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City Commission on right course

By   /   December 21, 2010  /   Comments

After the citizens of Ward 4 elected me three years ago and having served for almost three years on the Albany City Commission, I want to let everyone know that I intend to run for re-election in 2011. Lately there has been speculation in the press that I am planning to run for mayor in 2011. I have considered it, but, with several other city commissioners who are also well-qualified, I plan to focus on re-election and stay out of the mayor’s race unless unforeseen circumstances arise.
From the day after I was elected, my constituents and friends have encouraged me to run for mayor. It is very flattering and I seriously contemplated it, but I really believe that there are better candidates out there. The mayor’s job is a tough one and likened to a “lightening rod”. If something goes bad, the mayor is blamed, of course, if good things happen, then the mayor takes credit.
Still the mayor must be at community events on a daily basis. As a working man, with class schedules to meet, dropping everything to attend a ribbon cutting or legislative meeting is not an option. Mayor Adams does a fine job of meeting these obligations while still practicing medicine. You don’t have to be retired to be mayor, but it sure doesn’t hurt.

The mayor must be a patient individual willing to let everyone have their say, and, keeping above the fray. That is more difficult than it looks. Mayor Adams has the wisdom and patience befitting a septagenarian but I am not there yet.

I enjoy serving my constituents and representing their needs. I enjoy attending Neighborhood Watch and homeowners’ associations meetings and helping them build their neighborhoods. I try to answer every phone call and email; and strive to resolve every issue although, ultimately, that is impossible. We are building a better community up through the grassroots and we all should be proud of that.
We have established the 311 system that benefits both city and unincorporated county residents. We have built up the police force with more manpower, more technology, and new leadership in order to lower crime.  he Fire Department has improved and serves the entire county. The Recreation Department continues to expand and excel. Water, Gas and Light is improving and offers the lowest rates and is helping to provide competition for cable TV. Our Public Works Department continues to improve its efficency of operations all the while excellently providing the important public services. Our Finance Department has made incredible progress and led us to a strong financial position while reducing tax rates.
There are many more success stories in city Government all the while we work to fix problems inherited from the past. There are no easy solutions to the Heritage House, for example, but our City Commission is making progress as rapidly as possible. We have new leadership at the Civic Center and downtown manager positions and we look to the future to fill Al Lott’s shoes by late spring 2011.
City government is not simple and the problems are complex. I look forward to working as a member of our City Commission team determined to be successful. We will build a new Albany better than the past. We have set as our number one goal — “to improve public safety” and we are making great strides in that arena. Whoever our next mayor is, that person must  continue working toward that goal. We can all join in and help ensure Albany’s success.
Roger Marietta

(Marietta is serving his first term as Albany’s Ward 4 city commissioner. He is a Darton College professor and a former mayor of Fayetteville, Ga.)
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  • Published: 1713 days ago on December 21, 2010
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  • Last Modified: December 20, 2010 @ 6:12 pm
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Tom Knighton is the publisher of The Albany Journal. In November, 2011, he became the first blogger to take over a newspaper anywhere in the world. In August of 2012, he made the difficult decision to take the Journal out of print circulation and become an online news agency, a first for the Albany area.

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