This letter is in response to a previous letter to the Classic City News editor: https://www.classiccitynews.com/post/https-www-classiccitynews-com-post-athens-can-do-better
Athens Classic, Inc. is an Athens-based independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan community and civic organization, interested in impacting three primary areas of local government, specifically public safety, public education, and public health. Since our early organizational meetings this summer, a handful of business owners, residents, and Athens supporters have been engaged in defending the police, advocating strong voter turnout in the December 13th Special Election, as well as managing both a Facebook group, regular meetings, and communications to our several hundred members.
Among those who have been with us since the start, as a volunteer, donor, and later consultant to our efforts is Bill Crane, an Athens property owner, prior resident, and UGA alumnus. Bill manages our Facebook group, external communications and is regularly in Athens, attends all of our meetings, and our board is in regular communication with him. The issues and challenges facing our community are numerous and the trends are not favorable. Though all politics are local and we seek to build a common-sense consensus and middle ground in this admittedly progressive community, all of the answers to our challenges may not exist within the existing borders of what is also Georgia's smallest county by landmass. Though our population is growing, our beloved University pays no property taxes, and the number of residents and businesses leaving Athens for surrounding suburbs with better performing school systems, lower rates of crime, and less regulation should be of concern to all of us. Certain progressive voices may be louder, but with a stable or shrinking tax base, as well as this ongoing pandemic, there may be significantly fewer resources to spend on any number of government programs and initiatives if we don't prioritize how we use our tax dollars better. We welcome all voices, our meetings are all open and public. Steve Middlebrooks
Athens Classic, Inc.