— Letters policy
The News Courier encourages letters to the editor. Submissions should be no more than 400 words and should include a name, address and telephone number for verification. Submissions that do not meet requirements are subject to editing. Send letters by noon on Thursdays to P.O. Box 670, Athens, AL, 35613, or email to email@example.com.
Thanks for successful event
Our Thanksgiving dinner was a success due to the generosity of so many that donated so much in the way of food and money.
We particularly acknowledge our local veterans organizations that more often than not don’t have a lot to spare in the way of finances. The AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary on behalf of AMVETS post 21 did a phenomenal job in the logistics and organizing of our Thanksgiving dinner that so many enjoyed.
A large part of our success goes to all the volunteers who prepared and served the food. Also, the delivery drivers who made many trips to ensure all the orders were delivered.
With that said, none of this could have been possible without Chapter 511 of the Vietnam Veterans, which generously allowed us the privilege of using their building.
Thanks to all that donated and volunteered their time and energy to accomplish our goal. Without all of you, approximately 350 residents of our community would not have had a Thanksgiving dinner this year.
1st vice commander
Development takes expertise
The Friday before Thanksgiving, the City Council had a business meeting presentation on retail business development by City Planner Mac Martin. Martin explained that he and a Chamber of Commerce representative had visited major retail business conferences for three years to encourage retailers to come to Athens, with very little response. He said Athens didn’t have enough “rooftops,” population, to interest retailers. Mayor Marks commented that we owe a lot to Bill Ming for retail development in Athens.
I met Mr. Ming in 1985 when he was a loan officer for a Huntsville bank. He has developed the majority of Athens retail shopping areas in the last dozen years. He is an expert in business development and marketing. Huntsville and Madison have hired retail development consultants and employed professional retail development personnel. You can see their results. We have managed considerable growth without the expense, to the taxpayers, through Bill Ming’s efforts. It takes that knowledge, experience and positive attitude.
Now we have Mr. Ming proposing another new shopping strip development to the Athens planning commission. For many years, the site was used by Clayton Homes until a few years ago when they moved. The proposal is being opposed by a local auto dealership because it would block the line of sight to this dealership and therefore impair its revenues even though the dealership has extensive frontage on Highway 72.
Retail business success is dependent upon strong competitive ability and marketing expertise, not special advantageous public action detrimental to the community at large. It’s time Mr. Hamm realized no one guarantees him certain revenues and patronage. That is dependent upon his expertise, which lack of the same will not help even if the development never existed.
Everyone in Athens has to join together to help our community grow, increase revenues for retail businesses and thereby sales tax revenues to help provide vital services. Retail business development can be Athens stairway to future success. We, the citizens, will benefit by it.
By the way, the Planning Commission approved AGL, LLC, the oil refining company, in April. They have twice missed dates to present a site plan and it is now almost eight months with no response. They cannot get investors and guarantors. It’s time for the Planning Commission to rezone the proposed site to end this fiasco ASAP.
Quentin D. Anderson Sr.