Make Augusta a model of diversity

Ricardo Azziz, president of Georgia Health Sciences University, is a great medicine man. He has ridden into town to peddle his brands, but some aren't selling too well. There has been a protest about one, and another has upset some of the citizenry.

Some Augustans aren't buying the Laney-Walker Boulevard closing plan or his "cool" Augusta remarks. I hope the great medicine man will take those brands off the shelf and replace them.

I suggest he sell an alternative plan -- two lanes and a median -- to the Laney-Walker community, and become a partner to help make greater Augusta community much "cooler." We need Dr. Azziz's vision to make Augusta another Silicon Valley. In the meantime, he may need to enroll in a good basic public relations course if he is to become successful here.

On another note, one group of Augusta commissioners wants to change city government by ignoring the city charter and sneaking in the back door. The other group is saying, "Wait! You've got to go to the charter and come through the front door!"

It seems the "sneaky ones" are saying we are right and they are wrong. And the front-door commissioners are accused of gridlock, but are they wrong? This type of government hurts our great city, and we continue to lose productive citizens to nearby counties. I have noticed we are experiencing "black flight," and gaining more unproductive citizens.

Racially partisan government, mistrust and disrespect among commissioners must stop. And some of the time, the media need to stop discrediting the black commissioners for being objective about issues.

The question to be asked is: Can Augusta become a model for political and cultural diversity, or will it slip away?

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