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Claire Hillard Rehired?

By   /   April 7, 2012  /   Comments Off


The decision to return Claire Fox Hilliard as Music Director for the Albany Symphony Orchestra sends a terrible message to community, especially our black community and to our youth.

The Albany Symphony board has said to African Americans, we have no respect or sensitivity for you, and to our young people, they have said it is ok to do wrong, as long as you know the right people.

I’m sure that is the reason several board members and employees did the right thing, and resigned, after this very poor decision.

This quick re-hiring makes many question, was his firing just a hoax?

Was it all just for show? Was this deal in the works all the time?

Local businesses know it sometimes takes months, to find the right employee for a particular job.

It is clear there was another agenda at work here.

What is the purpose of having a board of directors, when major Symphony donors can pressure the board to bend to their will.

When personal friendships overrides integrity, there is no creditability in their actions.

It is this kind of thinking and actions, that keeps Albany at the level of, that City with great potential…


School Budget Cuts


A couple of weeks ago, Dougherty County School Board Members put some potentially unpopular money-saving proposals on the table, as they try to prevent a budget shortfall.

But we say more power to them!

The taxpayers who fund their one-hundred fourteen million dollar budget are tightening their belts! Why shouldn’t the school system?

And we won’t even talk about $4.00 a gallon gas we are buying to get to our jobs– so we can pay some of the highest property taxes in Georgia.

School board members talked about re-zoning and possibly combining schools.

And they need to, when you consider that school occupancy data shows many schools operating far under capacity.

Built to hold 2,000 students, Albany High School now is a Double-A school. It sits over half-empty, and maybe it’s time to close it.

The Dougherty County School System has over twelve hundred administrators, faculty, and staff, to serve about sixteen thousand students. Maybe it’s time to reduce that payroll.

Budget cuts won’t be popular with folks who work in the system, but the DCSS is not in the business of full employment. It’s in the business of educating children, and it needs to do so in the most efficient way possible.

We encourage board members to take heart in the fact that the taxpayer is behind you and your budget axe. Don’t be afraid to use it.


Jim Wilcox1Written by Jim Wilcox, general manager of WALB.

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