Charter amendment votes fail

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Augusta commissioners are in violation of the city's charter after failing Tuesday to pass a motion or a substitute motion to strike "at the courthouse" from language stating where they meet and where the administrator has an office.

Commissioner Bill Lockett (right) voted against a substitute motion Tuesday evening to remove "at the courthouse" from the city's charter.   Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff
Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff
Commissioner Bill Lockett (right) voted against a substitute motion Tuesday evening to remove "at the courthouse" from the city's charter.

"This agenda item contains a lot of stuff in it," Commissioner Bill Lockett complained of the lengthy charter amendment drafted by General Counsel Andrew MacKenzie that removes the requirement. "You come back with an agenda item with nothing but that particular item on there ... then we can deal with this other stuff at a later date."

MacKenzie proposed the charter amendment last month as local courts prepared to move into the city's new judicial building, saying the charter still included old references to "the courthouse" and "Richmond County" that no longer apply.

But when the city attorney Tuesday offered a substitute motion he said deleted only references to the courthouse and excluded "changing the name from Richmond County to Augusta, Georgia," as he said the measure intended to do, Lockett wasn't buying.

"The general counsel is playing a shell game with us," the District 5 commissioner said.

The substitute motion failed 5-5, with Lockett and commissioners Matt Aitken, Corey Johnson, Alvin Mason and Joe Jackson voting against it.

Aitken said he voted against the substitute motion because he was "tired of this. It needs to be all cleaned up."

The substitute and primary motions require eight votes to pass. The primary motion to adopt the full amendment also failed, with Johnson, Lockett and Mason voting against.

The same three commissioners have opposed all motions this year to adopt a new personnel manual and reorganize city government, saying the moves are an unlawful change in the city's government. Johnson, Lockett, Mason and Johnny Hatney voted against amending the city code to reflect changes in the administrator's duties found in the new manual. City code changes need only six votes to pass.

A board appointment -- Scylance Scott, recommended by the Downtown Development Authority to replace Cassandra Brinson -- passed with opposition from Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles, Jackson and Commissioner Grady Smith, after Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle said he wanted to appoint someone else. Aitken said the Laney-Walker developer's appointment reflected the DDA's and other boards' need to be "inclusive."

Lockett also opposed the hire of Evan Joseph as new warden at Richmond County Correctional Institute, not because he opposed Joseph but "because of the controversy" surrounding the city's new policy of giving the administrator the exclusive right to recommend individuals for department head positions. The measure passed 7-2, with Mason also opposed.

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404Law
226
Points
404Law 05/03/11 - 09:33 pm
0
0
I am beginning to get the

I am beginning to get the sense that incompetence is on display in the general counsel's office...We can continue to speak negatively of the commissioners until our faces turn bright red (I am guilty of this too), but I think we are starting to see the source of the problem...

pointstoponder
161
Points
pointstoponder 05/03/11 - 09:23 pm
0
0
And the stupid continues.

And the stupid continues.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 05/03/11 - 09:53 pm
0
0
The commissioners can't even

The commissioners can't even decide where to meet. Can we trust them with more important matters? Absolutely ridiculous.

Riverman1
83732
Points
Riverman1 05/03/11 - 10:07 pm
0
0
Augusta Commissioners are

Augusta Commissioners are starting to resemble Madmax with Mel Gibson walking around in the desert wasteland after the big catastrophe. Lord of the Flies also comes to mind. Augusta is doomed.

WW1949
19
Points
WW1949 05/03/11 - 10:14 pm
0
0
Bill Lockett quit acting like

Bill Lockett quit acting like what you are-STUBORN(sp) because you want your way just like a child. I don't care where you meet or what the name of the courthouse is and most people do not. Just meet and do your job. Y'all are acting like people who think they have all the power and money in the county with nothing to back you up. Mr. Ruffin would be ashamed of the way y'all are acting.

Einstein
0
Points
Einstein 05/03/11 - 10:19 pm
0
0
Why not just meet at the

Why not just meet at the freaking "courthouse!?!?"

Billyds999
17
Points
Billyds999 05/03/11 - 10:29 pm
0
0
Just get a stinking plaque

Just get a stinking plaque that reads "the courthouse" and mount it over the back door of the building! Case solved!
Next?

dougk
3
Points
dougk 05/03/11 - 10:37 pm
0
0
This is truly embarassing...
Unpublished

This is truly embarassing... I hope someday Augusta-richmond county can do better..certainly no economic development can occur in these parts...though, there is that erectile dysfuction thing ...as long as that medicare fraud with that is settled.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 05/03/11 - 10:46 pm
0
0
We'll get a resolution just

We'll get a resolution just as soon as the mayor starts offering up money to "revitalize" each commission district. The votes line up as quickly as they did with the TEE Center. It's the Augusta motto: Give me your money, and I will give you my vote.

tckr1983
360
Points
tckr1983 05/03/11 - 11:06 pm
0
0
At what point do we do away

At what point do we do away with the commission? And govern like every other city in America? One step forward, two steps back... The city should demand that this issue be resolved before any days off are allowed for everyone involved. Do your job that we Augustans pay you to do, if you cant... resign. It's as simple as that. You're doing more damage than good to the area you "serve".

Justin4466
43
Points
Justin4466 05/03/11 - 11:33 pm
0
0
I think "404 law" hit the

I think "404 law" hit the nail on the head. Legal counsel seems to be the common denominator and problem on this and in hindsight on other matters also. What is this dudes background in municipal law? Why do you have to change the name of he city/county with the same stroke of the pen when you change the semantics of "at the courthouse." Why can't this be the only thing voted on, is there some hidden agenda in all of this. Reminds me of our federal government adding on pork barrel items to bills that has nothing to do with whats being voted on. Where is Chiquita when we need her?

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 05/03/11 - 11:58 pm
0
0
If the "problem" was really

If the "problem" was really the word "courthouse," then a commissioner (i.e. Mr. Lockett) would make that motion and move on. Instead they complain about the suggestions of the lawyer, but refuse to make their own motion. It's obvious that they are holding out to play "let's make a deal."

WoodyKaminer
2
Points
WoodyKaminer 05/04/11 - 12:09 am
0
0
Sorry army guy, just trying

Sorry army guy, just trying to read the paper over here, but all that keeps popping up is the ignorance across the county line.

Sweet son
10372
Points
Sweet son 05/04/11 - 12:09 am
0
0
Assinine, clearly assinine

Assinine, clearly assinine when a group of so called grown men cannot agree on a meeting place. Boys, that is all that you can call them. Nothing is going to happen until you let the brothers have their way. They are playing the race card in every instance. Imagine if Fred was black, there would be no problem with him having the authority that he should be able to exercise. And the only reason that Lockett and family are at odds is they want to be in the courthouse named for brother Ruffin. And Mr. Kirby Locksmith Jackson where are you in all of this. I am ashamed that I voted for you.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 05/04/11 - 01:27 am
0
0
If the commission is meeting

If the commission is meeting in violation of its own charter, does that make all of its actions in these illegal meetings null and void?

Asitisinaug
3
Points
Asitisinaug 05/04/11 - 02:21 am
0
0
Why on earth would any

Why on earth would any business move into Augusta in order to provide this commission with more funding? This is just pathetic.

As citizens, the ones who actually do pay taxes, care about the community and are part of the solution, we are plain sick and tired of all of this.

Grow up.

Brad Owens
4423
Points
Brad Owens 05/04/11 - 04:26 am
0
0
So the DDA gets to pick who

So the DDA gets to pick who it wants on its board? See? That is one of the problems right there.

A Laney Walker developer is being put on the DDA? Why are putting the foxes in the hen house? Developers have no business on the DDA, it is a conflict of interests.

Why not a small business owner that has been active?

Great, another so-called "developer" on the DDA.

Brad

pointstoponder
161
Points
pointstoponder 05/04/11 - 07:23 am
0
0
Retired, the new court

Retired, the new court building does not have a room set up for anything more than a single judge. There are no platforms to accomodate a panel of 11 stubborn politicians.

As for your remarks to woody, what was it you pledged to defend?

Riverman1
83732
Points
Riverman1 05/04/11 - 08:56 am
0
0
Our local government would

Our local government would burn the trailer steps for firewood.

But the leadership for our Superman-like, strong, charismatic, faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, intimidating, omnipotent, omniscientific (can I stop now?) Mayor will certainly get us out of this abyss.

Remember how old Larry Sconyers, with his pants pulled up real high, falling asleep at meetings, could get the boys together by inviting them all down to the restaurant for some BBQ? Sylivia used to hide in the parking lot and count them going in to see if they violated the Sunshine Law. Kind of makes you miss Ole Larry.

wondersnevercease
9218
Points
wondersnevercease 05/04/11 - 09:01 am
0
0
"Retired, the new court
Unpublished

"Retired, the new court building does not have a room set up for anything more than a single judge. There are no platforms to accomodate a panel of 11 stubborn politicians.
OK so if that is fact then what is the problem..they are not able to "meet" at the Court House....period. So the ones fighting this issue are either too dense to figure out space accomendations or just causing trouble and delays simply because ...they can.
The voting taxpaying citizens of Augusta should take to the streets and demand the resignations of these political clowns.

Riverman1
83732
Points
Riverman1 05/04/11 - 09:16 am
0
0
By the way, did Matt Aitken

By the way, did Matt Aitken spend one too many days in jail?

ricker9
0
Points
ricker9 05/04/11 - 09:23 am
0
0
Wondersnevercease...."The

Wondersnevercease...."The voting taxpaying citizens of Augusta should take to the streets and demand the resignations of these political clowns.

The problem is too many of the "voting citizens" aren't "taxpaying citizens" and they consistently vote for these types of political clowns! Maybe if they voted with a little more intelligence, then Augusta would be able to attract companies that would enable those non-taxpaying citizens to become taxpaying citizens. I don't have much hope they will ever figure that out. They will just keep voting for the status quo.

noaharkwright
0
Points
noaharkwright 05/04/11 - 09:29 am
0
0
How staggeringly stupid can

How staggeringly stupid can these people be?

dani
12
Points
dani 05/04/11 - 09:35 am
0
0
So nothing gets done.... What

So nothing gets done....

What a way to run a government.

mike1sc
217
Points
mike1sc 05/04/11 - 10:04 am
0
0
My comments of course don't

My comments of course don't hold as much weight because I too do not live in Richmond County...and I thank God each day that I don't, with the daily idiocy that occurs with these very interesting individuals. The Augusta Chronicle would not have anything to write about in the Metro Section if not for these clowns. They can't agree on anything. Do they actually think they are benefitting anyone? Anyone?

Poor Richmond County. Should anyone question why the population continues to rise in other counties and Richmond County doesn't.....look no further than the "Clown Show" for all of those answers.

No_Longer_Amazed
5143
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 05/04/11 - 10:31 am
0
0
wonders:

wonders: http://chronicle.augusta.com/latest-news/2011-04-27/order-sets-courthous... explains "where, under existing law, the Augusta Commission is required to meet monthly and the administrator is expected to have an office, although the new building wasn't designed to accommodate either."

Riverman1
83732
Points
Riverman1 05/04/11 - 11:57 am
0
0
Funny as it may seem, I'll

Funny as it may seem, I'll bet none of this would be a problem if Chiquita Johnson were still the attorney. The blacks would listen to her when she logically recommended the thing be reworded so they continue meeting at the Municipal Bldg.

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
Points
Crime Reports and Rewards TV 05/04/11 - 12:50 pm
0
0
All they need to do is make

All they need to do is make the County commission chambers they meet in now an ANNEX OF THE COURTHOUSE... but that would be too easy...

countyman
20120
Points
countyman 05/04/11 - 04:01 pm
0
0
Mike1sc... I've noticed on a

Mike1sc... I've noticed on a few post you continue to say Richmond County is losing population which is false.. I bet Richmond County is growing much faster than Aiken County in the year 2011... Developers don't invest millions of dollars into counties losing population....

The commissioners recently approved the tax allocation district for the 115 acre Village at Riverwatch..
http://appweb.augustaga.gov/planning_zoning/plazid_display.asp?zID=4170

25 acre shopping center on Jimmie Dyess
http://appweb.augustaga.gov/planning_zoning/plazid_display.asp?zID=4102

132k sq. ft. Flowing Wells Business Park
http://appweb.augustaga.gov/planning_zoning/plazid_display.asp?zID=4103

200 acre Haynes Station subdivision
http://appweb.augustaga.gov/planning_zoning/plazid_display.asp?zID=4158

Cherry Street shopping center
http://appweb.augustaga.gov/planning_zoning/plazid_display.asp?zID=4117

Buffalo Wild Wings 6k sq. ft. 250 seat restaurant
http://appweb.augustaga.gov/planning_zoning/plazid_display.asp?zID=4162

There's a Four Points Sheraton scheduled to open July 2011, and another upscale hotel is planned next door..

The first Flip Flop Shops in Georgia recently opened in Augusta mall.. This makes a total of 10 new stores and restaurants opening at Augusta mall since 2010.. Pandora, Handpicked, Moes Southwest, Forever 21, Downtown Locker Room, Toys R Us Express, Great Wraps, Icing, and CCS. The coming soon sign for Limited is up and will make 11 new stores..

countyman
20120
Points
countyman 05/04/11 - 04:13 pm
0
0
Ricker 9... Augusta ranked

Ricker 9... Augusta ranked 9th in the United States for corporate expansions in the year 2010... The city was included in the category for metros with populations from 200k to 1 million people..

http://www.siteselection.com/issues/2011/mar/top-metros.cfm#sidebars

1. Baton Rouge, LA 78
2. Dayton, OH 29
2. Spartanburg, SC 29
4. Shreveport, LA 26
5. Houma, LA 25
6. Harrisburg, PA 24
7. Allenton, PA 23
7. Greensboro, NC 23
9. Augusta, GA 21
10. Charleston, SC 20

Both Augusta and Richmond County are already attracting the companies you spoke of earlier... Electrolux, Global Emergency Resources, ERS, Rural Sourcing, Solo Cup, Bennett International, Caraustar, and Biotest Pharmeciticuls to name a few...

Augusta attracted more companies in 2010 compared to several other peer cities... Madison, Winston Salem, Huntsville, Greenville, Mobile, Columbia, Knoxville, Tallahassee, Akron, Durham, Lexington, Chattanooga, Little Rock, Colorado Springs, Spokane, Grand Rapids, Sarasota, Toledo, etc...

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