The Macon Water Authority
790 Second Street • Macon, GA 31202-0108 • (478) 464-5600
R. Kirby Godsey, Chairman
R. Kirby Godsey, Ph.D., was sworn in to serve as Chairman of the Macon Water Authority (MWA) at the November, 2012 board meeting, following the death of long-time Authority Chairman Frank Amerson. After leading the MWA for 35 years, Amerson passed away on Sept. 14, 2012 due to complications from surgery at The Medical Center of Middle Georgia.
The Hon. William J. Self, Judge of the Bibb County Probate Court, administered the oath of office after appointing Dr. Godsey, with unanimous support from the current MWA Board of Directors, to follow Amerson as Chairman.
According to the MWA Charter, whenever there is a vacancy among the elected seats on the Board of the Authority, and there are more than 120 days before the next general election, the Judge of the Bibb County Probate Court shall appoint a qualified person to serve until that time. This special election for the county-wide seat as MWA Chairman is set for Nov. 5, 2013, when the Authority will have a successor to complete Amerson's unexpired term, which runs through Dec. 31, 2014.
Dr. Godsey served 27 years as President and CEO of Mercer University in Macon. According to university officials, Mercer experienced its most significant growth in size and prominence under Dr. Godsey's leadership as President, becoming one of the most comprehensive universities of its kind in the nation. He established seven of the university's 11 schools and colleges, including schools of business, engineering, music, and medicine; an academic press; a performing arts center; and an engineering research center.
Dr. Godsey also led the merger of Georgia Baptist College of Nursing with Mercer University. In addition, he established valuable educational partnerships with Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and with Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta, the latter in the joint creation of the Center for Health and Learning.
As a tribute to Dr. Godsey and his enduring legacy of leadership, the Mercer University Board of Trustees voted at its April 2006 meeting to name the historic administration building on the Macon campus in his honor. At that same meeting, the Trustees named Dr. Godsey as Chancellor and University Professor, positions he still holds today.
Javors J. Lucas, Vice Chairman (District 2)
Javors J. Lucas has become a fixture on the Macon Water Authority's Board of Directors since he was first elected to serve the citizens of District 2 in 1982. Mr. Lucas was born and raised in Macon. He left the area as a young man to study at Tuskegee University in Alabama, before heeding the call of duty to serve in the U.S. Army in the Pacific Theater in World War II.
Upon his homecoming from the Second World War, Mr. Lucas took a position with the U.S. Air Force as an aircraft woodworker and sign painter. Utilizing the experience he obtained during his years in the service, he established his own business – Lucas Signs in Macon.
Mr. Lucas is member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and is a former Vice-President of the Georgia NAACP. He and his wife Mary married in 1946. They have seven children, 23 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
"I can't think of a better way to serve the city I love than to serve on this Board," remarks Lucas. "I am honored to have served as long as I have and I look forward to the future."
In 2006, to recognize his public service as a Member of the MWA Board, the Authority renamed the Town Creek Reservoir to Javors Lucas Lake in his honor.
Javors J. Lucas, Vice Chairman, District 2
Dorothy Black (District 1)
Dorothy Black has spent a lifetime serving the Macon community, and she sees her tenure on the Macon Water Authority's Board of Directors as a continuation of that service. She was first elected to serve the residents of the 1st district in 1997.
Ms. Black is a native of Monticello, but has called Macon home for over 30 years. She is a lifelong educator whose subjects ranged from science, to dance, to drama. Recently, she managed the after-school program for the River's Edge Behavioral Health Center.
Ms. Black holds an undergraduate degree from Paine College in Augusta and a Master's degree from Fort Valley State University. She also has completed additional studies at the University of Georgia, Indiana University, and the Butler School of Library Services. While in school, she was a member of Zeta Phi Beta sorority.
Ms. Black is very involved in her church – St. Paul AME in Macon – as well as the Macon Theater and the Georgia Retired Teachers Association. She is the mother of two children, and she has five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She was selected as Senior Cherry Blossom Queen for 2010, and as Missionary Queen for the Sixth Episcopal District.
"I enjoy the challenge that serving on this board presents," she says. "I will never know everything, so I am constantly learning in an effort to better serve my constituents."
Dorothy "Dot" Black, District 1
Steve Rickman (District 3)
With more than 30 years of professional experience in real estate and property management, Steve Rickman knows the importance of water, sewer, and sound infrastructure to facilitating quality growth in a community. It's this perspective he brings to his post as an elected member of the Macon Water Authority (MWA), representing the citizens of District 3. Rickman is a native of Macon and a product of Macon's public schools, having graduated from Lanier High School, prior to receiving his Bachelor's Degree in Economics from Georgia Southern.
Rickman began his real estate career in 1976 with Fickling & Walker Development Company. He was a regional property manager who assisted with the development and oversight of 25 multi-family projects throughout Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina.
Today, Rickman is the President and Owner of Heritage Realty, which he purchased in 1996, after joining the company when it was founded four years earlier. He and his staff of property managers at Heritage oversee approximately 800 units locally, spread among 15 multi-family dwellings and 150 single-family houses. As a real estate broker, Mr. Rickman occasionally handles real estate sales for his clients, but the majority of his time and energy are dedicated to property management.
At Heritage Realty, Rickman manages investment property for clients. He reviews all rental applications, makes background checks, markets and shows properties to potential tenants, while contracting out the maintenance work as needed, and providing good customer service to property owners and tenants alike. Thus, he understands the challenges facing the MWA, to not only provide water and sewer services to more than 50,000 customers, but also to provide outstanding customer service to those stakeholders as well.
A self-proclaimed advocate for smart, quality growth, Rickman sees himself as both a voice for the citizens of District 3 and for his professional colleagues in the real estate industry, which is so critical to economic development and quality of life in Macon and Bibb County, he notes.
"I want to make life simpler for all customers coming in contact with the Authority, especially the investor who may want to develop property here," says Rickman. "I hope I can help facilitate reasonable growth, while providing input through the Authority Board on how that growth takes place. More than anything, I want to have a positive influence on policy decisions."
Rickman and his wife currently reside in North Macon and enjoy spending time with their four children and six grandchildren. He also has served on the board of trustees for Forest Hills Methodist Church, on the Board for Tatnall Square Academy, and on the Board of Directors for Elder Manor Senior Housing Property, owned by the Macon Housing Authority.
Steve Rickman, District 3
Frank Patterson (District 4)
Frank Patterson was elected as a Board Member of the Macon Water Authority in 2004, to serve the people of District 4 in Bibb County. Mr. Patterson has worked in local government for over 35 years. He spent 29 years with Bibb County Government, working at the Tobesofkee Recreation Area as the assistant director. He also spent four years with the Bibb County Engineering and Public Works department. Additionally, he served as an inspector and project manager with Moreland and Altobelli.
Mr. Patterson was born in McRae, Georgia, but has lived in Macon since 1965. He graduated from the Georgia-Alabama School of Commerce with a certificate in accounting. He has also received certification from the National School of Conservation and the University of Georgia program for local government management.
Mr. Patterson and his wife Patricia have been married for over 39 years and have three children, 10 grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. They are members of the First Evangelical Church in Macon.
"I have made it my goal to make sure that the people in my district and all of Macon and Bibb County have the best water authority in Georgia, and I’m honored to have been selected by the people of District 4 to serve them in this position," says Patterson. “Since joining this Authority board, we have made tremendous strides, reflected in honors such as having the Best Tasting Drinking Water in North America. My goal is for the Authority to continue to improve facilities and services, while representing the people of District 4 to the best of my abilities.”
Frank Patterson, District 4
Ed DeFore (City of Macon Representative)
He's the longest tenured elected official, at 35 years and counting, currently in either Macon or Bibb County Government, serving the citizens of Ward 2, Post 3 of the Macon City County since 1971. He is also the first person, to his knowledge, to be elected locally to two public offices at the same time, serving simultaneously on the Macon City Council and the Bibb County School Board for 12 years, from 1972 to 1984. And, he's even served on the MWA Board of Directors before, as the City's Representative from 1992 to 1996.
Ed DeFore is a native of Macon who graduated in 1950 from Lanier Senior High School. After graduation, he was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals and played three years of minor league baseball. He is also a proud member of the Macon Sports Hall of Fame, inducted as much for his dedication as a civic leader to Macon area children for more than 50 years, as for his accomplishments in athletics.
Following professional baseball, DeFore was hired as a machinist for Georgia Kraft Company, where he worked for 25 years. After that, he worked locally in real estate and insurance. When reflecting upon his career as an elected official, though, several issues come to mind that he highlights on his public record as a City Councilman.
First, DeFore was elected on the promise that he would seek to repeal the garbage tax that had been in place since 1968. Thanks to the implementation of the local option sales tax in 1976, the garbage tax was repealed and the millage rate dropped steadily thereafter.
In addition, DeFore says he is proud of his work as Chairman of the Public Properties and Public Works & Engineering Committees of the City Council, where he and fellow Council members were instrumental in paving an estimated 92 miles of dirt roads and streets across the city. He also serves on the Fort Hawkins Restoration Commission, working to preserve this 200-year-old local landmark.
Finally, DeFore is a dedicated supporter of service men and women in the military, as well as in local police, fire, and sheriff's departments. He has secured funds to build three memorials to honor all of those public servants from Macon and Bibb County who have fallen in the line of duty. This includes construction of a bronze statue of Marine Sergeant Rodney M. Davis, a Congressional Medal of Honor winner who lived in his district. Yet, DeFore says there is still work to be done at the City Council and the Water Authority.
"They're doing a great job at the Macon Water Authority, which is one of the most efficient and financially sound organizations in the state," says DeFore. "We've had great leadership in Chairman Frank Amerson, our Board Members, and Executive Director Tony Rojas. We also have excellent employees dedicated to doing their jobs on behalf of the citizens of Macon and Bibb County."
Ed and his wife Pat have been married for 55 years. They have three children, eight grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.
Ed DeFore, City of Macon Representative
Bert Bivins, III (Bibb County Representative)
Bert Bivins, III may have been born in Kathleen, Georgia, but he makes it known that Macon is the place he calls home. He moved to the area when he was two years old and has been here ever since. Throughout that time, he has felt a calling to community service. That calling has led him to serve as the Bibb County Representative on the Macon Water Authority's (MWA) Board of Directors.
"Ever since I was 18 years old, I have made the effort to serve those in need in my community," explains Bivins. "I feel like my appointment to this (MWA) Board on behalf of the County Commissioners is a great way to extend that service."
Mr. Bivins’ appointment to the MWA Board is just another in a long career of public service. He was elected in 1995 to serve the residents of District 2 in Bibb County on the Board of Commissioners. In addition to his service on the County Commission and the Macon Water Authority, he is also President of the Land Bank Authority and sits on the Macon-Bibb Board of Health.
Bivins spent 30 years as a civilian electronics worker at Robins Air Force Base, followed by another 10 years as a 5th and 6th grade teacher in the Macon School System. He graduated with a degree in middle school education from Fort Valley State University. Bivins and his wife Barbara have been married for over 35 years and have two children.
Bert Bivins, III, Bibb County Representative
Macon Water Authority
790 Second St.
P.O. Box 108
Macon, GA 31202-0108
- (478) 464-5600
- (478) 741-9146