Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Albany Beat

Doing things downtown
Between his smarts, his energy and his charisma, has any newcomer on the public’s payroll in Albany ever made as a big of an immediate impact as Don Buie, the Albany Dougherty Inner City Authority’s downtown manager? “I came here to do things … I didn’t come to Albany to fail,” Buie recently told the Albany Herald. “I promised everyone I would hit the ground running … and I will keep doing that – not matter who is involved in the process. Maybe forever – or until the people in charge run me off.” Buie’s sincerity and candor is definitely a far cry from Albany City Manager Alfred Lott (who says he is Buie’s boss, but isn’t); indeed, he enthusiastically volunteered into the night working the gate at the Mardi Gras festival. That’s a Lott better than we’re used to.

Big spill on Westside
The Albany Public Works Department averted a major sewer spill after pump failures at lift stations on Gillionville and Walnut roads. About 700 gallons of untreated wastewater was released Feb. 28 from a manhole at Westwood Apartments at Oglethorpe Avenue and Lennox Drive , and about 2,500 gallons of wastewater flowed from an Elm Street manhole into a detection pond at Gordon Avenue and Westtown Road . A jet vacuum was used for several days to retrieve the wastewater.

Top Goobers
Albany ’s professional baseball team has two new head honchos. New South Georgia Peanuts General Manager Deanna Davis arrived in town last week from Frederick Keys, where she served as assistant general manager for ticketing and operations. She replaces fired general manager Keith Michlig, who last week took the post as Georgia Southwestern University ’s sports information director. This week, the Peanuts replaced Wally Backman, the controversial, hot-headed Peanuts field chief and former major league manager who resigned after the season, with assistant coach Buddy York. Backman now coaches the independent Northern League Joliet Jackhammers. The Peanuts are one of four teams remaining in the South Coast League of Professional Baseball, a non-Major League-affiliated baseball organization that debuted in 2007.

Democrats: Securing incumbency
Democratic Party of Georgia leaders must be feeling desperate; they are breaking rules and principles of decency by no longer offering voter information to Democratic challengers of Democratic incumbents. The party’s shameless decision, in addition to violating its bylaws, makes it harder for incumbents – even awful ones – to be challenged by fellow Democrats. To boot, the party is losing money it raises by selling voter files.