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Tempers flare at Augusta Ports Authority meeting after burglary accusation

Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 6:53 PM
Last updated Friday, Jan. 18, 2013 6:08 PM
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Tempers flared at a rare Thursday meeting of the Augusta Ports Authority, with the city’s marina operator accusing authority members of burglary.

Mike Stacy has run the city marina for 13 years under leases approved by the Augusta Ports Authority. He accused two authority members of burglary.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/FILE
Mike Stacy has run the city marina for 13 years under leases approved by the Augusta Ports Authority. He accused two authority members of burglary.

Mike Stacy, who has run the marina for 13 years under leases approved by the authority, presented an incident report showing deputies responded to reports of a burglary in progress at two different closed marina buildings Dec. 31.

Arriving at the Fifth Street marina, they found authority Chairman Wayne Haw­kins and board member Paul Mucken­fuss, who told deputies he saw an open back door when the alarm sounded, according to the report.

Stacy disagreed, telling deputies that the door was locked when he arrived and that the only means of entry was a special key that he and Hawkins had. The report listed a “key” as the manner of entry and said there was no evidence of damage.

Hawkins said Stacy’s company, Mobile Marine, didn’t even have the right to be there, claiming city attorneys told him the firm’s lease was “null and void.”

The firm’s lease of the marina is under review for performance-related issues, but Mobile Marine has not been evicted, city Administrator Fred Russell said.

Muckenfuss called Stacy’s claim “the biggest bunch of hogwash” and threatened to sue him. Stacy said he’d already had to “hire a real expensive attorney” but wouldn’t say who the attorney was or what marina document he said Hawkins and Muckenfuss took from the building.

Authority member Mike Barnes called for “a spirit of cooperation” but bemoaned Au­gus­­ta Commission appointees with no knowledge or interest in the marina or maritime activities.

Hawkins reminded the group that his term expired in March and suggested the authority select a lieutenant chairman.

According to commission records, five members’ terms expire in March and a sixth next year. Six other appointees’ terms expired in prior years, with no replacements named.

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Brad Owens
Brad Owens 01/17/13 - 10:59 pm

Interesting..very interesting.

OpenCurtain 01/18/13 - 08:43 am
Why do we call it a PORT AUTHORITY

Based on the stated functions it sounds more like GOV liaison office for the River Keeper, Real Estate Sales, with large duplication of Recreation Dept serves and functions.

Augusta Port Authority:
* Manage the resources and assets of the Savannah River and adjacent riverfront.

* Encourage and promote riverfront development, recreation, and tourism in the City of Augusta by way of economic development activities, events, and special programs.

Do we really need another "Authority"?

soapy_725 01/18/13 - 08:56 am
No port. No authority.

Gov'ment Jobs for friends at taxpayer expense. ARC is a master at deception and revenue misappropriation.

David Parker
David Parker 01/18/13 - 09:24 am
We need more boats and

We need more boats and riverfront dining and bars. Anywhere else that I know of, the waterfronts are sprinkled with dining and watering-holes. I'd enjoy watching hydrilla sway to and fro with a coldie and some nachos. And Augusta has neither at the river or the lake for that matter.

Gasp! at the drama goin down at the meeting.

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 01/18/13 - 10:27 am
Read the last paragraph of the story again.

This "authority" appears to be dysfunctional. How about abolishing the Ports Authority and just put operation of the marina under the direction of assistant city administrator Schaunessey (sp?).

Or better yet, sell the marina to a private company and get out of the ports business altogether.

Newsflash 05/27/16 - 10:23 pm


Ray Marks
Ray Marks 01/18/13 - 08:45 pm
The levee

If we get rid of that big obtrusive hill blocking the riverfront, we could actually develop and have a riverfront with restaurants, boats, watering holes etc. with an actual view of the river... The levee is a waste of money, yes we pay to maintain a useless big hill blocking our river. The levee needs to come down...

TrulyWorried 01/18/13 - 09:07 pm

I thought it was built to keep the river flooding Augusta? With no rain we probably won't have a river before long. AND - yes indeed - get rid of all these various authorities - they all have too much authority! '>)

Ray Marks
Ray Marks 05/15/13 - 10:33 am


Of course it was built to keep The river from flooding Augusta, 100 years ago!!! There is now FLOOD CONTROL in place that negates the need for a levee! Do you see a levee on the other side of the river? You know it is the same river! There is no levee because it won't flood! Do you see the development on the other side of the river? It is there because it won't flood!!!

History lesson.

In 1986 FEMA began the study to change the flood levels. The original 100 year flood levels were based on a discharge of 250,000 cubic feet per second. This outdated level was changed to base the flood plain areas on a discharge of 150,000 cfs. These new flood plains are from Thurmond dam to Butler Creek and opened up areas for new construction that you now see on the North Augusta side. The Augusta side can do the same thing!!! We just have a big hill in the way, it's called THE LEVEE! It needs to be LEVELED!

With the RIGHT master plan in place it would be a game changer for this great city! Knock down the levee and actually develop the riverFRONT. Riverwalk is a boondogle, when it was being done is when the levee should have come down. It's never too late though and the sooner the better!

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