Thursday, March 15, 2007

A True Progressive City....with Great Potential

A progressive city.... with great potential.... a dynamic and exciting “Downtown Augusta”….

Many people have had visions for our downtown. Most notable over the past 20 years are 2 former Mayors, the late Charles DeVaney and the late Ed McIntyre.

Each had visions of a great city and an even greater downtown. These gentlemen knew the importance of growing our downtown and maintaining a prosperous central business district. They balanced the needs of the entire area and ‘planted seeds’ (via progressive downtown projects albeit sometimes not totally embraced or accepted by other elected officials—but their ideas persevered) for what will eventually become a city which welcomes visitors and new business from around the world.

I applaud ‘their’ achievements for our city and our downtown.

For the past several years there has been a void of this ‘vision’. There has been a void of ‘ownership’. There has been a void of a consolidated effort by our elected officials to recognize our past achievements and the improvements in our central business district. Given the breadth and depth of knowledge of our elected officials I’m surprised at this lack of attention to ‘maintaining the improvements’ which tens of millions of tax dollars went to build.

On the horizon---a Cal Ripken, Jr. managed Green Jacket’s baseball team playing ball next to the Savannah River in a stadium built for our city’s future growth, vitality and attractiveness. Like the projects in the past, this one will require a vision and an understanding of the ‘real’ potential a venue of this caliber has for the present and future economic health of our great city- Augusta, Georgia.