I don’t know about you, but in most of the jobs I’ve held, you only get so many screw ups before you’re gone. Albany City Manager Al Lott has got to be getting close to that magic number, wouldn’t you think? Lott’s track record has been less than exemplary after all.
Let’s ignore the gross nature of his refusal to respond in a timely manner to “interrogatories”, despite the Georgia Open Records Act that kind of says he has to answer them. Let’s also ignore that he’s told subordinates to not respond to “interrogatories” from media sources, stating that no good can come from being open with the media. That’s sort of irrelevant at this point, if you can believe that.
Sept. 29 was a banner day for Lott’s decision-making abilities, something a city manager should be pretty good at. Instead, we see all kinds of extremely poor decisions coming home to roost.
To start with, we have arena football … or do we? The Wildcats aren’t a sure thing, with the new Arena League being announced with no mention of the South Georgia team. Now, I don’t blame Lott for the Wildcats not signing the lease agreement. However, I do blame him for not looking at other proposals sooner. Now, he’s telling WALB that it “might be too late” for the upcoming season.
This is despite a proposal from Peter Studl that’s been on the table for some time. He’s gotten rights for an AIFA team to be hosted here in Albany, and no movement. Now there are multiple teams, which gives the city options. Now, I like competition, but I like football too. For there to be a vibrant downtown like the city claims it wants, arena football is a key ingredient. Lott’s dragging the city’s feet may mean no football this coming season.
And that’s the least of his mistakes. How’s that for scary?
Lott is also responsible for bringing in good old Don Buie. Buie, as has been noted, has now been investigated by the GBI. The results of that investigation has been turned over to the DA’s office. Lott, of course, eventually fired Buie. However, sources have told us that Lott has a habit of never checking references, telling one person that he had never made a mistake in hiring someone. I guess that record is shattered all to hell and back, ain’t it?
Lott also opted to keep Rod Jolivette on the city payroll. He was rewarded for that trust by Jolivette getting indicted in Chattahoochee County for impersonating a police officer. Now, he had ample grounds to fire Jolivette. He believed Fire Chief James Carswell over Jolivette and his cheerleaders. And yet, he retained Jolivette … who’s now indicted and will be arraigned in the next few weeks.
Lott has been less than impressive in his ability as city manager. It’s past time for him to go. And yet, he’s still around. Hopefully, that’s only a temporary condition and soon he’ll be joining Buie in the unemployment line.
Written by Tom Knighton. Read his blog at SWGA Politics.com. A lifelong political junkie, Tom started out his adult life as a journalism major at Darton College before leaving school to serve his nation as a U.S. Navy Corpsman. Through the years, he has watched government from outside and inside. A former Reagan supporter, then later a Democrat, Tom now finds himself quite comfortable as a card carrying Libertarian and all around smart-elec.