ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Angry taxpayers plan to pack Tuesday night's Albany city commission meeting. Commissioners are scheduled to vote on whether to try to recoup hundreds of thousands of dollars from a non-profit that failed to build a taxpayer backed housing project.
The South Georgia patriots are angry about what they call a lack of oversight by city leaders. They're also upset that the city may not go after $364,000 local taxpayers had to give back to the federal government. They hope they can encourage commissioners to change their minds.
Tom Knighton was born and raised in Albany. He's now a member of the political action group South Georgia Patriots and tonight, he wants action by the city commission.
He said, "It's time that they start recognizing that responsibility and realize that we want our money back, plain and simply, we want our money back."
The "we" he's referring to are city taxpayers, who refunded the federal government $364,000 for low to moderate income apartments that were never even started. The city commission has tentatively agreed not to go after cash from Cutliff Grove Family Resource Center, in exchange for a deed to the property where the development was supposed to go. Knighton says that's not enough.
He said, "It's got to be one of the most irresponsible things I've ever heard of in government, to not even make an attempt to at least recoup some of the money." But Knighton wants more than money. He wants answers.
He said, "Now I think the question is, who made those decisions? Why were they made? And as taxpayers, I think we've got a right to know."
And as the commission debates the issue tonight, he's hoping they'll make a decision that will be in the best interest of the people they serve. He said, "If the city commission decides to go after the money, try to get their money back, it will be a step moving in the right direction."
Paying back the people of Albany, who've paid the federal government for a project that was never produced.
The early briefing for the commission begins at 7:30 PM. The regular meeting is at 8 PM.