During the administration of Augusta Mayor Bob Young, I have been involved in plans to preserve a major element of local history - the chimney stack of the Confederate Powder Works.
Mr. Young, along with other members of the Augusta Commission, has been quick to recognize the value of the city's significant Confederate-era heritage - not to researchers, but to residents in terms of visitor traffic and economic impact.
Elsewhere in the South, others have led efforts to eradicate Confederate heritage. Here, Mr. Young has been part of an ethnically diverse group of officeholders both in Augusta and Atlanta who have supported grant funding for future work on the chimney.
This is enlightened leadership. It is the kind of balanced, commonsense approach to preservation of our area's history that will serve future generations well.
It also projects an image of Augusta that has been lacking in the past 30 years - that of a city that sees all cultural heritage, and all historical resources, as seeds for future growth.
I hope that after the coming runoff election for the next mayor of Augusta, Bob Young will once again be in a position to help the city achieve its potential to be a great Georgia city and a great American community.
Mark M. Newell, Augusta
(Editor's note: The writer is the director of the Georgia Archaeological Institute.)