Augusta Commission candidates tout credentials

Smith, Echols seek District 7 post

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 1:49 PM
Last updated 3:38 PM
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A “warrior” during Augusta’s redistricting process and a conservative with a “record” of fiduciary responsibility are vying to represent District 7 on the Augusta Commission.

Candidates Donnie Smith and Kenny Echols touted their credentials and view of the commission at a Tuesday meeting of Augusta-Richmond County Committee for Good Government.

Smith, a state trooper, said he had been contacted by Waverly, National Hills and Lake Olmstead neighborhood residents concerned about the new district map’s impact on their neighborhoods.

“I have been a warrior for their cause,” Smith said. “They’re trying to divide our community for political purposes.”

In both plans under consideration by the Georgia legislature for new commission and Richmond County Board of Education district lines, District 7 loses areas east of Eisenhower Drive and Berckmans Road to District 1.

Echols, a retired Georgia Health Sciences University administrator and former three-term Richmond County school board member, cited his experience working with hundreds of physicians and overseeing large budgets.

“I have a record that shows my conservative responsibility to the taxpayers,” Echols said, noting the recent controversy that arose when commissioners learned about a $836,288 change order requested for the new Trade, Exhibit and Event Center under construction.

“To have errors like that is personally inexcusable,” he said.

Both candidates touched on division among commissioners and in the city.

Echols said many commissioner arguments might be resolved before the public commission meetings; Smith spoke of ending the city’s racial divide.

“I love Augusta. I love everything about it, even the things that make us bad,” Smith said.

Comments (11) Add comment
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Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 03/14/12 - 01:44 pm
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“To have errors like that is

“To have errors like that is personally inexcusable,” Echols said.
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I get really cautious over people who speak like that. It is mealy-mouth rhetoric that has no teeth, no bite, no direction, no consequence. If it is inexcusable, Mr. Echols, then what did you do about it? Nothing. If you get elected to the commission what will you do about the next foul-up caused by Fred (What, me worry?) Russell? (And I assure you he will foul up!)

Smith is looking better and better each day.

Old Timmer
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Old Timmer 03/14/12 - 02:17 pm
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Lamb, what did Echols have to

Lamb, what did Echols have to do with the TEE Center? Doesn't sound whimpy to me. "Personally inexcusable" sounds like he would hold Fred responsible.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 03/14/12 - 03:07 pm
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You heard Pres. Obama use

You heard Pres. Obama use similar language. He said for Iran to develop uranium enrichment capability was "completely unacceptable." But then he accepts it. This "personally inexcusable" comment is the same. It's just words, and there are no actions.

Of course, Ken Echols was not on the commission when Russell made his litany of errors though indifferent management style. What Echols needs to do is tell voters what it would take to justify introducing a motion to fire Russell if Echols is elected. To me, Russell has already exceeded what should be tolerated. I'd like to see a candidate pledge to introduce a motion to fire Russell just based on past bad actions.

BuckeyeInGA
114
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BuckeyeInGA 03/14/12 - 04:44 pm
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Is there someone that we can

Is there someone that we can contact right now to determine if our home addresses are in jeopardy of being changed to another district?

Kenneth Echols
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Kenneth Echols 03/14/12 - 08:30 pm
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BuckeyeIn GA.....you can

BuckeyeIn GA.....you can contact Lynn Bailey at the Richmond County Board of Elections. She can tell you about the districts. We will not be sure until we get a go ahead from Altanta, hopefully soon.

Little Lamb....don't compare me to Obama. I have no problem in firing Fred Russell or anyone else that does not present the Commission with facts. However I do need to gather all facts before making a decision. If you will look at my past record on the Richmond County Board of Education you find out that I back my comments with action.

BuckeyeInGA
114
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BuckeyeInGA 03/14/12 - 09:21 pm
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Thanks, Kenneth, for the

Thanks, Kenneth, for the information! I'll call her tomorrow.

Kenneth Echols
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Kenneth Echols 03/15/12 - 05:05 am
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You are welcome....if you

You are welcome....if you don't get what you need please contact me at 706 868-8680. Thank you.

Little Lamb
48973
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Little Lamb 03/17/12 - 07:42 am
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Is the election going to be

Is the election going to be in July or November?

Kenneth Echols
0
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Kenneth Echols 03/17/12 - 06:10 pm
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Still don't know Little Lamb.

Still don't know Little Lamb. Hopefully we should get answers soon. I plan to contact our delegation again next week to get an update. Voters in the effected areas deserve an answer and we all need to know when the election will be. Stay tuned and thanks.

Kenny

Little Lamb
48973
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Little Lamb 03/17/12 - 07:16 pm
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Well, I vote for July. The

Well, I vote for July. The Commission's arrogant scoffing at the bill approved by the General Assembly and signed by the governor turns the law on its head.

I support Barbara Sims in her quest to have the Augusta Commission follow state law, not scoff at it!

The 2012 Georgia House has passed Sims' new bill clarifying that the intent of the General Assembly in 2011 included Augusta in calling for July non-partisan elections. This coming week is the time for the Georgia Senate to pass the bill with no changes.

Kenneth Echols
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Kenneth Echols 03/17/12 - 07:17 pm
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I agree 100%! We need to

I agree 100%! We need to vote in July as recommended by Barbara Sims. This is the type of nonsense that slows us down. Thanks.

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