Thursday, August 11, Eyewitness News at 11

10:37 PM, Aug 11, 2011   |    comments
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Ellis: "You know good and well that Moody's increased our bond rating.
Reichert: "they did not."
Ellis: they did too"
Reichert: They did not. They didn't do it til 2010."
Ellis they increased it in 2007.
Reichert: "when I was in office 2010."
Ellis: Before we went to market to sell $12 million worth of bond our bond rating had been increased by Moody's."

MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT AND FORMER MAYOR C. JACK ELLIS SOUNDED OFF TONIGHT IN THE 13WMAZ STUDIOS AS THEIR RUN-OFF ELECTION DATE DRAWS NEAR..
GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M FRANK MALLOY.

THE TWO CANDIDATES FOR MACON MAYOR SQUARED OFF TONIGHT IN A DEBATE ON 13WMAZ.
MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT AND FORMER MAYOR C. JACK ELLIS ANSWERED QUESTION FROM 13WMAZ'S LORRA LYNCH-JONES, RANDALL SAVAGE AND FORMER CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT ANITA PONDER.
A HOT BUTTOM ISSUE WAS THE CITY'S BOND RATING DURING ELLIS' TIME AS MAYOR...
REICHERT READ A MEMO SENT FROM A DAVID LUCAS... A FINANCIAL CONSULTANT HIRED BY THE CITY ... EXPLAINING HOW THE RATING CHANGED.
ELLIS CLAIMED WHAT LUCAS SAID WAS FALSE.

Reichert: "This is a memo to me from David Lucas of Stern Agy when I asked him the history of the bond rating and if I could just read this first paragraph I think i can do it in less than a minute. Attached please find several copies of articles and documents concerning the rating history for the city of Macon Stern Agy and Leach assisted the city finance department in preparing a presentation for Moody;s investment services in Sept and Oct of 2004. The city's A1 rating was put on the watch list by Moody's on July 16. The meeting to discuss the rating was held in Macon on Oct 6 2004. The downgrade to A3 was released on Nov 11 2004. Standard and Poor dropped it's rating for the city from AA to A in Aug 2005. Moody's and Standard and Poor stayed with the A3 and the A rating respectively for the city's 2007 convention... stayed with it for the 2007 convention center. Moody's recalculated it's rating peramitor in April of 2010 and raised the city's rating from A1 to A3. In 2010 after I had been in office.
Ellis: Well, David Lucas is wrong. He's a liar. That is not correct. I got the paper from Standard and Poor's. WE were raised. We went to New York made our presentation and you know it.
Reichert:"I do not know it"
Ellis: Yes you do. That's wrong. I dont' care. Go talk to Standard and Poor's.
Reichert: We will
Ellis Why didn't you go to the source not David Lucas?
Reichert: " David Lucas is the source
Ellis: "He's not an authority on bond rating being raised or lowered. He's not right.and you know he's not right.
Reichert: "No I do not
Ellis:"He's not right. He's wrong, but anyway our bond rating was increased, was increased before we sold $12 million worth of bonds and that's just a fact of the matter. So David Lucas can say whatever he wants and what he's probably made about becasue we didn't hire him to be our financial advisor on that bond deal. But the fact of the matter is we left office with 6 million dollars in the bank. WE left office of course with the general fund being owned money from the health fund. But by the same token we left the city in good shape. We bulit a $37 million hotel. you don't do that when you're broke

THE CANDIDATES CONTINUED TO DISAGREE ABOUT THE BOND RATING... AND HOW THAT AFFECTED CITY FINANCES.
ELLIS SAID WHILE HE WAS IN OFFICE... PEOPLE NOT PAYING THEIR GARBAGE BILLS LEFT THE CITY TO PAY FOR THE FEES...
HE SAYS THAT AND MONEY TO HELP FUND THE CENTREPLEX..... WAS TAKEN OUT OF THE GENERAL FUND.. AND CAUSED SOME OF THE SHORTFALLS IN THE BUDGET.

Ellis: "WE kept giving it to them because they didn't have to pay it back.
Bernie:"It was never coming back."
Ellis: "How could it couldn;t come back because, now over time it would. So what I would have done if I had I been sitting in the Mayor's office."
Reichert: "You were sitting in the Mayor's office."
Ellis no I'm talking about in the end. Just like you just got through doing with the pension funding you negotiated a settlement. If you had to pay that 3 1/2 million dollars now you'd have a hoel in your budget
Reichert: "absolutely."
Ellis: "Exactly, same thing we would have had in our budget had we just snatched that money
Reichert: "the only thing is ours is prospective yours was retrospected.
Ellis:but that was over years.
Reichert: "Yes I know it was."
Ellis: "do you know how long the centreplex...."
Reichert:" It showed a continuous mismanagement of funds over the whole time."
Ellis: "It had been that way Mayor Reichert.."
Reichert: "I don't care."
Ellis: "It had been that way for over 20 years. WE had been subsidizing the centreplex since it's been built."
Reichert: "We straightened it out
Ellis: You didn't straighten it out.You straightened it out because we built a hotel and gave you an opportunity to straighten it out."

TO CHECK OUT THE ENTIRE DEBATE... PLUS THE DISSCUSSION AFTERWARDS... CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE 13WMAZ-DOT-COM
THE RUNOFF ELECTION FOR MACON MAYOR WILL BE HELD TUESDAY... AUGUST 16TH.

MACON CITY AND BIBB COUNTY LEADERS ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME TO DECIDE WHICH PROJECTS A PENNY SALES TAX WOULD PAY FOR.

COUNTY COMMISSIONER JOE ALLEN SAYS HE PLANS TO REQUEST A MEETING OF ALL CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS AND COUNTY COMMISSIONERS FOR MONDAY SO THAT THEY CAN HAMMER OUT A FINAL LIST BY THE TUESDAY DEADLINE.
HE SAYS HE DECIDED THIS AFTER A MEETING TONIGHT WHERE COUNCI LMEMBERS DEBATED HOW TO DIVIDE UP THE 42 MILLION DOLLARS FOR RECREATION PROJECTS.
THE COUNCIL MEETING WAS FILLED WITH ARGUMENTS THAT EVENTUALLY LEFT 3 MILLION DOLLARS OF THE SPECIAL PURPOSE LOCAL OPTION SALES TAX UNACCOUNTED FOR.
REPRESENTATIVES FROM BOTH GOVERNMENTS... INCLUDING COUNCIL PRESIDENT JAMES TIMLEY... ARE SCHEDULED TO MEET TOMORROW MORNING TO DISCUSS THE LIST.
TIMLY SAYS HE'S OPTIMISTIC THE LAWMAKERS CAN WORK OUT THEIR DISAGREEMENTS IN TIME.

"It's gonna be very very difficult to get everything we need done at that point because it is going to be time constraints but I think we can get it done."


COUNCIL MEMBERS DID NOT DISCUSS THE COUNTY'S DECISION TO CUT THE MAYOR'S SECOND STREET REVITALIZATION PROJECT OUT OF THE SPLOST.
ON TUESDAY NIGHT MAYOR REICHERT SAID HE WOULD CONTINUE TO PUSH FOR THAT PROJECT TO GET BACK ON THE LIST.

TOMORROW YOU CAN SHOW YOUR RESPECT FOR A WARNER ROBINS U-S ARMY COMBAT MEDIC KILLED IN THE LINE ON DUTY.
POLICE SPOKESWOMAN TABITHA PUGH SAYS AUTHORITIES WILL ESCORT THE REMAINS OF MARK DOWNER... FROM ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE.. TO THE MUCULLOUGH FUNERAL.
DOWNER WAS KILLED WHEN HIS UNIT WAS ATTACKED IN AFGHANISTAN LAST WEEK.

PUGH SAYS THE ESCORT SHOULD START AROUND 9-45 IN THE MORNING.
SHE SAYS IT WILL BEGIN AT THE MUSEUM OF AVIATION ON HIGHWAY 247 AND END AT THE MCULLOUGH FUNERAL HOME ON HOUSTON LAKE ROAD.
FOR MORE DETAILS ON THE ROUTE OF THE ESCORT LOOK FOR THIS STORY ON OUR HOMEPAGE AT 13 WMAZ DOT COM.

PUGH SAYS DOWNER'S FUNERAL IS SET FOR SATURDAY AT SOUTHSIDE BAPTIST CHURCH AT 11 A-M .

SOARING TEMPERATURES HAVE SOME PEOPLE IN DOOLY COUNTY... DIGGING DEEPER... FOR A GLASS OF WATER.

MAYOR CHARLES WEST SAYS AT LEAST 100 PRIVATE COUNTY WELLS... HAVE RUN DRY... LEAVING HOMEOWNERS NO CHOICE... BUT TO DIG.
AND THOSE LIVING AT WEST MOBILE HOME PARK... SAY THEY HAVEN'T SEEN MORE THAN A TRICKLE... IN A WEEK.
75-YEAR-OLD LAVADA HELTON SAYS HER DAUGHTER BRINGS HER AT LEAST A GALLON OF WATER EVERY DAY FOR DRINKING.
BUT THAT'S NOT ENOUGH... SHE SAYS... FOR DAILY CHORES.

Lavada Helton, Unadilla: "It is rough. After you be used to be walking over here to this hydren and getting a glass and putting you some ice in it and go on. Yeah, that's rough."


MAYOR WEST SAYS A NEW CITY WELL WOULD COST NEARLY A HALF MILLION DOLLARS.
HE HOPES TO HAVE ONE INSTALLED WITHIN THE NEXT YEAR.
STATE CLIMATOLOGIST DAVID STOOKSBURY... SAYS RAINFALL IN PARTS OF DOOLY COUNTY ARE AS MUCH AS NINE INCHES BELOW NORMALOVER THE PAST SIX MONTHS.


ben gives three day forecast

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CHIEF METEOROLOGIST BEN JONES JOINS US WITH WEATHER..


WHETHER YOUR FAVORITE FLAVOR IS OREO, BUTTERFINGER OR EVEN THE NEW NUTTER BUTTER....GETTING A BLIZZARD TREAT TODAY HELPED BENEFIT MORE THAN 170 CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA

IT'S A STORY THAT COMES.. STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART.

CENTRAL GEORGIANS PACKED THE DAIRY QUEEN IN FORSYTH FOR THE SIXTH ANNUAL MIRACLE TREAT DAY.
THIS MORNING OUR SPORTS ANCHOR AND REPORTER... DARNAY TRIPP... WAS ON HAND AT D-Q FIXING UP TASTY TREATS FOR CUSTOMERS.
HOLLI SHIPMAN SAYS MACON'S CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL HELPED HER AND HER FAMILY WHEN HER SON TRIPP SUFFERED A SEVERE CONCUSSION.

Holli Shipman, Forsyth "The nurses was wonderful with him. He was able to go into a playroom and they had puzzles and color pages and crafts. Kids were making necklesses. They just made us feel us so comfortable. We weren't nervous or scared of anything. It was fantastic"

THE CHILDREN'S MIRACLE NETWORK HOSPITALS HAS RAISED MORE THAN FOUR BILLION DOLLARS SINCE 1983.
THAT MONEY PAYS FOR RESEARCH... EQUIPMENT.... UNCOMPENSATED CARE...AND TRAINING.

THANKS FOR JOINING US.... FIRST MORNIN COMES YOUR WAY AT 5 A-M.

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HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.

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