Viewpoint: What's the fallout of Buie disaster? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Viewpoint: What's the fallout of Buie disaster?

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Well, Downtown Don Buie has finally been fired. As the results of the GBI investigation are turned over to the District Attorney, we will see if any criminal charges are filed.

The investigation revealed checks to a woman who had a romantic relationship with Buie. Buie also wrote checks with taxpayer money to his wife, and gave an ADICA board member a $50,000 grant, that was never reviewed or approved by the board.

It's not just the checks to Shanon Lee that created a problem for Buie. About $10,000 worth of reimbursements that were made from Buie's downtown Manager's account, were never actually paid by ADICA, or where different amounts were paid. The undocumented or little documented expenses to various people, total almost $30,000.

A question you should ask is why have there been no comments from your elected officials? Nothing at all from the mayor, only one city commissioner, and one ADICA board member have spoken up.

They were all quick to speak up and criticize the organization: Albany Tomorrow, and say ATI should fade away-- the city could do it better.

Where was their leadership while all this was going on?

ATI successfully built at least 15 major downtown projects, with no such soap opera: To name a few: the Dept of Human Resources building, The Riverfront Resource Center, The Law Enforcement Center, The Hilton Gardens Hotel & Conference Center,The Central Square Office and parking deck. The Flint Riverquarium, Riverfront park,; Ray Charles Plaza, Thronateeska Planetarium; The Bridgehouse, and the Civil Rights Museum. Beautiful Ashley Riverside Apartment Complex, The First Tee Golf Course, The Bridgehouse, and, The River Trail System.

But remember this was accomplished with strong leadership, quality board members, and good accounting principles.

This is an opportunity to reorganize and start over with the redevelopment of Downtown Albany. But first, with all new players and a lot of homework.

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