenty of water there--great school systems," Shaheen says.
"A lot of issues are best addressed on a regional basis rather than county by county," says Reichert, adding that this coalition of Mayors is a step in the right direction to strenghten the local economy, not only against the possible sequester, but for future adversities the region faces.
Along with Shaheen and Reichert, The Regional Mayors include leaders from Byron, Fort Valley, Perry, Centerville, and Forsyth. They will meet on a quarterly basis.