A new year is upon us and with a big 2013 year, some Tifton residents are hoping for a better year for 2014.
Early this week, The Tifton Gazette asked locals on Facebook, “What do you hope for in the coming year for Tifton and Tift County?” Several people responded with comments concerning bringing down crime and drug related problems, less bickering and more compassion, more jobs and local leadership working positively together to improve the community.
The Gazette also visited local restaurant Northside Cafe on North Tift Avenue New Year’s Eve to get comments from some locals. Bubba Harrison, who owns the cafe along with his wife, Cynthia, said, “I wish that we could cooperate and quit whining. Make an honest attempt to fix things rather than complaining about what’s broke. I’m tired of the whining, tired of the complaining on the state, federal, county, city, whatever. Quit whining. Fix it. Cooperate.” He also noted the ice plant should be torn down because it has no value.
“Build a bank. Employ people. Put it on the tax book,” he added.
Sandra Johnson said she wishes for prosperity, peace and good will for Tifton, along with no fighting among local leaders. Sue Minter added, “And less crime.”
Local author Gary Roberts said, “I’m optimistic about the future. I think we’ll finally see the folly of endless quarreling. We’re going to see some changes. If we don’t, we’re in trouble.”
Minter’s husband, Dave, said, “I’m cautiously optimistic about next year for Tifton. The leadership from the local and federal government needs to improve.” However, he later said what Tifton has going good for it is being blessed with good health care, people supporting local businesses such as Northside Cafe and the logistics of Interstate 75 coming through Tifton. He said these things are blessings and if people don’t take advantage of them, “shame on us.”
His wife added, “With all that said, we all love Tifton and want it to do good and have a good 2014.”
“We need our shining reputation back,” Harrison said.
“We’re supposed to be the friendliest city,” Minter noted. She later added, smiling and dressed in her red and black, “Go Dawgs.”
Paul McLemore commented that he’s thankful, but at the same time, he’s fearful of what the future is going to hold.
In addition, the following are residents’ comments from The Gazette’s Facebook page:
"Getting rid of all these drug dealers and crack houses. Over here on the east side of town things are way out of control! I walked out on my porch a few weeks ago and witnessed my neighbor being beaten half to death with a board and had his wallet stolen from him. We haven't heard anything back from law enforcement and everyone around here is terrified to even walk out on their own property at night because we know there is a man going around beating and robbing people and nothing's being done about it."
"A law that makes everyone wear a belt tight enough to keep all trousers above the hips."
"More for the youth in our community."
"More restaurants and stores."
--Tiffany Slaughter Jordan
"Get rid of Obama."
"Bring crimes and drug-related problems down. Get more community involved with the younger generations, stop prevent high school dropouts and teen pregnancy, and push education and knowledge on how to be in life. Protect the innocent and take criminals to another level; make them work in the community and prosper even behind bars to save money in the community."
To contact reporter Latasha Ford, call 382-4321.