City might house Secretary of State satellite office

An effort by Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp to open a regional satellite office at Augusta Municipal Building goes before the Augusta Commission for approval Tuesday.

The matter appears on the regular commission meeting agenda after a vote to deny the request failed in committee last week 2-1.

Commissioner Grady Smith said he referred Kemp downtown and that the addition will make it easier for citizens to file documents with the Secretary of State. “Papers that might have to go to Atlanta, they can do it at that office,” Smith said.

Attempts to reach a Kemp spokesperson Monday about the request were unsuccessful.

The agenda item states the satellite office would be the state’s second, would not duplicate services of Richmond County Board of Elections and would “offer an added benefits to our citizens who may experience difficulty with contacting the SOS office by phone.”

The state would pay for build-out of the new space, located off the mayor’s office on the second floor, the agenda item said.

Kemp, whose office oversees elections, state corporate and securities registrations, professional licensing and charities, announced his Republican campaign for governor in 2018 last month.

Commissioner Dennis Williams, who voted against the verbal request last week, said he hoped to use the office space himself to meet with constituents.

“The space they were proposing to use is space that was designed as office space for the commissioners,” Williams said. “None of the commissioners have seen any kind of request.”

IN OTHER ACTION

The request appears among a few agenda items to be voted on separately Tuesday. Other items going for review or approval include:

- Team One Augusta exceeding its goal and raising $23,000 for the American Heart Association

- Honoring the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office for achieving “Triple Crown Status” with the National Sheriffs Association

- A discussion by Matthew Hutcherson of “men’s saggy clothing,” which commissioners have proposed to ban

- A special zoning exception for a seven-lot “village green” development behind the William Robinson School condominiums at 2349 William St.

- Hiring Maudin Jenkins CPAs as external city auditor and Serotta Maddocks Evans CPAs as internal auditor and adopting a 2017 internal audit schedule to include cash handling, travel advances and reimbursements, sales and excise tax return filing procedures, purchasing cards and other projects

- Commissioner Marion Williams has called for discussion of Augusta’s Animal Services, Fleet Management and Law departments

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

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