Lee County, Albany politicians say time for change, cooperation - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lee County, Albany politicians say time for change, cooperation

December 6, 2004

Leesburg- As tropical storms ripped through South Georgia week after week, Dougherty and Lee County emergency management agencies worked together to keep people safe.

"It's a close organization and it's all under the umbrella of GEMA," said Jim Vaught, EMA Director in Dougherty County.

That's one of the few ways the two counties officially do anything together. Although politicians won't say there is competition between the two communities, they do seem to be pushing for change. Mayor Willie Adams spoke to the Lee County Commission Monday night.

"Well I'm one for forgetting the past and looking towards the future, so whatever the reason was, we're going to try to sweep it under the rug an move forward from this point," Adams said.

"Between Lee County and Albany-Dougherty There is not battle there," said Lee County Commission Chairman Edward Hinman.

In the past, Lee and the Albany-Dougherty communities have competed for big business. But the time may have come when the two areas need each other more. Lee County needs more infrastructure, Albany needs more money for Chehaw Park, which is also in Lee County and both need the Marine Base to stay open.

"You can't live separately in this world. You can't live separately in this area," Adams said.

So for South Georgia's sake, Lee and Albany-Dougherty may need to work better together.

"We know each other, we're a close community and we try to stay in touch and help each other as we need to," Vaught said.

Not only in days darkened by natural disasters, but everyday.

posted at 10:33 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com