While I read the papers and watch the news most every day and certainly understand the concerns about crime in Albany and Dougherty County, I would to offer a somewhat differing perspective on your column of June 13.
I assume you are familiar with the “Broken Window Theory”, an academic, reseach-based viewpoint that poor conditions in neighborhoods contribute to the breeding of crime. Litter, broken windows, overgrown lots, run-down and/or delapidated housing are outward signs that people in a neighborhood don’t care about their surroundings and it makes them much more susceptible to a criminal element. From abandoned houses spring crack houses, drug sales, and bases for prostitution.
Now, picking up litter can’t be the entire answer, for sure. But I don’t think it’s fair to deride Mayor Hubbard’s efforts to bring residents together to fight the problem as “smoke and mirrors.” I don’t know Mayor Hubbard and can’t speak for her personal motives. But for this outside observer, it seems not a bad thing at all for the community as a whole to make a statement to gangs and criminals that “Yes! We do care about our neighborhoods.” It also gives people a chance to get away from their air-conditioning and televisions and get to know each other and form a more cohesive, unified community.
Only time will tell of course, but my hope is that a community picking up litter together is just the first rung on the ladder to improved neighborhoods and a better Albany in total.
WG&L has been a citizen-owned operation for almost a century, with its board selected by our City or County elected officials. Those of us who were here a number of years back paid WG&L extra money for future power generating plants like Georgia Power. That returned money is being robbed from the WG&L by the City of Albany. I do not believe the WG&L board was ever supposed to have any politicians on it unless it was one of City or DOCO selected board members. In my opinion Mayors should not be on the WG&L board as this a conflict of interest.
Like other independent utilities and WG&L, MEAG bids in mass. My faith in MEAG is not great, but over the years its buying power has allowed Albany to have much lower rates for the subscribers/owners in Albany.Everything has gone crazy with the current economy but don’t blame the WG&L. Look instead to our misused and wasted government programs taking the WG&L profits which it could have used better for its citizens.
By the way, I think we should have street and alley lights all over Albany and Dougherty County and let them be paid for from any money WG& L makes (except its emergency funds). Every house or business should have a solar panel too.
As for false meter readings that should be fixed when you call WG&L.