Downtown Albany Manager Named - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Downtown Albany Manager Named

October 30, 2007

Albany - - The revitalization of downtown Albany is about to begin a new chapter. We've closely followed the search for a new Downtown Manager. Tuesday, city leaders announced the person who will fill that job. They also introduced the new leader of Albany Tomorrow Incorporated. 

Downtown is dead. That's what many of you have told us in interviews and emails. Albany city leaders are trying to change your mind.

"We wanted somebody who had some experience doing this," says Assistant City Manager James Taylor.

At a special called meeting Tuesday, city leaders made some big announcements. First they've named a man to spearhead the effort in boosting downtown Albany as the new Downtown Manager.

His name is Don Eric Buie. He doesn't move here until next month. Currently he serves as the East Baltimore Director of Economic Development and Main Street Program.

"An area that was very blighted. In that community, he had to be his own fund raisers, he was grant writer, developer, program worker, and he did a tremendous job getting that area turned around," Taylor says.

City leaders say the Downtown Manager knows the challenges downtown Albany faces. Vacant buildings and one center of attraction for many people, Harvest Moon, has shipped out.

"It's not going to be an easy thing, we know that its going to be a challenge. Were going to have to somehow create the energy and foot traffic downtown where businesses want to be. He knows how to do that, he's done that before, he knows how to bring people together and develop teams," Taylor adds.

Buie will have help. Albany Tomorrow Board of Directors announced its new president and CEO to replace former president Tommy Chatman.

"I think the big thing right now is to see to the completion of the projects we've already got going," says Kenneth Weaver.

Weaver spent the past 25 years working in different city and county manager positions. He's turning in his job as city manager in New Mexico to help boost the Good Life City. 

"Looking at development in general and seeing the direction that we need to go, working with the city," he adds.

So that you can have more pride in a downtown you can call your own. 

Weaver began his job this week. Buie is expected to start in Mid November.

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