The Athens Banner-Herald pulled some of these in its article this morning, but I wanted to post Doc Eldridge's full comments from yesterday's Terry College Economic Outlook Luncheon at the Classic Center. Doc's role as a lifelong Athenian, former mayor and current Chamber head give him a full perspective on the impact of the potential cuts at UGA. The highlights are his, not mine.
Let's hope our legislators listen to "their Doctor" in this case.
>First off, what I am about to say is not at the request of UGA, the Board of Regents, or anyone affiliated with any of the University system.
What I am about to say is not a formal position of the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce, although I would assume and hope that our board would fully support it.
We are in fact joined at the hip with UGA, and both UGA and our community have worked hard over the years at strengthening our "town and gown" relationships.
The budget cuts that have taken place over the last 2 years and that have recently been proposed will have a disastrous effect on UGA, our state, and our community for decades to come. The problems will manifest themselves in countless ways.
Let me be clear. I have the utmost respect for our local delegation to the legislature and I urge you to show them the same. I know the personal sacrifices that they make to their business and to their family in order to serve us. There is no one in this room or beyond that hates what is happening any worse than they do. They are fighting on our behalf every day.
This is not about Democrats and Republicans. This is about the future. Our future. The future of UGA and its' academic standing, about jobs, about our community and our state.
Thank each of you for all that you have done and continue to do for our community …. and Go Dogs.