Most younger readers of this column probably don’t know much about how, during the term of the late Georgia Governor Lester Maddox, state and national attention became focused on the small Long County town of Ludowici. Maddox made it his personal duty to expose to the world that Ludowici was a speed trap.
Maddox went so far as to erect huge billboards outside the city warning motorists that Ludowici was a speed trap and more than likely they would be stopped and fined for speeding — presumably even if they weren’t really speeding.
The City of Ludowici leadership at that time had decided that issuing tickets to drivers passing through their city was a good way to finance the operation of the city.
It was a terrible blackeye on Ludowici and the bad reputation the city earned stayed with it for decades. Even now, when I go to or through Ludowici I still think of that reputation as the town has been unable to outgrow its bad rap more than 50 years after the city earned it.
What brought all this to mind is the fact that the Hazlehurst City Council is looking into expanding the city limits by annexing several streets. Just the streets — not the adjoining properties. Presumably its being proposed so the money from tickets written by the State Patrol on those newly annexed streets would go to the City of Hazlehurst rather than to Jeff Davis County.
I hope the council shows good sense on that idea and puts a stop to it before we become known as a speed trap, too.
And on another matter, a tower company wants to put a communications tower at the corner of Latimer and Williams streets in the heart of downtown Hazlehurst.
There are people in our community, myself included, who are trying to do things to improve the appearance of our downtown in hopes of revitalizing its importance.
A huge tower in the middle of our downtown? Really?!?!
The council has the power to nip that idea in the bud. I hope they’ll do the right thing. I hope. I hope.