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Macon-Bibb board votes down May special election for District 1 seat

The Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections voted Friday morning not to have a special election in May to fill the vacant District 1 seat/Danielle Apolinar (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- The Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections voted Friday morning not to have a special election in May to fill the vacant District 1 seat. It was voted down by a 3-1 vote (one member was not present).

District 1 will now go without representation for eight months, as it will be empty until the November election.

Prior to Friday's vote, Macon-Bibb recently approved $19,535 in funding for a special election.

Gary Bechtel resigned from the District 1 seat in March as he prepares to run for District 141 for the Georgia House of Representatives.

Friday's development comes as Macon-Bibb faces looming budget problems -- almost a $4 million deficit for fiscal year 2018.

"It's almost $20,000 to have it and no doubt there would be a runoff," commissioner Herbert Spangler said. "That would be another $20,000 roughly. It's not fair to all the taxpayers."

Commisisoner Al Tillman led the charge for the special election.

"District 1 will be without representation for a long time and we've got so many important votes coming up, especially with the budget," he said.

Despite the vote, Tillman says he'll work to represent those living in District 1.

"All the commissioners are representatives of this entire community," he said. "The votes and stances we take will be representing you as well."

WGXA spoke with one District 1 resident Friday afternoon who said he's upset with the Board of Elections decision:

Blanks was actually at the recent commision meeting when the near $20,000 was approved.

"District 1 has got some of the highest property values in town and we have no representation at this time," he said. "I don't think it's a good thing. But I'm sure some other commisioners will step up if issues do come up."



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