Reclaim our city
The majority of the 2000-2004 council members were defeated for reelection. The major reason was that they were using reserves to cover the city’s expenses. Hopefully, representatives of that reasoning and judgment will not be brought back to our city council in this election.
Athens quality of life needs real improvement. The city has many areas that have not had paving in 30 to 40 years; we still have major sewer problems in spite of a recent 30 percent rate increase, underpaid police officers, many eyesore properties that aren’t being resolved, and many other critical problems that need to be given priority.
The mayor says that people disagreeing with his judgment are complainers sitting on the sidelines. Let’s make it clear, our citizens are all generating sales tax revenue, property taxes, and other sums that finance our city administration costs; they’re hardly sitting on the sidelines. We haven’t achieved goals based upon long-range planning, due to lack of it. The citizens need to elect astute new management.
We have all the talk about the Square attracting tourists. Our square is one of hundreds in the nation, particularly in the South. Worse, it has many law offices and an Athens State facility, which is not unique. If the Square had antique and collectible stores and retail establishments, that provided a very unique experience to out-of-town visitors, we might be better patronized. Why can’t Athens artfully improve our downtown with permanent, year-round, drawing power at low cost? Other cities like ours, across the country, are already doing this. Maybe the powers that be spend too much time promoting self-interests.
I have the details of how to accomplish this artful beautification of our downtown at a fraction of the cost paid for a consultant and signs. It will be presented to the City Council in the near future.
We need forward looking, experienced, financial, and management astute people to lead our city to greater heights in spite of bad economic conditions. Don’t vote for those who’ve shown faulty judgment and those with simple throwaway comments. This is a serious business that requires the best. Let’s elect new management and retire the current management.
Do your homework in deciding your vote and maybe we can turn things around and become that “gleaming city on a hill” that we all want.