Editorial: Dougherty Co. Commission's EDC funding decision implications

Editorial: Dougherty Co. Commission's EDC funding decision implications

Last week's meeting of the Dougherty County Commission was one of the worst examples of leadership by our elected officials many of us have ever seen.

Commissioner Clinton Johnson at the very last minute, insisted they cut $50,000 to fund the  Economic Development Commission, from the budget.

His reason? He did not think there was enough effort put into developing "all parts" of Albany, referring to the less affluent sections of South and East Albany.

The fact is the commission was shown the same PowerPoint presentation we received a copy of, showing in the last year and one half, the over 400 new jobs and over $230 million in economic development was mainly at P&G, Mars and Thrush, all located in those two areas of town.

The most damaging effect of this vote and budget cut, was it violated the agreement between the County, the City and the Chamber of Commerce to fund the economic development commission.

"The reduction in funding is unfortunate that politics were played at the expense of the economic development commission," said President of the Albany-Dougherty EDC Justin Strickland.

The county has now withdrawn from the Economic Development Commission. Commissioner Johnson and the other three commissioners: Hayes, Jones, and Johnson, who supported this ridiculous power play, have done more harm to our city's growth than they can possibly imagine.

What do you think are the chances the business and industry deals we have pending, will now locate in Albany, after witnessing this sad spectacle?

I'm sure Macon, Columbus, and Valdosta will benefit from this statement that our leadership cannot be trusted to honor our agreements.

If there is not an immediate apology and change to this position, the business community should take all steps necessary to replace those commissioners who are so uninformed and unprepared to lead this community.

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