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Augusta Commission denies salary supplements for sheriff, state court solicitor

Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 6:52 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013 1:29 AM
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The salaries for Richmond County’s new sheriff and state court solicitor won’t be any higher after the Augusta Commission denied increases for both elected officials following a nearly two-hour closed legal meeting Monday.

The salary supplements for Sheriff Richard Roundtree and Solicitor General Kellie Kenner-McIntyre failed 5-4 in separate votes. Commissioners Mary Davis, Joe Jackson, Donnie Smith and Wayne Guilfoyle voted against the increases. Six votes are needed to pass a measure.

Commissioner Grady Smith was absent from the legal session and subsequent committee meetings that lasted more than five hours.

Commissioner Alvin Mason said Roundtree should receive supplemental income because he holds a Masters degree and training from the FBI Academy.

“I didn’t vote for a raise. What I voted for was to be properly compensated for qualifications and experience that is brought to the table by the two individuals,” Mason said.

The proposed supplements were $16,500 for Roundtree and $9,700 for McIntyre. The sheriff’s salary is $110,000 and the solicitor’s $97,000.

“There are guidelines showing that for your qualifications and so forth you are entitled to this and the government can provide certain supplements for you,” said Commissioner Bill Lockett about state formulas that determine salaries for elected officials. “This is what we wanted to do but we didn’t get the votes to do it.”

In committee meetings, commissioners voted to allow City Administrator Fred Russell two weeks to contact two management companies that previously submitted proposals for the Augusta Municipal Golf Course, known as the Patch. The vote also permitted operations at the course to continue while Russell determines if the companies are still interested.

A Virginia Beach management company that was selected to lease the city-owned course withdrew its bid last week.

During a lengthy discussion on the course, several commissioners including Marion Williams, Corey Johnson and Alvin Mason said closing the course is not an option despite it operating in the red. They pointed out that both the Augusta Aquatics Center and Newman Tennis Center routinely lose money.

“If we don’t want to be in the golfing business, we can turn it over to a management company,” Johnson said. “But closing it is not going to look good on us at all.”

Committees also approved the following items:

-the 2013 operating plan for the Augusta Convention Center

-an ordinance amending a policy for the naming and renaming of city-owned buildings and properties.

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Pops 02/12/13 - 12:12 pm
He must not

have left his diploma in the apartment with all those boxes of case files....

specsta 02/12/13 - 12:22 pm
Time To Micro-Manage

MrsNewsome wrote - "Actually it is the place of citizens to "second guess" the decisions of elected officials and hold them accountable for discriminatory behavior and practices."

Okay, let me get this straight. Citizens should micro-manage the staff choices of elected officials. We should have a vote in who gets hired or fired within a particular department. The mail boy must meet our criteria, since we are experts in such matters. Elected officials are such dummies, they shouldn't even have the ability to decide who will work under their supervision. If that's the case, why do we even have people in charge of city departments? What's the point of voting for someone to lead a particular division, if the citizens can't entrust the personnel decisions from a leader?

Anyone who is familiar with my postings should know that I am not one to blindly trust the government. However, I do think that the head of a department has the right and the ability to decide which people will work under their supervision.

That being said, where on Saturn's moon did the idea get birthed that the Solicitor's decision was discriminatory? Just because the fired employee was white and she is black? Can you folks stuck in the 1950's grow up and realize that everything isn't a racial thing???

GnipGnop 02/12/13 - 12:36 pm
Didn't say it was a racial thing...

I asked what would happen if the colors were reversed? Remember Ronnie Few? Teresa Russell? Chiquita? Anyone?

MrClen1944 02/12/13 - 01:20 pm
Pay Raises

Marion needs to save the money so he can go to Hawaii or Vegas to a County Commission Training Seminar with Alvin.

Darby 02/12/13 - 02:19 pm
"The Solicitor has the right to employ those individuals ....."

Doesn't it warm your heart, the way liberals throw around that word right?

If anything, you could say she has the authority. But with authority, comes responsibility.

Authority can be challenged, a valid right cannot.

As Hillary said to Obama in 2008, "Words have meaning."

Austin Rhodes
Austin Rhodes 02/12/13 - 02:24 pm
Actually Specsta...

...the idea came from her former co-workers in the office...and Jack Long...the atty filing her EEOC complaint.

At worst it is best it is one of the most petty, small minded, vindictive, witch from heck personnel moves I have seen in quite a while in RC. And I have seen a few...

Darby 02/12/13 - 02:44 pm
"Okay, let me get this straight. Citizens should....

micro-manage the staff choices of elected officials."

In fact, citizens, unfortunately, are not in a position to micro-manage anything. On the other hand, responsible citizens will micro-scrutinize the choices and decisions of all elected and appointed officials.

They will keep the heat turned up high on bureaucrats and government functionaries constantly to prevent abuse of authority and waste of money.

Ideally, this should be the norm. In reality, it doesn't happen nearly enough.

Riverman1 02/12/13 - 03:43 pm
Dudeness said, "Troy

Dudeness said, "Troy University in Augusta will practically sell diplomas/degrees to you. Calling them a diploma mill may be generous. They're more like the gift shop that you pass through as you exit a museum."

Oh, we thoroughly dissected the subject of the candidates for Sheriff, where and how they obtained their degrees during the campaign. I'd say Tree had a much more traditional way of getting his than SOMEBODY who ran. But I don't want to disparage any type of accredited college program. We need them all. If you feel something is not right, report them to the the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Far as I know, all the extension programs in this area, and there are many, are fully accredited. If you have proof of something amiss, clue us in. The students are hard working adults who go to class nights and weekends while holding down jobs. It's not fair to belittle the degrees they earn.

MrsNewsome 02/14/13 - 11:26 am
you say micro-manage I say "shine light and keep accountable"

I don't think publicly debating and bringing attention to potentially illegal and discriminatory hiring and firing practices is a bad idea. As a matter of fact the fact that a 25+ year accomplished veteran can be dismissed as a whim without any HR review or internal examination should tick off any taxpayer that is footing the tax bill to pay any any law suits that may result from this action. I can think of county employees that were moved to other duties or departments after reprimands instead of just canned... why not in this instance? There should be internal checks and balances to these decisions, and thankfully with freedom of speech there will always be public checks and balances of debate and media attention to keep public officials in check that they are not God. Just because they are given responsibility and authority does not give them the right to operate in secrecy with carte blanche to consequences.

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