ALBANY, Ga. — Before Albany City Commissioners got to work Tuesday during their work session at the government center, several area citizens took to the podium to provide feedback to the board on a wide range of topics.
Njemile Ali, a principal for a group working to save the Broad Avenue bridge, kicked off the morning by asking the commissioners to delay plans to begin the bid process on demolishing the bridge.
After lengthy discussion, the board took a non-binding vote of confidence to continue plans for the demolition.
Audrey Alfieri then asked commissioners to consider taking action to help those people who are bound to wheel chairs have better accessibility to homes and businesses by developing an ordinance that bans people from blocking public sidewalks.
“There have been times when I’ve tried to get to Slappey and had to go out into the street three different times because the sidewalk was blocked,” Alfieri said.
Alfieri also asked commissioners to keep wheelchair users in mind when they repair streets and sidewalks, urging them to make the city and downtown more wheelchair friendly.
City Manager James Taylor told Alfieri that he has spoken with Police Chief John Proctor about people blocking the sidewalks with their cars and that officers have been made aware of the problem so citations can be issued.
Downtown Manager Aaron Blair is currently working on a project to rehabilitate part of downtown that would include improvements to the sidewalks along Pine Avenue.
Blair is wanting to redevelop the 100 block of Pine Avenue from Washington Avenue until it meets Riverfront Park by repairing and widening the sidewalks, adding lighting and greenery, and resurfacing and redesigning the street.
Willie Ross next took to the podium to praise the work of the Albany Police Department for handling crimes in his neighborhood.
Ross said he was proud of the way that the APD was handling crime in East Albany and asked the commission to allow them to keep it up.
“They’re doing a good job, but it’s bad over here,” Ross said. “We need prayer in this city.”
And while she wasn’t on the agenda, local business owner and former mayoral candidate B.J. Fletcher was given time to speak by Mayor Dorothy Hubbard when Ross was done speaking.
Fletcher called on the community to support the commissioners and the mayor and urged people to do a little less bad mouthing of the city and get a little more involved in making it better.
“If we were as quick to help leaders as we were to put them down, we could make a lot of progress in this town,” Fletcher said. “Get behind your commissioners, the police chief, the fire chief, the mayor... take all of that energy that you spend being negative and do something positive and help our leaders.
“This town is worth saving,” Fletcher said.
To be on the city agenda, call the Albany City Clerk at 229-431-2161.