Candidates tout investment in Augusta at forum

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 10:05 PM
Last updated Wednesday, May 14, 2014 1:45 AM
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Augusta’s five candidates for mayor steered for the high road when asked whether past decisions would impact their service to the city at a Tuesday televised forum.

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Augusta mayoral candidates Helen Blocker-Adams (from left), Charles Cummings, Hardie Davis, Alvin Mason and Lori Myles participated in televised forum Tuesday night at the Julian Smith Barbeque Pit.   TRAVIS HIGHFIELD/STAFF
TRAVIS HIGHFIELD/STAFF
Augusta mayoral candidates Helen Blocker-Adams (from left), Charles Cummings, Hardie Davis, Alvin Mason and Lori Myles participated in televised forum Tuesday night at the Julian Smith Barbeque Pit.

“What we’ve got to focus on is the future and how great it can be,” responded Charles Cummings, a retired business owner.

“How I live my personal life I’m proud of,” answered Sen. Hardie Davis, the pastor of Abundant Life Worship Center. “To ostracize or even characterize any individual is unjust.”

For much of the day, a week before election day May 20, media outlets buzzed over reports of candidate Helen Blocker-Adams’ unpaid Aiken County debts, which Blocker-Adams said she wasn’t aware she owed.

“It’s about what we do with that past; how we improve on that past,” said Commissioner Alvin Mason. “I’m thankful for my struggles ... My past has helped me be who I am today,” he said.

“Definitely, people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones,” responded candidate Lori Myles.

Blocker-Adams noted her “22 years in business, through three recessions. I represent 99 percent of the population; everybody has had stuff ... Someone like me who has gone through stuff today, yes, compassion is needed.”

Asked if they were “personally invested” in Augusta, Davis said his stake was in the 31,000 children who attend Richmond County schools, including his son, for whom he wants to make Augusta a place they’ll want to return to after graduation, like he did.

Mason said he’d owned businesses in Augusta and owns property, and his daughter and granddaughter live here, but his biggest stake was the soldiers at Fort Gordon, where he retired from the Army and now works as a civilian.

“My biggest investment is I own Washington Road,” said Myles, taking another approach. “If something’s wrong with Cherry Tree, I’m there. Every part of Augusta is me.”

Blocker-Adams said while she didn’t own real estate, her stake was her business and the “hundreds of kids” she’s mentored here. “That’s why I feel like I have a vested interest.”

In the end, the Committee for Good Government that sponsored the forum endorsed Davis, with 34 votes, but gave Blocker-Adams 22 and Mason seven. Myles received two votes.

“I would vote for Helen Blocker-Adams,” said member Dorothy Levitt. “A lot of these came here tonight to get our votes and won’t come back.”

Blocker-Adams regularly attends the group’s meetings and has close relationships with its members, said Levitt’s daughter, Joan Germaine.

“If she wins the endorsement, it’s going to be for that reason,” Germaine said.

Comments (11) Add comment
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Riverman1
83996
Points
Riverman1 05/14/14 - 01:21 am
0
0
It's Davis

Hardie Davis is going to win the primary with over 51% to avoid the run-off. Mason should capitalize on HBA's meltdown and if Davis doesn't win it outright in the primary, Mason would have a good shot. In run-offs the first place finisher from the primary often loses.

bohica
381
Points
bohica 05/14/14 - 01:33 am
0
0
I like helen in a run off

I like helen in a run off

dsterling9
832
Points
dsterling9 05/14/14 - 07:36 am
4
0
NONE OF THE ABOVE

Wish 'None of the above' would be added to the ballot since none of these people appear to be qualified to in charge of anything. With 'None of the above' were there and no one candidate got a majority then leave the office open. Would amount to about what is going on now and would save the city/county some money.

Butterman
3680
Points
Butterman 05/14/14 - 09:15 am
1
3
Mason
Unpublished

was the clear winner last night despite what the dinosaurs of the Good Government Committee had to say. He is clearly the most prepared to be mayor and is knowledgeable of the issues affecting the city. Also having a mayor with a masters in contract management might help the city to avoid getting burned in bad management contracts with people like Paul Simon in the future.

talkrightmommy
58
Points
talkrightmommy 05/14/14 - 09:27 pm
0
0
Mason can't have two full-time jobs

Gotta wonder... if elected mayor, will Mason resign from his federal civilian job at Fort Gordon? There's no way he could do both at the same time.

prov227
3157
Points
prov227 05/14/14 - 11:11 am
0
0
Unless ...

the Masters in Contract Management is cancelled by Falcons' skybox tickets.

Butterman
3680
Points
Butterman 05/14/14 - 11:30 am
0
1
Georgia Power
Unpublished

Yeah, how many commissioners get free tickets to The Masters every year? That's pretty lucrative and might explain why the Berckman's road project got fast tracked under Tsplost ahead of everything else. You may want to ask Hardie Davis about the his vote to give Georgia Power advanced profits on Plant Vogtle expansion by allowing them to bill it to current customers.. That was a billion dollar windfall for Georgia Power and raised the average power bill by 7%. Then Hardie exempted big industry from paying sales taxes on energy, which has put Augusta in a $3 million annual financial hole, which will be absorbed by average folks paying property and sales taxes. Then look at who contributed to to his campaigns and the answer becomes clear.

dichotomy
32973
Points
dichotomy 05/14/14 - 12:21 pm
1
1
Mason's Masters in Contract

Mason's Masters in Contract Management should have taught him not to take perks and gratuities from the contractors. If he did that AND GOT CAUGHT at his Fort Gordon job he would be fired and possibly prosecuted. He used his position to avoid being arrested for spousal abuse during an incident for which you or I would have been locked up with no questions asked. He intentionally avoids meetings and votes and then criticizes what was done, or tries to take credit for it, based on which way the wind is blowing. It's called integrity and it's my opinion he doesn't have much of it.

Little Lamb
46022
Points
Little Lamb 05/14/14 - 04:18 pm
1
0
Georgia Power

Georgia Power fed, clothed, and housed Hardie Davis. His dad worked his whole career there.

talkrightmommy
58
Points
talkrightmommy 05/14/14 - 05:37 pm
0
0
Does anyone know if Mason will quit

his job at Fort Gordon if elected mayor? Have not heard the answer on this one...

Butterman
3680
Points
Butterman 05/14/14 - 09:42 pm
0
0
$1 Billion Gift
Unpublished

That may be the case but that does that give him the right to give GA Power a $1 billion gift and put it on the backs of average hardworking people?

Privy
104
Points
Privy 05/14/14 - 10:45 pm
0
0
The biggest problem with the

The biggest problem with the city government is that there is real accountability in the departments. I know some directors that have not even seen with their own eyes all the areas they are accountable for. Augusta need to be run like a business not amateur hour at the comedy club.

dsterling9
832
Points
dsterling9 05/18/14 - 09:16 am
0
0
TRUST

The big issue for me is trust of the person to be our next mayor and at this point I have little if any trust in any of those on the ballot. Wish there were a 'None Of The Above' selection on the ballot and should that choice garner the most votes the office becomes vacant and the race starts again. The office being vacant would not hurt much anyway.

akmoose
122
Points
akmoose 05/18/14 - 09:31 am
0
0
Ask the teachers

Hardie Davis received an F for support of public schools. He voted for the Charter Bill Amendment, was not proactive in the reduction of Furlough Days, his Senate coffier was funded by Charter School Supporters locally and out of state. Educators, tax payers, and citizens of Augusta, how can we trust HD when he supported a cause to take the local control away from the RCBOE to approve Charter Schools and did nothing to fulfill the obligations of providing students with 180 Days of Instruction? The RCBOE have provisions in place for petitions for Charter Schools. Clearly, he wasn't thinking about the children of Augusta-Richmond County, the taxpayers, or the citizens that elected him as their senator. Now, that he is campaigning
to be our next Mayor, he's a huge supporter of public schools. The fabricated statement that he made "He didn't hear from any educators in RC" is inaccurate. He heard from 1250 educators but discounted their voices. HD said and I quote, "Yes I voted for HB1162 - Charter Bill Amendment because I was promised by my colleagues at in the Capitol that if I vote in favor of this bill, they would provide financial support for Paine College and other projects for Augusta." HD sold out public education, children, RCBOE, the city of Augusta for favors that weren't guaranteed. I cannot support a man that professes to be a clergyman and than do the direct opposite of what his constituents voted him in to office to do. HD is not what Augusta-Richmond County needs as the next Mayor of Augusta

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