Roses and thorns 7-12-09

July 11, 2009

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A rose to the Columbus Nationals 10-year-old Dizzy Dean baseball team, who clinched the South Half state title Wednesday night at Patterson Field at Propst Park. The joy seen on the players’ faces stands in stark contrast with the accusations and name-calling surrounding the last few months of new Hope High School coach Stacy Hester’s tenure. We’re heartened that on some local fields, baseball is still a game that can be enjoyed by all, free of behind-the-scenes intrigue. 

 


 

 


A thorn to District 5 Supervisor Leroy Brooks. Brooks, in a supervisors’ meeting on Tuesday, in a childish fit resigned from the Columbus-Lowndes Development Link board of directors, after an appointment to the county Industrial Development Board didn’t go his way. Brooks also then pledged to make the term of the appointee, Kenneth McFarland, as difficult as be possibly could. “You will not serve a peaceful day on that board. You don’t represent what I like,” Brooks said to McFarland.  

 


Brooks had wanted the position to remain vacant until November when the next full term begins. A majority of board members decided against him. While we understand his frustration, his lashing out at the Link and at McFarland was misguided and inappropriate. McFarland was simply a citizen offering his service to the county; he had done nothing to merit such treatment from Brooks in that setting.  

 


We expect a level of civility from our leaders; Brooks certainly didn’t exhibit much of it on Tuesday. 

 


And while we’re offering advice, we’d like to see the supervisors meetings conducted in a more orderly manner. Brooks’ outbursts don’t make it easy, but Board President Harry Sanders needs to do a better job explaining the issues, precedents and protocol. For all our public officials, newly elected and otherwise: There is nothing wrong with saying, “Wait a minute; I don’t understand.” If needed, demand a clear explanation before you cast your vote. 

 


 

 


A rose to Lowndes County nonprofit agencies and their volunteers, who are struggling valiantly during the recession with fewer donations. The Red Cross is operating at a deficit. The United Way, which helps fund local nonprofits including the Red Cross, is doling out fewer dollars in donations, and is cutting its own costs. The cuts come during a time when more people are in need of a helping hand. “If you can give,” United Way executive director Jan Ballard said, “now is the time. Our agencies are in more financial need than ever, because of the numbers of people they’re seeing and trying to assist.” 

 


 

 


A rose to Starkville developers Jeremy Tabor and Dan Curran, who are polishing a diamond in the rough in Starkville’s downtown. The pair is renovating the dilapidated Borden plant, turning it into The Creamery at Central Station, a mix of residential and retail spaces. The developers hope to complete the $4.5 million renovation of the building by early winter. A few businesses â€" Boardtown Bikes, located on Russell Street, and The Grill at Central Station â€" are already on board. A good barometer of a city’s strength is the strength and vitality of its downtown. Efforts to revitalize downtown spaces throughout the Golden Triangle should be encouraged, and commended.