Commission agenda packed, renewed call for administrator's firing

Monday, Sept. 5, 2011 3:09 PM
Last updated 8:25 PM
  • Follow Government

Most eyes might be on Augusta Commission member Al Mason and City Administrator Fred Russell as the former mayor pro tem again calls for Russell's "termination, effective immediately" during today’s commission meeting.

The agenda is chock-full of other items, however, including some that seemingly conflict with Mason's call.

To start, at 4:45 p.m., the commission plans to set the property tax rate at 8.075 mills, up from 8.056 mills last year.

The increase, which amounts to less than $2 in additional property taxes on a $100,000 house, is so small that the commission is not required to hold a public hearing.

Even with the year's budget woes, including an $8 million-plus general fund shortfall, most commission members maintain that raising taxes is not the answer, including one vehemently opposed to the privatization of city services and reorganization of departments that Russell says will save the city money.

"Because of loss of faith," Commissioner Bill Lockett said, he won't suggest raising taxes now.

At today's regular 5 p.m. meeting, expected to draw as many as or more than Aug. 29's fiery committee meeting, the commission first will honor a former Richmond County employee, longtime county administrator and elections official Linda Beazley.

In other business, Charles Masters, an Augusta firefighter and vice president of the local firefighters union, will speak to the commission. Masters previously has been highly critical of department administration's decision to pull an aerial truck off southside fire calls and the implementation of firefighter furloughs.

Also, the commission will vote on an action previously approved by three commissioners – Mason, Lockett and Matt Aitken – in a committee meeting Aug. 29, to rescind 44 pay raises Russell implemented for certain workers affected by the reorganization plan. The raises, which totaled more than $350,000, should be revoked "based on their non-compliance with the personnel policy and procedures manual," according to the agenda item.

READ PREVIOUS STORIES ABOUT

the Augusta Commision online at augustachronicle.com/topics.

Comments (16) 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.
paulwheeler
137
Points
paulwheeler 09/05/11 - 04:24 pm
0
0
Again, Mason is the shining

Again, Mason is the shining example of what is wrong with this very small town, and why it will never be more that the second rate city that it is. No leadership, small-minded partisan racial "leadership" et al. Mason for mayor, what a joke! (not that Russell is some sort of prize, but look at the "administration" he has to work with!)

dichotomy
37426
Points
dichotomy 09/05/11 - 04:34 pm
0
0
Oh Geez, here we go again.

Oh Geez, here we go again. Alvin Angry, Bill Blowhard, and Matt "Mover Over, I Gotta Change Sides". I smell multiple lawsuits coming. My guess is the $2 tax raise will go to pay the settlements. I'm living in municipal government hell.

Craig Spinks
818
Points
Craig Spinks 09/05/11 - 04:56 pm
0
0
The Fred-Alvin urinating

The Fred-Alvin urinating contest again diverts citizen attention from the critical issue of public safety in our hometown. Appears that TPTBNA discount the issue of safety outside their gated and otherwise exclusive communities. Should we infer that TPTBNA think that the people of Augusta-Richmond County are stupid and/or cowardly enough to continue to tolerate and to accept local government's abdication of its primary "raison d'etre?"

scott-hudson
10
Points
scott-hudson 09/05/11 - 05:27 pm
0
0
Don't vote Al Mason for

Don't vote Al Mason for Mayor...please.

double_standard
166
Points
double_standard 09/05/11 - 05:53 pm
0
0
I won't for him nor will I

I won't for him nor will I vote for Joe I didn't read the policy manual Bowles.

Little Lamb
48987
Points
Little Lamb 09/05/11 - 07:44 pm
0
0
Susan McCord wrote: Also, the

Susan McCord wrote:

Also, the commission will vote on an action . . . to rescind 44 pay raises Russell implemented for certain workers affected by the reorganization plan. The raises, which totaled more than $350,000, should be revoked "based on their non-compliance with the personnel policy and procedures manual," according to the agenda item.

Let us all hold hands (in the blogospherian way) and pray that this motion passes tomorrow. These raises need to be revoked as soon as possible.

I understand (a little) that some commissioners feel they have to have a legal reason to rescind the raises (hence the legal cover of "their non-compliance with the personnel, policy and procedures manual"). But, let us not forget that the Augusta Commission can set pay levels wherever they want to for any reason and at any time.

Little Lamb’s justification is to lower the salaries back to where they were in July based only on the bad judgment of Fred Russell. It's no bad reflection on the employees. It's all on Fred's petulance.

DuhJudge
206
Points
DuhJudge 09/06/11 - 06:23 am
0
0
Maximus vs. Commodus. I

Maximus vs. Commodus. I wonder if there will be tigers.

Carleton Duvall
6308
Points
Carleton Duvall 09/06/11 - 08:22 am
0
0
more big words from a little

more big words from a little man

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 09/06/11 - 09:01 am
0
0
When was the last time that

When was the last time that the commission actually did something?

Can you name anything that the commission has done to make your life better in the past year? How about in the past five years?

BevBoudreaux
0
Points
BevBoudreaux 09/06/11 - 11:24 am
0
0
So far Mason seems to have

So far Mason seems to have been vindicated after all is said and done. Unlike Joe, he also read the policy manual before it was voted on that gave Fred the ability to make these raises. I guess some of you just want a rubber stamp commissioner and mayor. No thank you. The way I see it, the commissioners who rubber stamped this policy manual without even reading what was in it are the real ones to blame for this mess. Now they are trying to cover their you know whats. This isn't Fred's first judgement error. It's one in a long series of gaffes. He has mislead the commissioners on numerous occassions.

Lori Davis
1006
Points
Lori Davis 09/06/11 - 12:49 pm
0
0
Insider. I must agree with

Insider. I must agree with you wholeheartedly.

Little Lamb
48987
Points
Little Lamb 09/06/11 - 01:26 pm
0
0
I looked at the agenda on

I looked at the agenda on line at the augusta government website. There is indeed a motion to rescind the 44 raises. But, there is also another motion on the agenda to grant every city employee a "cost of living" raise.

BevBoudreaux
0
Points
BevBoudreaux 09/06/11 - 01:50 pm
0
0
How about no raises period,

How about no raises period, not in this economy. No one gets a raise, including the 44. You don't right a wrong by another wrong. Rescind the raises.. and don't approve any more. Not now.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 09/06/11 - 03:38 pm
0
0
All of this squabbling

All of this squabbling reminds of a preseason football game.

In the end, no one wins....especially you and I, the taxpayers.

Buckys Friend
111
Points
Buckys Friend 09/06/11 - 03:45 pm
0
0
BevBoudreaux county employees

BevBoudreaux county employees haven't had a raise for somewhere between 5-7 years according to what I hear. Then their pay was REDUCED for the furlough days. Then the 44 got raises, many enormous ones, give the people a break! Give 'em back their money, especially since Mr. Russell found so much excess!!!

sand gnat
675
Points
sand gnat 09/06/11 - 09:41 pm
0
0
Augusta is one of the top ten

Augusta is one of the top ten places in the USA to live! Probably due to the friendly political climate, fine schools and lack of crime.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Kettle donations rise in 2014

After a disappointing showing last year, donations to the Salvation Army's local Red Kettle Campaign have risen nearly 20 percent in 2014.
Search Augusta jobs