Commission to vote on new No. 2

Bowles expected to become first white mayor pro tem since consolidation today

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The Augusta Commission is expected today to break a 15-year trend of electing a black mayor pro tem to serve as second-in-command to a white mayor, with District 3 Commissioner Joe Bowles the likely choice for the post.

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Joe Bowles (pictured) is expected to become second-in-command to Mayor Deke Copenhaver today.
Joe Bowles (pictured) is expected to become second-in-command to Mayor Deke Copenhaver today.

The city has been led by a white mayor since consolidation, with the exception of Willie Mays' 2005 commission appointment to serve Mayor Bob Young's unexpired term, and the commission has consistently elected a black commissioner each year to serve as mayor pro tem.

Bowles appears to have a vote from at least six commissioners, including his own, giving him the majority he needs to become mayor pro tem.

Commissioners Matt Aitken, Jerry Brigham and Joe Jackson and commissioners-elect Wayne Guilfoyle and Grady Smith each have said they will support Bowles for the No. 2 post.

It's a typical first-of-the year meeting for the commission, with little on the agenda besides the pro tem election and standing committee appointments, Brigham said.

Other items on the agenda include the approval of a 5 percent increase in fees for construction permits.

It would be the first increase in the fees in 10 years, and it is expected to generate an additional $40,000 in revenue for Augusta Licensing and Inspection's building division.

The board also is expected to hear a request from Augusta State University Athletic Director Clint Bryant to establish a task force on crime.

In 2006, Bryant formed the Changing Attitudes Refocusing Efforts Commission to serve as a watchdog on the city's response to gang violence.

Brigham was skeptical about the role of city government, which does not manage the sheriff's office, in fighting crime.

"I certainly don't see any laws or anything we can do that might make crime go up or go down," he said.

Comments (24) Add comment
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Brad Owens
4418
Points
Brad Owens 01/04/11 - 04:53 am
0
0
GO JOE! I hope he gets

GO JOE! I hope he gets it.

Brad

WoodyKaminer
2
Points
WoodyKaminer 01/04/11 - 06:08 am
0
0
Why does the mayor in many

Why does the mayor in many other big cities have so much power, and the mayor in Augusta cant go through a McDonalds drive thru without asking for permission from the commission? Are all these elected people really necessary? A mayor pro tem in Augusta is just another person on a high payroll that canT make any real decisions. Now we will have 2 mayors with no power to do anything. 10 Commissioners, 2 Mayors, and Fred Russell=13 People that have the power to do nothing.

Carleton Duvall
6305
Points
Carleton Duvall 01/04/11 - 07:58 am
0
0
Joe is head and shoulders

Joe is head and shoulders above the want-a - bees. He can make a real contribution in this post. I have watched him closely during his years on the commission. Besides having a background in financial matters he has common sense. I second Brad's endorsement

usapatriot
0
Points
usapatriot 01/04/11 - 08:03 am
0
0
yep, why is Bryant spending

yep, why is Bryant spending time asking for something from someone who cannot deliver?

on another note, why is the city increasing a fee, which will be passed on to the consumer, without proposing a reduction in kind?

how about that for a proposal. you increase on the citizens, you decrease in govt.

irishfarmer
24
Points
irishfarmer 01/04/11 - 08:10 am
0
0
GO JOE! Joe Bowles has been

GO JOE!

Joe Bowles has been a top notch leader here in Augusta. He is the best choice hands down for the Mayor Pro Tem position. He will do a fine job.

Riverman1
83547
Points
Riverman1 01/04/11 - 09:16 am
0
0
Okay, 8-2 with Mason and

Okay, 8-2 with Mason and Hatney going to the "other side." I finally got it.

irishfarmer
24
Points
irishfarmer 01/04/11 - 09:31 am
0
0
Bowles - 6 votes Hatney - 2

Bowles - 6 votes
Hatney - 2 votes (Lockett and himself)
Johnson - 2 votes (Mason and himself)

This will be the final vote count if these three commissioner's are running for the pro tem position.

Riverman1
83547
Points
Riverman1 01/04/11 - 09:44 am
0
0
Because Jerry Brigham was

Because Jerry Brigham was slighted it might be funny if he went the "other way" sort of like Andy Cheek used to do.

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 01/04/11 - 10:37 am
0
0
This is pretty much a useless

This is pretty much a useless and powerless position.. and if the commission really wanted to set a new tone they wouild vote to eliminate it. As another poster pointed out, we have an elected mayor with virtually no power, so what need is their for another figurehead? Just ridiculous. The truth about the mayor pro-tem is that it was created purely as a prestige position to placate certain black leaders to go along with consolidation. Let's just get rid of it all together.

follower
59
Points
follower 01/04/11 - 11:14 am
0
0
So Emery, who runs the

So Emery, who runs the meetings when the mayor is out? Who takes over if the mayor is killed? [after all, with the number of accidents and murders, no one is guaranteed tommorrow] Who appoints committe members? It's like asking why we have a VP.

Additionally, Bowles doesn't accept the cell phone allowance, nor does he use the county gas card. So it's unlikely he's in it for the money. We all know how far we can get with 15 to 17K per year. In fact, it's doubtful any commissioner is in it for the money. It's just not enough for the time and hassle they put up with.

So emerydan, it's a little more than a figure head position. Bowles is a fine man with a rigid backbone. Those years at the Cidital paid off.

You may not agree with Bowles on every topic, but you won't have to wonder where he stands. Pretty refreshing.

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 01/04/11 - 11:56 am
0
0
we don't need it, period. Why

we don't need it, period. Why do we need anyone to "take-over" a position that has virtually no power in the first place? I have no issue with Bowles, but find this mayor-protem position to be a lot of nonsense.. the fact is it was created as a way to placate black leaders who were against consolidation, because they felt it would dilute their power.. so let's create a 2nd mayoral position.. that generally would be the "black" vice mayor. You all can revise history all you want, but that is why the position was created. I can think of few cities that have "mayor pro tems"... and get this why not simply let the mayor appoint someone to serve in his absence.. I mean how often has he missed meetings? And considering the fact that the mayor has almost never cast a vote, does it even matter if there is a replacement? What we have here is just another useless prestige position.. just get rid of it..give the actual mayor more power.

Lori Davis
918
Points
Lori Davis 01/04/11 - 12:53 pm
0
0
Good Luck Joe. You are the

Good Luck Joe. You are the only Commissioner who was willing to stick your neck out to address crime and the need for a CNPO when no one else would touch the issue. Thanks for trying to stand up for what is right and good for this city. I look forward to your service on the Commission this year.

Riverman1
83547
Points
Riverman1 01/04/11 - 01:11 pm
0
0
It's coming down to Joe

It's coming down to Joe Bowles against Alvin Mason for mayor when Deke leaves. If the whites can muster enough votes to get Matt Aitken elected in that black district they can probably get enough votes for Joe as happened with Deke. If the blacks can get the people to the polls the way they used to all that could change. But with Obama running next in 2 years and the next mayor's race in 4 years it's unlikely.

By the way, I think Deke's political future is over after he leaves office. He has proven himself to be so passive it's almost funny.

JimCox
7
Points
JimCox 01/04/11 - 03:54 pm
0
0
Riverman, I would submit to

Riverman, I would submit to you that Joe has no interest in the Mayor's job.

Riverman1
83547
Points
Riverman1 01/04/11 - 04:25 pm
0
0
JimCox, well, geez, I'm not

JimCox, well, geez, I'm not going to get anything right here. Of course it will be awhile before we will know for sure about that one...not that I doubt your information.

It's almost funny that we are all getting excited about a vote by the commission for Mayor Pro Tem.

itscapt
14
Points
itscapt 01/04/11 - 05:44 pm
0
0
Am I the only one who thinks

Am I the only one who thinks this is a non-story? The Chronicle, which always asserts that city governance should be colorblind, banners a page top with an article that has race as its central idea.

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 01/04/11 - 05:53 pm
0
0
itscapt.. I totally agree! If

itscapt.. I totally agree! If it wanted city governance to be 'colorblind', then the AC would advocate doing away with the Mayor-Pro tempore position alltogether, which was created solely for racial purposes.

Riverman1
83547
Points
Riverman1 01/04/11 - 06:14 pm
0
0
8-1-1......Ha, we were all

8-1-1......Ha, we were all wrong.

Austin Rhodes
2862
Points
Austin Rhodes 01/04/11 - 06:24 pm
0
0
Hatney heard my prediction,

Hatney heard my prediction, and wanted to screw it up. That is Joe's story and he is sticking to it...LOL

RM...just listen...you will learn, I promise.

countyman
20051
Points
countyman 01/04/11 - 07:30 pm
0
0
Actually it ended up being a

Actually it ended up being a unanimous vote after the 8-1-1- vote....

Brad Owens
4418
Points
Brad Owens 01/04/11 - 07:31 pm
0
0
So Joe got it?

So Joe got it?

countyman
20051
Points
countyman 01/04/11 - 08:50 pm
0
0
Yep, Augusta finally moved

Yep, Augusta finally moved into the 21st century past the white mayor/black mayor pro tem concept... Similar to commissioner Matt Aitken winning a predominately black district... And mayor Deke received over 60% of the vote in two straight elections in a slightly black majority city...

badboytoys
1
Points
badboytoys 01/04/11 - 11:45 pm
0
0
Think any of them will do

Think any of them will do anything about all these illegal Mexicans popping up in Richmond county thats coming mostly from N. Augusta taking most jobs? And I say illegal Mexicans because they are.I travel Gordon Hwy. every morning and 1 out of 5 vehicles are Mexicans running S.C. tags. ! JUST WONDERING!
How do they get by with 25 people in a 7 passenger van?
Not to mention 25 in a 2 bedroom mobilehome.Wheres DSS?

double_standard
166
Points
double_standard 01/05/11 - 12:38 am
0
0
If the original vote was

If the original vote was 8-1-1 then Mason and Lockett should be the ones applauded the other 6 would have the same no matter what.

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