The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Letters to the Editor

September 17, 2012

Letters to the Editor 9/16/12



Mike Wahl


Athens in need of transition plan

Dear Editor:

I recommend each recently elected councilman, runoff candidate, unopposed incumbent and/or our newly elected mayor who all, “want to hit the ground running,” develop a comprehensive transition plan. 

This plan would set the stage to manage their district and the city of Athens, and successfully move forward into the future. The plan’s foundation should support the actions and activities required to insure the progress promised to the voters of each district and the city. 

Our elected leaders and/or candidates should immediately initiate the development of their plan and define a set of actions and items, with schedules, to accomplish their goals and continuing objectives. Plus, actively recruit knowledgeable citizens who understand their district and the city’s needs to assist in their plan’s development. 

These plans should be published and include a description of how they will be implemented and managed, via The News Courier, and reported on as applicable (perhaps as an insert).  This open and transparent reporting process would reflect the progress and successes relating to the completion of planned items. 

Critical to keeping our citizens informed, performance measurement should relate directly to specific planned events and deliverables, including: tasks, activities, meetings, action items, schedules, goals and objectives, miscellaneous accomplishments, and a status of inter-district initiatives, along with any potential impediments to progress.

In developing their plan each elected official should:

• Become immediately involved and work actively with current and the other future council members and the mayor, to understand the unique needs of each district and the city.

• Meet with city department managers, service providers, the police and fire departments, and city administrative functions, to understand current workloads, processes, activities, priorities, problems, issues, future plans, and the budget of every organization.

• Understand the functions, activities, issues and priorities of the Planning Commission, the Historic Commission, the Zoning Board of Adjustments, and Economic Development Association, plus the other district’s activist groups, volunteer organizations, leading citizens, business owners, Athens City Schools, county commissioners and state legislators.

Last but not least, I am in complete agreement with Mr. Anderson’s Sept. 9, 2012, editorial comments regarding the high quality and experience provided by both Messrs. Gill and Wales, as well as, the potential represented in our newly elected councilmen.  Let’s move forward Athens and stay involved with our city council and mayor, and, for you folks in District 1, please vote on Oct. 9.


Ralph Diggins


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