News 12 at 6 o'clock, February 25, 2008
AUGUSTA, Ga.---They are being called goodwill ambassadors, and they are coming to a street near you. One by one they came in looking to take on the streets of downtown Augusta as part of the Cadi, or Clean Augusta Downtown Initiative.
"I think the downtown needs some oomph...something to happen. It's asleep. It's not happening yet," said Al Mazzei, who is training director for the program.
The plan is to hire 8 goodwill ambassadors as part of a cleaning and safety team. Program organizers say this is not to take the place of, but to add to city services.
"A traffic light is out. We'll notify the appropriate city agency," said Mazzei.
The gig comes complete with uniforms, and a customized ride. But, what exactly is a Cadi?
"He sees you looking confused or something. He'll walk up, 'Can I help you, sir? How are you doing?'" Mazzei explained.
"Some people will take it as somebody being nosy, but I take it as you being concerned and looking out for your neighborhood," said Doris Jordan, who is looking to work with the Cadi.
The idea is to clean up Augusta streets. Local business/ property owners opted to raise their taxes. It means over $400,000 a year for the next 5 years to help put a lid on trash.
"Nobody wants to go where it's dirty. Nobody wants to go where they have to look over their shoulder every second," said Mazzei.
Doris Jordan agrees. "I want someone to look after me. So if you want to watch what's going on at my house go ahead...because I feel like then I can lay down and sleep well that night."
Outside of bright green trucks, Segways are also in the plan.
The grand opening is scheduled for March 24th.