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Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 1:00am

David Cousino: Ocmulgee Plan Overblown

Macon-Bibb mayoral candidate David Cousino is standing by an old campaign position as he makes his third attempt at elected office.

In an interview with GPB, Cousino said the media have probably put a little too much focus on his plan to give the Ocmulgee National Monument "back to the native Indians."

But as he talks about it, it's clear he's passionate about the idea.

"Bringing a new nation back into our community, which would bring, what? Development in our community," Cousino said. "It's a 20 year project or more. You know, let's get it started, let's get it rolling, somebody's got to take position and do it, and I'm here to do it."

Cousino acknowledges it would take an act of Congress to dissolve a National Parks site, but he says he could lobby for the change.

No existing tribal organization claims the mounds as their own, but Cousino proposes a summit of native peoples to sort out who might take the land.

The self-described "outsider" candidate has previously made two unsuccessful runs for Macon mayor, plus one failed campaign for Bibb County Commission chair.

Cousino said his long shot bid for Macon-Bibb mayor is influencing the discourse.

"Our current mayor [Robert Reichert] does pick up on the projects that I wanted to do," he said. "You know, seven years ago I made mention of cleaning up Second Street, made mention of getting the traffic off Broadway. He's starting to do those project[s]."

GPB spoke with Macon-Bibb mayoral candidates C. Jack Ellis on Monday, Charlie Bishop on Tuesday, Robert Reichert on Wednesday, and will speak with all other candidates on the ballot in the coming days.