Calhoun Expressway renaming placed on hold

Augusta’s John C. Calhoun Expressway will keep its name after city commissioners put a renaming effort on hold Tuesday. File/Staff

A push to rename John C. Calhoun Expressway for someone other than the 19th century politician is on hold after the Augusta Commission member backing the effort failed to secure adequate support for the change.

Bill Fennoy, who represents the area around the downtown commuter route, moved Tuesday to put his proposal “back on the agenda at a later time” at a commission meeting after several commissioners indicated they would not support it.

“I wanted to give me a little time to discuss the issue with my colleagues,” Fennoy said. “It took Yale two years before they changed.”

The District 1 commissioner raised the name issue last month after Yale University announced it was renaming its Calhoun College because of widespread disapproval of the South Carolina statesman’s pre-Civil War devotion to slavery.

“Normally, when we name a building, street, road or room, it’s someone that has had a positive impact on this community or on this country,” Fennoy said.

Calhoun’s name was recycled in 1966 for the expressway under design after a much older road, Calhoun Street, was subsumed by an extension of Walton Way.

Fennoy said that he won’t revive the item at least until after the Masters Tournament a month away but that he hopes the state will take the lead in renaming the state route.

“I’m hoping the state will address it,” he said. “They don’t need us to do it.”

The thorny issue drew strong opinions, especially among older whites, but the name change failed to secure support Tuesday from any of the commission’s black majority besides Fennoy. Commissioner Marion Williams maintained after the unanimous 9-0 vote, with Fennoy abstaining, that the name is not a priority for him.

In another matter, the commission reviewed extensive recommendations for updating city trash pickup from Environmental Services Director Mark Johnson but took no action.

The recommendations include cost-saving measures such as phasing out the Recycling Perks, an underused coupon rewards program to encourage recycling; eliminating a planned third compressed natural gas station, which Johnson said is no longer needed because of reduced demand because of lower fuel prices; and reverting to the former system for collecting yard waste that leaves excess piles behind to pick up later instead of tagging them.

Johnson also recommended increasing fees for vacant lot cutting and cleaning, which he said are lower than most lawn services; enacting a “flow control” ordinance requiring waste generated in Augusta to go to the city landfill; and studying the cost of issuing a bond to cover the cost of a five-year backlog in demolishing blighted buildings.

He suggested replacing downtown curbside pickup used by businesses and residents with a central service location, adding two positions to collect scrap tires and tighten the city’s scrap tire ordinance and revive and staff a Keep Augusta Beautiful chapter to educate the public and coordinate community efforts.

The commission voted to notify local judges of its intention to amend the order the commission approved last year establishing the Richmond County Probation Office to remove the requirement that probation officers be certified Georgia law enforcement officers. Dennis Williams and Wayne Guilfoyle abstained from voting.

Reach Susan McCord at (706) 823-3215 or susan.mccord@augustachronicle.com.

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William O. Darby 4 months ago
“Normally, when we name a building, street, road or room, it’s someone that has had a positive impact on this community or on this country,” Fennoy said."
.
Of course that's exactly what Calhoun did.  Fennoy's obsession to the contrary.
bert matz 4 months ago
I think James Brown Expressway would be cool. 
B. M. Michales 4 months ago
Brown was such a good example for the youth while he was in prison and drug user. Makes good sense to name a street after him. NOT!
Roy Whitley 4 months ago
Don't forget pulling a gun on a policeman.
Harry Bailey 4 months ago
Yeah!!  Every time I drive on it, I could hit the gas and erratically fly down the Expressway, like a stoned, wife-beating, celebrity!!  That WOULD be cool!  
(Sorry....couldn't resist!)
B. M. Michales 4 months ago
I AM GLAD THE RACIST DID NOT WIN AT THIS TIME.
J. Paul Griffin 4 months ago
I am waiting on a name to be brought forward for the renaming of the Calhoun Expressway. That is when the real discussion will begin. Commissioner Fennoy,  give us a name that you will be satisfied with. I am sure you have one in mind.
George Withershine 4 months ago
We've changed enough HISTORICAL LOCATIONS, BUILDINGS, STREETS, ETC.. ETC... for undeserving blacks just  to placate this MINORITY of whiners!!!  TIME FOR THEM TO SIT DOWN AND SHUT-UP!!!  Be thankful your behind isn't in that cesspool called Africa, squatting in front of a mud hut with nothing but a loin cloth on!!!  Richmond County's black commissioners=RACIST DEFECATE STIRRERS!!!!
Roy Whitley 4 months ago
Amen.
George Withershine 4 months ago
James Brown--convicted FELON--------NUFF SAID!!!!  martin luther king--communist, womanizing agitator--NUFF SAID!!!   
Roy Whitley 4 months ago
At least MLK didn't "play" with little boys like many "men" on the left do.
George Withershine 4 months ago
YOU SURE about that Roy?????  I have heard otherwise!

George Withershine 4 months ago
By the way, can anyone tell me what great accomplishments either laney or walker achieved???????  Anything even close to a native son and signer of the Declaration of Independence????????
Bill Pinot 4 months ago
Hmm, ISIS destroying history in the Middle e\East and Europe = ARC Commissioner wants to change things here because he doesn't like it!  Maybe it should be the Fennoy/ISIS Commission!
Roy Whitley 4 months ago
I suggest the names of all drug dealers, murderers and thieves become the new names of streets. They'll be easier to find for the users and police.
CARL T SR MILLER 4 months ago

Fennoy said.  “I wanted to give me a little time to discuss the issue with my colleagues,” Fennoy said. “It took Yale two years before they changed.”

The District 1 commissioner raised the name issue last month after Yale University announced it was renaming its Calhoun College because of widespread disapproval of the South Carolina statesman’s pre-Civil War devotion to slavery.                                                                      **********************************************************************************************************Subject: Now Calhoun's Replacement at Yale Under Fire White Female Navy Admiral

https://patriotpost.us/posts/47564

Calhoun College — which for decades and without incident paid homage to John C. Calhoun — was recently ordered by Yale University to revise its name to placate the demands of campus moral do-gooders. But the purging isn’t quite the victory some envisioned. As it turns out, Grace Hopper, the woman selected as Calhoun’s replacement, has yet another grievance group crying foul. The consternation this time is even more peculiar — Hopper, a female who rose to the impressive rank of Naval Admiral and greatly expanded the field of computer science, is considered a feminist paragon. But for the ever-evolving snowflakes of today, the color of her skin, ironically enough, creates a big problem.

In a Facebook response, The Yale Women’s Center began by voicing support. “However,” the dissenters continue, “we had hoped for a name change that acknowledged the years of activism by students of color and New Haven activists. We feel the decision to change the name from a white supremacist to a white woman, as amazing as she may be, is an act of whitewashing.” The group also complains “the decision to rename the college after another white person seems like an attempt to end this discussion on the history of white supremacy and its active and continued role in this institution and on our campus.”

HeatStreet reports on additional objections: “A PR person for the women’s center, Vicki Beizer, told the student newspaper that the administration let them down by ignoring names that would have ‘carried the dialogue further,’ and that ‘renaming the college after a white woman doesn’t put the cork in the bottle.’ Members of the organization also published an op-ed for the Daily to argue that ‘white femininity has often been used as a tool to enforce racist and colonialist structures,’ and that naming the college after Hopper was a ‘continuous perpetuation of white supremacy.’”

This is the problem with revisionist history and inculcating those who seek to erase or modify America’s heritage, and also with moral relativism, for that matter: Once you go down that path, there’s no knowing when to stop. There’s no question the U.S. had (and has) its problems, and slavery undoubtedly tops the list. But if the purveyors of political correctness are looking for icons who are pure and blameless, well, good luck with that. It’s a futile effort. Then again, their very definition of pure and blameless is grossly distorted. They think the only righteous path is to idolize someone who’s not white.

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