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Committee slated to review potential conflicts

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The Augusta Commission will review payments to its members for work done under city contracts at a committee meeting Monday, unless time runs short.

The presentation, included in item 37 of 40 agenda items up for approval, includes a report from the city finance office of payments made to three commissioners’ businesses for plumbing, tiling and locksmith work at city facilities.

Commissioners Grady Smith, Joe Jackson and Wayne Guilfoyle have acknowledged doing the work. Smith is pressing to change the city’s conflict of interest policy to allow elected officials and city employees to work as subcontractors on city projects.

Commissioner Bill Lock­ett, who heads the administrative services committee set to hear the evidence, said he included the hearing within Smith's request for the policy change, which was prepared at Smith's request by the city law department.

The report, obtained by The Chronicle, shows payments to Jackson's business, Kirby Locksmith, for three Rich­mond County Sheriff's Office jobs in 2009 and 2010 and one 2008 recreation department job.

According to the report, each job was requested by a department employee and included a procurement department staffer, Deborah Williams or Nancy Williams, listed as “buyer.” Payments to Jackson's business totaled $1,560.

Payments to the family plumbing business Smith owns with his brother, Smith Bros. Mechanical, total $19,165 since Smith took office in 2011.

The work includes 16 jobs the company was paid to do in 2011 and 2012. Each shows a department employee as requesting the work with a procurement staffer listed as “buyer,” according to the report.

The sheriff's office used Smith the most, for seven work orders during the two-year period. His firm also was paid for four jobs at Augusta-Richmond County 911, two at recreation and one each at a maintenance building, the Richmond County Correctional Institute and Augusta Regional Airport. The costliest jobs were a $5,570.73 project at 911 and a $5,035 job for the prison.

Smith and Jackson have said the on-call work included in the report stemmed from existing relationships with city departments, and Jackson said he quit accepting payment for the work in 2010.

Guilfoyle's firm, Augusta Tile Crafters, was paid $70,785.29 for flooring work at Augusta Regional's new private aircraft terminal, according to the report.

Guilfoyle has said he was asked by general contractor R.J. Griffin & Co. to bid on the project before taking office in 2011, but when airport officials changed general contractors to Choate Construction in 2011, Choate carried over his flooring bid.


Other items up for consideration at committee meetings Monday include:

• Budgeting new personnel for the city’s finance department and 911 center

• Discussion of the Au­gusta Port Authority’s marina contract

• Salary increases for the board of elections’ director and assistant director

• Funding renovations at the Municipal Building

• An update on drainage improvements in east Augusta

• Discussion of re-bidding large contracts up for renewal this year and using a contract specialist

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Little Lamb
Little Lamb 02/25/13 - 10:03 am
More Spending

Oh boy! The Board of Elections director and assistant director want to get in on the pay raise bandwagon. Once you give something to one, everybody else wants to have some. All over America salaries are frozen or being cut. But in Augusta we have money to burn, so let's give all city employees 15% raises!

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 02/25/13 - 10:15 am
Operations Manual

Here's a story from 2011 that helped to get the salary raise mania going:

Pay Raises

Can we find six votes to fire Fred Russell for dereliction of duty?

useful 02/25/13 - 12:50 pm
these three commissioners

these three commissioners should abstain from voting on this,but I would bet Grady Smith already has 5 votes in his pocket.

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