Tuskegee mayor shares lofty goals - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Tuskegee mayor shares lofty goals

Mayor Johnny Ford discusses his goals for his new administration. Mayor Johnny Ford discusses his goals for his new administration.

Tuskegee Mayor Johnny Ford is presenting some lofty goals to his constituents after they returned him to office. Tuesday, Ford held a news conference to lay out plans for his administration. Reopening Victoryland is just one of the bullet points on his list of goals.

Ford said he had several changes in mind when it comes to city infrastructure and development, along with restoring Victoryland gaming center in Shorter. The center, once the largest employer in Macon County, closed due legal threats by the state to stop using electronic gaming machines.

Ford wants to pay off the city's nearly $4 million debt, lower utility rates and repair city streets. That would include raising the city's sales tax to pay for the work.

Ford also wants to build a commercial and shopping complex off Interstate 85, open a full-time parks and recreation department for the city, relocate the police department and clean up dilapidated neighborhoods. Also on the list, improving the city's relationship with Tuskegee University.

The most urgent matter, according to Ford, is getting Victoryland back up and running. "What we have to do as a community is say to [Attorney General] Luther Strange...GreeneTrack is up and running. He has not bothered GreeneTrack, and yet he has done everything to protect them and he's made threats against Victoryland to try to discourage them from reopening again." Ford said he believes that is wrong. 

As for city governance, Mayor Ford said he'd also like to set up a municipal election to let citizens determine the future for of Tuskegee's city government, whether that's a city manager or a mayor council form of government.

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