ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany's mayor will be sworn in for her second term next week. As Mayor Dorothy Hubbard prepares for her swearing on Monday, she says she is proud of the many accomplishments made during her first term as the city's leader.
In a one-on-one interview Friday, Mayor Hubbard said the city faces challenges, but continued cooperation will be the key to future success. When discussing accomplishments, Mayor Hubbard emphasizes the word "WE".
"I don't think that I can say I've accomplished anything I work on behalf of the people," said Mayor Hubbard. "I believe anything that has been accomplished, has been accomplished because we work together."
Working together on projects like the Broad Avenue Bridge, and repairing and beautifying the underpass in East Albany were among many accomplishments.
"To me that was a tremendous feat," said Mayor Hubbard. "We will continue the clean-up initiative and we will continue to ask organizations to help keep the community clean."
Repairing potholes and streets during the new year is a priority, as well as dealing directly with owners of blighted properties.
"But, the blight is an issue that we have to tackle and it has to be part of what we think about how we look and how clean we are," said Mayor Hubbard.
Pride in a city that had another shining moment recently, and experienced officials across agencies working together during the Christmas flood helped to keep the community together.
"Let's go back now and see if there are areas we can make improvement," said Mayor Hubbard. "If we can continue that our future looks really, really bright."
Always wanting to evaluate and make improvement qualities are duties she hopes to continue in her next term as mayor. Mayor Hubbard says consolidating city and county governments isn't on her radar right now as she prepares for her next term.
Talks over consolidating city and county governments have been non-existent since a vote two years ago by the county commission against allowing citizens to decide on merging the governments. The city commission voted in favor of allowing a referendum.
"The city has gone on now to do what we needed to do in terms of the efficiencies and consolidating departments in a way that we are already saving money," said Mayor Hubbard.
The Mayor says the city is monitoring duplication of services, and doesn't see that the city will talk about consolidation again in the future. She also says education and business development is critical for the region's success.
Mayor Hubbard says a multi-million dollar brewery moving downtown will play an essential role in downtown revitalization. She also says even though bringing new business to the area is important, there are other priorities too.
According to Mayor Hubbard, protecting and growing the city's thriving tourism will be a continued priority for her in her next term. Mayor Dorothy Hubbard says projects like Rails to Trails, a multi-county recreational trail, are important to enticing people to visit the region.
Tourism dollars have an estimated 250-million dollar impact annually, and Hubbard says supporting the Convention and Visitors Bureau is critical.
But, she is not sure if that means the C-V-B operates separate from the Chamber.
"I think it is time for additional evaluation and discussion of where we are what we have done in the past and what we need to do in the future," said Mayor Hubbard.
The Convention and Visitors Bureau currently operates under the Albany Chamber of Commerce, but is funded with hotel-motel tax. Mayor Hubbard says she is looking for what would be the best tourism model for the city.
Mayor Hubbard will be sworn in for her second term Monday night at the Governmental Center at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.