Government

More News | | | Editor

Commissioner wants residency requirement for city employees

Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014 8:12 PM
Last updated Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 12:38 AM
  • Follow Government

Augusta Commission member Marion Wil­liams thinks city employees who live outside Augusta-Richmond County are costing the county tax dollars.

He has continued to push the issue, first with city department heads and now with all city staff, despite having neither state law nor any commission colleagues on his side.

“It just don’t make sense for us not to recognize what we’re doing,” Williams said Friday. “We support the other counties with our county dollars. We at least ought to know what kind of money we lose.”

Augusta sends about $34.8 million, or about 37 percent of its annual base salaries, outside the consolidated city limits, according to August personnel data.

The bulk goes to Columbia County, where 535 city staffers, or 21.5 percent of the city workforce, live.

Williams learned last week which departments’ heads don’t live in Augusta: engineering, recreation, environmental services, the Richmond County Correc­tio­nal Institute, information technology, equal employment opportunity and 911. Not satisfied, he demanded data from human resources on all city personnel and returned the residency item to today’s administrative services committee agenda.

The discussion was a low point of last Tues­day’s commission meeting, with Mayor Pro Tem Corey Johnson arguing, “You don’t have to like it,” and Mayor Deke Copenhaver slamming his gavel. Commissioner Wayne Guil­­foyle called the debate “chasing false rabbits,” while Commissioner Bill Lockett said the exchange was one reason “our population isn’t growing the way it should.”

Georgia law prohibits residency requirements for local government employees, without the occasional “compelling governmental reason,” such as public safety, city General Counsel Andrew MacKenzie said,

Richmond County Sheriff Richard Round­tree has no residency requirements for deputies and has maintained an existing policy that allows about 100 of them to drive their assigned vehicles to homes outside Augusta, provided they get departmental approval.

Williams said he wasn’t concerned about the sheriff.

“I’m talking about the stuff we’ve got authority over,” he said.

“You make $50,000, $60,000, $90,000 a year but you don’t pay taxes,” Wil­liams said. “You don’t care if the taxes go up or not. You don’t care whether the garbage gets picked up.”

Nearly all of his colleagues continue to dismiss Wil­liams’ latest crusade as unwarranted, but the Super Dis­trict 9 commissioner isn’t dropping it.

“So I’ll know and you’ll know and the taxpayers will know how much we have not paid attention to what we’ve been doing,” Williams said.

While mostly outlawed in Georgia, other states and cities do require residency.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Chris­tie implemented a state residency requirement for all state employees in 2011. Boston, Chicago and Jacksonville, Fla., have them as a stated way to preserve neighborhoods, though Jacksonville is considering a repeal.

The NAACP has sued over residency requirements, saying they can keep minority job applicants out of jobs.

AREAS WHERE EMPLOYEES LIVE

Where Augusta-Richmond County city employees live:

Augusta 1,210

Hephzibah 356

Martinez 191

Grovetown 143

Evans 137

North Augusta 135

Harlem 39

Blythe 26

Appling 25

Waynesboro 23

Thomson 19

Aiken 18

Jackson 15

Lincolnton 15

Graniteville 11

Beech Island 10

Source: Augusta Human Resources Department

Comments (47) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Just My Opinion
6296
Points
Just My Opinion 01/10/14 - 08:21 pm
13
2
Wow...this Williams guy is

Wow...this Williams guy is something else! He just loves to hear himself talk, and he's apparently not happy unless he's stirring the pot and getting his name in the paper.
I am SO happy Columbia County doesn't have a clown like this in a leadership position. Well, Mike Sleeper is about the closest thing we have to a Marion Williams.

TCB22
694
Points
TCB22 01/10/14 - 08:40 pm
11
3
Is it constitutional

I wonder if it's constitutional to require all city employees to live in RC. And beyond that, wouldn't it remove a lot of talent from the workforce? A tempest in a teapot.

bubbasauce
24270
Points
bubbasauce 01/10/14 - 09:36 pm
3
12
I actually think this is a

I actually think this is a good idea.

IBeDogGone
3015
Points
IBeDogGone 01/11/14 - 09:17 am
9
2
IT WILL NEVER HAPPMEN

I think this would be a Human Resource Nightmare! In order to comply with Mr. Williams latest controversy could you really get employees that are qualified for these positons from in country pool of employees? Some of these have lived in surrounding counties for years and yes that is where their roots are for most they were not residents of RC when they were hired! At times I feel strongly that Department Heads need to be detached from their place of work to get a clearer picture of the needs of their Departments.

These out of county employees do contribute to our tax base, they eat lunch at local businesses, buy their gas where it is more convient at times and support special events.

gargoyle
21089
Points
gargoyle 01/12/14 - 11:46 pm
9
1
Can we send Mr. Williams to N

Can we send Mr. Williams to N Korea instead of Rodman ? His lunacy will fit right in

Riverman1
94246
Points
Riverman1 01/13/14 - 04:27 am
10
3
The acting city administrator

The acting city administrator Tameka Allen lives in Burke County. Williams supports her.

scoobynews
3896
Points
scoobynews 01/13/14 - 05:09 am
7
3
He really needs a hobby other

He really needs a hobby other than stirring up trouble. He is too ignorant to know that they also spend a good deal of their money in Richmond county when they shop, buy gas, and food. Guess Ms. Allen shouldn't get to comfy if he has his way.

Also whoever is driving from Graniteville, Lincolnton, and Jackson must be making some serious cash to drive that far.

bob0142
480
Points
bob0142 01/13/14 - 05:14 am
10
4
I remember when America was a
Unpublished

I remember when America was a free country. What happened?

dickworth1
954
Points
dickworth1 01/13/14 - 05:29 am
7
5
America?
Unpublished

What happen? It is spelled attorneys and the supreme court!

ColCo
927
Points
ColCo 01/13/14 - 06:00 am
8
2
T-SPLOST refund

“It just don’t make sense for us not to recognize what we’re doing,” Williams said Friday. “We support the other counties with our county dollars. We at least ought to know what kind of money we lose.”

So when can we expect a refund check from Richmond County for T-SPLOST project money they've spent that wasn't generated in Richmond County?

Dixieman
17584
Points
Dixieman 01/13/14 - 06:18 am
10
4
What an idea...

...then the city/county government will be fully staffed by people too dumb to leave the "slum"!

nocnoc
49620
Points
nocnoc 01/13/14 - 07:33 am
5
1
Lets apply it to the DOWNTOWN ARC Commissioners 1st

Using roughly the same logic.

As Countyman has repeatedly reminded us.

Most Downtown ARC Commissioners have chosen NOT to live in the amidst their voters (in Town). But have instead chosen to live across the Gordon Highway in the more southern parts of their Districts. THE SAFER, CLEANER PARTS OF THEIR DISTRICTS.

Maybe those 5 OR 6 Downtown ARC commissioners living on the edge of their districts for personal reasons, would better understand the safety issues and problems of a Majority of their constituents, if they were required to move into the middle of their districts?

jwilliams
1117
Points
jwilliams 01/13/14 - 08:09 am
11
1
Marion is talking about ALL

Marion is talking about ALL of the money that is leaving ARC, but what about the money that is here in ARC that we aren’t getting, such as commissioner Marion Williams DELINQUENT property taxes (according to the ARC Tax commissioners web site).

seenitB4
98537
Points
seenitB4 01/13/14 - 08:09 am
6
3
Not gonna work

What would come next....rent or buy a house?? Maybe, what kind of car you drive.....kick out the renters & only have PAYING TAX employees......you see what a can of worms you will open here...

seenitB4
98537
Points
seenitB4 01/13/14 - 08:11 am
8
3
Hahah

This is getting funny ....MAKE someone live in Richmond county.....:)

Pops
14682
Points
Pops 01/13/14 - 09:39 am
4
1
Trust me Marion, we know what you haven't been doing.

“So I’ll know and you’ll know and the taxpayers will know how much we have not paid attention to what we’ve been doing,” Williams said.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 01/13/14 - 10:30 am
4
1
We should be able to

We should be able to elect/hire Kim Jong to implement a fancy foreign policy plan no? If you want to make high level decisions that directly affect the standard of living and development of the community, you can live there as well. If you are just pushing pencils or a broom, i don't think where you live amounts to squat.

dichotomy
37616
Points
dichotomy 01/13/14 - 10:46 am
9
2
"The acting city

"The acting city administrator Tameka Allen lives in Burke County. Williams supports her."

You must understand what Williams REALLY wants. This is about WHITE people who work for the county and live somewhere else. Marion is just saying that he wants to see all black faces in RC government jobs. That is always the pot that Williams stirs.....the race pot. When Williams launches his angle of attack....pay no attention to his stated justification for war........always look for what the REAL affect of the explosion would be.

countyman
21684
Points
countyman 01/13/14 - 11:08 am
2
11
Great solution!!!

The negative comments are strange considering the majority of taxpayers would support the idea.. The RC taxpayers are more important than anybody else including ALL of the government employees..

Every department head and elected official must be required to live in Richmond County.. I don't care about the employees making $30,000 to $40,000 per year...

The RC officials need to focus on the RC population and stop worrying about the suburban counties.. Why do we care so much about their opinions and they couldn't even discuss the Bass Pro with the RC leaders?

The former principal at one of the middle schools in Richmond County let the school go downhill in terms of discipline a few years ago. The teachers and parents were furious but the principal always had an nonchalant attitude.. It's easy to be so relaxed when her children went to school in Columbia County.

How many citizens of RC are department heads in AC or CC?

countyman
21684
Points
countyman 01/13/14 - 11:16 am
2
8
Nocnoc... What is a downtown

Nocnoc... What is a downtown commissioner? Bill Fennoy lives in the Laney Walker neighborhood because he represents District 1...

Why would Alvin Mason, Bill Lockett, Joe Jackson, etc live in town when they represent the citizens of South Augusta?

ColCo... The majority of the TSplost funds were generated in Richmond County..

countyman
21684
Points
countyman 01/13/14 - 11:43 am
4
6
Dixieman.... Columbia and

Dixieman.... Columbia and Richmond county governments created redevelopment areas(slums)...

Why can someone live in the slums of CC but not Richmond?

nocnoc
49620
Points
nocnoc 01/13/14 - 12:32 pm
3
1
County man just using your own provided data

to cite an example if how many of the Downtown Voting block commissioners have chosen to live on the edges of the Districts.

nocnoc
49620
Points
nocnoc 01/13/14 - 12:47 pm
5
1
Would the AC expand the data?

To put to rest the underlying hint of a motive that has been discussed in a back channel blogger conversation.

The idea was tossed around that likely a large number of these OUT OF COUNTY living employees were not that of the current population racial majority.

By ILLEGALLY requiring them to live in the County of Employment or lose their jobs, Commissioner Williams was in as much trying to accelerate position openings and increase the odds of hiring more of the current racial majority into positions.

So could the AC also publish the Racial Demographics along with the numbers. To put to rest this likely unwarranted suspicion or bring it into the open, as a possible political maneuver?

mycomments
377
Points
mycomments 01/13/14 - 12:50 pm
6
1
jwilliams said it best...

When can Augusta-Richmond County expect payment of your past due property taxes, Marion? Every year, same thing...

seenitB4
98537
Points
seenitB4 01/13/14 - 12:52 pm
4
4
Too few whites in Atlanta government

http://www.examiner.com/article/rampant-discrimination-against-whites-at...

Do you want lawsuits galore in Augusta.....read this article...keep running taxpayers out of Augusta & you will get just what you deserve.

seenitB4
98537
Points
seenitB4 01/13/14 - 01:01 pm
5
4
ctyman said this

"The former principal at one of the middle schools in Richmond County let the school go downhill in terms of discipline a few years ago."

Maybe she got tired of beating her head against a stone wall...sometimes you give up & move...

seenitB4
98537
Points
seenitB4 01/13/14 - 01:02 pm
6
3
I have noticed this

ctyman you have a LOT of racial overtones in your comments..BUT you are the first to accuse others....why is that??

lifelongresident
1323
Points
lifelongresident 01/13/14 - 01:06 pm
0
0
residency requirements may
Unpublished

residency requirements may not work but a $2000.00 "right to work" can be implimented, for all those not living in the county and prohibit anyone including the interm city administrator from holding an assistant or dept head position unless they live in the county. This way all department heads and deputy/asst. dept heads will "have a stake in the county and its well-being"

countyman
21684
Points
countyman 01/13/14 - 02:20 pm
2
3
Facts

Seenitb4.. What comments had any racial overtones?? The link provided from you and your comments about the lawsuits in Atlanta were the only recent comments related to race...

Do you find my comments strange because I don't blame the black community for everything like so many other comments that don't seem to bother you?

Why do your comments always put CC on an pedestal and put down Richmond? What made you assume the school had major discipline problems before? The discipline at the middle school has returned to normal once they let the former principal go..

countyman
21684
Points
countyman 01/13/14 - 02:40 pm
2
5
taxpayers

The same few people have to mention the taxpayers in Richmond County any other time. Mr. Williams needs to continue pushing the issue and let the local taxpayers respond..

The citizens of RC didn't vote for anybody except for the elected officials..

The commissioners and the mayor should all be held accountable on the particular subject.

Any 'new' department head must be required to live in Richmond County.. I don't support requiring every government worker to live in the county but the people making the 'powerful' decisions must.

Back to Top
loading...
Top headlines

Ex-SC Gov. Edwards dies

CHARLESTON, S.C. - James B. Edwards, South Carolina's first Republican governor since Reconstruction and later energy secretary for two years in the Reagan administration, has died.
Search Augusta jobs