Augusta Commission takes up furlough day issue Monday

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A lack of funds is forcing Augusta commissioners to vote Monday on whether county employees will be required to take two furlough days before the end of the year

Four furlough days were initially planned for the year but the first two were voted down 10-0. The two remaining days, if taken, will occur in November and December.

City Administrator Fred Russell said each furlough day will save approximately $200,000. Other options, such as cutting job positions, have not been discussed for this budget period.

At this time commissioners have not begun discussing the possibility for more furlough days in 2011. Meetings for the next year will begin Oct. 19, Russell said.

 

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MistaChuckD
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MistaChuckD 10/08/10 - 05:34 pm
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So when they say county

So when they say county employees, does that include police officers and firefighters? Wonder how many crimes will be committed while police officers are sitting at home not getting paid?

Build a baseball stadium that benefits the few but furlough your public safety workers. Build a TEE center that will be as empty as the civic center is but furlough your public safety workers.

Wow!

omnomnom
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omnomnom 10/08/10 - 05:47 pm
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Yayy no tax increase! Wait,

Yayy no tax increase! Wait, but service get cut? Pretty much same thing you say? BOOOOO ME NO LIKE

countyman
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countyman 10/08/10 - 07:26 pm
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If the two furlough days do

If the two furlough days do happen in the future. They won't affect jailers and patrol officers. Each firefighter will work 10 hour shifts instead of the 24 hours shift for two days. Luckily there dicussing only taking two days off compared to the majority cities across the country..

The Civic Center is definitely not sitting empty. Tyler Perry Medea's Big Happy Family, Augusta RiverHawks hockey games, Lady Antebellum, Christmas Made in the South, Kicks 99 12th Annual Guitar Pull, World Championship Ice racing Series are among some of the upcoming events.

The majority of residents in RC voted for the Tee Center. The city has to build what the residents approved.

The baseball stadium is one small piece to the puzzle. Jim Jacoby(developer of Atlantic) doesn't build baseball stadiums. Cal Ripken is the major player behind the baseball stadium. The actual developement is a mix-use venue attached to a baseball stadium.

MistaChuckD
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MistaChuckD 10/08/10 - 07:40 pm
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@ countryman I spoke to a

@ countryman

I spoke to a couple of my friends who are road deputies and you are wrong. They have already been told that the furlough apply to everyone.

You are correct about the civic center, in a way. All of those events you listed are in the upcoming months. Now look back over the last 6 months and co unt the number of days the cc was in use as opposed to the number of days it sat empty and dark.

The mixed-use venue is going to end up just like that wonderful building (The Port Royal I think it is called) which sits on the Riverwalk that was touted to draw people downtown.

countyman
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countyman 10/08/10 - 08:42 pm
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You may want to ask those

You may want to ask those people again. They probably didn't know the all details before this week.. According to several articles and the Sheriffs office.

''The Sheriff's Office tells us road patrol and jailers won't take the furlough days. But, administrative staff and investigators will have to take an unpaid day off''.

Is the Sherriff's office lying?

countyman
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countyman 10/08/10 - 09:00 pm
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Port Royal doesn't consist of

Port Royal doesn't consist of condos, upscale apartments, hotels, restaurants, green space, and retail attached to a baseball stadium overlooking the Savannah River. Port Royal didn't open up when there was over $300 million worth of construction downtown in a 1 mile radius. There is tons of construction currently happening in/around downtown Augusta.

You should make a trip to Atlanta and see Atlantic Station yourself. It's a first class development created by Jim Jacoby. A place where people live, work, and play.
http://www.atlanticstation.com/

The last few months at the JB Arena and Bell? Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, and Bryan Luke all sold out. Daughtry, Bill Cosby, B.B King, Cirque Du Soleil, Zac Brown band, Fantasia, Lynyrd Skynyrd, R. Kelly, Willie Nelson, Jim Brickman, Charlie Wilson, Shen Yun, Garrison Keillor, WWE Smackdown/ECW live, Monster Freestyle Fallout, Winter Jam, Rodney Carrington, and Rickey Smiley are some of the acts/events who took place recently.

BarnyFife
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BarnyFife 10/08/10 - 08:57 pm
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Yes the word was put out

Yes the word was put out yesterday at our muster that we the Road Patrol will have to take the 2 furlough days. But it won't come at the expense of working the road. We will have to take it during our Inservice Training. We must still go to Inservice but not get paid. But if our county leaders were held more accountable for it's wasteful spending on their incompetence and self interest agendas, and be more aggressive on going after the tax delinquents, maybe we wouldn't be at this juncture of the mess this county is in. I would be suspended without pay if I did something that cost the Sheriff's Office money or was negligent. It's time to go after these people who say they have our interest at heart, but don't. Actions speak louder than words.

countyman
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countyman 10/08/10 - 09:09 pm
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Exactly... Cops will still be

Exactly... Cops will still be patrolling throughout the county. I agree the city can do a much better job concerning wasteful spending. But atleast Augusta is doing much better than most cities at the moment. Majority of cities during this recession have/are laying people off and taking furlough days.

jackrussell
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jackrussell 10/08/10 - 09:05 pm
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Amen BarneyFife. This county

Amen BarneyFife. This county wastes so much money. I think the Sheriff should give the Deputies their furlough days at the same time so that Richmond County will see what this place would be like without them! I bet they'd never furlough their police again! I just wonder how much the county is going to spend on the Christmas tree and all the other decorations they'll put up downtown??? Nevermind the money they waste on needless surveys on ridiculous agendas that anyone with common sense could figure for free!!! Seriously Richmond County, get your heiny off your shoulders and do what's right!

Emerydan
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Emerydan 10/08/10 - 09:21 pm
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good post countyman.. agree

good post countyman.. agree somewhat there.. there is certainly some inefficiencies in Augusta's government.. but I do not think we should furlough sheriff's deputies.. they spread too thin already. But in other departments maybe we really need to start thinking about cross training employees and figuring out how we can do more with less.

Emerydan
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Emerydan 10/08/10 - 09:23 pm
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I would like to see the state

I would like to see the state amend its SPLOST laws so that we could use the money for public safety.. but not a substitute for existing revenue.. I do not mind paying a little more if I feel it is going toward something vital like public safety.

countyman
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countyman 10/08/10 - 09:45 pm
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Things in Augusta could

Things in Augusta could always be alot worse... Georgia State Patrol troopers were furloughed one day a month for last fiscal year.

Atlanta Police were furloughed four hours a week for 28 weeks last year.

Dekalb County police officers and firefighters have to take four furlough days this year.

Dallas cut their police and firefighters pay by almost 3% and made them take 6 furlough days this year.

Philadelphia had already canceled a class of police recruits and deactivated two fire companies by May of 2010. The city was looking to furlough their police officers at the time.

truthsetmfree
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truthsetmfree 10/08/10 - 09:33 pm
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Unfortunately BarneyFife is

Unfortunately BarneyFife is only half right. We were notified in the monthly staff meeting yesterday that each employee has to take 16 hours of furlough time. 8 hours will come from monthly training in November and December and 8 hours will be set at home time...It is for road patrol deputies, jailers, administrative, and investigators....In other words everyone on the department will be schedule for 16 hours. I know because I was in the meeting and heard it first hand. Everyone! It is apparent that Barney wasn't in the meeting since he heard it at muster.

MistaChuckD
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MistaChuckD 10/08/10 - 10:02 pm
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@truthsetmefree Thanks for

@truthsetmefree

Thanks for setting the record straight for barneyfife and countryman.

@countryman

I don't need to check out the Atlanta complex because Atlanta and Augusta are two very different places. The fact that the complex is thriving in Atlanta does not mean it will thrive here.

You and I see things very differently. In a few years we will see who was right.

jackrussell
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jackrussell 10/08/10 - 10:41 pm
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@ countyman... So because

@ countyman... So because those other agencies you named also have pss-poor fiscal management, it's okay that Richmond County does? That makes as much sense as "it's okay to jump off a tall building because your friend does it."

Our leaders need to stop making excuses and start governing in a way that benefits the citizens (including employees) of Richmond County instead of themselves, whether for political or monetary gain.

carmyd23
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carmyd23 10/08/10 - 11:22 pm
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@countyman... you must not be

@countyman... you must not be a worker in law enforcement, or have loved ones who do. so you have no idea what these guys go through. How about we furlough the commissioners!

No_Longer_Amazed
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No_Longer_Amazed 10/08/10 - 11:25 pm
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"The majority of residents in

"The majority of residents in RC voted for the Tee Center. The city has to build what the residents approved." Didn't the 2005 vote approve only $20 million for the TEE center? How much more than that figure is going to be spent without a vote on it?

fatboyhog
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fatboyhog 10/09/10 - 12:30 am
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As usual, the road patrol is

As usual, the road patrol is going to get the short end of the stick. Taking 4 hours from "in-service" which is off duty anyway means that the deputy will actually be working, but not getting paid.

humbleopinion
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humbleopinion 10/09/10 - 12:34 am
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Is this furlough going to

Is this furlough going to include the commissioners? How about the Superintendent of the RCBE? How about Ronnie Strength? Of course these people can afford to lose two days pay.

lilone1
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lilone1 10/15/10 - 12:45 am
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I don't agree with the

I don't agree with the furlough days at all exspcially for the Fire Dept. Police Dept and EMS. I think their jobs are dangerous enough with out taking pay away from them, they don't make as much as others think they do. If this happens then I hope a family member on the commissioners seats needs one of these services and don't get it and see how they feel. The commissioners are going to be eating turkey dinner and buying gifts for their families but what about the others here. Can they go down and apply for assistance and get it to help them. NO. because they have a job. Who needs alot of this crap downtown. This world is bad enough without more. Com missioners thank you for taking our holidays away from us while you have yours. Also have the fire dept stop making unnessary calls to false alarms each day to the same places. Get them fixed or pay up like any one else who has an alarm on their house.They say what goes around comes around so watch out.....

lilone1
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lilone1 10/15/10 - 12:47 am
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Don't make them work without

Don't make them work without pay if your going to give a furlough day that means STAY HOME. Get the police and fire dept together and see what happens to Augusta then with out the man power to protect and serve.

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