Originally created 12/21/06

More leaders must step up, save city

The common complaint that we vote along racial lines is a tired one. Everyone and everything gravitates towards that which is familiar - common traits and behaviors, whether cultural or physical; common ground whatever it may be.

Mayor Deke Copenhaver's overwhelming election victory is the latest example that we vote outside of race when there is something more familiar than race to decide a vote. Perhaps leadership qualities and the desire to improve it for all races was the common ground in his election.

Does this not suggest that the problem is that we rarely have someone with these qualities to step up? Those responsible for putting the mayor in the public eye must decide if he's to be a one-man show, or if there are other capable business leaders who can help make Augusta a desirable place to live.

This may require that many residencies be changed. The flight to Evans destroyed our tax base and sapped a wealth of education, diversity and potential. You cannot blame folks for their desire to escape the increasing crime and degradation. A safe, clean way of life is a common desire. You cannot blame colleges and industries from squiring job candidates around Columbia County. There are few areas left in Augusta that are desirable to any of us.

We all would prefer to hear fewer gunshots in the night and see streets void of roving predators. We have sat back and allowed slumlords to destroy older neighborhoods out of our grand desire to show tolerance for others, or fear to stand together and make it undesirable to take the rest of us down with you. We have repeatedly voted for selfish, not selfless, public servants.

This is an old city with many families that have chosen to remain. Is no one left who has a sense of urgency and the ability to save us?

Kim Black, Augusta

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