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Commission committee to vote on naming system Monday

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What's in a name? In Augusta, giving a proper name to a building, road, park or other facility might mean disputes, accusations and hurt feelings.

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Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department Station No. 10 on Alexander Drive was named for the late Commissioner Herb Beckham.   JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department Station No. 10 on Alexander Drive was named for the late Commissioner Herb Beckham.

Augusta Commission member Joe Jackson's proposal in late 2012 to name the new sheriff's administration building for retiring Sheriff Ronnie Strength surprised many, including Strength. It caught Commissioner Bill Lockett so off guard that he questioned the choice, although he and the entire commission later supported it.

Lockett also questioned former Commissioner Jerry Brigham’s successful request last year to name Fire Station No. 10 for Herb Beckham, the late county commission chairman, while commission debate over naming Augusta’s new courthouse for the late civil rights lawyer and Georgia Appeals Court Chief Judge John H. Ruffin Jr. lasted more than a year.

After Jackson’s recommendation, Lockett asked the city to develop a uniform system for naming city-owned facilities; that goes before the city's administrative services committee Monday.

The guidelines require names be based on geographical, historical, ecological or functional factors, or for people who have given much for the betterment of Augusta.

The people should already be dead, with the exception of those making large financial or land contributions or “other extraordinary circumstances,” according to the ordinance, which specifies no minimum period of time after the person’s death. Renaming cannot occur for 50 years.

Commissioners, staffers and anyone else may suggest a name, but the proposer must fill out a form explaining why the facility should be named. The city administrator, engineer, planning director and facilities director then review the name and hold a public hearing before it goes through the committee and commission cycle for approval.

Brigham, who left office in December after serving two terms, said there had been a similar policy in effect more than a decade ago but the commission has ignored such rules.

“Usually they end up doing whatever they want to do,” he said.

The ordinance does not specify how the name is applied to the facility, an issue that arose at the new courthouse, now called the Augusta Judicial Center and John H. Ruffin Jr. Courthouse.

Comments (14) Add comment
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David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 01/25/13 - 03:19 pm
4
0
I'll say this, with wording

I'll say this, with wording like "other extraordinary circumstances", what are you really clarifying here? So it will officially be a grey area when it comes to the naming process, as opposed to it just being a grey area currently. What defines extraordinary? And I would include a stipulation for the 50 year rule that states if extraordinary circumstances are revealed that reflect negatively toward the person who has something named after them, premature renaming can occur.

Just pointing out a few things that I'm sure were already addressed by the good commission.

triscuit
2887
Points
triscuit 01/25/13 - 03:44 pm
4
3
Really??? Is this ALL those

Really??? Is this ALL those people have to deal with? How about fixing this city! And what is exactly accomplished with the guidelines...isn't that about how it goes now. Again, much ado about something that most of them are going to argue about anyway.

Susan McCord
119
Points
Susan McCord 01/25/13 - 04:12 pm
0
4
Triscuit

There are certainly many other items on Monday committee agendas. I'll have more stories about them coming, so stay tuned.

I'm Back Again
307
Points
I'm Back Again 01/25/13 - 04:53 pm
0
0
This ordinance is about as
Unpublished

This ordinance is about as useful as a box of hair. Pointless really. Folks of RC, remember this: you elected these "leaders" and you pay them an annual salary to discuss things like this, which clearly clarifies nothing. They should name the new ordinance the grey ordinance. I truly believe that whatever the commissioners discuss should be moved from the Metro section to the comics section. It makes me laugh every time I read what they're doing, or trying to do.
Make no mistake about this new ordinance. I guarantee there will soon be a fee charged to enter a name for discussion. Just wait and see. Probably a $25 processing fee or something dumb like that. Wait and see. This will be a fiasco because these people couldn't agree on anything if just one of them showed up to vote.
Priceless Entertainment.

GnipGnop
11552
Points
GnipGnop 01/25/13 - 06:07 pm
3
1
Why would anyone's name

matter 50 years from now? Not many would be around to remember them. I think it shouldn't be named til after their death but 50 years is just to long.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 01/25/13 - 10:30 pm
7
1
1st recommendation NO Streets

1st recommendation
NO Streets or buildings named after any elected official or Politician unless approved by a vote of the ARC Voters.

2nd recommendation
No renaming things after they have been officially named and approved by the voters. Unless the person is removed from office, resigns under threat of legal actions and/or convicted of a felony.

3rd. IF alive, going forward, UNLESS that person pays 75+% of ALL of construction costs. Naming will only be for deceased Augusta Richmond Co. residents, no state, regional or federal people.

SemperParatus
3225
Points
SemperParatus 01/25/13 - 11:05 pm
5
1
I second...

Open Curtain's comments! Personally, I oppose naming anything for politicians who, after all, work for us! Enough of the "good old boy" stuff! Have you noticed that some streets downtown have two or three names on them? I laugh whenever I cross over a bridge, no matter how big or small, and see that it is named for some politician. Crazy!

Riverman1
79840
Points
Riverman1 01/26/13 - 08:46 am
4
1
Black Commissioners

The black Commissioners may not like these rules as they begin the transformation to a black controlled government in Richmond County. They may want to name and rename things and this measure would be a hindrance. Afterall, Obama received the Nobel Prize based on two weeks of being in office. I fully expect a major entity in Augusta to be named after Richard Roundtree.

seenitB4
81914
Points
seenitB4 01/26/13 - 09:12 am
3
1
Crazy

It confuses some & cost money to change....some businesses are already walking on thin ice & don't need more expense...SO STOP the insanity...
We really have more important problems...really we do.

Riverman1
79840
Points
Riverman1 01/26/13 - 09:21 am
4
1
Naming Things After Sheriffs

Jail is named after Charlie Webster, law enforcement center after Ronnie Strength, so what will be named after Richard Roundtree. Suggestions?

soapy_725
43557
Points
soapy_725 01/26/13 - 09:58 am
0
0
The Bridge Over Troubled Waters......
Unpublished

connecting the CBD to the N. Augusta Stadium. Or The Bridge Over Troubled Waters crossing the creek at Regency Mall Community Park. Or the motel on the Gordon Highway.

soapy_725
43557
Points
soapy_725 01/26/13 - 10:00 am
0
0
ARC has gone "naming crazy".
Unpublished

And they have yet to resolve the name of the consolidated city county. The sign people must be connected to one of the commissioners.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 01/26/13 - 10:38 am
2
0
I agree with you Open

I agree with you Open Curtain, but the new smile is just a little too toothy for me.

Little Lamb
44076
Points
Little Lamb 01/26/13 - 11:22 am
2
0
Roundtree

We could name Second Street after Richard Roundtree to honor his second chance policy for criminals.

allhans
23318
Points
allhans 01/26/13 - 11:41 am
1
0
Ditto to Open Curtain and

Ditto to Open Curtain and SemperParatus....
Using proper names are in the same category as GRU........UGHHH

proud2bamerican
441
Points
proud2bamerican 01/26/13 - 12:43 pm
1
0
priorities

I would like to see a list of goals and priorities from our city commissioners! They are elected and should be accountable to us for their paths forward; not after the fact.

Little Lamb
44076
Points
Little Lamb 01/26/13 - 01:13 pm
1
0
Fire Station

We learned when Jerry Brigham pushed the fire station thing through (they named fire station # 10 after politician Herb Beckham) that it was the first (and therefore only) fire station to be named after anybody or anything. Now that the precedent is set, expect a kerfuffle to break out in a rush to name each and every fire station after some Richmond County politician. And there are still a few bridges left around the county that are as yet unnamed; they're targeted. What else can we name for a dead politician? How about naming the former Chamber of Commerce building (6th @ Broad) after someone who thought outside of the box?

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