Baird corrects calculation for land

Dear Editor, I have been corrected on the price paid by the city for the 17 acres on Lee Street. In my letter that ran in the Feb. 7 Outlook, I stated the city paid $27,000. The correct amount was $21,000 an acre. And the bonus the city got in this property is a potential […]

Dear Editor,

I want to compliment Teresa Moten on her letter to the editor on June 26. I feel the same way. I have never felt as frustrated concerning the future of Alex City as I do now.

I don’t think I have a voice or a choice in the running of the city government. There appears to be an agenda established by a small group of city leaders who disregard the citizens’ opinions. First, the four duplexes that came with the Russell Sales Office were burned to the ground. According to community development director Al Jones, the duplexes needed to be remodeled and the city did not have the money to pay for the remodel. I do believe the duplexes were providing their own revenue stream. The remodel would pay for itself whereas the sales office will never make a dime and will be a continual money pit.

As we speak, the prediction of cost overruns and delays in the remodel process of the sales office has already started. Whatever is done to the landscape at the sales office needs to be simple to cut the cost of maintaining the grounds. The city wants to plant trees. Why were the beautiful magnolias located at the entrance to the sales office cut off at the ground if you wanted trees? There appears to be no common sense in our city leadership.

The extension of the sales tax to build a new high school is another situation where the citizens of Alex City are being deceived and taken advantage of. I think the sales tax issue should be on the ballot in 2020 and let the people decide.

When the 1-cent sales tax to save the county education system was added almost four years ago we all said we were stuck. The tax would never go away. Well here we are and (Dr. Keith) Lankford, the Alex City schools superintendent, wants to help Joe Windle, the incompetent superintendent of education for the county schools, extend the sales tax for 25 years. This is so Lankford can build a new high school in Alex City.

Just like with the sales office, there appears to be no other option than a new high school. Is this really what the citizens need or want? Do you really think for a minute we will be able to go over five years without another sales tax increase? A 25-year extension is ludicrous. The sales tax is not a viable revenue source. What happens when the economy fluctuates?

The only viable long-term revenue source to fund education is to increase the millage on property tax. The answer to the economic survivability and viability of Alex City is not in retail business alone. We must regain some type of high-end manufacturing.

A couple months back I wrote a dissenting editorial condemning the purchase of the last parcel of land on the Russell campus with no perspective tenant to occupy the property. At the time our current mayor verbally assaulted me for having such a negative opinion of the purchase. I was also told by our current mayor I would be eating my words soon because something big was coming. Several other people in high places told me the same thing. Well I am still waiting and I don’t see anything on the horizon that looks big.

Woody Baird

Alexander City

De Opresso Liber