July 11, 2009
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 playersâ€™ faces stands in stark contrast with the accusations and name-calling surrounding the last few months of new Hope High School coach Stacy Hesterâ€™s tenure. Weâ€™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 supervisorsâ€™ 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 didnâ€™t go his way. Brooks also then pledged to make the term of the appointee, Kenneth McFarland, as difficult as be possibly could. â€œYou will not serve a peaceful day on that board. You donâ€™t represent what I like,â€ 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 didnâ€™t exhibit much of it on Tuesday.
And while weâ€™re offering advice, weâ€™d like to see the supervisors meetings conducted in a more orderly manner. Brooksâ€™ outbursts donâ€™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, â€œWait a minute; I donâ€™t understand.â€ 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. â€œIf you can give,â€ United Way executive director Jan Ballard said, â€œnow is the time. Our agencies are in more financial need than ever, because of the numbers of people theyâ€™re seeing and trying to assist.â€
A rose to Starkville developers Jeremy Tabor and Dan Curran, who are polishing a diamond in the rough in Starkvilleâ€™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 cityâ€™s strength is the strength and vitality of its downtown. Efforts to revitalize downtown spaces throughout the Golden Triangle should be encouraged, and commended.