Government

More News | | | Editor

Russell out of office, commissioners question raises

Sunday, Aug 28, 2011 4:14 PM
Last updated 6:39 PM
  • Follow Government

Augusta Commission members have their demands lined up for Fred Russell on today’s committee agendas, seemingly unaware that the city administrator will not be present.

An automatic reply from Russell’s e-mail address says he’ll be back in the office Wednesday.

Among the demands Russell won’t be around to hear include Commissioners Bill Lockett and Alvin Mason wanting across-the-board raises for all employees who did not receive them last month, when Russell awarded pay raises to 44 employees involved in an ongoing restructuring of city government.

The raises prompted the pair to call for Russell’s termination, and they were joined by Commissioners J.R. Hatney and Matt Aitken in voting to fire Russell, but the motion failed 6-4.

Lockett wants Russell and General Counsel Andrew MacKenzie to explain how the raises were retroactive to May 2, as retroactive pay raises are illegal. After Russell authorized the raises, the city’s payroll department cut the 44 employees checks for the amounts they would have made in May, June and July had the raises already been in effect.

Mason wants to talk about “salary increases, departmental reorganizations and reclassifications,” and get a report from Russell on the “methodology used to determine the percentage increases” awarded the 44.

Commissioner Corey Johnson, who surprised some of his constituents when he didn’t vote to fire Russell, also has several demands for the administrator.

Johnson wants a report on the city’s “present financial status, including any current deficit and its relationship to the budget.”

He’s also asked to suspend Russell’s authority to approve employee reclassifications, reorganizations and pay raises of up to 15 percent, as authorized in the personnel manual.

Lockett also has requested a status report on special purpose, local option sales tax projects 1-6, and an update on activities from the city’s Housing and Community Development Department, while Mason is seeking a status report from Heery International on the city’s capital projects.

Commissioner Jerry Brigham has requested a report on savings this year from personnel reductions. A report Russell mailed to commission members last week claimed $675,400 in savings during 2011 from the reorganization, but Brigham has called for more.

Also on today’s Finance Committee agenda is a request from the city’s Finance Department to require all employees to have their paychecks direct-deposited into a bank account or prepaid card as a way to save on printer ink and forms.

Local activist Larry Fryer has requested that a downtown bridge be named for former Augusta Mayor Ed McIntyre.

In the request, Fryer calls the late mayor “a visionary of progress” who “fostered racial and ethnic diversity” and “championed civil and human rights.”

Comments (5) 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.
Sweet son
11674
Points
Sweet son 08/28/11 - 06:19 pm
0
0
Across-the-board raises in

Across-the-board raises in the current economy???????? Lockett and Mason you have to believe in the tooth fairy!!!! Also when you bring out names of those who should be honored maybe Fryer should add Charles Walker and Robin Williams. Richmond County politics has had them all the way from the State legislature to former Sheriffs. Disgraced politicos from the county have crossed the racial divide on numerous occasions.

Little Lamb
49138
Points
Little Lamb 08/28/11 - 08:09 pm
0
0
I mentioned this a couple of

I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago: The commissioners do not trust Russell, but they are totally dependent on him to tell him what the financial status of the city is. It is a terrible position for city leaders and us peon taxpayers to be in. The commissioners act like Russell is the only one in the whole city government who knows what's going on.

Our commissioners need some moles in city government who will tell the truth, but Fred has just given them 15% raises to stay quiet.

Little Lamb
49138
Points
Little Lamb 08/28/11 - 08:15 pm
0
0
According to the article,

According to the article, Commissioner Corey Johnson "asked to suspend Russell’s authority to approve employee reclassifications, reorganizations and pay raises of up to 15 percent, as authorized in the personnel manual."

Who in the world could Corey Johnson be asking? Corey Johnson is a city commissioner. Commissioners do not ask. Instead, they make motions and see if they can get five other commissioners to join them.

Line up your six votes, Corey. Then move to remove the salary increase authority from the adminstrator back to the commission at the next commission meeting. If your motion passes, you are the hero. If your motion fails, then sit down and shut up.

Little Lamb
49138
Points
Little Lamb 08/28/11 - 10:03 pm
0
0
You know, in the old days, a

You know, in the old days, a person had to get approval from his boss to take vacation, even if it was an earned benefit. Russell's boss is the Augusta Commission. I wonder why Lockett, Mason, Johnson and Brigham did not know that Russell would be on vacation when they made their requests for information?

The fact is that Russell is 'rope-a-doping' the commissioners.

Little Lamb
49138
Points
Little Lamb 08/28/11 - 10:07 pm
0
0
I just had a revelation!

I just had a revelation! Commission Committee meetings are on Mondays. Commission official business meetings are on Tuesdays. I now see the pattern. You can count on Russell to show up for work on Wed.—Fri. and take vacation Mon.—Tue. for the indefinite future. The commission will be helpless because the only man who knows anything about the finances of city government will be on vacation when the commissioners show up for work!

SCyankee
0
Points
SCyankee 08/29/11 - 06:42 am
0
0
the "leaders" of Augusta will
Unpublished

the "leaders" of Augusta will never get it. so you hand down furlough days, but now you want to give out raises because you're mad about his 44 friends and family that he gave raises to? nothing but a bunch of spoiled children running that city.

Back to Top
loading...
Search Augusta jobs