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Augusta Commission votes to request name change for consolidated university

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Six Augusta Commission members jumped back in the fight over the name of the city’s new consolidated university, voting 6-1 on Tuesday to ask the Georgia Board of Regents to consider “any other name” besides Georgia Regents University.

Mayor Deke Copenhaver, who has urged the city to move on and appreciate the millions of dollars the
state is investing in the merger of Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities, said after the vote that he hoped it didn’t “mislead people with false hope.”

Commissioner Matt Ait­ken, who requested the body reconsider an earlier request made by Com­mis­sion­er Jerry Brigham to include “Augusta” in the name, said the commission should “stand on behalf of those that felt they didn’t have anybody there for them.”

Sending the request will “send a message that we care about our city,” said Aitken, who is in a five-way fight to keep his District 1 seat.

Despite voting in favor of the motion, Commissioner Corey Johnson said it was unlikely to affect the regents.

The university system governing body voted 16-1 in favor of Georgia Regents University despite a local committee’s recommendations and independent study results showing a name that included “Augusta” had wider appeal.

The motion, made by Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles, was supported by Aitken, John­son, Brigham, Wayne Guil­foyle and J.R. Hatney. Commis­sioners Alvin Mason and Grady Smith were absent.

Bill Lockett, the only commissioner to vote against the request, said the city should focus on more important issues, such as flooding
and unemployment, rather than the name of the university.

“When it comes down to a name” or the investment from the state, Loc­kett said, “I’ll take the money.”

One of several GRU opponents at the meeting, Augusta College alumna Catherine Rut­land, applauded the city leaders who stood up against the new name.

“I’m thrilled,” Rutland said. “At least they did some­thing besides roll over. It means a lot to us.”

Comments (20)

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star
643
Points
star 08/21/12 - 08:04 pm
2
0

Wait til

Wait till Azziz takes his next step... lets see how the Commissioners vote when Azziz closes Laney Walker!!! It will happen!!! Will the "I'll take the money" be as important as keeping the street open????

countyman
16881
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countyman 08/21/12 - 08:11 pm
0
3

Dr.

Dr. Azziz tried to close Laney Walker already and failed... He decided to settle for the pedestrian park instead..

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 08/21/12 - 08:20 pm
4
1

Purely symbolic. Another

Unpublished

Purely symbolic. Another waste of time. Or too little too late. If the commissioners had any sense or any power they would have busy lobbying BOR members before any sort of decision was publically announced.

Georgialina
7441
Points
Georgialina 08/21/12 - 08:46 pm
5
3

A Total Waste of Time

Our commissioners are a joke. They have WAY much more important things to waste their time on than this. I can hear the Board of Rejects laughing from here. Do the commissioners really think they have any pull with this Board? I can list about 100 things that they need to be doing instead of wasting their time on a going no where letter. Like maybe the parking deck or Tee center. Shall I go on???

scoopdedoop64
2235
Points
scoopdedoop64 08/21/12 - 08:53 pm
1
4

Give Em Some Credit

Come on guys I know that the Commissioners have many faults when it comes to the business of Augusta but give them some credit for it nothing else being unified and saying to Azziz and the regents that WE REJECT WHAT YOU DID AND HOW YOU DID IT! No, it probably won't change anything but better to start somewhere than nowhere.

NrthAugustaSam
447
Points
NrthAugustaSam 08/21/12 - 09:00 pm
3
2

Now Everyone Do this

call the governor's office at 404-656-1776

thauch12
4430
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thauch12 08/21/12 - 09:05 pm
3
5

Will someone listen to Deke...

Guess what people, this will do next to nothing. The Board of Regents doesn't report to the Augusta Commission so they can request whatever they want but nothing will happen.
The only one there that seems to have any sense is Deke. For as much trouble as people give him for being "Deke the meek," he seems to be the only one who has decided to be progressive and take heed of the fact that the state has decided to invest millions in Augusta. Meanwhile the peanut gallery complains about the name of the new university...

soapy_725
43306
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soapy_725 08/21/12 - 10:09 pm
0
0

They are not investing millions

Unpublished

in Augusta. This is not an investment in Augusta. It is spit in your face. GA taxpayers are investing millions in GRU. Millions of dollars they have no say or representation in it's use.

prov227
2332
Points
prov227 08/21/12 - 10:21 pm
3
2

The millions to be invested

I believe this argument repeated by a commissioner and the mayor is a red herring. The Regents/State of Georgia will invest millions into the institution regardless of its name.

A very weak argument on its face.

slowpitch
119
Points
slowpitch 08/21/12 - 10:56 pm
1
2

Completely agreed, Prov

How did this ridiculous, nonsensical claim ever come about?

"When it comes down to a name [or the investment,] I’ll take the money." The same theme seems to be Deke's new motto.

Why would any funding be contingent on Augusta residents accepting BOR's choice of name?

soitgoes
654
Points
soitgoes 08/21/12 - 11:21 pm
0
0
BROADVIEW
31
Points
BROADVIEW 08/22/12 - 12:23 am
3
1

School Name

In a short while the new name( GRU ) and Dr Azziz will be gone..Too much discontent among the masses and that what counts......

Little Lamb
40257
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Little Lamb 08/22/12 - 08:23 am
2
0

I'll bet he already has.

From the story:

“When it comes down to a name” or the investment from the state, Commissioner Bill Loc­kett said, “I’ll take the money.”

How pathetic. Here is a politican with no underying principles of fairness, justice, or democracy. Lockett is in it only for the money. He admits it here.

Riverman1
70874
Points
Riverman1 08/22/12 - 09:22 am
1
0

Lockett

Lockett likes to be the provocateur. Thanks to the Commission for voicing the discontent the community has with the new name.

Little Lamb
40257
Points
Little Lamb 08/22/12 - 09:41 am
1
0

Clueless Joe?

Susan McCord reported:

The motion, made by Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles, was supported by Aitken, John­son, Brigham, Wayne Guil­foyle and J.R. Hatney. Commis­sioners Alvin Mason and Grady Smith were absent. Bill Lockett, the only commissioner to vote against the request, said the city should focus on more important issues.

Yes: Aitken, Bowles, Brigham, Guilfoyle, Hatney, Johnson

No: Lockett

Absent: Mason, Smith

Where was Commissioner Jackson? Did they take the vote while he was in the bathroom?

Riverman1
70874
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Riverman1 08/22/12 - 10:27 am
0
0

Joe Jackson was out making

Joe Jackson was out making campaign contributions.

Little Lamb
40257
Points
Little Lamb 08/22/12 - 10:33 am
0
0

Bagman

He was the bag man, right RM?

:-)

Staler172
282
Points
Staler172 08/22/12 - 10:41 am
2
2

CLOSING LANEY WALKER

The reason he tried closing Laney Walker is because the students, residents, and all employees asked him to close it. When we have Students getting hit by cars and DYING that takes precedents. There are thousands of people who cross that street between campuses daily. Too many times drivers don't pay attention to pedestrians between 15th st. and R.A. Dent. Any other reason for you to throw mud at Azziz is fine but not on this issue...

Little Lamb
40257
Points
Little Lamb 08/22/12 - 10:51 am
2
2

Physics

Simple laws of physics would suggest that it is the pedestrians who need to pay attention to drivers, rather than the other way around.

Staler172
282
Points
Staler172 08/22/12 - 11:18 am
1
2

LL

Really, even when the pedsetrian has the right away on a crosswalk? Only in Augusta do people not stop for pedestrians on CROSSWALKS! Again, you're commenting on a situation you're not informed about...

Little Lamb
40257
Points
Little Lamb 08/22/12 - 11:46 am
1
0

Right of Way

Of course I recognize that the pedestrian has the legal right of way. Still, I am always cautious of the behavior of any vehicle coming in my direction, even (especially) when I am about to enter a crosswalk. As a pedestrian, I'd rather be safe than 'dead right.'

Riverman1
70874
Points
Riverman1 08/22/12 - 12:01 pm
2
0

LL, Sue Burmeister would have

LL, Sue Burmeister would have been proud.

Little Lamb
40257
Points
Little Lamb 08/22/12 - 03:15 pm
0
0

Is That All There Is?

I wonder if anything else happened at yesterday's commission meeting? Surely this is not all the business they conducted.

TannerManor
91
Points
TannerManor 08/23/12 - 09:51 am
0
0

“When it comes down to a

“When it comes down to a name” or the investment from the state, Loc­kett said, “I’ll take the money.”

With that line of thinking, some people would be perfectly okay if say, China, paid us or forgave some or all of our debt to it for the right to rename the United States "China II" or "Little China"? I mean, this discussion is about money, not pride or principle, right?

rebellious
18709
Points
rebellious 08/23/12 - 11:26 am
1
0

Aitkin

Did he mean to say "I was against it before I was for it" when referring to having Augusta in the name? Talk about jumping on a bandwagon. And Jerry Brigham continues to show pure reasoning and irrefutable logic. Sure gonna miss that guy.

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