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Deputy Administrator Tameka Allen named interim administrator

Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 7:45 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014 8:16 AM
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Deputy Administrator Tameka Allen is now officially in charge of Augusta’s government.

Deputy Administrator Tameka Allen is now officially in charge of Augusta’s government.

The Keysville native, a city employee since 1992, was named unanimously Tuesday to the top position of interim city administrator until a replacement for Fred Russell, whom the commission voted to fire last month, is found.

“I can’t think of anybody else that I would put in other than Tameka Allen,” said Commissioner Bill Fennoy. “To put anybody else in that job would be a disservice to the city.”

After firing Russell without a succession plan, the commission initially named Mayor Deke Copenhaver or Mayor Pro Tem Corey Johnson to act as administrator in Allen’s absence but declined to promote Allen to interim administrator.

Tuesday, after a lengthy executive session to discuss the move and other matters, the commission voted 9-0, with Commissioner Donnie Smith absent, to name Allen as interim administrator for the four to six months until Russell’s replacement is found.

Commissioner Bill Lockett, who advocated for Allen to assume the role since Russell was terminated, said his mind hadn’t changed about her qualifications. Plus, she is not interested in holding the administrator position permanently, Lockett said.

The motion from Commissioner Alvin Mason also set in motion a process of finding interim appointees to hold Allen’s two positions. She has served as city Information Technology director since 2001 and as a deputy administrator since 2004. The city’s second deputy administrator, Bill Shanahan, resigned in August to take another job.

Allen, 44, graduated from Savannah State University and earned a master’s degree in business administration from Augusta State University in 2005, according to her personnel file. She was in meetings late Tuesday and couldn’t be reached for comment.

Johnson, Copenhaver and Allen were also tasked with recommending candidates for interim IT director and interim deputy administrator by the next commission meeting.

After the vote Commissioner Marion Williams posed an unusual request. Williams said he wanted copies of the hard drives from Russell’s computer, to see what was on them. Williams and former Commissioner Calvin Holland made the same request in 2007 after a city law department employee was found to be conducting private business on her city PC, but the commission never gave them access to Russell’s files.

Also Tuesday, the commission voted 7-2, with Lockett and Fennoy opposed, to approve a new, two-year contract with Gold Cross EMS, the city’s ambulance provider since 2006. The city had been on a week-to-week contract with the Martinez-based firm since Dec. 31 after failing to reach an agreement before the new year.

The new contract calls for creation of a Emergency Medical Service Advisory Board made up of the administrator, a Gold Cross designee and its medical director, the city’s EMS medical director and a Richmond County Sheriff’s Office designee to review quarterly reports on the service’s performance.

Gold Cross handled some 36,000 EMS calls for Augusta last year, CEO Vince Brogdon said.

Noticeably absent from the contract is Augusta’s fire chief, who served as contract administrator under the older agreements. Fire Chief Chris James raised questions about the old contract that led to the commission seeking competitive EMS bids, but later reversed course and decided to renegotiate with the company.

Another item elicited the loud bang of Copenhaver’s gavel when Johnson loudly questioned Williams’ request to see all city staff who live outside Richmond County. Williams had previously sought the names of department heads who don’t live in Augusta-Richmond, although General Counsel Andrew MacKenzie said there is no legal way to compel them to do so.

“I have a right to know how much money is going out of this county,” Williams said.

According to an August personnel report obtained by The Augusta Chronicle, city employees are spread far and wide, from Charleston to Conyers. Some 761 of the city’s then-2,488 staff members lived outside Augusta-Richmond County. The largest number from outside Augusta were 191 who had Martinez addresses.

The commission also after much discussion approved a short tentative timeline for developing a new special purpose, local option sales tax to present to voters May 20.

Deputy Finance Director Tim Schroer said the early date was needed to allow a second referendum to be held if the SPLOST fails the first time.

Cities must wait a year before holding a second SPLOST referendum, and the next opportunity would fall in November of 2016, Schroer said.

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Bulldog
1321
Points
Bulldog 01/07/14 - 11:15 pm
5
1
Gold Cross handled some 36,000 EMS calls for Augusta last year

36,000 calls? That amounts to 99 calls per day for every single day of the year! Can that be possible?

KSL
128774
Points
KSL 01/08/14 - 12:05 am
9
7
What are credentials other

What are credentials other than being employed since 1992 and a masters from Augusta State?

rebellious
20656
Points
rebellious 01/08/14 - 01:20 am
8
8
Mr. Williams, I agree

If you want to draw a paycheck from this fair city, if it is good enough to work in and for, then live here. Like the driver of the Pepsi truck getting caught drinking Coca-Cola, shame upon you for peddling or working for a company (city) you feel you can not live in. I do not usually agree with Reverend Williams, but on this one, he is spot on. Makes me wonder what Mr. Johnson has to defend!

deestafford
27412
Points
deestafford 01/08/14 - 01:26 am
8
4
How many times does....

How many times does Williams have to show what an impediment he is to progress to those looking at Augusta as a future place to locate?

What was/is wrong with the current EMS situation that the fire department wants to change? Power?

Augusta Gardener
907
Points
Augusta Gardener 01/08/14 - 01:33 am
4
1
Chief looks out for community

So the fire chief questions Gold Cross performance and gets pulled from the loop. Seems like they should be praising him instead. Hope someone else will be watching carefully, not just rubber-stamping!

Just My Opinion
5582
Points
Just My Opinion 01/08/14 - 05:47 am
3
0
Bulldog, 99 calls a day

Bulldog, 99 calls a day amounts to about 4 or 5 calls an hour. That doesn't seem that outlandish. Throw out some of those as scrapes or minor things, like transportation issues, and the number seems to get to sound more reasonable. There are a lot of ambulances out there, so they have to have a lot of need for them.

lifelongresident
1323
Points
lifelongresident 01/08/14 - 09:21 am
0
0
KSL, she not just some city
Unpublished

KSL, she not just some city employee, in addition to being the IT director she was the DEPUTY administrator, that means she was under the city administrator russell in on most if not all of the decisons and the decision making process it is my opinion this is one the commission got right....

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 01/08/14 - 10:00 am
0
0
Ambulances at Cicle K, buffetts, Shell Oil, buffetts, Cracker Ba
Unpublished

rrell, Red Lobster, Circle K,

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 01/08/14 - 10:02 am
0
0
By the end of four months she will just move in as Administrator
Unpublished

By the end of four months she will just move in as Administrator

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 01/08/14 - 10:02 am
0
0
Can she pace around the room and pass out bottled water?
Unpublished

Can she pace around the room and pass out bottled water?

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 01/08/14 - 10:03 am
0
0
Can she negotiate a no fire contract with benefits out the wazoo
Unpublished

Can she negotiate a no fire contract with benefits out the wazoo

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 01/08/14 - 10:04 am
1
0
Tameka needs to call Robert Dixon to do a "bench mark" analysis
Unpublished

Tameka needs to call Robert Dixon to do a "bench mark" analysis

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 01/08/14 - 10:07 am
1
0
Is she related to Kay and Charles? Or Rick? The Allen Machine.
Unpublished

Is she related to Kay and Charles? Or Rick? The Allen Machine.

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 01/08/14 - 10:09 am
1
0
Generally in ARC, the wife serves as "interem" for a fallen spou
Unpublished

Generally in ARC, the wife serves as "interim"

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 01/08/14 - 10:35 am
4
1
the irony

Folks running the city, deciding how much to tax, where to allocate said tax, etc etc etc. don't live there and have no skin in the game. Classic Garden City disfunction. That is rich yall. Thanks for the laughs.

deestafford
27412
Points
deestafford 01/08/14 - 10:51 am
7
2
As far as city workers not living in Richmond County...

As far as city workers not living in Richmond County is concerned I would bet a number of them were working other places before they got jobs with the city and were living where they are before being hired.

I have no heartburn with workers not living within the city because of mobility of living and working situations but I do strongly believe the elected folks should live in the city/county. If they feel strongly enough to run for an elected position of power and influence they should live within the boundaries of their area of influence.

itsanotherday1
42836
Points
itsanotherday1 01/08/14 - 11:10 am
3
1
Dittos Dee.

Dittos Dee.

Dixieman
14941
Points
Dixieman 01/08/14 - 12:08 pm
5
0
Good luck to her

She has credentials and many years of experience so seems well-qualified for the position. I wish her Godspeed and good luck because she is working for a divided group of clowns.

Riverman1
83470
Points
Riverman1 01/08/14 - 12:10 pm
2
3
I wonder if Ms. Allen is

I wonder if Ms. Allen is going to walk around like Russell at Commission meetings passing out water bottles to commissioners? Usually a more extensive family bio is released for new administrators. Is Ms. Allen married, kids, etc.? Does SHE live in Augusta?

Riverman1
83470
Points
Riverman1 01/08/14 - 12:17 pm
2
2
@ Rebel

Rebel is a knowledgeable and involved commenter. He’s also actively involved in Richmond County. Many of us are happy to say we know him and hope he goes far in public service. Having said that, I disagree with him about forcing Richmond County employees to live in the county. The net effect of such a policy is the county will end up with lesser employees. If there are two candidates and the better one is from McDuffie, yet one from Richmond is chosen, that negatively affects the county more than the employee not living in the county. Most of these employees probably shop in Richmond County in any case, so all their income is not lost to another county.

Sweet son
10323
Points
Sweet son 01/08/14 - 12:36 pm
0
1
Saw a Richmond County Sheriff's marked patrol car at a

private residence near Applewood Golf Course the other day. Applewood is on Story Mill Rd. in Burke County.

Sweet son
10323
Points
Sweet son 01/08/14 - 12:40 pm
0
2
Ms. Allen won't have as much trouble working with the

Commission as Fred because she is black and also she is a female. Glad she is smart enough to know that she doesn't want the job full time. Pretty smart cookie if you ask me. Taking the Administrator job would certainly be a termination sentence for her and will also be the same for anyone who is foolish enough to try to work for the 'Magnificent 10.'

Riverman1
83470
Points
Riverman1 01/08/14 - 01:10 pm
1
1
Next Administrator Black?

I'm guessing the next administrator will be black. Nothing wrong with that and it may even bring a degree of peace to county government. A black administrator may be able to build a consensus among the commissioners...something Russell could never do.

clumber
43
Points
clumber 01/08/14 - 01:19 pm
2
0
Allen

I got it; She is qualified to do the job, but not qualified to have the job.

triscuit
3064
Points
triscuit 01/08/14 - 01:20 pm
0
0
Wasn't Kolb black?

Wasn't Kolb black?

Riverman1
83470
Points
Riverman1 01/08/14 - 01:59 pm
2
1
Kolb was black. He was an

Kolb was black. He was an excellent administrator by all accounts. He was ran off.

corgimom
32141
Points
corgimom 01/08/14 - 02:36 pm
1
0
Sweet son, did you ever

Sweet son, did you ever consider that the RC deputy was doing an investigation that involved one of the residents of that home?

countyman
20008
Points
countyman 01/08/14 - 03:27 pm
2
2
Every elected official should

Every elected official should be required to live in Richmond County..

The head of any department should also be required to live here and not the people making under $40,000...

justthefacts
21698
Points
justthefacts 01/08/14 - 03:52 pm
0
0
Yeah but

What if an employee (under $40K) living in Burke Cty gets promoted to Dept head. They have to relocate?

Riverman1
83470
Points
Riverman1 01/08/14 - 03:57 pm
2
0
In Columbia County

In Columbia County we need outside workers for our county jobs. We can't find enough people in the county who want these positions. We're not about to limit the county positions to county residents.

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