Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Montezuma, Georgia: A City on the Decline

Rarely I don't dwell on local politics here in my home county (Macon), but this time, I am. Montezuma, Ga once a thriving city is now only a shell of itself. It doesn't help that its also located in the second poorest county in the State, with Hancock (1) & Randolph (3). Macon is ranked 89th out of the 100 poorest counties in the United States 100 counties with the lowest per capita income.

Macon County is one of the poorest counties in Georgia. According to data collected in 2000 by the U.S. Census bureau, 22% of families and 25.8% of individuals in Macon County live below poverty levels

As you ride downtown Montezuma, you see buildings that was once booming with business are now sitting vacant & deteriorating & there seems to be no progress on the horizon anytime soon.

Job losses due to closing of the former Integrated Composites Technology (ICT), Riley's Manufacturing & the uncertain future of Allen's Inc ought to have many citizens of Montezuma worried.

But the biggest problem is within the city government where strife between the mayor & city council at times look like a episode of Jerry Springer, with the name calling, shouting, drowning out the opinion of others. There have been protest concerning the direction of the city to charges of nepotism & cronyism, which is in someways true!

Current Mayor Willie James Larry (D) is up for re-election this year, along with councilmen Norman Carter (D) (who was appointed to fill the term of late councilman Cordel Jackson), Charles Ivey (D) & James R. Trask (D).

Larry who was elected back in 2000 became the first African-American Mayor of the City has been subject to controversy concerning his tenure as mayor of the troubled city. No word on whether he will run for re-election, but one thinks that it time for mayor to step aside. When there is friction between the council & mayor, you know its time for a change.

Now I admit, I know a few of the councilmen who are currently serving over there, but hey you know me, I call it like I see it & time for the people of Montezuma, MTZ to make their voices heard & elect new leadership to get Montezuma back on its perch once again.

New councilmen Bobby Lewis & Carl Peaster have tried to shake things up since being elected in a almost sweep back in 2009 when the ticket of Lewis, Peaster & Riley (Tarschea Fudge-Riley) almost made it 3 for 3, with Riley losing by a razor thin margin. Some citizens like the things they are doing, while others say they are going too far & going over the edge when criticizing the mayor.

Now the question is will another anti-incumbent wave hit the city of Montezuma? Time will tell, depending who's running against who.

You can go to meetings & say this & that, but if you want change, its going to have to happen at the ballot box this November.

But in order to do that, someone will have to rise to the occasion to do what's necessary. You can't let fear rule the day!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Montezuma is a miserable, uneducated, unworthy of existing town.There are 3rd world areas of africa that have more going on than montezuma...i grew up there and refuse to even visit ...

Anonymous said...

Detroit is a large city of example of what happens when you put Democrats in complete control of city politics..Blight and poverty...Montezuma as small city example...it gets run into the ground.

Anonymous said...

Detroit is a large city of example of what happens when you put Democrats in completed charge of city politics..Blight and poverty...Montezuma as small city example...it gets run into the ground.

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