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Mornings unPHILtered - Joe Brannen discusses becoming Statesboro Mayor
Joe Brannen cam
Joe Brannen
    Wednesday's guest on the “Mornings unPHILtered” show was Statesboro Mayor-to-be Joe Brannen. In early September, mayoral candidate DeWayne Grice withdrew from the mayoral race just 15 minutes after Brannen had entered the race.
    Brannen, mayor pro tem of Statesboro for years, told host Phil Boyum about Grice's withdrawal: "It still hasn't quite sunk in" that he is now the mayor-to-be of Statesboro. Brannen's District 4 city council seat has three contenders: Lottie Johnson, Fred Parrish and John Riggs.
    Brannen admitted that not having to put up signs and knock on doors is kind of nice, although he added that he has always enjoyed the races he has entered before. Still, he said: “It bothers me that people won't have a choice of who will be their mayor.”
    Brannen said he entered the race for two reasons: to give people a choice, and because many people told him he needed to run.
    Brannen has been part of the effort to consider consolidation of city and county governments. He stated consolidation may “benefit the city, the county, and the citizens of Statesboro with a better, more efficient government while reducing the burden on the taxpayers.”  
    Brannen explained to the listeners “I voted for the study. I can't tell you whether or not I'd favor consolidation, until the study had been done. The reasons I see to consolidate would be reduced operating costs and better services (hopefully).
    Asked whether or not he would support putting city council meetings online or on cable, Brannen replied “I favor open government, and would be willing to consider this idea.” Asked about how the current morale is in city government after the McCorkle firing/re-hiring, he said in his opinion the employees are quite pleased with the way things are running right now.
    A phone caller asked about potential job cuts if consolidation were to be recommended, and Brannen replied that “if labor cost reductions were recommended, then my answer would be yes.” Another phone caller asked what the mayor's salary was. Brannen said that the qualifying fee was 3 percent of the salary, and that would make the annual salary about $18, 500.
    There will be a candidate forum next Tuesday at the Averitt Center, broadcast live on and Northland cable. Brannen invited all of Statesboro's citizens to attend.
    “Mornings unPHILtered” airs live Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on and also simulcast on WWNS-AM 1240 on the radio. You also can listen anytime at on
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