A number of businesses have closed their doors or contracted their operations in the past month. So many, in fact, that I have to say that if this is economic recovery, I’d hate to see recession. After all, recovery is supposed to be about improving our economic condition, and this definitely isn’t it.
Now, that’s not to say that our country isn’t really experiencing an economic recovery. That’s for economists to discuss on a grander scale.
Instead, I’m pointing out something that most of us probably have already realized, and that is how a local economy doesn’t necessarily track with the nation’s economic outlook. For years, the U.S. experienced economic growth, but Albany was still seeming to be in an economically depressed state. When the economy tanked, Albany seemed to weather it better than most other communities – though property values certainly did go way down here too.
Today, we are seeing something else entirely. While our leaders were patting themselves on the back for Albany getting an Olive Garden, we were still tumbling from the loss of Merck and Cooper. You know, places that offered real jobs that would let employees support families, buy homes, and shop locally.
Word has surfaced that CarMax may be locating a facility here in Albany. Again, retail business are all fine and good, but we desperately need something that brings money in from outside of the area, rather than taking it away as chain retail operations tend to do. We need jobs that will counter the loss of Merck and Cooper, and so far there’s not been nearly enough movement by our dear leaders so far as any of us can see.
Leadership has claimed before that the deals they are working on need to remain secret, otherwise the entire deal can be undermined and Albany lose the opportunity. However, even a general idea of what they are doing would be preferable to what we currently have, which is jack squat. We’re voters and taxpayers. We need our elected officials step up and let us know they’re actually doing something.
That is, unless they already have. By that, I mean they’re doing nothing, which is unacceptable. If, as a matter of principle, they were simply refusing to use taxpayer money to go to private businesses, and that’s why so little movement was happening, then I could deal with that. After all, those are my principles as well. The thing is, that is a minority position of the City Commission…if anyone on there holds it at all. So, pardon me if I still want answers.
The thing is, as they are public servants, and we are the public, this shouldn’t be difficult. Go figure.