Many ask the question why has Albany not grown, why is Albany stuck, what is Albany’s problem? The only answer I can come up with is that the leaders of Albany lack vision. Albany seems to be nothing more than a large retirement villa, one that when I retire years and years from now, I might think about moving back to, too. As of right now, all I desire to do is leave town. As they say, get out of dodge.
It would be easy to criticize Albany, but that is not what I am trying to do. There needs to be solutions to the cancer that is destroying Albany’s future. How do we stop the bleeding her and build a city that is a shining beacon of light not only to southwest Georgia but to the world.
The first thing is that Albany needs new leadership from the top down. Nothing against anyone in office now, but the job has not been done; it is time for new faces, new voices, and new ideas. Albany is much greater than she has been lead to be. In any city, the downtown district is its lifeblood, here in Albany, downtown is in cardiac arrest. Where are the women and men of Albany that stand for something, that stand for not letting this city die because others only desire to get a paycheck? I am not wanting to leave because Albany sucks, I am wanting to leave because there is no togetherness, there is no oneness. Albany claims to be the Good Life City, well there is no good life here. There is only misery and despair. Not to invoke President Obama, but the time for change has come, and if you don’t want Albany to change, then maybe you need to leave!
How many more business must leave downtown before they realize that taxes are too high? One day the city officials are going to look up and the only people that are going to be downtown will be them. Well, they just might like that, more parking spaces.
Downtown Albany is not just the lifeblood of the city of Albany, but downtown Albany is the lifeblood of southwest Georgia. Since this is the case, Albany needs to start acting like she is something of value rather than a has-been. We are in a new age in the world, and Albany has been left out in the cold. It has not been left out by the world; it has been left out because of its leaders. How will Albany compete with other cities on the rise when it can’t compete with itself? As I was growing up in Georgetown, Ga., Albany use to set the trends. It used to be the place to come to. Now it seems just to be the place to go to Wal-Mart, because there is nothing else to do for young urban professional like myself.
Albany, you are better than this, and we need to stop letting our leadership treat us this way. We have three great schools of higher learning here, so why in the world has the city of Albany not rallied around these three schools in the way other cities have. The influx of students each year ranges in the thousands, but where is the love. These schools are bigger than just homecoming week, the young people of these colleges need to know that as and when they finish school Albany does not want them to leave, but we need them to stay. It is time to come out of the stone ages and into the age of what it really means to be the City of Good Living.
Moreover, I know I am just wasting my time; nothing is ever going to change, as they say, “You can’t teach a old dog new tricks.” Well, I guess the same runs true for a city that when I was a child, I would never miss a chance to come visit, and now I can’t wait to leave. Albany used to be a beacon of hope, an oasis in the desert. Well, I guess that oasis has drawn up, and all we are left with is the ruins of a once great metropolis.