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Augusta Commissioner Grady Smith says ailments won't stop him

Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 9:23 PM
Last updated Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 1:30 AM
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He may be down, but Super District 10 Comm­issioner Grady Smith says don’t count him out.

Smith  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
Smith

The 65-year-old commissioner acknowledged his second year in office was the sickest he’s ever been – a broken arm, a triple heart bypass, three stents implanted and the five toes of his left foot amputated, a consequence of mismanaged diabetes – but Smith said he’s on the mend.

“I love this place. I grew up here. I guarantee the county will get a lot more out of me than they pay for,” said Smith, who was upbeat, coherent and concerned about the issues facing the commission in a Wednesday interview.

He wouldn’t have missed most January commission activities, including interviews with four recreation director candidates, a commission meeting and Monday committee meetings, but for a popped stitch on his foot.

With the blood thinners he’s taking for his heart, “I lost two pints of blood on the floor,” he said, and was hospitalized for about 15 days, until Jan. 20.

Being absent is strange for Smith, who said he missed just a single day of school and only two meetings of the state plumbing board, which he’s served on since 1992 and chaired since 1999. He was elected to the commission in 2010.

“If I’m on a committee, a member of a club or anything, when you (are) you’re obligated to be there or you don’t accept the position,” he said.

Smith, who now uses a walker, said he would have attended Monday’s marathon of commission committee meetings but his physicians advised against it.

“I was told if I could stay home another week, I would be so much better. I’m doing what they tell me to do,” he said. “Health-wise, that’s a big change.”

Smith, who has shed 57 pounds over the last year, said until last year he’d neglected the diabetes he was diagnosed with eight to 10 years ago, and didn’t realize he’d had a heart attack until a friend told him a month later he looked unwell.

Doctors permitting, Smith said, he’ll be present Tuesday when the commission votes on two issues close to his heart – a decision to lease Augusta Municipal Golf Course to Virginia Beach Golf Management and another to re-bid the city’s ambulance service contract.

His family might wish otherwise, but Smith said they knew him too well to keep him away from friends, his plumbing business and the Augusta Commission.

“If you ever want just to kill me, just put me in isolation,” he said. “I was 12 years old working for my daddy. Monday through Friday, you’re supposed to be at work.”

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Jane18
12331
Points
Jane18 01/31/13 - 07:11 am
3
1

A Warning

We understand how you feel Mr. Smith, but, everything that has happened to you is a warning from your body. I do not know you, I do know that you need to make your health the top priority from now on. You see what you have lost already, soooooooooo...........

Riverman1
70864
Points
Riverman1 01/31/13 - 08:26 am
5
1

Grady, get completely well.

Grady, get completely well. Eat very, very few carbohydrates.

Little Lamb
40256
Points
Little Lamb 01/31/13 - 08:59 am
1
1

Golf Course Management

If Smith wants six votes to award the golf course management contract to Virginia Beach Management Company, he is going to have to pay off at least one black commissioner. Who will it be, and what will be the price?

Riverman1
70864
Points
Riverman1 01/31/13 - 09:05 am
3
1

LL, will David Fry deliver

LL, will David Fry deliver the offer?

Little Lamb
40256
Points
Little Lamb 01/31/13 - 10:11 am
1
1

Financial Mess

You know, this city government is bleeding money for unnecessary amenities. We have been told by city officials that their current budget is in arrears and that next year's budget is $4 million in the red. With that kind of issue facing the commission, why would Smith be so concerned with the minor triviality of a municipal golf course? There are bigger issues to tackle.

Likewise with the ambulance contract. If you call 911, an ambulance comes to you staffed by competent EMTs and well-equipped to stabilize you and get you to the ER. Why monkey around with the contract while the city is bleeding tax money?

Get your priorities straight, Commissioner Smith.

chriscauldwell
17
Points
chriscauldwell 01/31/13 - 11:01 am
1
0

Little Lamb needs to read the financials

If the golf course is loosing $400,000 a year with the city operating it Little Lamb I don't think it's a minor issue when the taxpayers are footing the bill,If another company is willing to come in and pay the city to operate it and take the burden off the taxpayers it would seem like a smart business move on the city's part so good for Grady trying to be at the meeting and help the city get turned around and take the financial mess of us taxpayers,And as the ambulance contract goes it's always good to shop around a bid to see if your getting the best service for the price your paying and it keeps companies honest so good for the commission staying on top of that

Little Lamb
40256
Points
Little Lamb 01/31/13 - 12:18 pm
1
1

Financial Burden

chriscauldwell posted:

. . . so, good for Grady trying to be at the meeting and help the city get turned around and take the financial mess off us taxpayers. . . .

Being at the meeting will not make it happen. The sixth vote will have to be purchased outside the Marble Palace. It must be secret.

GnipGnop
10960
Points
GnipGnop 01/31/13 - 12:28 pm
2
0

At least he had an excuse...

for missing meetings...how about Alvin(no show)Mason?

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