Lack of quorum delays action on ordinances

Three ordinances dealing with the structure of Augusta government stalled Monday when there was no quorum in the city's four-member Administrative Services Committee.

While no action could be taken, Commissioner Bill Lockett said he wished Administrator Fred Russell would schedule a workshop and give advance notice to commissioners whenever a new ordinance goes before the committee he chairs -- something that didn't occur this time.

The first ordinance codifies new authority over personnel given to Russell by the city's new personnel manual. Lockett previously was one of four commissioners to vote against this provision.

"It hasn't been completed," Lockett said after the meeting. "Lots of feelings have been hurt, and it's going to take a while to mend those feelings."

Lockett and commissioners Al Mason, Corey Johnson and J.R. Hatney have alleged the manual was rushed through and may change the form of Augusta's government, even though at least three work sessions have been held on its details.

Mason and Commissioner Matt Aitken, who serve on the committee with Lockett and Commissioner Jerry Brigham, were absent Monday.

Also stalled again were two ordinances affecting the city's Procurement Department. One shifts functions currently performed by the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Department to Procurement. The other is the adoption of a revised procurement code. Both ordinances have been referred back and forth from committee to the full commission without action several times since they were first introduced last year.

 

Ordinance defines administrator's powers

IN OTHER ACTION

  • Other votes taken by commission committees Monday included approval of two on-premises alcohol licenses, three retail alcohol sales licenses and a special events license for a Masters Week event held at a Washington Road restaurant. A nearby hotelier, Nayna Patel, said the annual event had created much noise at her hotel less than 20 feet away, but said she was working with proprietor Jan Sholer and the city's Licensing and Inspections Department to ensure concerts didn't go on after 9:30 p.m.
  • The Public Service Committee also approved the purchase of three transit buses, two paratransit buses and two fixed-route vehicles for Augusta Public Transit for about $1.4 million. The city's contribution toward the purchase receives state and federal matching funds, Transit Director Heyward Johnson said.
  • The Finance Committee approved what Engineering Director Abie Ladson called a "wish list" being submitted to the Georgia Department of Transportation of projects the city would complete if voters approve a new regional sales tax for transportation. The vast list, which Ladson said was in no particular order, includes the resurfacing or improvement of 99 sections of Augusta roads and bridges, plus other proposed transportation-related improvements at Augusta Public Transit, Augusta Regional Airport, Daniel Field and elsewhere.

 

 

See the proposed list of TSPLOST road improvements

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