Letter to the Editor

This letter was written in response to “Downtown Deserves Better,” which appeared on metrospirit.com Sunday, June 1. An updated version appears on these pages.

Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

Wow… you all are really something.

Why don’t you sign your name to your biased and totally unfair attack on me as a property owner.

I am one of the few people who have remained faithful to downtown and Broad Street. I have proven that dedication by actually investing my own personal money and by working to maintain my business interests everyday for the last 30 years.

Unlike most of you anonymous critics I actually work very hard to stay in business downtown in spite of the worst conditions.

You fail to mention all of the many empty buildings that are not owned by me.

You have no idea how many times your negative attacks have chased away possible tenants. You are what’s wrong with Augusta — you create a negative impression that makes potential tenants not want to locate in downtown.

Unlike some of your heroes I have never taken anything from anyone — I have never been the recipient of any government largesse or taken any taxpayers’ money.

Everything I do and stand for is honesty, integrity, and hard work and dedication to the downtown I love and work hard for every single day of my life.

I as business owner and property owner suffer the most from the lack of business in downtown Augusta.

I have been the champion of trying to re-energize the city center — from restoring the devastating loss of bus service to pleading for the hiring of a city manager who could plan and coordinate the revitalization effort necessary to create an environment friendly and welcoming to business investment.

You guys don’t even have a clue who Bonnie Ruben is — I welcome you to come out of your hiding place and talk to me if you have concerns.

You can always find me working on Broad Street at either Ruben’s Department Store or the Ramada Hotel… I am anything but an absentee owner!

Bonnie Ruben

  • Jim Bartley

    I agree with you Bonnie, only a coward want put there name to a comment or letter!

  • angdelune

    I have never read so much self-appreciating made up bull in all my life. Neither the Metro spirit or any other media outlet is responsible for your inability to garner tenants for your cesspit of vacant properties. Let us look at the amount you are currently paying in property taxes, neigh, the value set on your properties versus the price you are currently asking for them; now let us note the massive discrepancy in the values. You say you’ve always been an advocate of downtown. Ha, there have been NUMEROUS complaints about the dilapidated facades of your buildings, the trash you let accumulate, and I’ve been into your filthy store. The one with the cats running loose and the open office door where a guy sits chain-smoking cigarettes. I marveled at the men’s BVD’s you have sitting on the rack for sale. I mean, the particular brand I came across they stopped making in the 70’s. I’m not kidding I looked it up. The kicker was a pair of acid-wash jeans stained yellow with age or nicotine that still had the original tag on them from 1986. I think a few of my older cousins wore the same type.
    If I were on the commission (don’t get me started on those bumbling idiots) or any city council I would declare all of downtown not a slum, but a historic district and start fining you the maximum amount I could A DAY, until your buildings were refurbished and brought up to a reasonable semblance of something that could be salvaged into a desirable business location or you you could sell them for what you are currently paying property taxes on.
    Someone needs to take ahold of this city and drag it kicking and screaming into the 21st century. While I did not approve of his methods, i’m certainly glad Dr. Azziz had the gall to do so with the university. I LOVE this city, I moved here for undergrad, went away for school and made it a point to move back. I am proud of all the new businesses and the growth that is taking place, however, we need to remove the fossils and remnants of Augusta that are holding it back from being a town that is worthy of being the second largest city in Ga. and one that could possibly one day even rival Atlanta starting with people like you.
    *end rant*

  • Nick Reinert

    Bonnie has done a Hell of a lot more for downtown than The Spirit.. who moved their offices out of DT for the Columbia County border. Bonnie has been loyal to downtown even thru thick and thin. She is the hardest working businesswoman in Augusta and she treats her employees like gold. Stop hatin’ on Bonnie.

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