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McCoy slams incumbent’s record

Jason McCoy is running against Ward IV incumbent Roger Marietta for his seat at the city commission table.

Ward IV Candidate Jason McCoy speaks to the Artesian Sertoma Club Thursday at Doublegate Country Club.

Ward IV Candidate Jason McCoy speaks to the Artesian Sertoma Club Thursday at Doublegate Country Club.

ALBANY — Political newcomer and Ward IV challenger Jason McCoy came out swinging Thursday in his bid to unseat City Commissioner Roger Marietta, faulting Marietta for the situation with the defunct Cutliff Grove housing project and for pushing a sign ordinance that McCoy says is anti-business.

Speaking to the Artesian Sertoma Club, McCoy said that the residents and businesses of Ward IV have been under-represented by Marietta, who is running for re-election.

“I think we can do a better job promoting business. All of the business owners I’ve spoken with ... Roger hasn’t even bothered to stop and ask them how their business is. If you don’t partner with small business around here, how are you going to help them?”

McCoy pulled no punches going after Marietta, saying that Marietta was a rubber stamp for the commission’s efforts to settle with Cutliff Grove Family Resource Center for a failed housing development and its on-going efforts to build a $15 million terminal and runway improvements at the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport.

“Roger could’ve put the brakes on these things, but he’s been nothing but a rubber stamp for his friends on the commission,” McCoy said.

Marietta, it turns out, did help put the brakes on the Cutliff Grove process — twice.

In fact-checking McCoy’s statement, the Herald obtained public records from a series of meetings in which the City Commission discussed and acted on the failed Grovetown development project.

When the City Commission initially approved Cutliff Grove as a Community Housing Development Organization and gave the go-ahead for federal funds to be used for the Grovetown project in 2007, Marietta wasn’t a member of the commission. We was elected after that decision was made.

According to the official meeting minutes of the City Commission for April 6, 2010, Marietta and Bob Langstaff were the only two commissioners at the time to vote against the city paying HUD for federal dollars lost in the failed project. It appears that Marietta only favored having the city repay the money if Cutliff Grove officials were stipulated to repay the funds to the commission.

On Aug. 24, 2010 — again according to the official meeting minutes — as the commission was considering whether accepting the Grovetown property as a settlement of the issue, Marietta made a motion that the commission reject the settlement offer and ask District Attorney Greg Edwards to launch an investigation of the entire Cutliff Grove incident.

The commission adopted Marietta’s motion 6-1, with Commissioner Tommie Postell the lone dissenter.

McCoy also took a shot at the city’s business licensing process; comparing it to Lee County’s process which comes in the form of a 44-page document that helps prospective business-owners navigate their way through the process.

“Compare that to Lee County; 44 pages and they’re going to get you into business. I can’t even get you through our sign ordinance in 30 pages,” McCoy said. “We’re setting hurdles that are too high for people to get into business. We need to be more pro-business and I don’t see Roger doing that.”

McCoy brought up local businessman and restaurateur Bo Henry’s recent struggles with the city’s sign ordinance in getting one erected at the Merry Acres Inn and Conference Center as an example of how the city is anti-business.

Henry was one of several business owners and community members who sat on an ad-hoc citizens committee that reviewed and overhauled the sign ordinance at the request of Marietta and then-Ward III Commissioner Morris Gurr.

The revised ordinance with many of the recommendations from the citizens’ group was offered for consideration by Postell on June 25, 2008 and was approved by the commission on a 5-2 vote, with Commissioner Jon Howard and Langstaff voting against. Marietta voted for the measure.

The commission is set to again review portions of the sign ordinance later this year.

Continuing his speech, McCoy said that, if-elected, he would work to end Keep-Albany Dougherty Beautiful’s “frustrating” recycling center program for a more feasible and effective residential program.

“The thing about these collection centers is that they’re inconvenient to use. Some of these centers will take some things, others won’t,” McCoy said. “I think if we had a residential recycling program where you just had a box behind your house and somebody would just pick it up, it could fund itself if we get enough participation.”

McCoy also said he plans to hold monthly town-hall meetings to keep his constituents informed and that he would be responsive to their concerns.

“I think our City Commission is missing out. Roger talks about vision, but I just don’t see it. It’s little things like this that I can bring to the table that will make Albany better. And I want your support.”

When called for comment, Marietta chose only to say that he’s received a warm reception in his bid for re-election and that he’s choosing to keep his campaign positive.

Comments

Somebody 2 years, 11 months ago

First of all it sounds like McCoy doesn't know what he is talking about and not checking his facts, plus if he thinks putting a box in everybody's back yard and somebody burning their own gas to go by each house and pick up recycled items is going to work, he's crazy. Either people will steal from these boxes or they get knocked over and have trash all over the area. It would be cheaper and economical just keeping the designated areas for recycled items.

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firefly 2 years, 11 months ago

Only a Marietta supporter would say he has his facts wrong when in fact the Herald just reported that Marietta DID put the brakes on it. Or maybe you didn't read that part...

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ABY1 2 years, 11 months ago

Why can't recyclables be picked up with our trash service? At the very least, why don't we offer recycling to businesses and offices? I think he is on to something here.

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Abytaxpayer 2 years, 11 months ago

JD>>>Thanks for the fact checks. It does sounds as though Mr. McCoy is no Political newcomer, he sure looks like a professional politician. Run off at the mouth with no facts but say it convincingly and uninformed people will believe you. But then he does work in a Law office too, so go figure. He does make a few good points for moving Albany forward but they just sound like talking points with no substance. He condemns the sign ordnance out one side of his mouth but earlier he stated “I've always been a big advocate of Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful” which is lead by Judy Bowles who also spearheaded the current ANTI-Business sign regulations. So is he supporting Ms. Bowles or Local Business, sure can’t be both! His recycling program sure sounds a Judy Bowles idea. As a talking point, it sounds good but in real life how is it going to work, who is going to pay for it?
So if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck is it just another Politician talking out of both side of his mouth?

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Moe 2 years, 11 months ago

Keep Albany Dougherty Beautiful (KADB) is a disaster, Judy Bowles has no business or qualifications that allow her to formulate the anti-business ordinances that she supports. (KADB) needs to be shut down before it hurts more people.

As to McCoy's other comments, he was being generous on Marietta: Mediacom scam, millions wasted downtown (arches, giant piano, aquarium, etc), the vile and wasteful new "Welcome to Albany" signs. Can't we simply have a commissioner that votes "no"?

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firefly 2 years, 11 months ago

I completely agree about the new signs. The one coming into Albany from 82 is way too small for the space and looks idiotic. Then again, so does the arch downtown.

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richie 2 years, 11 months ago

the blue arch was a county project not a city one

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firefly 2 years, 11 months ago

That doesn't make it look any better...

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TrixibelleBento 2 years, 11 months ago

Does Mr. McCoy not understand that the airport Improvements are being done to cater to business travelers that regularly come to our city and show our community in a better light? Sounds like he doesn't understand what an airport does.

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Abytaxpayer 2 years, 11 months ago

Trix you are so right the potential the new airport improvements will present Albany is almost unlimited, because it is the first impression most businessmen get of Albany. Unlike KADB’s monuments to Judy Boles..I mean the “Welcome to Albany” Signs. The New airport will be a “Welcome mat” for people who have money to bring and spend in Albany and or bring new jobs to Albany.

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Moe 2 years, 11 months ago

Take a ride down Slappey Drive. All of those evil business signs are being replaced with "for sale" signs or plywood-covered windows, Would you believe Judy Bowles and her little band of parasites even harrassed the new donut store when it opened on Ledo? Kudos to the first candidate who will stand up and promise to support terminating Bowles from her appointed position. Marietta or McCoy? Who will bite the bullet to rid us of this woman?

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Somebody 2 years, 11 months ago

Promises are made to be broken, I think McCoy is just putting on airs. Anybody can talk the talk, but can they walk the walk? People will do or say anything to get elected. McCoy as Abytaxpayer says is talking out of both sides of his mouth. I'm not putting no box of recycled goods in my backyard and have hobo's lurking around grabbing them and looking around to see what else they can steal. We have enough crime going on without putting out bait.

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P_Diddy 2 years, 11 months ago

I've been extremely impressed with everything Roger has done for Ward 4 and the city of Albany. His work in regards to upgrading this city's fire service has saved businesses 1000s if not millions of dollars. We need more people like Roger working for Albany.

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P_Diddy 2 years, 11 months ago

I've been extremely impressed with all the work that Roger has done for Ward 4 and the city of Albany. Roger's work to upgrade the city's fire service has saved local businesses 1000s if not millions of dollars. Albany needs more people like Roger working for it!

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 11 months ago

"When called for comment, Marietta chose only to say that he’s received a warm reception in his bid for re-election and that he’s choosing to keep his campaign positive."

Positive campaign my booty.

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Jack_Frost 2 years, 11 months ago

He can run a positive campaign when the Herald will do the dirty work for him. Marietta should have been the one to defend his record, not Sumner.

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J.D._Sumner 2 years, 11 months ago

Look Jack, the facts are what they are. Their are tons of places to gig Marietta, but the Grovetown mess isnt one. What kind of journalist would I be if I printed something as fact that I knew not to be?

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Jack_Frost 2 years, 11 months ago

I'm saying it's Marietta's place to defend his record, not yours.

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Abytaxpayer 2 years, 11 months ago

JD again thanks for the FACTS. As I said earlier in this post a lot of Albany likes to listen to the hype and hates to bother with the facts. You are right Marietta has may faults and made mistakes but one thing I am not aware of is him making up untruths about anyone who wants to challenge his record. Rodger does listen to and respond to informed opinions, but as most of us I am sure he hates to listen to uniformed windbags.

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Quantraveious 2 years, 11 months ago

Why won't anyone with actual leadership skills and good judgement run for City Commission? We currently have no one on the City Commission with good judgement.

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richie 2 years, 11 months ago

Marietta is the best Commissioner we have and has very good leadership skills that is why we all asked him to run for Mayor. Maybe in 4 years he will be ready.

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