Bowles named mayor pro tem

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In a prayerful first gathering of 2011, the Augusta Commission elected its first white mayor pro tempore in at least 15 years on Tuesday, voting 8-1-1 for District 3 Commissioner Joe Bowles to assume the city's No. 2 post.

District 8 Commisioner Wayne Guilfoyle is sworn in on Tuesday, January 4, 2011 in Augusta, Ga  Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
District 8 Commisioner Wayne Guilfoyle is sworn in on Tuesday, January 4, 2011 in Augusta, Ga

The vote broke a trend some commissioners called a "gentlemen's agreement" that has maintained a black mayor pro tem since the position was created during consolidation.

Commissioner Corey Johnson, who also was nominated for the No. 2 post, was the sole no vote. Commissioner J.R. Hatney, who nominated Johnson, abstained.

After the vote, Hatney motioned for the commission to give its unanimous support to Bowles. Commissioners voted 10-0 in favor.

Mayor Deke Copenhaver said the motion for unanimous support "sends the right message."

Bowles said he appreciated the gesture, which was not afforded his predecessor, Commissioner Alvin Mason.

The election was one of a handful of actions taken during the first commission meeting of 2011.

Before the meeting, Johnson, Copenhaver, commissioners Joe Jackson and Mason, and new commissioners Grady Smith and Wayne Guilfoyle were administered their oaths of office.

Elected in November, all voiced appreciation to their wives and families, their fellow commissioners, voters and God for the privilege of serving in city government.

Johnson called his re-election a "defining moment," while Copenhaver said he looked forward to working with men he considered "friends as well as colleagues."

Copenhaver's pastor, the Rev. Leslie Holmes, of Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church, gave the opening prayer at the meeting, asking that the mayor "govern for the good of all, and may Augusta become a model city for others."

In attendance at the swearing-in ceremony was four-time Purple Heart recipient Master Sgt. Michael Morton, to whom Jackson last year donated his Masters badges, a commissioner perk.

"Since then, we've become close family friends," Morton said.

Also present was former Fort Gordon commander Jeff Foley, who helped Mason, a federal employee at the base, obtain permission to run for elected office.

Mason "does a great job, and we're very proud," Foley said.

JACKIE RICCIARDI/STAFF

Augusta District 8 Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle is sworn in. Several others were sworn in during a ceremony Tuesday. Commissioners then voted for Joe Bowles to assume the No. 2 position of mayor pro tempore.

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countyman
19174
Points
countyman 01/04/11 - 06:52 pm
0
0
I hope Joe continues to make

I hope Joe continues to make decisions similar to the renaming of the Judicial Center.

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 01/04/11 - 07:33 pm
0
0
I figured there would be an

I figured there would be an abstention. Congrats Joe. Should have made that bet earlier today...

Brad Owens
4119
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Brad Owens 01/04/11 - 07:39 pm
0
0
countryman, Why is it that

countryman,

Why is it that you bring that up? And it was not 'renamed' but named.

Brad

countyman
19174
Points
countyman 01/04/11 - 10:28 pm
0
0
I thought the name was

I thought the name was changed from the Augusta Judicial center to the Augusta Judicial Center and John H. Ruffin Jr. Courthouse...

The naming of the courthouse signaled too me Joe wasn't afraid to go against both Don Gratham and Jerry Brigham... Unlike Joe Jackson who made sure to get up and leave right before it was time to vote on the subject matter. Joe didn't want to upset Don and Jerry because they weren't behind the name change... I hope Grady Smith doesn't get stuck on the outside looking in similar to his former predecessor.

Riverman1
79769
Points
Riverman1 01/04/11 - 08:55 pm
0
0
Countyman, you may remember I

Countyman, you may remember I always supported naming the whole thing after Judge Ruffin, but why do you suppose Grantham and Brigham were against it?

Taylor B
5
Points
Taylor B 01/04/11 - 09:32 pm
0
0
I thought is was smith

I thought is was smith instead of brigham.

Riverman1
79769
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Riverman1 01/04/11 - 09:53 pm
0
0
I just want to hear what

I just want to hear what Countyman thinks was the reason since he threw this out there.

Taylor B
5
Points
Taylor B 01/04/11 - 11:00 pm
0
0
The ruffin vote, while

The ruffin vote, while awesome, is just a small example of why Joe is one of the best.

Austin Rhodes
2852
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Austin Rhodes 01/04/11 - 11:21 pm
0
0
Joe Jackson has NEVER been

Joe Jackson has NEVER been worried about what anybody thinks...he explained his position on the vote a million times. And there is no chance Grady Smith will EVER be the chair pile Jimmy Smith was.

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 01/04/11 - 11:30 pm
0
0
More often than not, Joe

More often than not, Joe Bowles is on the right side of most issues.. EXCEPT the TEE Center. He is right on public transit privatization and on on privatizing The Patch. He was right on naming the courthouse for Judge Ruffin. Joe Bowles was also the only commissioner who took the concerns of Harrisburg residents seriously and tried to do something about it. That all being said.. I think the mayor pro-tem is a worthless position and should be done away with all together. It was created solely for racial reasons. If we want to get past that, then just simply get rid of this unnecessary 'title'. How about focus first on getting a mayor with some real authority before we start naming vice mayors with even less authority?

Many Arrows
-1
Points
Many Arrows 01/05/11 - 12:22 am
0
0
Congrats Mr. mayor pro tem.

Congrats Mr. mayor pro tem.

JimCox
7
Points
JimCox 01/05/11 - 12:30 pm
0
0
Congrats Joe!

Congrats Joe!

grinder48
1770
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grinder48 01/05/11 - 03:12 pm
0
0
Would someone please explain
Unpublished

Would someone please explain the position of mayor pro tem? What does he (or she) do?

showboat
312
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showboat 01/05/11 - 03:39 pm
0
0
So Joe want all of the black
Unpublished

So Joe want all of the black generationm to die and go to jail, now he said this in his own words check out channel 12 news from yesterday.

JimCox
7
Points
JimCox 01/05/11 - 04:30 pm
0
0
I didn't hear Joe wishing

I didn't hear Joe wishing that anyone die or go to jail. He simply stated that the people who originated the "gentleman's agreement were dead or in jail" and that unfortunately, before Augusta can really make progress, the generation that can't seem to get past race and long seated prejudices will probably have to be deceased. He did not single out blacks, whites, asians, native americans, the french or any other race, nor did he mention age. As usual, some folks hear exactly what they want to hear.

jwilliams
750
Points
jwilliams 01/05/11 - 04:58 pm
0
0
Hello, this Mayor Pro Tem

Hello, this Mayor Pro Tem situation has nothing to do with race and everything to do with REPRESENTATION. I can only hope that Joe does a better job for ALL of Augusta in the role of Mayor Pro Tem than he has as commissioner for ALL of district 3. We common folk on the OTHER side of district 3 feel underrepresented on a daily basis. Joe is unresponsive to Our NEEDS, phone calls and emails. We are a diverse group of people located on this side of district 3, and I can say at least Joe is consistent; he threats us all the same; BAD!

JimCox
7
Points
JimCox 01/05/11 - 05:28 pm
0
0
What needs, calls and emails?

What needs, calls and emails? Are you requesting something that is in his power to address or are you harping on something that he can't affect. If you are going to deride his character, please give examples or your rantings are baseless. At election time, 80% of the district felt he was doing a great job, so please clarify your rant.

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
Points
Crime Reports and Rewards TV 01/05/11 - 05:59 pm
0
0
Way to go Joe. Now maybe

Way to go Joe. Now maybe Augusta can get it's act together.

countyman
19174
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countyman 01/05/11 - 06:25 pm
0
0
Joe was definitely on the

Joe was definitely on the right side of the Tee Center. The $13 million 6 story parking deck(1st level retail and commercial space) opens next year. Then you have the Tee Center incorporated a abandoned building into the design.. Plus the $25 million 8 story Hyatt, 125 space under parking deck, and a 3 story building...

The Tee Center/Augusta Marriott Hotel & Convention Center got it's first official booking 2 1/2 months after the ground breaking. The conference in 2013 is supposed to bring in close to $500k..

Expect to see more retail, restaurants, and hotels open downtown because of the Tee Center.

follower
59
Points
follower 01/05/11 - 06:54 pm
0
0
I noticed "jwilliams" chose

I noticed "jwilliams" chose not to respond to "jimcox". I have known Joe to care deeply about his district and the city of Augusta. Why else would an educated and successful person put himself in the cross hairs for folks to take pot shots from the safety of the internet. At 15 to 18K per year, the amount of time divided by the hours spent would barely pass minimum wage. Certainly not enough to put up baseless accusations.

Back it up with facts "jwilliams". We're all waiting. Between Bowles, Jackson, and Guilfoyle, the face of the commision is the best we've seen in years.

irishfarmer
24
Points
irishfarmer 01/06/11 - 10:36 am
0
0
Congrats to our 2 nwe

Congrats to our 2 nwe commissioners. I think they will do a good job and wish them the best as well.

Congrats to you Joe Bowles our new Mayor Pro Tem. I think Joe will do a great job in this post as our Mayor Pro Tem. He is a great leader and a positive member of our local government.

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 01/06/11 - 02:38 pm
0
0
A project that started out at

A project that started out at $20 million and ended up costing over $100 million and tying up nearly all of our hotel-motel taxes for decades... that's a travesty, not progress. At the very least, it should have gone back before voters. Any splost project that undergoes such a MASSIVE transformation from the original one voted upon, should have to go back before the voters. I would like to see someone from the local delegation introduce a bill this upcoming session that will amend splost law. The TEE Center was a classic bait and switch. And it involved vote buying to the tune of $40 million, plus having the final costs of the TEE more than doubled from what voters were told it would cost. And Joe Bowles voted for that. As other said on here.. if you are going to spend over $100 million in tax money, there are a heck of a lot better ways to spend it.. that would have had far more impact on downtown? And how about once including other areas of the city besides just downtown and Laney-Walker? Joe was on th WRONG side of this issue. Anyone who puroports to be a fiscal conservative and a libertarian would have voted NO on that debacle.

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