Kudos to mayor for telling rest of city’s story

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Andalusians recently got a healthy reminder of an old saying that goes something like this:

It’s OK for ME to speak ill of my friend/family/hometown, but YOU’d better not.

The reminder came when a reporter for al.com wandered into town just ahead of President Donald Trump’s 100th day in office to give a “local” perspective on how people felt about the beginning of his term.

The reporter visited a local coffee shop, and spoke with a number of people. At a time when many of us are feeling very positive about our town, his story seemed only to reflect the negative. His photographs were even worse, focusing mainly on abandoned buildings.

“Did you SEE?” locals whispered that Saturday morning. It was as if by not saying aloud how distressing the story was, others might miss it.

Appropriately, the statewide web site allowed Mayor Earl Johnson to submit a response detailing all of the good things happening in Andalusia.

We all know about the recent improvements downtown, and about the new businesses. Most of us are thrilled with the improvements on the Square at Clark Theatres, and at Walker’s. The added bonuses of new venues Big Mike’s and CJ’s just give us more options.

We are delighted that the First National Bank building is being preserved, and will continue to stand as a landmark. We are charmed by our old-fashioned Dairy Queen, proud of our restored  historic schools, and fond of the beautiful murals downtown.

We like to brag about the crowds that visited Andalusia for Candyland. We are looking forward to this summer’s celebrations at July Jamz.

And while we also acknowledge that there is still work to be done, most of us didn’t appreciate the statewide article that didn’t include all of the good with the little that is bad.

To those who enjoy finding fault, we’d offer a gentle reminder that words “sound” different when placed in print. We never know to whom we speak, or how those words might affect an opinion. We would hate for those who only read the first article to believe that Andalusia was a ghost town, rather than a city that honors its past and is working hard to ensure a successful future.

Kudos to Mayor Earl Johnson for standing up and setting the record straight.