— 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Praise for Rotary
Way to go Athens Rotary Club. As a tree hugging Golden Eagle-loving person, I’m so thankful to see the beautiful landscaping added to our Athens Golden Eagle Stadium.
Nice things like this don’t just happen. Thanks to the Athens Rotary Club for providing that leadership, planning, fund and just plain old hard work to make this happen.
Too many people were involved to name them all, but I think I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Mr. Chris Bolden, principal of Athens High School, Judge Jimmy Woodroof and Doug Slater. They were the leaders I know about.
Thanks again for making this wonderful thing happen. It’s great to be a Golden Eagle.
More planning needed
Ralph Diggins’ letter to the editor last week is a prime example of the lack of leadership by our city leaders. The Spirit of Athens is more concerned about new lights on the square then resolving the dilapidated buildings on Market.
The Square is only a small part of Athens and has little to offer to attract out-of-town visitors. Yet they spend all their time on it. We need leadership, creativity, planning and marketing of all aspects of this city.
Why pay for new facades on privately owned buildings on the Square and use taxpayer funds while doing little to enhance the rest of the city?
We have an oil refining company that the citizens really didn’t approve of that has never met its obligations in over a year. Why not cancel all its permits and keep the residential neighborhood for a safer and creditable organization that will be a positive improvement to the neighborhood and the city in general?
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Why does the mayor say that anyone who has a question on a subject of interest to call his secretary for an appointment? Why not have some public meetings in the evening to discuss all the current projects being considered, basis for the interest, what is expected as benefits, what will be all costs associated with the project and estimate financial returns or realistic quality of life improvement to justify the expenditure?
Obviously, we don’t have much citizen input in how the city is planning for the future that will not only improve the quality of life, but more importantly, increase the city’s revenue stream. Spending time and money, and landscape planning, to place trees and shrubs all over city is nice, but how does it resolve major financial problems and revenues to fund real improvement?
What progress has and is being accomplished towards small business growth and a major tourist attraction. Cullman, at one-third Athens population, had a music festival that attracted 40,000 attendees last week. Athens’ highly touted Grease Festival only attracted 4,500 attendees, including all vendors and children. Something is obviously wrong with our city’s creative tourism planning.
More importantly, we need more citizen input and participation in planning the city’s future. Everyone should take more time and become more pro-active citizens and less standing on the sidelines.
Tell our leadership what’s wrong. What say you?
Quentin D. Anderson Sr.