June 9, 2012 10:32:59 PM
A rose to the hundreds who turned out for Columbus-Lowndes Habitat for Humanity's Great Tombigbee Duck Race on Saturday. Attendance was especially impressive considering the rainy day. Seven thousand rubber duckies were dumped from the old Highway 82 bridge and floated to a finish line located near the Riverwalk boat ramp. Most of the crowd stood under umbrellas or the bridge but many opted to just get wet. Kudos to Habitat for selecting such a unique fundraiser.
Thorns to Kabir Karriem and Joseph Mickens for their me-first attitude regarding redistricting. The purpose of redistricting is to rebalance the populations of each of he city's wards, not to skew the numbers to help ensure the reelection of incumbents. The city's plan as devised by Bridge and Watson is fair and balanced. If Karriem and Mickens' constituents feel they have been doing a good job, we expect they will make their approval known at the ballot box. An additional thorn to these same two naysayers for their opposition to much needed repaving projects on Catfish Alley, behind the Convention Center, a Riverwalk parking lot and the Hitch Lot. Especially odd is Karriem's opposition. The projects are in his ward and the repaving would be a feather in his cap. Karriem appears to have taken a childish if-the-mayor's-for-it-I'm-against-it approach.
A rose to the city of Starkville for its decision to move ahead with a new municipal complex. Though a creative private-public partnership with West Brothers Construction the city will fund this $8 million renovation of the old Starkville Electric building on Main Street. City officials are taking a no-new-taxes approach, funding the project with increased sales tax collections and by leasing 2,400 square feet of the building.
"I didn't think this was possible,' said Mayor Parker Wiseman. "When the police department bond failed, I would have never thought we could have met our ever-growing facilities needs, without a tax increase."