Chamberman

Chamberman 1 year, 9 months ago on Squawk of the Day - June 29, 2012

The Board would be accountable to the DCSS board who is accountable to the taxpayer at all times. The Board would be more of an advisory committee then a Board of Directors. Regardless, perhaps you are right that there could have been better communication during the process to avoid this at the end. You are right that the Chamber can do many good things without spending money though we were not spending money. Again, the Chamber had no input as an organization into the Charter. The Chamber was only involved with the creation of the Charter by association only. Several Chamber volunteers also served on the steering committee, nothing more than that. It was the Steering Committee who recommended that the Chamber and EDC have representatives serve on the Board as we are organizations who have a vested interest in the well being of our public education system. To answer your question, no the Chamber does not do enough to support education and we must address that as an organization and we will.

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Chamberman 1 year, 9 months ago on Squawk of the Day - June 29, 2012

At no point and time did the Chamber of Commerce or EDC have any input in the makeup of this Charter. The Steering Committee that was given the task of creating the ACCA consisted of an extremely diverse group of people. People that truly care about the future of these students and this community. Not only are we disappointed with this decision to close the book on over a year's worth of work, but we are also disappointed for those individuals that spent a year of their life working on this while asking for nothing in return only to have tire treads left on their backs while they walked away. If trust is one of or the only issue as a few DCSS and community members suggested, then we as an organization must work to build or rebuild that trust though I don't understand what exactly is not trustworthy. Is it that we as an organization have 1 simple mission that we fight to protect every day for over 100 years. "The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce mission is to promote and stimulate the economic well being of our membership and community through proactive and progressive programs, services and strategic alliances, while representing our members commercial, industrial, and professional interests in major issues of economic and public policy". If trust is in fact an issue, regardless of if that issue is one sided, then we as an organization must work harder to build or re-build that trust in order to move forward. That begins now putting aside past differences and only focusing on what is in front of us.

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Chamberman 1 year, 10 months ago on Local officials host T-SPLOST forums

I understand the feeling toward any additional taxation on our citizens and business community however; I must disagree with your general comments. I have seen this tax for roads and bridge improvements work first hand. I have seen this type of commitment to infrastructure benefit a community and help to recruit new business and create new jobs. Isn't that what we need the most; putting America back to work? State and / or Local government will not and cannot have control over the funds generated from this tax. All monies generated will be governed by an independent panel consisting of non-elected officials with specific legal instructions to enforce the completion of the projects set forth by the Regional Roundtable in October 2011. An annual audit will be published on a website to keep citizens up to speed on project spending. Even if the projects on the list come in under cost, all excess dollars will be apprortioned back to the local jurisidictions to be used on additional local transportation projects. The citizens will have the ability to track the progress of each project along with monitoring which projects are on budget and those that may not be. So yes this is an additional tax, no argument there however; the revenue generated will also, aside from the facts above, help to make our roads safer for everyone.

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Chamberman 1 year, 10 months ago on New Chamber chief wants to ‘sell’ Albany

Lie, I can't really begin to understand how you know what the public opinion of me is considering most have not even met me yet including yourself and solely base that type of decision off a few sound bites in the media. Please understand most of what I know of Albany to this point is what research I have done and the conversations I have had with people in the community. Remember, I have only been here for 4 weeks. Regardless of what the "perceptions" are things can change, I have seen it happen. The Chamber will be more proactive on the political scene. I believe a Chamber should hold any and all elected officials accountable for their actions or lack thereof. It is irrelevant to me if an official is representing their constituents if neither has the bests interests of the community at heart. I think the Mayor is on the right track by getting commitments from the community to help clean up and beautify our area. It is obvious that it will not happen by "forcing" those that are responsible for it to do it themselves, that has already proven itself to be true. I don't expect anyone to form an opinion one way or another from talk on a website. Please just let the future actions of myself and the Chamber define those opinions just like we will do with those in public office.

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Chamberman 1 year, 11 months ago on New Chamber chief wants to ‘sell’ Albany

First let me say I appreciate the dialogue. The first step of many in making a difference is identifying the issues we are faced with. The second step of many is beginning to address those issues in whatever manner is necessary to initiate change. In reference to my comments on my encounter with the lady above, I can simply say this; On that day, I was a newcomer to the area and just someone wanting to try and help make a difference. Without regard to her environment she spoke negatively about the community she lives and works FOR!! Now if she had not been in the position she was I probably would have addressed it differently or not at all. However; considering she was in a supervisory role with a community Public Service Commission I just could not let it go. Each and every one of us has the right to free speech and share our own opinions on any given subject. However, when you choose to serve a community in a Public Service position, you also have the obligation to be one of our communities many cheerleaders. If someone in a Public Service position can't find the strength to do so, then perhaps it was not the best career or job choice!! As "whattheheck" mentioned; "if I made her more upset by making her the problem" then in the long run it might have actually done some good regardless of what context my comments were taken. Now moving on from that topic to something else. Cartman's comments were taken in the context I believe he intended, condescending. With that being said, please don't make the mistake of believing the closure of Cooper Tire, Merck, MacGregor and others had anything to do with Albany or Dougherty County.They were all instances of outside influences so please don't believe that Albany is the only one experiencing economic downsizing. It is happening everywhere!!! I will end by saying this; our Chamber is gearing up to begin a new effort to not only promote Albany but also to hold any and all elected officials responsible for their actions or lack thereof, and communicate those actions to our members and business community. We do not speak on behalf of the citizens of Albany, Dougherty County and Southwest GA. However; we do speak on behalf of well over 1,200 businesses who have invested in our Chamber for the betterment of the community we live and work. It is irrelevant if an elected official represents their constituents if neither of them have the communities best interests at heart. I have only been here for 4 weeks and it does not take long to realize what is in our best interests are job creation, betterment of quality of life, education, and workforce development.

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