News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Mayor's office needs a real sense of urgency

At first, Mayor Don Kyle appeared as a thoughtful and deliberate chief executive as he went about putting together his first city budget.

It took much too long, which may have been a hint of his propensity to procrastinate. The City Council just this month finally approved his second budget after wrangling with the mayor to get him to present his proposal.

Now, another incident gives a picture of a mayor who sees little urgency about getting the city moving.

Councilman David Bolding appealed to the Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau to help get a much-needed downtown study moving.

The CVB approved allocating $12,000 to pay a consultant who's been looking for a check since January.

The reason the project hadn't moved forward may be why others get bottled up. Downtown Redevelopment Authority Chairman John Thornton said he talked with Mayor Kyle about including funding in the budget, which the council finally approved this month. The mayor told council members, according to Mr. Bolding, that the application came too late.

If so, why did the matter just lie there without any sort of action, until Mr. Bolding asked the CVB for help?

The mayor has the reputation for either not returning phone calls or not doing so readily. He hasn't seen the urgency of keeping City Council members up to date on helping refurbish Colonial Mall and moving that proposal along. Again, the proposal seems to just sit there.

To say that Decatur is in stagnation might be too kind. We can grumble about the 1-cent sales tax for the next three years and lose more jobs, retail and potential residents. Or we can get aggressive and lure new jobs, retail and residents to the city.

The mayor needs to step it up a notch or two and provide leadership.

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