Columbus Mayoral candidates take views to the airwaves

COLUMBUS (WTVM-TV) - The four Mayoral Columbus candidates answered questions live on Foxie 105 and K92.7 Tuesday at Davis Broadcasting Incorporated on Wynnton Road.

Questions were received via email, text, facebook or drop box at the studio for the candidates to answer.

Wayne Anthony, Zeph Baker, Paul Olson and Teresa Tomlinson engaged in a little humor before the broadcast started when Olson expressed disappointment about dressing casually for the event when he saw news cameras recording the session. Olson said he wore a golf shirt and khaki pants because he was told by DBI that it was a casual event.  Olson took DJ Chip who stand 6'9" tall from the DJ Chip Morning Show on an offer to wear one of his jackets.  Olson attempted to put the 'big and tall' jacket on but then decided to go without it which prompted more laughs.

As Chip and his co-moderator, Kris Green, 1340 AM WOKS, welcomed the candidates, the mood got more serious as it was time to get down to business.

They were each given a minute, 30 to respond to the questions. One listener asked Wayne Anthony: We want a Mayor who truly has a plan for our city. You've been public office for the last 24 years, in council for more than 10. How do you respond to the criticism that you are tide to the past and how would you work to move the city forward and not backwards?

Anthony gave a description of his political career and community involvement of 24 years and added,"Certainly, we've had remarkable success and progress in the last 30 years. It's not about me, but about we. We've been able to do a lot of things bringing BRAC here, the tremendous growth in downtown Columbus.  We are recognized as a rigisng star in Georgia. Do we need to do more, absolutely and I want to be apart of that."

The next question went to Zeph Baker: Being that you have never served in public office, what is your most significant achievement in community service outside of your work at the church?

Baker replied, "The great thing is only one of has served in public office before and that's Councilor Anthony.  Unfortunately, none of us have actually served as Mayor. The great thing is this is not about experience but more about the vision."

Another person inquired about unity in the city, asking Paul Olson, You have called out your opponents for not being in touch with the citizens of Columbus. Some polls show there's a racial divide in the city. If you're elected, what will you do to make sure you included all of the citizens to make the city connected?

Olson said, "I don't think I've ever made any allegation about them not being in touch at all. But I will say this, I wish I had brought it (award), If I had known I was going to be on camera today. I am the only person here who has received the NAACP'S Freedom Banquet Award. That's because of my help with getting Baker Middle School built and helping the African American community. If I become Mayor, I will appoint Zeph Baker as my aide. I do believe we need to have repoire with both blacks and whites in the community. I think I've really stood up for the African American community time and time again. I want to continue to be the people's voice."

Teresa Tomlinson was asked: As Mayor and Attorney how will you ensure employees will not lose their jobs without due process.

Tomlinson responded, " Of course, there are state requirements and we have a merit sustem that requires due process and that is one thing they were talking about earlier-tearing the community a part.  We had a situation of course with Parks and Rec and one of the things we saw is a lack of proper processes through that. I think had there been better oversight more engaged executive oversight and direction that would have never happened. I think we have a lot of great, hard working people working for us in the city. I think they deserve an engaged executive that they deserve to have constant and clear feedback from the elcted officials. I do understand the law very well.  Most importantly, I have great respect for people and I understand their jobs are important to them and they're essential fo their livelihood and their families. Under no cirmustance