The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Letters to the Editor

August 19, 2012

Letters to the Editor 8/19/12

(Continued)

Sincerely,

Rex Davis

Athens

Consider details when voting

Dear Editor:

With the 2012 local elections just around the corner, candidates are out and about vying to for their respective positions, all promising change, all promising to address the concerns of the voters. 

When questioned about concerns, we hear a lot of the same answers, just what we as voters want to hear!

One candidate’s answer on the topic of the new library I read in The News Courier recently stated “One of the leading indicators that industry and retail evaluate when choosing to potentially locate in a given area is the size and quality of the city library.” Politically appealing and an answer some want to hear but a “leading” indicator? We need to verify that. 

Industry and retail look at transportation, government infrastructure and policies, incentives they can obtain, labor availability and cost, land, power availability and cost, etc. The library issue is perhaps one of the largest expenditures facing Athens estimated at $6 million. Granted, the library foundation will help with expenses, but does today’s environment warrant such an expense?

This question and others associated with the project have deeply divided opinions and factors which should be more closely examined. Current Councilmen Harold Wales and Jim Hickman rightfully displayed concern over some of the cost, a potential $35,000 charge for engineering.

Sounds like good work if you can get it.

With an ever-changing environment, city leaders, current and those to be elected are facing tough challenges. Tough choices will have to be made but will those choices be made based on popularity or based on need and fact? Residents want city leaders to be financial stewards. Pay attention to detail. Get down and understand the “nuts and bolts” of a project. Residents also want the city leaders to provide services that benefit a majority of people. Approve projects in priority of need.

Challenging times are ahead for Athens and our city leaders. As the old timers say it’s gonna be a “tough row to hoe”. Athens residents do keep abreast of issues, something city leaders should keep in mind when making decisions affecting our town.

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