Marion Williams said his “calling to lead” continues after two terms serving District 2 on the Augusta Commission. Harold Jones said he wants to “make change” after talking and writing about it.
The two men, each seeking the Super District 9 post on the commission, revealed different approaches to leadership during a forum Thursday at Eastview Community Center, although both agreed that much of the district is overlooked.
“I don’t see the economic growth that everybody’s talking about,” said Williams, the outspoken pastor of Friendship Baptist Church. “The haves are still getting, and the have-nots are still not getting.”
Jones, arriving late for the forum after teaching a class at Strayer University, said 56 percent of the district is below the poverty line: “In four years, that number needs to change, or you need to tell me to go,” he said.
Jones said he wanted to serve after years of advocating for change, even taking a stand against plans to build a baseball stadium downtown
“I want to finally start making some significant changes,” he said.
Both Augusta natives, the candidates dismissed questions about relieving gridlock on the 10-member commission.
“Just do what’s right, and you’ll stop the gridlock,” Williams said.
The forum, sponsored by the East Augusta Neighborhood Association, also included candidates for district attorney, sheriff, probate judge, solicitor, the commission’s District 1 seat and school board.