Although there have been no charges by any law enforcement agency against Albany City Manager Al Lott, there is certainly enough of a work history to date to clearly show that our City Manager has not performed his responsibilities effectively.
People are fired all the time for simply doing a poor job, never having broken any laws. Lott has lost the respect, backing, and the required moral authority from the vast majority of the people of Albany to do his job. Our city manager should resign from his position right away. Barring this, the City Commission should relieve him of his responsibilities.
Barring that, the people of Albany should demand action through a petition. I hope that will not be required. It will take a lot of time and energy from citizens that are already overworked, underpaid, and burnt out with the failings of our local leadership and their mismanagement of people and finances.
We have plenty of issues on our plate as a community that require a city manager that is ethical, effective, and proactive in addressing the needs of Albany. Lott has shown no ability, or even a desire to get front and center on the difficult issues, such as downtown Albany and the ADICA board mess. Here are just a few concerns that I believe, stand as evidence that Albany needs a new city manager right away:
Mismanagement of downtown redevelopment, including having Don Buie, a convicted felon, on the job as manager and criminal conspirator for 18 months.
* Another Lott hire, former Police Chief James Younger’s performance was substandard by most accounts. His officers deliberately manipulated crime statistics by reporting felony crimes as misdemeanors. Lott gave Younger $40,000 of taxpayer funds to resign.
* Lott stated the only way to award Christopher King a liquor license to open an East Albany nightspot would be to break the law because of its close proximity to another club. Lott then broke the law and King got his license to open Club Fahrenheit.
* Ethical concerns over Lott’s hiring practices, including his arrangements with a hired “headhunter”.
* Systematically, Lott and his staff commit misdemeanor crimes by withholding information from the public.
Recently, some in government and the business community have charged that there is too much negativity in Albany, and that we need to “come together”. I agree. Some may see my comments here, and my blog in general, as a small component of that negativity. I disagree. I am a big believer in teamwork, in working together to solve shared problems. Albany is my hometown, and I believe it has the resources, talent, and desire to not only correct the problems, but to also become an example of how a city should be managed.
But before we can fix a problem, we have to first address it. Nobody likes to say that part of our problem is an individual in a leadership position, but if that is how you see it, you have to say so, regardless of any attacks you may get for going “negative”.
All this is of course, just my opinion. I would sincerely like to know what you think, so please add your comments below. There is only one way we are going to put Albany back on the right track — together.
Written by Lon McNeil. Mr. McNeil is an Albany independent marketing consultant. Find him online at AlbanyOnPoint.