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Copenhaver issues statement on Russell firing

Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013 12:48 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 12:42 AM
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Mayor Deke Copenhaver, who was absent for the Augusta Commission’s firing Monday of eight-year City Administrator Fred Russell, has issued a statement on the decision.

“Having worked with Fred for eight years now, I consider him a man who kept the greater good of our city as a whole at the forefront of his decisionmaking process,” Copenhaver said Tuesday. “His job was never easy and I respect his commitment to always moving Augusta forward.

“I respect the will of the body and truly hope the Commission will work with me to help find a qualified replacement as this will not be an easy task, but is something we should all take very seriously at a critical juncture for a city we love and are blessed to serve.

“With all of the transformational initiatives we are currently working on for Augusta the stakes couldn’t be higher and I have faith that my elected colleagues will work together to ensure that they come to fruition.”

Copenhaver has not returned a request for further comment.

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Dixieman
16590
Points
Dixieman 12/10/13 - 04:44 pm
14
5
Dixieman's ten-point plan

Point 1. Keep Fred.
Points 2-10. Let the Commissioners go.

Fiat_Lux
16245
Points
Fiat_Lux 12/10/13 - 03:14 pm
12
3
Deke has far more faith in the commissioners than I do

With so much at stake, the best we can do is hope, but I have never seen these guys show the kind of unity necessary to cross a street together. The only thing they share is a desire to get the most they can for their own districts.

The various districts represent genuine competition for the meager resources of the county, even though not all of them foot their share of the costs, not by a long shot. As a result, some commissioners push to get as much as they can for their district--possibly one that pays very little if anything for what they get, while other commissioners try to get at least something for all the money paid by their constituents to keep the county afloat.

That definitely is not a recipe for success.

Marinerman1
5310
Points
Marinerman1 12/10/13 - 02:12 pm
13
3
Good Dance Moves

Deke had some really good dance moves. While he does have to play in the sandbox with these stooges, he also should have put the seven in their place -- they pulled a fast one, while he and three of the other commissioners (white) were not present for the "Executive Session". Fred's been slammed about raising taxes, and he's been slammed about hitting the reserve fund. Where the hell is he supposed to get the money? With ARC continuing to lose ground as far as tax paying citizens, there is no Money Tree in the Puzzle Palace, and the people coming in, for the most part, are not tax payers.

dichotomy
36275
Points
dichotomy 12/10/13 - 03:16 pm
13
1
Fred had a lot of faults, but

Fred had a lot of faults, but the worst one was never making the commissioners realize what they were doing to us. Fred would make a feeble attempt but they would say something like "we can find the money" or "we can float a bond". Fred was never strong enough to put the commissioners and our "progressive" mayor on a pay as you go basis and our ignorant commissioners continue to fund studies, consultants, and projects that we CANNOT AFFORD. With the number of administrators they have fired or run off it just proves that the commissioners are the idiots, not the administrators.

I am confident in one thing. I am confident that our gang of 7 will manage to find someone WORSE than Fred and that this new coalition of underhanded backstabbers will continue to divert ALL of the tax money to THEIR districts while District 8 continues to suck hind teat. I notice that the 3 commissioners who were excluded from the gang of 7 backstabbers were all white. Maybe Donnie Smith won't be getting as much of that RAIN TAX for his district as he thinks he is going to get. Seems like the gang of 7 don't feel like they need to let you in on things Donnie. Just turn around......Wayne will pull that knife out of your back. He is used to the procedure.

I'm really disappointed with Davis and Jackson for going along with this. Not the firing....but the doing it as an UNSCHEDULED meeting item, based on a motion by Marion Williams of all people, when 3 commissioners were absent. I would expect this from the rest of them. I had hopes for better judgment from Mary Davis.

Regardless of the right or wrong of firing Fred, what this gang of 7 did stinks of being a gutless ambush. And Mayor....you should have had the cojones to say so instead of "I respect the body". I sure don't respect them.

Little Lamb
47968
Points
Little Lamb 12/10/13 - 03:25 pm
13
3
Where?

What the people and several commissioners were asking for was to reduce government services instead of raising taxes.

I would respectfully submit a ten-percent pay cut across the board to cover the year 2014 for all city employees, for starters. Likewise a ten percent cut in hourly pay for all contractors, including the lawyers. Those contractors who balk should have their contracts terminated.

I would close the municipal golf course, demolish the club house, grout-in and cap the well, and put the property up for auction to the highest bidder — no restrictions, no minimum bid.

I would cut back on bus service; starting with selling those monstrosity buses and replacing them with fuel-efficient vans that can respond flexibly to riders' desires.

I would scrap the notion of running a bus service into Fort Gordon at a yearly loss of $300,000 and counting.

I would close community centers that cannot generate income to pay the park & recreation staff.

I would kill the Hyde Park buy-out and relocation program. It's private property. The private sector can have it.

I would disengage the city government from any dealings with the "Mills Campus" boondoggle. Those mills belong the Canal Authority. They should handle things and not the city.

I would shut down this "business incubator" in the middle of Broad Street, and sell the I.M. Pei-designed building (or better yet, raze it). I would sever all ties to Matt Kwatinetz.

Riverman1
90604
Points
Riverman1 12/10/13 - 03:39 pm
11
1
I wish LL would be more

I wish LL would be more specific and stop sugar coating things. :)

Riverman1
90604
Points
Riverman1 12/10/13 - 03:41 pm
15
5
Truth Is

The truth is Russell was incompetent, many of the commissioners are incompetent and Deke is incompetent.

Riverman1
90604
Points
Riverman1 12/10/13 - 03:54 pm
9
2
From The Other Article

Susan McCord said in the other article, “Among the issues, Lockett and Jackson said Russell was too friendly with or influential over certain employees and department heads…”

I would like for Ms McCord or a commissioner to elaborate.

obkad
222
Points
obkad 12/10/13 - 03:59 pm
9
2
Smells fishy

The gang of "brothers" stuck to their guns.. It was just a matter of time when they got Fred. He's is the one who will have the last laugh, once the lawsuit and termination buyout begins.. King Marion and laughing bunch of merrymen got another one.. Wonder who will be the next white or BLACK Knight in shinning armor will be.... I would suspect the king already has his fella in place...now Fred can smile. I wonder if Fred will start to spill the beans on what good dirt he has on everyone else.. I've got my popcorn ready for the show...Not that Fred was any angel mind you,, but to the rest of these 1-d-10-t's he's a saint

nocnoc
47259
Points
nocnoc 12/10/13 - 04:06 pm
9
3
Many of us on the South Side Agree, with the Mayor's comment

About Fred.
Keeping the CITY ahead of the South Side.

“Having worked with Fred for eight years now, I consider him a man who kept the greater good of our city as a whole at the forefront of his decision making process,

For 17 Years Downtown has been sucking more out of the South Side than and it puts a very small percentage of the collected Taxpayer $$$$$ into back into it.

In fact too much $$$$$ is wasted Downtown, the South Augusta areas are seeing the results of Lack of Reinvestment.

1st thing we need to do is rename the position either County Administrator or ARC Administrator and get this non-existent word CITY erased.

Which are we?
Unified Government called Augusta Richmond Co.

or a City that lost it charter for $$$ reasons
and a County Government with constant bailout $$$$.

Marinerman1
5310
Points
Marinerman1 12/10/13 - 04:29 pm
9
2
@ LL

I think that you would have a hard sell on some of your points -- from the people that use ARC services, but don't pay any taxes into the system. Starting with the bus service. You don't have enough drivers to drive the increased number of "vans". Now I agree with the bus service to Fort Gordon. Add an additional cab company out there for competition. I agree with the golf course, AFTER you fix the problems caused by ARC, and let a private company run it. I agree with Hyde Park. Let's also quit throwing $700K into the Lainey-Walker cesspool every year. Community Centers would be a tough sell, since they are used for cooling centers in the summer. You'll never sell the pay cut, and you can't replace everyone -- even though we'd like to. You make some good points, but I just don't see them being done. And none of them were Fred's fault. The blame sits squarely in the Commission's lap.

Little Lamb
47968
Points
Little Lamb 12/10/13 - 04:48 pm
6
2
Laney Walker Redevelopment

I'm with you on stopping the bleeding there. Trouble is, it was part of the Tee Center deal. Still, all it would take would be six votes to undo the Laney Walker part of the deal.

Karen Slater-McDaniel
3100
Points
Karen Slater-McDaniel 12/10/13 - 04:57 pm
9
6
10% across the board? Have

10% across the board? Have you lost your everloving mind?

You have deputies working 2 & 3 jobs outside of their regular duty with RCSO. At $35,000.00 per year you're taking $3,500.00 off their gross income! They are underpaid in comparison to other like-sized departments in the Southeastern US. Their benefits increase in out-of-pocket cost annually & their coverage decreases. They have the worst retirement package known to man.

You want immediate police response & increased police presence with no increase in pay & now you say a 10% pay cut? You cannot have it both ways.

Augustaboy
52
Points
Augustaboy 12/10/13 - 05:02 pm
10
1
Get it together..

Best of Luck finding someone who will put up with such a divided commission. It's a shame for such a great, giving, community that is Augusta, to be so split Black and White. It's only our own ignorance that is dragging this city down. Why do WE elect people if they decide be absent for such BIG decisions? Get it together.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 12/10/13 - 05:06 pm
0
0
Richmond county,
Unpublished

with it's demographics, will follow in the footsteps of Detroit within the next decade, in my opinion. Unfortunately, blacks ( again my opinion) have shown a serious lack of leadership in all venues they have "led". I wish y'all luck.

Riverman1
90604
Points
Riverman1 12/10/13 - 05:33 pm
6
4
Policing Richmond County

Policing Richmond County is not an easy job. RCSO officers deserve much more pay than other area departments. The technique of community policing that many of us promote means RCSO officers get down and dirty. In Columbia County it means an officer speaks to the Kiwanis Club.

Riverman1
90604
Points
Riverman1 12/10/13 - 05:41 pm
7
2
Hey, Austin Guaranteed Us Russell Was Gone

Hey, Austin guaranteed this. He was only two years early with his proclamation Russell would be gone in weeks. Heh.

SemperParatus
3225
Points
SemperParatus 12/10/13 - 05:44 pm
7
4
I would be interested in

I would be interested in knowing if the online posters here, particularly those that are critical of Mayor Copenhaver and Fred Russell, are residents of Augusta-Richmond County. I am and have been for 45 years.

LillyfromtheMills
14058
Points
LillyfromtheMills 12/10/13 - 05:52 pm
6
3
I'm still stumped

And Russell is laughing all the way to the bank. The incompetence of this commission is -------- -Russell was arrogant and needed to be fired, but not for hurting their feelings. He was in bed with so many - clean it up!

Little Lamb
47968
Points
Little Lamb 12/10/13 - 05:53 pm
7
2
Response & Presence

I do not want immediate response. I do not want increased presence.

I want effective response.

Riverman1
90604
Points
Riverman1 12/10/13 - 05:55 pm
6
4
Oh, Lilly has been talking to

Oh, Lilly has been talking to somebody. Heh, heh, heh.

LillyfromtheMills
14058
Points
LillyfromtheMills 12/10/13 - 05:59 pm
6
3
Semper

I am an active member of the CSRA for many years but my vote doesn't count because I vote outside of Richmond Co

LillyfromtheMills
14058
Points
LillyfromtheMills 12/10/13 - 06:01 pm
6
4
RM

You do make me laugh! And so do they heheh

LillyfromtheMills
14058
Points
LillyfromtheMills 12/10/13 - 06:03 pm
6
4
RM

Where's Harley?

Riverman1
90604
Points
Riverman1 12/10/13 - 06:08 pm
6
3
Hush, I'm getting along with

Hush, I'm getting along with Harley just dandy now, thank you very much. Heh.

LillyfromtheMills
14058
Points
LillyfromtheMills 12/10/13 - 06:27 pm
5
2
Hehehe

Good! I was afraid to come into the water :)

countyman
21299
Points
countyman 12/10/13 - 07:19 pm
2
8
Im really getting tired of

Im really getting tired of the people who don't even live in Richmond County but swear they know everything about the county.

The poster Marinerman1 wants us to believe the majority of people moving to Richmond aren't tax paying citzens. The comment make absolutely zero sense because a new movie theater, Cabelas, Whole Foods, H&M, DSW, Home Goods, etc are under construction in Richmond County. Even Dunkin Donuts, Chick Fil A, Firehouse Subs, and Five Guys is coming to South Augusta.

The Laney Walker-Bethlehem development is coming from the local hotel tax(1.5 million tourist per year in RC). The progress id helping lower the crime rate, attract national attention, and bring in new homeowners/private investment.

Semper Paratus. The majority of those people live in Columbia County which is pretty funny considering Ron Cross is their leader. Do they really want to debate who's the better leader between Deke and Ron?

Brad Owens
4859
Points
Brad Owens 12/10/13 - 06:32 pm
7
4
What?

Where do you southside folks get the idea Fred was fighting for you against downtown?

Have you all been asleep the past eight years?

jmo
17713
Points
jmo 12/10/13 - 06:57 pm
6
1
If you run for...

a Commission Seat, you should be present at the meetings. Three absent at the same meeting; this was a setup.

nocnoc
47259
Points
nocnoc 12/10/13 - 07:28 pm
8
1
Brad - reread my comment.

He has been focused on DOWNTOWN and the power that comes with it.
The South Side was drained on Taxes with LITTLE show in return except the demand for new Taxes.

If I had my way I'd disconnect Richmond Co. from Augusta and let the fools DOWNTOWN figure out where to steal the $$$ Millions $$$
they waste on stupid projects.

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