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Mayor-elect Davis shares plans for Augusta

Schools, Regency Mall, faith all part of discussion

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 9:55 PM
Last updated Wednesday, June 25, 2014 12:27 AM
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Voted “most dependable” in his class at nearby Hephzibah High School, mayor-elect Hardie Davis on Tuesday gave south Augusta residents a taste of his mayoral term that begins in January.

Mayor-elect Hardie Davis spoke to residents during a forum where he shared plans to launch a transition team that will "engage all of our citizens," as he prepares to take the office of mayor after finishing up a Senate term this year.   JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
Mayor-elect Hardie Davis spoke to residents during a forum where he shared plans to launch a transition team that will "engage all of our citizens," as he prepares to take the office of mayor after finishing up a Senate term this year.

During a forum Tuesday evening, Davis, who completes a Senate term this year, said that in August he’ll launch a transition team that will “engage all of our citizens,” not just a few, in identifying the community’s strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats, all centered around the theme of “One Augusta.”

Davis said he’ll reveal other key points in August, among them, “from a deficit standpoint, we have to look at operations and efficiency” in city government.

South Augusta businessman Darren Smith was quick to quiz Davis about plans for Regency Mall, the massive abandoned retail space that greets all who pass in or out of south Augusta.

Davis said he already has a group “working on that,” which he has called “Resurrect Regency,” in a plan that will require both private developers and government intervention – including the power of the Legislature.

Asked by Mayor Pro Tem Corey Johnson how he’ll engage the public, Davis said he’ll hold mayor’s office hours with each of the city’s 10 commissioners in each commission district.

Realtor Rachel Whitaker said her struggle in selling houses is the reputation of Richmond County schools and asked Davis how he could help.

Davis said he’ll be “using the (mayor’s) office to talk about what’s good about our schools,” and strengthen the “three-legged stool” that is the mayor, commission and board of education, but the business community also must come to the table.

When new industry brings prospective homeowners to Augusta, “Don’t take them to Columbia County as your first step,” Davis said.

Former Commission member Jimmy Smith said the area also needed help putting to use land around Fort Gordon’s Gate 5, which closes at 10 p.m.

Davis responded that some 97,000 residents live on the Richmond County side of Fort Gordon south of Gordon Highway and that he’d help to improve access.

Bob Garrett, who now organizes the community prayer breakfasts that replaced the mayor’s prayer breakfasts, asked Davis, who is also the pastor of Abundant Life Worship Center, about the “spiritual climate” as he takes office.

“You don’t get elected to check your faith at the door,” Davis said.

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dickworth1 06/25/14 - 04:31 am
The good in school talk

That will be a short conversation! The second thing is keeping the residents from moving to Columbia County because most people can see the handwriting on the wall with Richmond County spending and taxes will have to go up to keep the city afloat. Look around in your affluent neighborhoods and see the homes up for sale. People are tired of the county commission and the likes of Williams spending money looking for lost emails, maybe he should do the same to the IRS.

countyman 06/25/14 - 05:54 am

The demolishing/redevelopment of the Regency Mall should be among the top five priorities.. The politicians will continue to change, but Augusta will always be there.. The citizens don't need to run away from the problems, but work together on fixing them. There's several other good schools in Richmond County(Freedom Park, Vocational magnet high school, Goshen, Warren rd, Monte Sano, Westside, Lake Forest Hills, etc) besides Davidson, AR Johnson, and CT Walker. Many people don't even realize Davidson is usually ranked the #1 school in the state and AR Johnson ranks in the top 15..

If you look around between Summerville/Lake Aumond you'll see plenty of new estate homes popping up.. Whole Foods(targets the upper middle class) is under construction in West Augusta and they obviously study the local demographics before coming.. The average household income in the Augusta Exchange area is over $80,000... The national retailers continue to open along Peach Orchard road and the corridor will soon become the South Augusta version of Washington road.. The leaders of Richmond County just have to constantly promote the good schools and places to live in the county.. The Augusta Chronicle recent property transfers(May 8th-30th) indicate many people want to live in Richmond County(10 examples)..

1... Cynthia L. Downey and John M. Downey to Gurmukh Singh Trust dated July 31 2…, Gurmukh Singh Trustee and Gumukh Singh Trust, Unit 1701, 1 Seventh St., River Place at Port Royal, $510,000

2... Jeffrey F. Richards to Mary E. McAuliffe, Section Two, 77 Bristlecone Lane, Lot 4, Block C, Conifer Place, $485,000

3.. Darren R. Glass and Susan R. Glass to Brian K. Stansfield and Mindy W. Stansfield, Section III, Lot 23, Block A, Conifer Place, $450,000

4. Jan B. Loftis and William Edwin Loftis to Jason H. Harms, Section Three, 1413 Waters Edge Drive, Lot 13, Waters Edge, $320,000

5.. Jill P. Mehrhof Trustee, Ophelia Mitchell Trust, Watson E. Mitchell Trust, Ophelia Mitchell Living Trust dated Marc… and Watson E. Mitchell Living Trust dated Mar… to Curtis L. Head and Lynn D. Head, Lots 7 and 8, Block A, Phase 1, Storey Mill Plantation, $315,000

6. Abtin T. Tashakori and Jana Tashakori to Kathryn P. Braxton and Benjamin A. Braxton, Lots 5, 6 and 7, Block B, Bransford Road, Deed Book R434 Page 1, 3102 Brans…, $295,000

7. Benjamin Pascal Casella, Laura H. Casella and Laura Hoogland Casella to Michael John David Rollock and Lindsey Michelle West, Lots 26, 27 and 28, Block B, Bransford Road, Plat Book 14P Page 214..., $283,500

8. Katherine M. Carlisle and Benjamin J. Frey to Ginger J. Frame and Ronald E. Frame, Lot 14, Block 11, Forest Hills, $272,900

9. JJ&Z Builders LLC to Tito Rodriguez, Section 4, 5328 Bull St., Lot 59, Block E, Elderberry, $230,000

10. D.R. Horton Crown LLC to Gerald Henderson and Candice Henderson, Section 3C, Lot 30, Block D, Granite Hill, $216,800

soapy_725 06/25/14 - 09:11 am
How many black ministers are in the ARC of No Covenant?

The three legged stool is hilarious. Is this a bar stool?

soapy_725 06/25/14 - 09:13 am
"I have dream. One day we will all have a three legged stools

and verbally beat many dead horses to dust". Amen and Amen.

soapy_725 06/25/14 - 09:15 am
If you ever thought of living on the outskirts of Detroit, now

is your chance. Arise and see the "handwriting on the wall....."

lovingthesouth72 07/13/14 - 09:50 am
for the schools

Mayor Davis, please consider implementing these programs in our failing schools!!!! The Ben Carson Reading Project is the second initiative of the Carson Scholars Fund. The primary purpose of the program is to provide funding and support to local schools so that they can create a nurturing environment for children to feel safe and secure as they develop their reading skills. The Reading Project is dedicated to combating illiteracy and promoting leisure reading as a key to unlocking a child's potential. They key to unlocking potential and fighting the cycle of poverty is education! No one knows this better than Dr Ben Carson, a man who rose from poverty himself thanks to his mom's commitment to the education of her sons.

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