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Mayor issues call to service

Rotary Club President Steve Allen  discusses the club's public service project working to eliminate cigarette butt litter during Mayor Hubbard's Call to Service on Saturday at the Albany Civic Center.

Rotary Club President Steve Allen discusses the club's public service project working to eliminate cigarette butt litter during Mayor Hubbard's Call to Service on Saturday at the Albany Civic Center.

ALBANY — About 200 people who cared showed up for the “2012 Mayor’s Call to Service” in the Albany Civic Center Saturday.

“That’s the problem with the city,” said B.J. Fletcher, an Albany businesswoman. “We’ve got 94,000 people and even if only one percent came that would be 940 people.”

Starting the meeting, Mayor Dorothy Hubbard acknowledged that she was preaching to the choir. But in earlier conversations, she hinted that that was part of the plan.

The committed could sign to help the city clean up and also recruit their neighbors to join them, she said.

“We toured our town and assessed we had to do more,” Hubbard said. “The city and the county (officials) decided there is a need for us to be together and clean up the city.”

The mayor offered a partnership between elected officials, government staff members and the residents to do the work. The work, according to a mission statement, is to motivate all residents of the city and Dougherty County to take an interest in keeping their block clean, drug and crime free, leading to healthier, cleaner and safer neighborhoods.

Many of the issues facing the city — trashed blocks, junked vehicles and abandoned houses — can be dealt with if people pitch in and call 311 to report the problems, officials said.

Speaking on the legal issues involved, Municipal Court Judge Willie Weaver described the meanings of terms.

“A Nuisance is anything within the city that causes hurt, inconvenience or damage to another,” Weaver said. “The standard is whether an ordinary reasonable person would see the conduct or lack of conduct as nuisance.”

Outlining typical nuisances, Weaver said they can be obnoxious odors, stagnant water and accumulations of grass, weeds and junk.

“It reminds me of Fred Sanford,” Weaver said. “All that he thought was beautiful, we don’t need in the city.”

The law says that vacant homes must be secured, Weaver said. Windows must be in place, doors locked and grass cut. Call 311 if it is not done, he added.

The parties that can be cited for allowing properties to decline are the people having the deed, the party given notice by the city, any person with an interest in the property by court records and, he emphasized, the person in possession of the property — the renter.

“We don’t want to fine you,” Weaver said. “We want you to clean up.”

What Hubbard and other officials such as Keep Albany Dougherty Beautiful Executive Director Judy Bowles want is for people to make a commitment to the cause.

Bowles had an “Organized Block Manual” with instructions on organizing, developing a plan of action and more explained in it, placed on all the seats at the meeting.

Contracts or pledges to help were also on the chairs. Many were collected at the end of the meeting.

Hubbard said, “I am asking that neighborhood watches, churches, civic organizations, businesses, schools and colleges and every dedicated man and woman who wishes for a brighter future to get involved. Pledge to make ‘The Good Life City’ a reality once again.”

For information on the program call 311 or (229) 450-5257.

Comments

chinaberry25 1 year, 10 months ago

They want to get paid to do this. I bet a lot were from ASU and most of them do not live here. If you could see how the kids in the schools trash them and leave paper all over the classrooms. They eat all day long in class. Rattle paper and throw it on the floor. Some teachers do not allow eating, but they do it anyway.

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Kay523 1 year, 10 months ago

Thats the problem with BJ - just so negative...the Mayor on the other hand has a vision of bringing down the Heritage House and cleaning up the City...much improvement over Mayor Adams who was nice but did not have a vision.

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bigbob 1 year, 10 months ago

You are perfect for Albany, you all stick together. Everyday people are getting shot, robbed, stabbed, etc & the useless mayor thinks picking up trash is the biggest problem facing this city. Stupid is as stupid dose.

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benh1936 1 year, 10 months ago

The HH needs to come down, but not with us taxpayers paying for it. The owners or the Capitol City Bank that they defaulted to should have picked up the tab, not us. I see no vision so far. I see a ploy for PR on something a whole lot easier to tackle than the real problems in this town.

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benh1936 1 year, 10 months ago

What is there to be positive about here? I choose not to stick my head in the sand. Albany has a lot of problems that are not being addressed.

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Bubbavet_rureel 1 year, 10 months ago

ASU bring dollars to this community. Please give them a break.

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chinaberry25 1 year, 10 months ago

Explain Bubbavet, how was ASU given a negative here? Guess you cannot read or chose not to read. I was giving them a hands up. The kids there usually turn out for something like this. You just jump to your own personal conclusions.

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tocar 1 year, 10 months ago

I try to keep my little lot and home clean and we pick up allots of trash thrown out in our yard and the street areas around us which we pick up. I feel that if I keep my yard and the street areas clean then I have done my part. It is not my duty or job to continuously pick up behind some sorry and lazy person who continues to litter and cause unsanitary areas. We must all work together to keep our blocks and neighborhoods clean. It does not take any more energy to take your own trash to a container than it does to throw it out or down. The majority of residents in Albany / Dougherty County do not want any responsibility as far as cleaning up. They feel we owe them regardless of what they do. Attitudes really suck. We need to clean up in allots of areas because as of now this is not the Good Life City.

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VSU 1 year, 10 months ago

I was riding down Dawson road and some careless slimeball was eating McDonald's food while walking and just casually dropped his bag on the ground without a care in the world. He should have been made to eat that bag.

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waltspecht 1 year, 10 months ago

It isn't just Dougherty and Albany. I live in Doublegate III in Lee County and I remove a lot of trash from my ditch on a weekly basis. I used to say I didn't mind the Miller Bottles half as much as I minded the Budweiser, but now I mind both. I picked up a Bugerking bag with my grabber the other week. Some change dropped out. I looked in the bag, and there was a $10 bill to go along with the change. In Vermont they have Greenup Day after the snow has left. Many Citizens get out and pick up the roads. There used to be one Gentlemen that put $100 bills in cans and bags on the roads. Was an added incentive for the kids. I always see one Gentlemen along 520 in Terrell County picking up cans. He sure seems to find a lot of them, and gets some good exercise too. We need to thank folks like this every so often, because even though they sell the cans, they are helping out the area.

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tocar 1 year, 10 months ago

People who litter constantly are not very concerned with how the residents feel about the unsightly and unsanitary mess. It would be nice if they had to eat what they throw down.
I get tired of picking up after the lazy people who litter. Can you imagine what their homes look like? Maybe uninhabitable. We have next door neighbors who do not clean up anything or cut down anything. Green algae / fungus is growing all over their house, but they do not seem to see it.

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