The Fayette Citizen-News Page
Wednesday, November 10, 1999
Talley, Avery prepare for runoff

Candidates Clyde Avery and Bill Talley are working this week to get their voters to the polls one more time, as the two are locked in a runoff in the Post 1 Fayetteville City Council election.

All voters in the runoff will cast their ballots at Fayetteville's Old Depot, not in their precincts as in statewide election years. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16.

Avery received 509 votes, 42.9 percent of those cast, and Talley 466 votes, or 39.3 percent, in the Nov. 3 municipal election. Third candidate Paul Carter garnered 212 votes, 17.9 percent of the total, forcing the runoff.

Talley is chief financial officer for People's Bank in Pine Mountain, Ga.; Avery is a broker for office management firm Southeastern Properties Inc.

Bill Talley

A ten-year resident of Fayetteville, Talley is a native of Decatur, Ala. and holds degrees in finance and management. He worked in banks in Florida, then in south Atlanta before taking the job as CFO for People's Bank nine years ago in Pine Mountain.

Fayette's reputation as a fine community drew him here, he said.

He has served five years on the Fayetteville Planning Commission, two years as its chairman.

As a planning commissioner, Talley said, “I've been able to have a great deal of impact on trying to implement the city's ordinances. Now I want the opportunity to have some impact on ordinance generation.”

He likes what the City Council has done so far, Talley said. “They have a great team of folks, and I think I would complement the team.”

Talley is not opposed to all annexation, he said, but any proposed annexation should be weighed based on its benefit to the current city residents, he said. “There needs to be a reason for it to be annexed,” he added.

If elected, he said, he would push for more use of existing, empty commercial buildings before annexing more land for commercial development. “There has to be a point where Fayetteville says, `This is our city limits,'” he said. “I don't wish to run Fayetteville and Peachtree City or Fayetteville and Riverdale together,” he added.

He said he is concerned with making sure the city Police Department remains well-trained and well-equipped.

Talley added he is proud of the city's recently strengthened development standards and believes they should be “applied aggressively.”

And although he favors some incentives to bring developers to the older, empty buildings, Talley said he also favors working with those redevelopment projects to bring them into compliance with some new regulations, such as required buffers and natural areas.

City Council has done “a good job” of cutting tax rates, he said, “but the tax base has grown. Stopping short of promising more tax cuts, Talley said, “i would want to make sure we are using our funds as efficiently as possible.”

Fayetteville should be “a place where people want to live and work,” said Talley. “There should be pockets of residential development within the city center so people can live and work and walk in the city,” he added.

And while density can be higher downtown than it is farther out, “I don't believe that multifamily housing in large numbers is a good thing.” But a mix of single family homes and small service-oriented businesses would be good, he said.

He is proud of the city's recent planning work on the McElwaney property, a 110-acre tract being developed in homes, shops, offices and a hotel near the Courthouse Square, Talley said. More “neotraditional” projects like that are needed downtown, he said, to create the pedestrian environment he envisions.

The McElwaney plan includes several neighborhood parks as well, and Talley said he would work for “more of that on the neighborhood level.”

Talley said he also would work for more communication between the city, the county and the Board of Education, especially in the area of planning. “I think it would be helpful for them to know what we're planning and vice versa,” he said.

He would not vote to put liquor by the drink on the ballot, short of a petition, said Talley. “If that's the will of the people, that's what we should do,” he said. “It's democracy in action.” Talley added, “I have never seen a city get better because of poured liquor.”

Fayetteville should be directly involved in planning for a new Fayette County Jail, said Talley, since the jail is in the city center. “The city needs input into that process,” he said.

The city also should move forward more quickly on new technology, especially use of the Internet, Talley said. “I would like to see the zoning ordinances on the Internet, and there are a lot of other ways we could use the Internet,” he added. “We could use it get citizen input.”

Clyde Avery

A native of LaGrange, Ga., Avery grew up in College Park and has lived in Fayette County since 1980.

After a 32-year career in operations at Delta Air Lines, he retired and has worked five years with Southeastern Properties, a property management and leasing firm. He is married and has two grown children.

“Being retired from Delta, I now have more time to give back to the community,” said Avery, adding that he has been a youth minister at New Hope Baptist Church for 15 years. “I've just been seeing some things that I would like to see happen,” he added by way of explaining why he decided to run for council.

“I feel like the group down there has done a real good job,” said Avery, “and I feel like I have some talents I could add to that.”

Among changes Avery said he would like to see:

Lower taxes for senior citizens. “The general population is getting a little bit older,” he said. “I'd like to see some benefit from the tax windfalls we've had recently go toward the older citizens.”

Hiring of a traffic consultant. “I would like to see a traffic expert come in and look for ways we can improve things,” he said. “DOT and the clean air (restrictions) have got our hands tied right now [when it comes to building new roads],” he said, but a traffic expert, he added, could address the possibility of making more traffic lanes one-way at certain hours, and perhaps come up with other solutions.

“There are some real good traffic study companies out there,” he said, adding that he envisions the task as a anytime consulting job, not a permanent position at City Hall.

More aggressive efforts to redevelop empty commercial buildings. “We need to have a portfolio of the grocery sites available, the Wal-Mart and all the retail sites and the offices that are available,” he said. “Through persuasion or incentive, when these folks are coming to the city wanting to develop these big boxes, we need to let them know what we have available.”

Avery is opposed to bringing liquor by the drink into Fayetteville, and would not vote to put the issue on the ballot unless forced by a petition of voters. “It would add another burden to what [Police Chief] Johnny Roberts has to do,” he said. But, he added, “If the citizens vote for it, I'm not going to be one to stand there and continue to battle that.”

There's a place for high-density subdivision development, Avery said, adding that he is in favor of a gradual decrease in density as one goes outward from the city center. The key to any increase in density, he added, is to make sure surrounding neighborhoods are brought into the process. “I would make sure they have input into what's being developed, especially if it's changing density,” he said.

He doesn't favor annexation in most cases, Avery said. “The county has tried to develop a good land use plan.

Avery said one of his strengths as a council candidate is that he lives and works in the city. “We need some people that are earning a living here in the city,” he said. “That way, they can get a real feel for what the people are talking about and what the people want.”

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