August 31, 2013 8:35:32 PM
Roses and thorns
A rose to all the working men and women on this Labor Day weekend. While this nation has been blessed with vast national resources and many other advantages, it is the industry of American workers that has helped make our nation the envy of the world. That work ethic seems to be part of the American DNA and has guided through both crisis and tragedy. So for all you workers out there, enjoy the holiday and give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.
A rose to the extensive work that has been done to commemorate Catfish Alley. With the exception of the festival lights, which have yet to be installed, the work on the block of Fourth Street South between College and Main streets is complete. The city-funded $25,000 project includes a monument noting the contributions of the many black entrepreneurs and business owners who made Catfish Alley a vibrant economic and social center of the city. The project also includes a mural depicting the history of the street painted by MUW instructor Alex Stelioes-Willis and his students, along with flowers and benches. The monument will be unveiled Thursday at 4:30 p.m., just prior to start of the Columbus Art Walk, which will feature the work of 19 local artists. We applaud all those who contributed in the Catfish Alley project that preserves and celebrates an important aspect of the city's history.
A thorn to both the Lowndes County School Board for improper use of executive sessions. At a special meeting Tuesday to discuss its budget, the school board went into executive session to discuss the budget and proposals for a vocational school. These are discussions that should not be discussed in executive sessions, which is reserved by law for discussions involving personnel matters and litigation. School board members should understand that decisions that involve the use of public money should be made in open session. Taxpayers have every right to hear any discussion that pertains to the use of public funds. When public business is conducted in private, it is a disservice to the community.
A rose to the Lowndes County road department, which has wrapped up all of the county's road improvement projects budgeted for this year. Thirty-three roads were either overlaid, chip-sealed or given double bituminous surface treatment during the summer months. That means easier, safer travel on county roads determined to be in the greatest need of large-scale repairs, County Road Manager Ronnie Burns said. In all, about 2,327,990 square feet of roadwork was completed. County road crews dressed the shoulders of 95 miles of the county's 36 state-aid roads with clay gravel and painted all the county's bridges in preparation for the county's annual state inspection in October. Road work is hot, dirty, dusty work. We salute all the workers for their efforts. Enjoy Labor Day: You've earned it.