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Mayor issues service challenge

Dorothy Hubbard

Dorothy Hubbard

ALBANY, Ga. — Following up on a bus tour that revealed some of the city’s worst areas of blight and downtroddeness, Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard has issued a challenge to the residents of Albany to step up and join in efforts to improve the city.

City leaders have long talked about removing blight and litter and reducing crime while increasing involvement by community residents. But on Thursday, Hubbard issued a call to service, urging church groups, neighborhood watches, community associations, corporations and private citizens to sign a contract with the city, pledging to invest time into making an improvement.

“I am asking that all the citizens of Albany come together to make a difference,” Hubbard said. “The time for talking is over. The time for action is now. It’s time for the people to help us make Albany a safe and fun place to live, work and play.”

Hubbard’s call Thursday is an effort to forge a covenant between city leaders and the residents themselves, who she hopes will work together through using the city’s 311 service to report blighted areas, litter, gang graffiti — to reduce crime and improve the city’s appeal to companies looking to expand or relocate here.

“We know that prospective companies send out two sets of people when they look at cities. The first meets with people like me and the chamber and the second, goes around and gets the real picture of a city,” Hubbard said. “We can’t sugarcoat things. We have to get to the bottom of these issues at the street level and we can’t do that without participation of the public.”

Facing increasing economic hardships, city officials, namely City Manager James Taylor, have been frank about the city’s ability to fund city projects, like its demolition program for blighted structures.

“If we’re going to continue the demolition program, we need to have a plan, rather than bounce around the city taking down a house here and a house there,” Taylor told commissioners in a meeting Tuesday. “We can’t afford, as a city, to try and demolish all the blighted property within the city or we will be broke. ... We have to find a way to hold these property owners accountable rather than the onus be on the city and the taxpayer.”

Hubbard said she hopes the non-profits in the community and other community groups, corporations and private citizens will make the commitment to improve the city.

Hubbard said the city will hold an event at the Civic Center on June 9 to raise awareness and acknowledge those who are joining the movement.

Comments

MRKIA 2 years, 6 months ago

OLD MOTHER HUBBARD WON'T GET ANYTHING DONE EXCEPT WASTE UTILITIES OPENING UP THE CIVIC CENTER FOR SOME FOOLS WHO WON'T CLEAN UP BEHIND THEMSELVES. GROUPS FROM OTHER STATES HAVE TO COME HERE OCCASIONALLY TO PICK UP TRASH AND SPRUCE UP THE PLACE. THIS HAS PUBLICITY STUNT WRITTEN ALL OVER IT. GIVE AWAY SOME FREE FOOD AND PEOPLE WILL SHOW UP, USUALLY SOME OVERWEIGHT SLOB. CEASE WITH THE CLOWN SHOWS.

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tocar 2 years, 5 months ago

I would like to think that the citizens of Albany will come together to help clean up these blighted areas. We can each begin in our own respective yards. It would be nice to look around my neighborhood and know that someone really cares. We have some neighbors who are just very lazy and they will turn their heads the other way. It doesn't matter that algae and fungus is all over the house and weeds have taken over what was once flower beds. Alittle soap and water goes a long way and maybe some chlorox added.

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BettyBowTie 2 years, 5 months ago

Collect the money owed us by Cutliff Grove and the owners of the Heritage House and use that to do the job. Stop raising our taxes and then making us do your job. If you cannot do the job you were elected to do, stay within a budget and collect taxes from property owners that long ago lost their tax exempt status, then resign and let someone else have that job. I have not seen the Mayor do anything useful or helpful yet. The trip to DC cost us, did not help us a bit. Stop blaming taxpayers for the wrong doing of others. Make the people causing the blight clean it up.

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 5 months ago

I agree. Some of the most blighted properties are owned by individuals and companies that are located outside of Albany and NEVER step foot on their property once they close on it. Perfect example is the old school building on Broad Ave. It looks terrible and I believe Greenbrier Holdings is who owns it.

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CaptMurdock 2 years, 5 months ago

The Broad Ave school was a Greenbriar Holdings Property. It was foreclosed on in November of 2011. Looks like Mr. Comeau was trying to get rid of any attachments to Albany, GA. Capitol City Bank in Atlanta owns the property now.

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for clearing that up. Capital City needs to spruce it up a bit. At least cut the grass for goodness sakes.

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dingleberry 2 years, 5 months ago

As it owns the Highland properties behind the Heritage House that we will pick up the tab to knock down. Just watch, you will see! How on earth could we charge a bank to clean up their mess?

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 5 months ago

I agree, Capital City needs to be held accountable for the costs of demolition.

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VSU 2 years, 5 months ago

You can clean up, which is good, but the key question is can you stop it from getting trashed up again? It's like cleaning up the leaves in my yard in the fall. looks nice for a day, next day all covered with leaves again. I can't stop mother nature, and I doubt the city can stop the litterbugs. I was riding down Westover the other day and a whole garbage bag of trash was scattered all over the place. Some people just have no pride or self responsibilities.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 5 months ago

This is good, positive leadership from Ms. Hubbard. I support her efforts. I will be down there with my wheel chair and my mechanical pick-up stick. Just show me where to begin.

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CaptMurdock 2 years, 5 months ago

The Broad Ave schoolhouse was a Greenbriar Holdings property. It was until he foreclosed on it in November 2011. Seems that Mr. Comeau was trying to unload whatever properties he could here in Albany. FWIW, Capitol City Bank in Atlanta now owns the property.

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dingleberry 2 years, 5 months ago

And it and the houses on Highland behind the Heritage House are Capitol City's responsibility. But watch them skate away from the bill! As you may recall, John Hayes was on the publicized blight tour awhile back but he certainly didn't step up and say "this is ours!" Translation is "it is yours".

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 5 months ago

I was just thinking the same thing about Commissioner Hayes. Thanks for saying it.

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bigbob 2 years, 5 months ago

It's not safe to walk the streets to clean up. People are getting shot pumping gas in this town Mayor. In the so called safe parts of town. NO SUCH THING ANYMORE.

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LuLu 2 years, 5 months ago

Is Albany's blight the Mayor's only concern? That would be great if it were our only problem, but as Mayor, she has WAY bigger fish to fry. If she's so concerned about looks, maybe she should have gone to work at KADB with Judy Bowles, and let a real and enthusiastic businessperson like BJ Fletcher be the Mayor!

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 5 months ago

at least she is trying.......I applaud anyone trying to help this place!

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