Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

X-Mart set to reopen after 8-year fight

6-4 vote settles 8-year fight against business

  • Follow Crime & courts

An eight-year fight to keep an adult video and novelty store out of Augusta has ended.



Topic: Augusta Commission
 - Complete coverage in our topic page:

On Tuesday, Augusta commissioners voted 6-4 to settle two Augusta Video X-Mart lawsuits pending in federal court for $550,000.

Under the terms of the settlement, X-Mart will be issued an adult entertainment permit and business license, allowing it to reopen its doors at 1367 Gordon Highway.

The Florida company's local counsel, William Sussman, said X-Mart likely would reopen in a few weeks.

Commissioners Jimmy Smith, J.R. Hatney, Don Grantham and Jerry Brigham voted against the settlement. Brigham estimated that the X-Mart suits had cost the city about $150,000 in legal bills.

"While it was expensive, it probably was productive," Brigham said. "We had the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals say our business license ordinance is constitutional, as far as regulating the adult entertainment industry."

In 2002, commissioners tried to prevent X-Mart from opening by passing an ordinance that prohibited business licenses from being issued to adult businesses along gateway corridors.

X-Mart sued over the ordinance's passage, which was done without required public hearings, and was later awarded damages of $131,000 for lost income and profit from April 2002 to July 2002, when the city passed a new business license ordinance.

Mayor Pro Tem Alvin Mason said although he wouldn't shop at X-Mart, actions by a previous board to deny X-Mart a business license were wrong.

"You're kind of damned if you do and damned if you don't," he said of the settlement. "It cost all of us, but those decisions were made seven or eight years ago."

In other action

A final push by Commissioner Don Grantham to give greater preference to local vendors failed Tuesday, with the commission voting 7-2 to accept a recommendation made by Augusta's Procurement Department.

Grantham had suggested that, in jobs valued at less than $10,000, local vendors who bid within 5 percent of the low bid get the contract at whatever price they bid. He made a similar proposal, which also failed, last week in a committee meeting. Commissioner Jerry Brigham said the proposal could result in the city paying a local vendor more than the low bidder.

The commission approved 8-2 a recommenda-tion by Procurement Director Geri Sams that allows local bidders to win the job if they're within 5 percent as long as they agree to match the low bidder's price. Grantham and Jimmy Smith voted against it.

The commission also approved 9-1, with Brigham voting no, funding for Augusta Neighborhood Enhancement's Barton Village Community Center. The funds, $30,500, run out at the end of the year and are much less than the community center has received for the former federal Weed and Seed endeavor.

Neighborhood Enhancement Director Bettye Jones said the center hated to be cut but was prepared to recruit additional volunteers.

Augusta Technical College already has agreed to pay the salary of a GED instructor at the center, according to Adult Education Executive Director Stefanie Bowie.

Comments (244) 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.
KatieLou
0
Points
KatieLou 05/19/10 - 12:30 pm
0
0
You hate and ridicule people

You hate and ridicule people who protest pornography, who advocate public modesty and restraint, because somewhere within you know that, far from thinking we're better than you, we respect you so much more than you respect yourself.

It's a hard pill to swallow, especially if your self-respect and personal dignity always get trumped by the drive to gratify some appetite or quiet some insecurity.

And all of us have had to swallow the very same pill ourselves, in some way or another. We're no less driven nor less tempted and we fail to live up to our own standards far more often that we even admit.

In fact, the ONLY difference between us on this kind of issue is that some of us have looked seriously and rationally at social phenomena like pornography and see a connection between the free access and celebration of it, and the rising rate of sex crimes and soaring divorce and illegitimacy rates, all of which are assaults on the foundational strength of our civilization and society, the family.

If you love our nation, if you value our liberty and our former prosperity, you also must take responsibility for protecting the source of those gifts. We may disagree about what that actually entails, but a sober, rational look at the correlation between the dissolution of our way of life and the increase in debauched and licentious living should be compelling for any person who cares to look for the truth.

The rest of the world has looked on in disbelief as we've blithely ignored our headlong hurtle into destruction-- except for those who have happily joined in and those who are thrilled to see us fall.

garner49
0
Points
garner49 05/19/10 - 12:31 pm
0
0
Sorry, but the city never had

Sorry, but the city never had the right to deny their business license in the first place. Now it cost them, er, us. Nice start-up capital.

As with any other business or product - if you don't want it, don't go there. Simple.

RAWR
0
Points
RAWR 05/19/10 - 12:36 pm
0
0
Katie I do not HATE or

Katie I do not HATE or ridicule anyone. I could also care less if you respect me or not. As for dignity I most likely have more for myself than you do for yourself. I do not see me enjoying myself less dignifying.

scoopdedoop64
2488
Points
scoopdedoop64 05/19/10 - 12:36 pm
0
0
RAWR, Porn should be illegal!

RAWR, Porn should be illegal!

corgimom
36696
Points
corgimom 05/19/10 - 12:37 pm
0
0
Who in their right mind

Who in their right mind equates illegitimate births and divorces and sex crimes with pornography?

Trouble
2506
Points
Trouble 05/19/10 - 12:37 pm
0
0
garner, for you it is that

garner, for you it is that simple, others think that because they dont want it, no one else should be allowed to have it.........

RAWR
0
Points
RAWR 05/19/10 - 12:39 pm
0
0
Scoop that is your opinion.

Scoop that is your opinion. It's not the opinion of the law makers. If you want it to be I suggest you start lobbying to try to make it illegal. Your argument is still moot because it is not illegal. You cannot compare the two.

corgimom
36696
Points
corgimom 05/19/10 - 12:41 pm
0
0
Oh, those same "Christians"

Oh, those same "Christians" are the same ones that tell you they believe in the Constitution, too- except for when they don't.

mommie2
2
Points
mommie2 05/19/10 - 12:43 pm
0
0
Katie Lou, honey, you should

Katie Lou, honey, you should go when it opens. You may be surprised that it's not a bunch of perverts but a variety of people. And because I own a sex toy or 2 does not make me any less of a Christian and it definitely does not mean that I do not respect myself.

scoopdedoop64
2488
Points
scoopdedoop64 05/19/10 - 12:47 pm
0
0
corgimom, Ronald Reagan had

corgimom, Ronald Reagan had appointed a counsel to investigate the effects of porn on the family and society. the results were staggering. As a person who has to deal with counseling others I see it first hand so I wonder why someone in their "right mind" can't see the connection. It is amazing to see the 2 different worlds we come from on this forum. Have a good day all.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 05/19/10 - 12:57 pm
0
0
how can you know he rejects

how can you know he rejects Jesus scooped????? (referring to Baron) posted by Trouble. Trouble if you have that hard of time determining that Baron is against Christianity (therefore against Christ) just by reading his post, then friend you have a serious problem.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 05/19/10 - 01:00 pm
0
0
For those of you who posted

For those of you who posted we are all God's children, I do believe I should clear up the misconception. We may all be God's creation but we are NOT all God's children. John 1:12 states "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.." The words received and believed are in reference to salvation.

KatieLou
0
Points
KatieLou 05/19/10 - 01:03 pm
0
0
Libertarianvoter(1:01),

Libertarianvoter(1:01), please point out where I have cited religion even once on this forum. This is not about religion, IMO, but societal self-preservation. I think I have adequately responded to the rest of your rant (@1:30 and below).

RAWR(1:17), you are correct that the choice about wallowing is your own and I have no right to force you not to. But, pointing out that you're in the mud and exhorting you to get up out of it isn't being judgmental; it's being being a friend, the same as if you were drunkenly stumbling into the street. You don't see the danger. I do. The choice still is yours, so do as you will.

Corgimom(1:37): Those were correlations, not equations, and it was regarding "social phenomena like pornography"-- as in things akin to and including pornography. I also clearly said last night that pornography was not the ONLY factor, but still an important one. (Tues, 10:52pm, first paragraph)

You're smart enough to figure that one out on your own and, I would hope, have enough personal confidence and intellectual honesty not to intentionally distort my point.

Trouble
2506
Points
Trouble 05/19/10 - 01:04 pm
0
0
icl, how someone posts does

icl, how someone posts does not necessarily reflect how someone acts, and i stand by my statement that just because you dont like what he says or does does not give you the right to sit in judgement on him and decide that he can not accept Jesus as his savior, again, that is a personal decision that we all get to make for ourselves, even if other "holier than thou" people want to make it for you

scoopdedoop64
2488
Points
scoopdedoop64 05/19/10 - 01:06 pm
0
0
InChristLove, thank you for

InChristLove, thank you for clearing that up. I must admit my frustrations come out sometimes and I am know that they are just trying to provoke me. Pray for me that I will be more Christ-like in my posts.

Trouble
2506
Points
Trouble 05/19/10 - 01:11 pm
0
0
katielou, do you really

katielou, do you really believe that a sex toy will kill you? sex toys dont kill people, people kill people......

icl, i covered your "all gods children" in my last post too

Trey Enfantay
9
Points
Trey Enfantay 05/19/10 - 01:11 pm
0
0
Trouble and I were just

Trouble and I were just talking and we are curious if they will have the "fitting rooms" ready to go for the Grand Opening?

baronvonreich
0
Points
baronvonreich 05/19/10 - 01:12 pm
0
0
Katie - if you believe in

Katie - if you believe in societal self-preservation then please share your thoughts with us about the vast social spending by the government on welfare including Social Security and Medicaid and other things like America's aggressive wars of occupation, corporate, farm, and individual subsidies and the like that have America $12 TRILLION in debt.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 05/19/10 - 01:12 pm
0
0
Maybe this will help explain

Maybe this will help explain why Christians speak out against what they feel is immoral and harmful to the family structure. Romans 8:5 states "Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; (meaning worldly things) but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires (meaning Christ). It has been reported that pornography helps lead to the distruction of marriages. Many wives feel inadequate and can not possibily live up to husband's fantasies, they feel cheated on and less desireable because their husbands prefer to look at some dirty movie or magazine. Some will say, well the wife should participate, join in the fun, blah, blah, blah. If the wife doesn't approve, is she suppose to shut up and move on too?

Trouble
2506
Points
Trouble 05/19/10 - 01:14 pm
0
0
im wondering if since they

im wondering if since they are getting all that money from us, will they be giving out free samples?

scoopdedoop64
2488
Points
scoopdedoop64 05/19/10 - 01:14 pm
0
0
trouble, we have not cast

trouble, we have not cast judgement on him. We are taking him at his word about what he says about Christ and then by comparing it to the Bible know we are dealing with a non-christian who was created by God but does not acknowledge it. He may one day become a Christian and we hope he does but don't dare call us "judgemental" because we can tell the difference between the devils kids and God's kids.

mommie2
2
Points
mommie2 05/19/10 - 01:15 pm
0
0
No ICL, she should speak up

No ICL, she should speak up and let her feelings be known. Something for the husband and wife to work out on their own. Not the problem of society.

KatieLou
0
Points
KatieLou 05/19/10 - 01:16 pm
0
0
mommie2, cupcake, I haven't

mommie2, cupcake, I haven't commented on your (or anyone else's) Christianity.

And if what I am pointing out about the impact of pornography doesn't apply personally to you, where's the problem? If you need the extra help, well... It's legal after all.

mommie2
2
Points
mommie2 05/19/10 - 01:21 pm
0
0
Because you are lumping us

Because you are lumping us all in one category, dear.

Trouble
2506
Points
Trouble 05/19/10 - 01:22 pm
0
0
scoop, how do you know he

scoop, how do you know he doesnt acknowledge it? and if he doesnt, hearing from "christians" like you people isnt going to help him change his mind

KatieLou
0
Points
KatieLou 05/19/10 - 01:25 pm
0
0
baronvonreich(2:12): I

baronvonreich(2:12): I completely agree with you on the government's robbery of its citizens, on virtually every item you list.

(I do diverge slightly when it comes to care for the elderly, although even in that matter, I think families should be held accountable and responsible for caring for all their members to some extent. Of course, it's very difficult to legislate loyalty and tolerance, and with the sorry state of so many of America's family situations, it's also pretty hopeless.)

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 05/19/10 - 01:25 pm
0
0
Trouble, never did I say that

Trouble, never did I say that Baron could not accept Christ. That has been one on my prayer list for many months, so please do not distort my comments. Baron is definitely one of God's creation but until the decision to accept Christ, repent and ask for forgiveness, Baron will remain a creation and not a child of God's. You said how one post does not necessarily reflect how one acts. I say, sorry my friend you are wrong. What we speak with our words, usually comes from the heart.

scoopdedoop64
2488
Points
scoopdedoop64 05/19/10 - 01:27 pm
0
0
Trouble, apparently you are

Trouble, apparently you are new here aren't you. Go to his avatar and click on his posts and you will see his comments. I have watche people beg and plead and show him so much kindness only for him to spit in their face.

KatieLou
0
Points
KatieLou 05/19/10 - 01:50 pm
0
0
No, mommie2, I am making a

No, mommie2, I am making a sweeping statement about the impact of pornography (among other similar things) on society at large. I believe it does have an impact on individuals-- how else would it impact society? But I am not lumping all individuals into a category of perversion, or even immorality for that matter. That would be akin to accusing all who drink beer, wine or whiskey of being alcoholics and drunk drivers, which, IMO, is patently absurd.

Still, you have to consider the reality that many perfectly solid citizens do get in a car and drive under the influence, whether they have a wreck or kill somebody or get away with it.

The point is that alcohol (and licit sexual pleasure) are not evil things, but used inappropriately or at the wrong time, they can lead to truly awful results. You should read the transcripts from interviews with Ted Bundy. Would he have been a different man without having access to porn? It's certainly worth considering.

Does this analogy make better sense? In my opinion, the personal impact of pornography is harder to identify than the impact of drinking, but I do believe what we put into our minds and imaginations affects us possibly even more than what we drink. It's just not usually obvious to other people. But marriages and families change for the worse when pornography comes in. That is a verifiable fact from research more than 20 years old.

I'm not sure I have any idea just how "sex toys" fit into all that, but it's pretty safe to say they aren't part of our original equipment. But neither are scissors and boxing gloves or hearing aids.

Trouble
2506
Points
Trouble 05/19/10 - 01:27 pm
0
0
i never did understand how

i never did understand how people think that forcing their religion down other peoples throats will make others convert and want to me more like them, it just turns them off of it, makes them think "if that is what it is to be a christian, i want no part of it" that is a sad thing

Back to Top

Top headlines

Vietnam veteran writes book on 319th Transportation Co.

"Vietnam Convoy Trucker" recounts the fear, boredom and humor faced while delivering supplies to American troops battling the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong.
Search Augusta jobs