Some of us call it home, while others call it a nuisance, but all in all it is a landmark in our community. Many of us grew hearing stories of Charley B’s, while others were told to stay away, but how can you stay away from a “Modern Day Cheers”?
Today Charley B’s was put on trial. A group of us attended the City Commissioners’ Meeting and heard the “evidence” against Charley B’s. What were presented were a few open container violations, 2 altercations, and a DUI. Aside from the fights, the best that the city’s attorney could present was people in their cars/ parking lots drinking. The city attorney, Nathan Davis can attest that no connection with the bar Charley B’s and the guilty were made. Even police officers testified to the incidents stated that they did not know where the alcohol came from. So, why penalize an establishment for the actions of the incompetent?
A group of us that are longtime patrons of Charley B’s are joining together in a fight to make the Commissioners and Mayor aware of what they will loose if they close this establishment. We want the members of the council to know we are of voting ages and we are what contribute to the city/ county revenue. We help this community stay afloat and we make a difference. My name is Charlene Maldonado. I am a registered voter, a member of the D’town Arts Coalition, VP of Public Relations for the Georgia Artists’ Guild of Albany, and a supporter of local business/ music. Through the years on several events Charley B’s has helped to sponsor the arts and charity events of the community. This is not just a bar, but a supporter of society. Back in April 2012, Frankie Tillman (owner of Charley B’s) helped make the 21 Band Mate Salute possible. This was an event for a long time musician of the community that had passed earlier that year. Without question, Frankie came out of pocket to help the event become a wonderful success. Again in
November 2012, the D’town Arts Coalition hosted Superfancy and once again Frankie made a difference and helped to sponsor the event. These are just a few of the recent events that he made possible and contributed to. From cancer to the arts, Charley B’s has always been a willing and enormous help, but that is behind the scenes for most and they do not recognize what this establishment contributes. Out of all the sponsors I have worked with over the years, Charley B’s has always been an asset to the community.
In a time like this, while businesses are on the edge of survival and closing, why would a city want to shut down a local business? You hear all the time about wanting Albany to prosper and grow, why would you close a landmark of the community? Just because of a few incidences, some of which the establishment has no control over and a few bad seeds, is it right to say that everyone that goes there should be penalized?
As you have read this article, I hope that it has enlightened you to see that not everyone that attends a bar is a drunk, not everyone that goes to Charley B’s is looking for trouble, and that Charley B’s is a place that many of us feel safe (even with the past incidences). I know that I can walk into Charley B’s alone and feel safe and secure. The staff members at Charley B’s are family to most of us. From Frankie to Frank to Tammy to Scott to Kristy and all the others that work at Charley B’s, I want to make everyone aware that they are some of the best staff and make the place safe.
I look forward to seeing everyone joining us in the letter writing campaign. This campaign is not only about saving a bar; it is about saving a landmark and a local business. This is to show our city, that this is our city, and we still have a say so! Let’s show our elected officials, we mean business and for once let’s all come together to make a difference. We will not stand by and watch them discriminate against a local business.
Issues to include in the letter:
1) How safe you feel in Charley B’s.
2) If you live in another county, address the fact you want to spend money in Dougherty county.
3) If Charley B’s has helped you in the community (sponsorships, fundraising, etc.)
4) How you feel about the example that is being made of Charley B’s.
These are all important points we want to address to the Mayor and City Commissioners. We would like to get the letters together by the 18th of January, since the council comes back to order on the 22nd of January to address the matter and decide its’ fate. Sonya Haveron and I are accepting all letters, we will sort, and submit to the council. Make sure all letters are addressed: Mayor Hubbard and the City Commissioners. Letters can be submitted to our email:
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, letters can also be dropped off by Charley B’s. If you do not wish to write a letter, but want to be part of the movement, please feel free to contact your commissioner or Mayor Hubbard. Mayor Hubbard can be reached at 229-431-3244. The council’s next meeting is scheduled for January 22nd and that is when voting takes place! Let’s remind the city that we put you in office and our words still matter. Please support Charley B’s because it is only a matter of time until they pick on another establishment and it might be your favorite place.
Charlene K. Maldonado