Government

More News | | | Editor

Center to become the official courthouse

  • Follow Government

The phrase that sparked controversy -- unexpected even among the divided Augusta Commission -- was clarified Wednesday in an order filed by Chief Superior Court Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet.

Back | Next
Chief Superior Court Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet has issued an order declaring that as of May 4 the Augusta Richmond County Judicial Center will carry "the courthouse" designation.   John Curry/Staff
John Curry/Staff
Chief Superior Court Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet has issued an order declaring that as of May 4 the Augusta Richmond County Judicial Center will carry "the courthouse" designation.

Effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, "at the courthouse" officially will mean at the new Augusta-Richmond County Judicial Center, 735 James Brown Blvd., according to the order Overstreet filed.

For sheriff's sales held "on the courthouse steps" and in all public notices and statutory references, the order makes clear the official location no longer is 530 Greene St., where Richmond County courts have convened since the 19th century.

It also designates exactly where, under existing law, the Augusta Commission is required to meet monthly and the administrator is expected to have an office, although the new building wasn't designed to accommodate either.

Efforts to get the commission to agree to amend the city charter to remove the "at the courthouse" requirement have failed, with three of 10 commissioners voting against the measure last week. Charter amendments require a two-thirds majority of eight votes, not a simple majority of six.

Commissioner Bill Lockett said the proposed amendment, a lengthy document that cites a 1904 ordinance as amended more than a dozen times, appeared to do more than simply strike the "courthouse" requirement.

In recent months, Lockett and commissioners J.R. Hatney, Alvin Mason and Corey Johnson have routinely voted against a new personnel policy and procedures manual and numerous associated code and charter amendments they say have the effect of changing the city's form of government.

And the "courthouse" amendment, while presented as a routine change, also includes language that might also change the form of government, Lockett said.

"There are many different things under that one agenda item," Lockett said. "If they had just wanted to take out 'the courthouse,' it would have been no problem."

General Counsel Andrew MacKenzie, however, said the charter amendment necessarily covered the entire old Act, with many words and portions struck and others left on the books.

Amending just the portion dealing with the courthouse "wouldn't be the best way to amend the provision, because there may be inadvertent sections from earlier points left out," MacKenzie said.

Comments (13) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
dwb3080
15
Points
dwb3080 04/27/11 - 07:24 pm
0
0
Play their game, no funds for

Play their game, no funds for new parking lot until they agree to change the meeting location. It's hardball not softball.

Riverman1
94246
Points
Riverman1 04/27/11 - 07:32 pm
0
0
The humorous vision of a

The humorous vision of a Commission meeting on the Ruff House lawn using outdoor chairs with the public bringing their own is looking more and more like a reality. Aiken has the outdoor Monetta Drive-in, we will have the outdoor Commission. There will be two porta potties on site. No...one for each sex...not for what you were thinking.

No_Longer_Amazed
5146
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 04/27/11 - 08:00 pm
0
0
How long will it take for the

How long will it take for the four members of the Commission to object to the fact that according to Judge Overstreet's order “at the courthouse” officially means at the new Augusta-Richmond County Judicial Center, not at the Augusta Judicial Center and John H. Ruffin Jr. Courthouse ?

pointstoponder
621
Points
pointstoponder 04/27/11 - 08:44 pm
0
0
How considerate, they can

How considerate, they can still vote to make the requisite changes at the Commission Meeting on Tuesday. As for the Administrator, having an office is not the same as using the office.

scgator
1042
Points
scgator 04/27/11 - 10:30 pm
0
0
These rebel commissioners are

These rebel commissioners are about as useful as extra body parts on a bull; it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand the issue of the name change. What is holding Augusta's feet to the racial fire is actually these few guys that have made up their minds to disagree and fight any idea or plan that they do not originate or directly benefit them. They are grossly incompetent, greedy and only want what they believe to be "theirs"; hiding and operating under the guise of justice, they make a mockery of those they are supposed to be serving. In short, they are truly embarassing to the citizens of Augusta.

tckr1983
365
Points
tckr1983 04/27/11 - 11:16 pm
0
0
What's more unpopular?

What's more unpopular? Congress? Or the Augusta Commission? I'm a lifelong Augustan (28 years) and have seen Downtown go from a dump in the 80's and 90's to something resembling a "city center" here recently. IMAGINE what the city could do w/o these clowns constantly bickering over ANY issue. You're serving Augusta as a whole, do you really think this particular topic is something your citizens want you to take your "heroic" stand on? Get it over with and carry on with something, anything other than this. Unite the city, make it better, bring in companies and realize the possibilities of the underdeveloped downtown area... it's huge. United we stand, divided YOU fall.

irishfarmer
24
Points
irishfarmer 04/27/11 - 11:18 pm
0
0
scgator: Your cmment is so

scgator: Your cmment is so true and this has been the way ARC has been ran since consolidation. Consolidation was a joke and should have been a crime its self. It will continue to be this way until fair districts are drawn and until certain folks are put out of power. Augusta does not have to be what it is today, it can be alot better. All I can say is stop drinking the kool-aid. Pull the wool from over your eyes fellow Augustan's and lets make ARC the city that it can be.

irishfarmer
24
Points
irishfarmer 04/27/11 - 11:22 pm
0
0
Downtown today is not what it

Downtown today is not what it was in the 50's, 60's, and early 70's. I agree with tckr1983 on the last statement in the post. United we stand, divided YOU fall. Just look around the falling is already starting.

scgator
1042
Points
scgator 04/28/11 - 01:52 am
0
0
My late father-in-law was on

My late father-in-law was on the last city council when consolidation implemented;he always told me that would be the end of local politicians working together. And he was right. He was also the "butt" of a failed bribery attempt when local political leaders were trying to railroad the ball stadium downtown. It seems that group of Japanese businessmen were willing to buy up most of the downtown properties if the stadium was moved downtown. His was the pivotal vote that prevented those behind the scenes from becoming richer at the expense of taxpayers; he is dead and gone now, but the move is on again to ram it down the throats of the taxpayers. Augusta City leaders are of the opinion, we will give the people of Augusta what we want them to have whether they like it or not.

nerthus
2
Points
nerthus 04/28/11 - 06:50 am
0
0
The city is broke and the

The city is broke and the commissioners cannot agree on where to meet vote them all out and lets start over. Totally childish

tckr1983
365
Points
tckr1983 04/28/11 - 01:01 pm
0
0
This particular story sure

This particular story sure was removed from the websites main page pretty fast... get some phone calls???

WW1949
19
Points
WW1949 04/28/11 - 04:21 pm
0
0
The commissioners standing in

The commissioners standing in the way or progress should be completely ashamed of themselves. They are acting like 5th graders in the school play yard.

rubyjean
0
Points
rubyjean 04/28/11 - 06:54 pm
0
0
LOL...maybe Overstreet should

LOL...maybe Overstreet should become a "token commissioner"....

Back to Top
loading...
Search Augusta jobs