Albany Mayor Willie Adams and City Commissioner Tommie Postell claim that the recent move by State Representative Ed Rynders toward city/county consolidation is race related according to an Albany Herald report on the front page of Sunday’s paper. Postell is quoted as saying “Consolidation means reducing black voting strength any way you can.” Mayor Adams was a bit more diplomatic. “Consolidation is about a (white) power structure not wanting to give up its power,” Adams said.
Apparently, the esteemed mayor and City Commissioner have been so busy trying to deflect attention from their motivations for moving against consolidation that they miss a few key concepts. First, while Albany has a higher black population than the county, the percentage within the city is 64.80%, according to the 2000 census, it only dilutes to 60.13% for all of Dougherty County. That means that three out of every five people in Dougherty County are black. Not exactly reducing voting strength, now is it?
Something else for our esteemed city leaders to keep in mind is that Rep. Rynders’ bill only required for the question to be put to a vote by the people of Dougherty County. Translation? The people of this county, who are 60% black, will decide whether or not to keep two governmental bodies in this county, or consolidate them into one single body. And yet, this is racially motivated?
What Mayor Adams and Commissioner Postell aren’t telling you are that there won’t be enough room for everyone to have power. With fewer seats available for elected officials at the local level, there will be some of our beloved leaders left out in the cold. Mayor Adams, Commissioner Postell, and many others are quite possibly worried about their place in the cold, cruel world of their former subjects, and so they are trying to block it with everything in their power.
When the subject of consolidation came up a couple of years ago, the city and county hemmed and hawed about it, claiming that they’d look into it, and then promptly did nothing. When Rep. Rynders proposed his legislation, suddenly the Mayor and County Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard were upset that it hadn’t been discussed with them.
Well gentlemen, it had been. It had been up to you to do the right thing for Dougherty County and let the people have their say. You didn’t do it, content to greedily hold onto your power, and now you have to reap what you have sewn. Don’t try to play the race card on this one. Just admit you’re afraid to lose your personal power, and pray that you can convince the people of Dougherty County to think like you do. After all, you’re politicians…you’re supposed to convince people to that you know more than they do. Right?
All quotes courtesy of the above linked Albany Herald article.
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