Monday, March 19, 2012

Corporal Gripweed: Who's Supposed to Clean Up This Mess?

Monday, March 19, 2012
Augusta, GA
By Corporal Gripweed

"The good will of the governed will be starved if not fed by the good deeds of the governors."

                                                                                      Benjamin Franklin
Poor Richards Almanac, 1753

 My wife and I had the pleasure of attending the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in downtown Augusta on Saturday afternoon. The weather was perfect, the crowds were huge and the goodwill (as well as the green beer) was overflowing.

And what a parade it was..Thousands of people downtown..floats, beads, bands, candy.....the whole shebang..

I also had occasion to wave to, (and in some instances to speak with) city leaders. Not to mention, a few of the candidates who are running for various public offices. From my vantage point, everyone was enthusiastic about the turnout, as well as the fact that the downtown area had such an influx of people who hopefully would spend some disposable income while there.

Imagine my surprise to discover that several downtown business owners were less than pleased with the city's preparation concerning the aftermath of Saturday's event. And they voiced their displeasure on Face Book, along with photographic evidence to back their concerns. As late as Sunday afternoon parts of the downtown area still looked like the day after Mardi Gras. Many of these same business owners were saying they would be cleaning up the areas around their shops in preparation to opening on Sunday.

What does this have to do with city government?

Since 2008 Augusta has had in place a program called CADI: Clean Augusta Downtown Initiative. After seeing the chatter on Facebook, I looked into the program. They were instituted to help existing city services while not replacing them. Fine.

And from what I've seen it's not CADI's job to clean up after this sort of an event. But it IS  the job of Augusta-Richmond County to make sure the streets are clean after an event such as this. A few questions come to mind after a debacle of this sort: Who is in charge of cleanup? Is it CADI? Is it the entity who filed the permits for the parade? Is it the city? Who will address the concerns of the business owners downtown? After all, they are the ones who have to clean up their storefronts after being taxed twice. Once as business and property owners and again under the BID agreement which funds CADI.

Or should someone in city government had enough forbearance to have thought of something as simple as having disposable cardboard trash bins available for public use?
One thing is for sure: someone, somewhere, somehow failed to anticipate the problem. Therefore, someone failed to formulate a solution. And I would be willing to guess that many downtown business owners are not happy with how the city handled this situation.
If this issue isn't addressed by city leaders to the satisfaction of downtown business owners.....the goodwill of the governed will be starved indeed.....***

You Can see video of the mess from WFXG below:
The Corporal's Previous Column:
Examining The District 1 Augusta Commission Race

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Why can't the Irish society clean up? It's their deal and they ban businesses from taking part quite regularly.