The Dougherty County Library System’s first attempt at getting bids was apparently screwed up. In Albany and Dougherty County, that’s not all that unusual. What is unusual is that the library system admitted things were screwed up and rebid the contract. The result, a potential savings of $300,000.
Any time one of these entities bids out for anything, it’s our money they’re talking about. They are the stewards of our money, and far to often we are forced to question if they realize that. The fact that there’s even a discussion about Cutliff Grove…again…indicates that the powers that be don’t really seem to get it.
This time though, the library board shows they actually did. In fact, the library board has done this more often than most other governmental bodies seem to. After all, they were the ones who made the hard choice to shut down two libraries in light of economic difficulties. Folks, they’re doing it right.
In most communities, a library board is one of those bodies that is there for community minded people to get involved in that doesn’t require a real grasp of political realities. In Dougherty County, it’s the shining spot in a dismal political climate. It’s the one body that leaves no doubt whatsoever that they do understand political realities.
By admitting a mistake was made, regardless of who made it, the library board is showing that they are good stewards of the taxpayer’s money. Is this something the Albany City Commission or the Dougherty County Commission would have done? I doubt it. I also doubt that the Dougherty County Board of Education would have done it, even in its newer incarnation. However, by doing it, the library system has saved a good deal of money.
I know I’m harping on that a bit, but take a look at the ruin that is Albany. We are not going to survive with things as they are. People began jumping ship to Lee County for lower taxes. As a result, Albany’s tax base decreased. The City responded by raising taxes. I understand that to an extent, because people in Lee County still come to Albany which means a certain amount of infrastructure still needs to be maintained. Unfortunately, what it also did was push more people to surrounding counties. As a result, taxes increase yet again. It’s a vicious cycle.
Meanwhile, we are losing jobs as well as our best and brightest. Some of our smartest high school students go off to college and never return. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it’s the high crime and lack of decent schools for them to raise their own children in? You know, maybe?
Regardless, the reality is Albany is in a vicious cycle right now. Part of that is from our local government failing to recognize an earlier decision was a mistake and back away. The library board just showed them how to do it it, and what can come of doing the right thing. The question now is, will anyone else listen?