Oops: Legislature approves money to buy land that’s not for sale

The General Assembly approved a budget earlier this month that includes $1.6 million to buy the Albany Museum of Art and its land for Darton College.

Two-year Darton College planned to turn it into faculty offices and space for arts programs.

The problem is the Albany Museum of Art isn’t for sale. 

Charles Williams, a member of the museum board and an assistant arts professor at Albany State University said in a recent letter to the Albany Herald that he is puzzled by the state’s decision to fund the Darton project.

“As of our last board meeting, it was decided unanimously that the Albany Museum of Art was not moving,” he wrote. “The museum is, therefore, not for sale. There has never been a proposal presented at a board meeting since claiming that any agreement has been reached.”

Williams lamented that while approving the $1.6 million for the Darton project, the General Assembly rejected funding for an addition to a building at Albany State.

“If economic times are too tough to appropriate funds for a clearly laid out plan backed by the governor and Board of Regents, how is the imaginary purchase of a building approved?” Williams wrote. “If this is how things work, I am going to a bank to borrow a few million to buy Darton’s gym so I can open a spa.”

Bert Brantley, spokesman for Gov. Sonny Perdue, said the Darton project was on the Board of Regents’ priority list developed last year. The state could still try to negotiate a sale with the Museum of Art and lease it back to museum officials until they move, he said. Or the state simply won’t sell the bonds to pay for the project.

12 comments Add your comment

griffdawg1

April 14th, 2009
12:36 pm

Just another example of Sonny Perdue’s mismanagement and inability to tell the truth about his back door dealing and lying! People are tired of being strong armed by a redneck who lies and cheats his way through life!

Randall

April 14th, 2009
12:54 pm

Another example of our great legislators at work! Gee whiz! Darton is a junior college that needs to be merged with Albany State anyway. Eliminate the overlap and duplication of administration and some faculty and save millions! Idiots.

Tony

April 14th, 2009
1:09 pm

Hey, Randall. I got one better. Let’s merge Georgia Tech and Georgia State. Both are in Atlanta, and would save millions of dollars. At the same time, GA State will not need a football team; just use the Yellow Jackets. Then let’s go to Augusta and merge the Medical College with Augusta State; that would save millions also.

Since we want to eliminate the overlap in Albany, the same should work in Atlanta and Augusta with the bigger schools and definitely give the taxpayers more bang for buck. Don’t you think?

catlady

April 14th, 2009
1:13 pm

And UGA with Athens Technical College! Expand UGA’s mission!

jdawg

April 14th, 2009
1:22 pm

Wow, again…folks look at what your legislators proposed, or should we say did not propose…you might be shocked….I have and will say again…I just do not know what they do….jdawg

pete

April 14th, 2009
2:07 pm

just fun and games under the gold dome. good ol boys

John

April 14th, 2009
2:27 pm

Georgia being Georgia. Are we surprised. Heaven forbid that they would deal with a real problem or issue. Shame on us because we continue to elect these same idiots.

tc

April 14th, 2009
2:34 pm

likely some legislator/executive branch hotshot or their kin will get something out of the deal….

Anthony

April 14th, 2009
3:30 pm

So, there is overlap in Albany between Darton and Albany State? I find it funny that “the little junior college” that Darton is has over 5,000 studentes and is one of the leading junior colleges in this part of the state. Albany State is great, but Darton offers the students who may not be able to get into a 4 year school the opportunity to receive an education and transfer to UGA, GA Tech, and other “prestigious” four year schools. Randall, think before you speak about things that you do not know.

Richard

April 14th, 2009
3:30 pm

I thought that there was a requirement that all bills be published an hour before they could be considered to allow the folks under the Gold Dome to read them. Guess we know now that no one does. Makes you wonder what other laws were created while our elected officials were distracted.

Turkey Slayer

April 14th, 2009
4:30 pm

Wow, These guys are asleep at the wheel aren’t they. I don’t blame Sonny because the General Assembly is who approved the money.

charles williams

April 15th, 2009
1:57 pm

I am truly happy to hear people discussing education in Southwest Georgia. If nothing else comes of this other than people taking an interest in our educational institutions, then at least we have that. I would like to say that I have friends and acquaintances that teach at Darton, and I have a lot of respect for them. I have the distinct privilege of working with many wonderful people and distinguished educators at ASU(and have formed many friendships here, as well). I certainly do not wish to drive a wedge into this community. Rather, I hope to help remove one.