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Augusta Commission gives raises to sheriff, solicitor-general

Bus company's contract will be terminated

Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 10:06 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 1:24 AM
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Richmond County’s new sheriff and state court solicitor received the pay raises they requested Tuesday by a 6-4 vote of the Augusta Commission.

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Richmond County Solicitor-General Kellie Kenner-McIntyre asked for a 10 percent increase to the minimum salary of $97,000.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/FILE
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/FILE
Richmond County Solicitor-General Kellie Kenner-McIntyre asked for a 10 percent increase to the minimum salary of $97,000.

This was the second time the matter had gone before the commission, and the increases got the needed sixth supporting vote from Commissioner Grady Smith, who was absent because of illness last week.

Smith said he had checked into the performance of Sheriff Richard Roundtree and learned staff members were pleased with their new boss.

“If you’re going to talk the talk, he’s walking the walk. He gets in the squad car, he goes out and checks around with things. I think he’s smart enough, too; he’s brought in some new blood. I say give the man a chance,” Smith said. “There’s been a lot of negative, but you know, you might disagree with the coach, but keep it in the dugout.”

A previous vote on the pay raises to Roundtree and Solicitor-General Kellie Kenner-McIntyre, who became the county’s first black sheriff and first black female solicitor after their election last year, failed by one vote last week and fell along color lines. The increases had the support Tuesday of Grady Smith, Corey Johnson, Bill Fennoy, Bill Lockett and Alvin Mason. Commission members Mary Davis, Joe Jackson, Donnie Smith and Wayne Guilfoyle were opposed.

Roundtree and Kenner-McIntyre, who did not attend Tuesday’s meeting, requested the salary supplements in letters they sent to City Administrator Fred Russell in January. Roundtree sought a 15 percent increase over the minimum of $110,000 set by local legislation to $126,500 based on his qualifications and experience. Kenner-McIntyre wanted a 10 percent increase to the solicitor’s minimum salary of $97,000, to bring her salary to $106,700.

The commission met behind closed doors with attorneys for more than an hour before the regular meeting. Russell previously said he supported the raises based on the job descriptions of each and the salaries paid other department heads.

Smith, a lieutenant with the Georgia State Patrol, said he opposed the increases because other city employees have been denied a cost-of-living adjustment this year because of city budget constraints.

In other business, the commission voted 9-1 to give Mobility Transit Services LLC, the company that runs the city bus service, 90 days’ notice of its intent to terminate its contract. Guilfoyle opposed it.

“Clearly Mobility has not lived up to the standard that they need to as far as adequate transportation for Augusta-Richmond County,” Mason said. “As we begin to move forward with expanding, extending transportation, one should not be rewarded for doing a bad job by being given more money.”

The commission last year warned Mobility of several contract violations related to late reporting, late payment of vendors and rider complaints.

Lockett, who has championed restoring a city-run transit system at least since Mobility took over in August 2011, said the Florida-based company hadn’t created the $400,000 annual savings it promised and has no local staff other than former city transit employees originally laid off in the outsourcing.

“This is something we’ve been working on for well in excess of a year, and we finally got the votes to do something about it,” Lockett said.

Those former city bus and paratransit drivers likely will be called on to operate the service when the city terminates the contract, he said.

Lockett achieved another one of his objectives Tuesday with the commission’s unanimous decision to add Veterans Day as a paid holiday for city employees.

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dickworth1
954
Points
dickworth1 02/19/13 - 11:14 pm
19
1
Walk the walk
Unpublished

Keep your tax increases in your dugout also. Do you know how many
good hard working folks are struggling and you commissioners apparently don't give a hoot about the people that pay the bills. You work for the citizens, all of you, and don't forget it because I won't forget this vote next election.

Riverman1
84919
Points
Riverman1 02/19/13 - 11:49 pm
6
10
Clay Whittle's salary will go

Clay Whittle's salary will go up to $135,760. Roundtree's will now be $126,500. Who has the tougher job? Maybe this vote will break the 5-5 gridlock, the OTHER WAY, too.

Darby
26066
Points
Darby 02/20/13 - 12:06 am
18
2
Un....

frakking believable...

Oh well, its just the taxpayer's money. And we all know that well never runs dry does it?

Darby
26066
Points
Darby 02/20/13 - 12:09 am
13
2
If you think for a minute....

that Roundtree has the tougher job, then you need to ask yourself WHY??

It certainly doesn't have to be...

GnipGnop
12301
Points
GnipGnop 02/20/13 - 12:11 am
17
3
Dumb voters equal dumb commissioners....

I guess I will finally make the move to sell my ARC property while I can.

Little Lamb
46405
Points
Little Lamb 02/20/13 - 12:33 am
19
2
Quid pro Quo

Grady Smith sold his vote. He wants his business to gain more and more city business. Do you remember earlier in the week when we learned he instructed city attorney MacKenzie to draft an ordinance whereby city elected officials and/or city employees could do business with the city as long as they did it though a shell corporation (i.e., they acted as subcontractors)? Well, MacKenzie wrote the ordinance as Smith requested, and now, Smith has guaranteed that he will have six votes to pass Mackenzie's ordinance at the next commission meeting.

Selling votes. Shame on you, Grady Smith. Your judgement is clouded.

Old Timmer
260
Points
Old Timmer 02/20/13 - 12:35 am
13
3
Unbelievable!

I don't like the coaches or the team & want out of the dugout Mr. Smith. If only I could sell my property in Richmond County I would. I encourage anybody who can to get out. Wish I had 10 years ago.

rebellious
20916
Points
rebellious 02/20/13 - 12:40 am
21
4
More than meets the eye

to this story. There was a loaded gun in the background, cocked and ready had the vote not gone through. So what the heck.

What disappoints me is Roundtree. He went from a reported $60K salary to $110K salary in the swearing of an oath. To push the $15K supplement is salt in a wound for a large portion of the county/city. In my mind, not good political strategy. Better to lay low for the time. let the press know you had every right to push for it, but you chose to take the high road. That strategy would have shut the mouths of 100,000 detractors for at least a year and bought the goodwill of hardworking whites and blacks who are struggling with $3.69 a gallon gas and milk.

But what do I know? Just another frustrated, fed-up, ticked off taxpayer. Which puts me in the minority nationwide and locally.

jwilliams
893
Points
jwilliams 02/20/13 - 12:52 am
5
2
The following statement is

The following statement is taken from the Augusta Chronicle 2/20/2013
In other business, the commission voted 9-1 to give Mobility Transit Services LLC, the company that runs the city bus service, 90 days’ notice of its intent to terminate its contract. Guilfoyle opposed it.
“Clearly Mobility has not lived up to the standard that they need to as far as adequate transportation for Augusta-Richmond County,” Mason said. “As we begin to move forward with expanding, extending transportation, one should not be rewarded for doing a bad job by being given more money.” Would someone please tell me why did Guilfoyle vote for a company that IS OVIOUSLY doing a bad job? Also......
The following statement is taken from an article found in the Augusta Chronicle titled, “Guilfoyle for District 8, Businessman is a commonsense advocate for south Augusta,” by the Augusta Chronicle Editorial Staff, printed on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010
Guilfoyle says “The nepotism and favoritism in city hiring have to stop.”
This is a prime opportunity for the FULL commission to do the right thing. Regardless if Guilfoyle knowingly or unknowingly violated the city’s conflict of interest policy; he still violated the policy and if the FULL commission does not vote to officially censure or reprimand Guilfoyle, it will be viewed by the voters of ARC that any commissioner / policymaker that voted not to officially censure or reprimand Guilfoyle was in agreement with his obvious violation and disregard for the policies of ARC. Remember Calvin Holland did less and he was censured. Let’s hope that ALL of the commissioners do the right thing and do as Guilfoyle himself said in the article printed in the Augusta Chronicle on 10/20/2010; STOP FAVORITISM!

whozit
147
Points
whozit 02/20/13 - 01:03 am
4
16
Wrong

People can agree or disagree with Commission votes. But one thing I will promise is that Grady Smith has more integrity than most of the people commenting here. To say he sold his vote shows you don't know much aboout what you comment on.

dichotomy
33528
Points
dichotomy 02/20/13 - 01:11 am
20
4
Grady Smith....voting against

Grady Smith....voting against the taxpayers again.....as usual. Wanna guess how he votes on the tax increase when it comes up?

He checked with some people in the Sheriff's department and they like their new boss.......are you kidding me? Is that a reason to raise the rookie's pay to 30 year veteran level?

I will flat tell you that if we had elected a white man as sheriff there would not be any pay raise. This is strictly blatant racial kowtowing by the commission and ESPECIALLY Grady Smith. Hey Grady....I checked with all of my neighbors and they like me reall good....can I get a property tax CUT?

RoadKing
105
Points
RoadKing 02/20/13 - 01:24 am
14
1
Was wondering ....

Just possibly, another reason for his vote was to enable the future advancement chances for his Nephew ... Lt. Lewis Blanchard .

countyman
20236
Points
countyman 02/20/13 - 02:34 am
6
12
Best quote of the day

''He has a huge responsibility when you look at the records you know and the history every Sheriff that has entered into office entered under the same salary as the Sheriff that was leaving so it is nothing unusual, it was the right thing to do,” said Commissioner Corey Johnson.''

I'm positive a certain segment of the local news media doesn't want this bit of information to get out. These are same people who falsely accused Roundtree of purchasing a $60k vehicle. I understand they all wanted Peebles to win the election, but give the winner of the election a chance.

The people who are complaining didn't support Roundtree in the beginning, and some don't even live in Richmond County. The majority of citizens voted for Roundtree, and it's time to move on.

Whozit... The Augusta Chronicle comment section is well know for opinions being presented as fact. It's kinda ridiculous when you posters like Dichotomy accusing Mr. Smith of being racist against his own skin color.

bumblebeerose
682
Points
bumblebeerose 02/20/13 - 03:00 am
14
1
This is so Wrong!!!!

For me it is about the money, they both knew what the salary was when they ran for office.

You have hard working people in Richmond County that now have to pay this increase. You have county workers who have been laid off because of the economy and not had raises because of the economy!!!!

The ones I feel sorry for are the workers of Richmond County who have had to endure no pay raises, threats of jobs being eliminated, furlough days this is just a slap in the face to them. So now I guess more jobs will be eliminated to pay for the increases.

So now we see what Roundtree and Kenner-McIntyre care about the most is MONEY and not the People of Richmond County.

rebellious
20916
Points
rebellious 02/20/13 - 04:00 am
18
1
I agree

with Bumblewhatever, It is so presumptious and selfish for Roundtree to have pursued this increase.

with Countyman that to doubt Grady Smith's integrity is ludicrous.

That being said, Roundtree may be suffering from nouveau riche, a condition suffered, surely, by one going from a $60,000 annual income to a $110,000 income. Hence the white gloves, limodriver, highdollar inauguration, two bodygaurds, etc...

As for Grady, I remember a commissioner falling asleep at a meeting, then wakening after the vote and asking for a revote.....

And I am sorry, but everytime I hear the name Grady, and more lately, I envision the Grady from Sanford and Son.

Grady, easy ith the meds, bud. You gotta job to do. Looks like you mailed this one in.

bumblebeerose
682
Points
bumblebeerose 02/20/13 - 05:38 am
8
1
Rebellious

Just call me Bumble or BBR.

This really is so wrong on so many levels!!!!!!!

Riverman1
84919
Points
Riverman1 02/20/13 - 06:08 am
4
9
Understand What We Mean

I said, “Maybe this vote will break the 5-5 gridlock, the OTHER WAY, too.”

Reb said, “More to this story than meets the eye. There was a loaded gun in the background, cocked and ready had the vote not gone through.”

Understand what we both mean. Richmond County government was about to come to a stop if there wasn’t a compromise. The few thousand donated here was well spent.

Just My Opinion
5704
Points
Just My Opinion 02/20/13 - 06:10 am
15
1
It's totally disrespectful to

It's totally disrespectful to ALL the citizens of Richmond County to raise the pay of ANY of the government employees during a time when the rest of them haven't had a pay increase in a very, very long time. All the reasons given for granting these pay increases are hogwash, and the commissioners know it. Roundtree and Keller are just laughing all the way to the bank on how fortunate they are. And someone had it right when they said that there's no other place of employment that would be willing to pay Roundtree that amount of money based on his credentials....no where! Oh, well. I'm so glad I don't live in Richmond County. The government is run by idiots. Y'all really should vote them out....but you probably won't because you'll probably forget all this by then.

scoobynews
3855
Points
scoobynews 02/20/13 - 06:31 am
12
3
I don't think it matters what

I don't think it matters what county you live in wrong is wrong! He could have at least waited until he had put in a year or even six months but less than a month in he asked for a 15 percent raise!!! After 16 years, I deserve at least a $6,000 raise but will I get it - nope! Just plain sickening to me! All the limos, white gloves, and balls in the world can't give you class and respectability that is earned through your behavior.

seenitB4
88157
Points
seenitB4 02/20/13 - 07:00 am
5
4
Cocked & ready ....

Reb & River are looking at the BIG picture....or "out of the box thinking".......there are bigger fish to fry ......give Rtree a chance....he will earn every dollar he makes....many times over......he also is walking a thin line....let him work his magic....time will tell..imo

justputtin
1414
Points
justputtin 02/20/13 - 07:14 am
6
3
I'm sorry

I have nothing new. Every time I read about this all I can say is "what a joke"! And comparing roundtree to whittle? Again, What a joke. Time will tell. Roundtree may end up being a great sheriff. He just started!!!

PitchFork007
473
Points
PitchFork007 02/20/13 - 07:20 am
8
2
Cash-cow attitudes towards taxpayers

This greedy action by Roundtree and Kenner-McIntyre of lobbying for pay raises right after taking office exposes the cash-cow attitudes that they have towards taxpayers. The commissioners who voted to approve these raises have already proven that they treat taxpayers as cash-cow opportunities to hog-out at the public feeding troughs. We will best serve ourselves at voting time to remember which of our greedy elected officials have disrespected us by treating us as simple cash-cows and give them the boot out of office that they so richly deserve. A boot out of office at election time will act as the reminder that those who received and those who voted for this pay raise need - that they are our employees and we are their employers.

Riverman1
84919
Points
Riverman1 02/20/13 - 07:24 am
4
2
Reb, Close With Grady

Close with Grady on the last post, Reb, but I imagine the "ten vehicles on the road" syndrome played a part. Heh.

nocnoc
43444
Points
nocnoc 02/20/13 - 08:06 am
11
2
The New Get ARC upside down cake recipe

Start with the Sheriff Strength information accidentally withheld until after the 1st vote by certain parties.

Add in 2 minority commissioners threatening to play the race card if you don't vote for the raises.

Add in a hint of revenge delivered by messengers that your district voters might get a scaled back version of RCSO service, if you don't vote their way.

Using messengers whisper to certain commissioners the idea that they should worry about getting pulled over on the way home, if they vote against the raises. But make it sound like 1/2 a joke.

Add in a vale threat of trumpeted up ethic violations by those playing the race card.

Add in other commissioner promises to vote against the raises, but watch the promises disappear just after the 1st NO vote.

Add in a sleeping Commissioner in poor health, in need of County Health Ins. waken to cast his vote.

Add a legal person that asks a few commissioners a leading question that is not the question up for a vote. Then combine the 2 salary increases motions into 1 vote and blend the wording of the motion well to confuse the vote.

Add in a Sheriff Roundtree agreement with certain parties, to accept $120,000 instead the $126,000. Then forget the promise.

Now you have a ARC Political upside down cake.

There are 2 problems
1. Taxpayers never know all the ingredients or how much.
2. No matter how you mix it, is it tastes and smells like manure to most taxpayers.

Riverman1
84919
Points
Riverman1 02/20/13 - 07:32 am
3
3
Darby said, "If you think for

Darby said, "If you think for a minute that that Roundtree has the tougher job, then you need to ask yourself WHY??
It certainly doesn't have to be..."

If you know how to fix THAT (and I do mean THAT) just like THAT, you will be in demand by law enforcement in every large city in America.

Adam Bomb
357
Points
Adam Bomb 02/20/13 - 07:53 am
10
1
Can't say I didn't see it coming.

So the top cop and the pencil pusher got their raises after all. Nevermind the Deputies and the open positions. As long as the boss is well paid how could the workers possibly be unhappy. Many posted that the Sheriff should show what he could do before he got his raise. If by some chance he turns out to be a great Sheriff I guess the commission will give him another raise. Life is good in Richmond County.

CABoatright
188
Points
CABoatright 02/20/13 - 07:58 am
0
0
What a kick in the teeth!!
Unpublished

OMG! Not even a cost of living raise for the' commoners' but Roundtree is a different story altogether?? Maybe he can start paying his 'entourage' out of his own pocket with this raise. :-(

ColCo
803
Points
ColCo 02/20/13 - 08:32 am
8
1
Are you really surprised?

When you meet Grady, you quickly realize he is not an independent thinker. While he loves to regale you with stories about golf, his life and other pursuits, rarely does he address issues at hand. My guess is that he was told how to vote by some folks on the south side. He needs opposition in 2014, assuming his health allows him to run for re-election.

saugustagal
15
Points
saugustagal 02/20/13 - 08:45 am
8
1
Couldn't agree more with Little Lamb

Smith voted just so that he can garner support when the subject comes up about commissioners doing business with the county. Roundtree has a new vehicle and a raise within 45 days of taking office. He would have done better to approach the commission about a raise for the deputies that put their lives on the every day!!!

G'ment Watcher
97
Points
G'ment Watcher 02/20/13 - 08:47 am
7
1
Roundtree

I don't really think that we need to be paying extra money for a glorified deputy. They talk about the sheriff riding in a patrol car, that's not his job. The sheriff is basicly an administrative job. He should be making policy for the department, not out patroling the streets. I noticed that he likes to talk about his Masters Degree. It has nothing to do with law enforcement and gives him no advantage in performing the sheriff's job. All it proves is that he had enough money to go to school. Considering his original degree and the school he got his Masters from, he may as well have taken the courses on line (maybe he did) since Troy University specializes in easy degrees that mean nothing except that you attended classes in person or on line. I would love to see his attendence record. In short, we've just seen another waste of the tax payer's money on salary and his new car.

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