Cogle Gets It Done: Uptown Gets Face Lift After Hugley Copped Out
Since January, Joanne Cogle has hounded Isaiah Hugley to maintain basic Uptown infrastructure by repainting parking lines. When Hugley’s excuses persisted, Cogle did Hugley’s job for him, giving him a list of contractors and funding he said couldn’t be found. Explore the full story to see how Cogle’s accountability and initiative got it done in a week, despite the city manager excusing his away.
An artistic expression of Columbus, Georgia City Councilor Joanne Cogle, superimposed on a colorized image of the city’s downtown riverfront. After City Manager Isaiah Hugley’s months of excuses for why he couldn’t maintain Uptown, Cogle literally did his job for him and got it done in a week.
Image Credit:
Muscogee Muckraker

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COLUMBUS, Ga. — Fountain City residents will finally have visible parking lines in the downtown area, thanks to the persistent efforts of City Councilor Joanne Cogle (District 7) and her supportive colleagues.

The restriping project began on Monday, August 7 on Front Avenue between 13th Street and 11th Street. The project will continue throughout the downtown area, block by block, until the entire Uptown district’s 1,634 parking spaces are freshly repainted.

Cogle has hounded City Manager Isaiah Hugley about the area’s lack of upkeep since she was sworn in as the downtown area’s city councilor in January. Throughout her entire eight month tenure, Hugley has continued to feed her, her colleagues, and the city excuses as to why he wasn’t able to get the job done.

So Cogle decided to do his job for him.

A few weeks back on July 11, Councilor Glenn Davis (District3), pointed out his own observations of Uptown’s growing blight. Cogle quickly followed up, giving Hugley a final chance to take ownership of the problem by providing him the opportunity to present solutions for city residents. Hugley failed, deciding to instead  provide a plethora of excuses as to why he couldn’t get the job done. 

Those excuses ranged from claiming  funding did not exist to saying point-blank that there was allegedly ‘nothing he could do about it.’

Two weeks later on July 25, Cogle addressed the issue again, making Hugley look just about as foolish as his previous excuses were.

Since Hugley said he couldn’t do his own job, Cogle took it upon herself to hand him a list of contractors who were willing and able to do the work, along with a dedicated source of funds to actually get the job done.

Just one week later on August 3, the project was scheduled and set to begin. That’s all it took.

The funding was provided from the Uptown Tax Allocation District (TAD), which currently holds about $2 million of taxpayers’ funds.

With the district’s 1,634 parking spaces costing between $10-$15 each to repaint, the entire project of basic infrastructural maintenance would cost taxpayers between a mere $16,340 and $24,510 — which is exactly what that TAD funding is supposed to be used for.

We guess it wasn’t that hard to find the money after all, despite Hugley’s suspiciously-willful blindness. 

What Hugley spent eight months saying he couldn’t do — despite it literally being his job — Cogle did for him in a matter of about a week.

We at the Muckraker would like to thank Councilor Cogle and her supportive colleagues for delivering results instead of excuses. This simple example of accountability, integrity, and initiative demonstrates the difference between getting our city to where it ought to be and becoming the next Detroit. The public notices more than you might think, in ways you may not have considered. We all look forward to seeing more of the same throughout the city at-large.

Perhaps officials should consider the unproductive reality of a city manager claiming he couldn’t find funding nor a contractor to perform the work while excusing it away for eight months. Perhaps they ought to consider that it only took a single person who actually gave a darn to get it done in literally a week.

What you feed, grows. Mediocrity is lame.

Facts are stubborn things — and we’ll keep publishing them, whether city officials like them or not.


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