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Augusta traffic chief named interim deputy administrator

Monday, March 10, 2014 10:20 PM
Last updated Tuesday, March 11, 2014 8:19 AM
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The head of Augusta traffic engineering and a key player in the ongoing cleanup effort from last month’s ice storm was named the city’s interim deputy administrator Monday.

Reporting to interim City Admin­is­trator Tameka Allen, Steve Cassell will temporarily assume most of the duties handled by former deputy administrator Bill Shanahan, who was over operations functions including emergency management, fire, environmental services, recreation and utilities, officials said.

Cassell, a city employee for eight years with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, said he was happy to take on the responsibilities in addition to his traffic engineering duties, which grew to include a massive debris removal effort after the storm.

Cassell helped secure the two contractors, AshBritt Environ­mental and Leidos, which he said Monday had completed about 70 percent of a “first pass” of all Au­gusta-Richmond County households to haul away piles of storm debris.

The Augusta Commission voted 8-0 to name Cassell to the new role after a closed-door session Monday.

Allen, the city’s information technology director and a deputy administrator, has been the only administrator in the office since Decem­ber, when the commission voted to fire Fred Russell. Shanahan left last fall for another job.

Commissioner Donnie Smith said Allen needed help and that Cassell had the right skill set.


In other business Monday, four-person Augusta Commission committees:

  • Approved amendments to the city’s mothballed property ordinance with stricter requirements for owners of unoccupied properties
  • Learned from city transit liaison Sharon Dottery that finding a suitable area for city buses to stop was prolonging planning for a new bus route
  • Agreed by 4-0 vote to exempt Sheriff Richard Roundtree from mandatory 2.4 percent budget cuts expected of all city departments. Roundtree said the cuts would “put the city in jeopardy” by causing staffing reductions
  • Approved agreements with live-in caretakers who maintain four city parks
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Riverman1 03/11/14 - 05:59 am
Makes Sense

It makes sense. He's energetic and will be a big help for Ms. Allen. Richmond County functioned a long time without a traffic engineer. It probably takes him about an hour a day and a cup of coffee to do that job.

Matt Schlachter, in Columbia County, handles Engineering Services, Engineering, Roads & Bridges, Property Acquisition, Solid Waste and Stormwater, in addition to Traffic Engineering.

Cameron Poe
Cameron Poe 03/11/14 - 10:18 am
And with the way many of the

And with the way many of the stop lights are run some would say we are still without a traffic engineer.

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 03/11/14 - 10:44 am

Amen to that, Cameron Poe. When Augusta bought that new system where the cameras allegedly control traffic, we took several giant steps backward. I sit at lights much longer than I did when they used those magnetic switches in the pavement. The magnetic switches responded promptly and correctly to traffic. These cameras (and their associated software) are practically unresponsive.

One of my chief complaints is the new cameras will not allow a side street to clear. You've got multiple cars backed up on a crossing, then they finally get a green light (or green arrow) and only two or three make it through before the light turns yellow then red. The system should clear the side streets before opening up for the main street again.

Sweet son
Sweet son 03/11/14 - 11:10 am
Wrong to exempt Roundtree from the budget reductions!

We all know how wasteful government is and Roundtree has had a party getting plenty of new toys, etc. He could/can find the reductions as prescribed for other City Departments to follow.

2.4% of his budget is nothing!

Riverman1 03/11/14 - 12:41 pm
I thought Deke was supposed

I thought Deke was supposed to be helping out with the administrator duties? Guess everyone forgot about that.

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