Macon Voters Elect 5 New Councilmen and a New Mayor in 1 Year
In 365 Days, voters within the City Limits of Macon, Missouri have elected five new councilmen to the City Council and one new mayor. Out of nine members that sit on the council (including the Mayor), three officials are fairly new with three newly elected individuals to be sworn in on Tuesday. In 2017, Macon newly elected Don Kinkhorst, Greg Wiggans, and Richard Schlanker to the City Council. One year later, voters newly elected Tony Petre and Taylor Wesley to the City Council. Voters also elected a new Mayor, James Talt Holman. In over one year, we have heard the voices of change sweep through the town. Momentum truly began in December of 2017 when Tony Petre posted online, "Where do you see Macon in 5-10 Years. What does it look like?" The post online garnered hundreds of comments, many of which, criticizing the city’s ability to keep younger people here, bring in more jobs, etc. One comment specifically said, "We are simply becoming a town of gas stations." While another said, "I moved away several years ago. I moved away because I was broke and couldn't find a good paying job." Macon residents have also voiced their concerns and opinions on social media pages like "Macon Missouri Area News" or "Citizens for Macon County."
Tax increases and a stagnant economy isn't just something Macon is experiencing. Shortly after the Economic/Housing Financial Crisis in 2007, Rural Communities all over America have been facing very similar things. Slowly, rural populations are dwindling as residents move to urban areas where jobs are more abundant. Macon County peaked in 1981 with a population of 16,724 while the most recent study (2015) shows a population of 15,335 - important to note, the population has increased and decreased from year to year. Macon (City) peaked as well in the 1980s with a population at 5,680. According to the Census Bureau in 2016, the population of the City of Macon is at 5,377. Macon also has an average poverty rate of 16% with a median house income of Mid-$30,000. Staples within the community are the ConAgra, Onshore, hospital, and the school.
With issues like the Pool, Transparency/Communication, code/regulation, streets, jobs and growth, it will be interesting to see the new faces in our local government and what they bring to the table. Obviously it is one thing to say something, but another to do it and provide results. Newly elected officials will be sworn in at the Macon City Council Meeting on April 10th (6:30 P.M.) at the City Hall.