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Marion Williams returns to the Augusta Commission

Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 12:55 AM
Last updated 9:59 AM
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His reputation for being argumentative and sometimes unpredictable wasn’t an issue for the 18,662 voters who elected former District 2 Commissioner Marion Williams to represent half of Augusta on Tuesday.

Marion Williams: Newly elected  commis­sioner says he hasn't 'mellowed.'  ANDREW DAVIS TUCKER
ANDREW DAVIS TUCKER
Marion Williams: Newly elected commis­sioner says he hasn't 'mellowed.'

The former two-term Augusta Commission member, who was roundly defeated by Commissioner Corey Johnson two years ago in his attempt to regain the District 2 seat, got more than 55 percent of votes Tuesday in Super District 9, which spans commission districts 1, 2, 4 and 5.

Williams, a pastor and retired railroad worker, beat former Richmond County Solicitor General Harold Jones without doing any significant fundraising or campaigning.

“The people elected me last night; they asked me to run again,” Williams said Wednesday. “They know what Marion Williams is all about and they chose to do that.”

And what he’s about hasn’t changed, he said. Williams said he hasn’t “mellowed” or quit doing the things that supporters – and detractors – say he did while on the commission from 2000-2007.

“I’ve been like this all of my life,” he said. “The answer is ‘no,’ I don’t have a rubber stamp.”

Those on the commission who pride the body’s ability to move forward with projects such as the new courthouse and convention center say the return of Williams means more questions about relatively routine items and the addition of another ego to a panel that already includes a few large ones.

“He’s always been known to question a lot that’s on the agenda,” said Johnson, who is a distant relative of Williams. “It’s going to be interesting, trying to figure out how the egos are going to be balanced.”

Johnson said it was up to the media to determine how much to indulge politician egos and urged its members to use restraint. He thought that a heavy focus on the presidential election and Richmond County sheriff’s race probably led many to vote for Williams out of name recognition.

Commissioner Jerry Brig­ham, whose District 7 seat was filled Tuesday by Georgia State Patrol Lt. Donnie Smith, had a grim outlook about Williams’ return. He and Williams served on the commission at the same time at the start and end of Williams’ previous tenure.

“They’re going to argue over useless stuff, more than they do now,” Brigham said. “I think Augusta is heading toward a rough spot politically.”

In a Wednesday morning radio appearance, Smith said spoke to Williams and hoped to begin forging a relationship that will be productive on the commission.

“We have talked and we both are trying to find middle ground,” Smith said.

Tuesday decided all but one commission election. Mary Fair Davis was elected to replace term-limited Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles. The District 1 race heads into a Dec. 4 runoff, however, between incumbent Matt Aitken and retired health educator Bill Fennoy.

If elected, Fennoy will restore a 5-5 black-white color balance on the commission that will add yet another dynamic to the sometimes divided group. The 6-4 “imbalance” was often cited by some of the panel’s four black incumbents when the other six – five whites and one who is white and Japanese-American – voted as a bloc.

Williams was never known to vote in lockstep with his black colleagues, however.

He still thinks a drag strip in south Augusta is a good idea, and thinks the ridicule it received probably had only to do with his making the suggestion, Williams said.

“The drag strip is a money maker,” he said. “We need to do some things that would get some revenue into Augusta, instead of putting it on the backs of the taxpayers.” If the commission had approved the $5 million venue, “We’d be like Charlotte today” and have $30 million in the bank, he said.

Comments (42) Add comment
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seenitB4
97407
Points
seenitB4 11/08/12 - 03:51 am
3
1
Well good

They don't need mellow.

wildman
1222
Points
wildman 11/08/12 - 04:15 am
5
0
good comedy

I am glad he's back, I have missed him and Andy Cheek. With the Augusta Commission who needs Saturday Night Live?

Ruckus
467
Points
Ruckus 11/08/12 - 05:11 am
5
0
SMH

The addition of another ego to a panel that already includes a few large ones is a understatement. He is Saturday Night Live and I use to laugh at all the news interviews he did because he did'nt bite his tongue.

augustarookie
301
Points
augustarookie 11/08/12 - 05:42 am
4
1
you got that right

“They know what Marion Williams is all about and they chose to do that.”

We all know what he is all about

southern2
7789
Points
southern2 11/08/12 - 06:35 am
7
3
The Perfect Storm...Obama

The Perfect Storm...Obama returning to the White House, Roundtree as high sheriff, and Williams returning to the Commission. Disaster, decline, and depression on steroids. Don't worry though, Barrow's got your back.

justthefacts
25031
Points
justthefacts 11/08/12 - 06:47 am
3
1
Charlotte?

He said that? Really?

fatboyhog
2104
Points
fatboyhog 11/08/12 - 07:00 am
4
2
Sad days indeed

This would be funny if it wasn't so sad. With Marion, it's all about Marion. I love Augusta and think that it could be so much more. Unfortunately, all Augusta is known for it being a laughingstock.

Riverman1
93637
Points
Riverman1 11/08/12 - 07:12 am
4
2
Marion Williams could be

Marion Williams could be elected mayor and probably will be. Evita Paschall got 65% of the Richmond County vote for DA.

fatboyhog
2104
Points
fatboyhog 11/08/12 - 07:58 am
4
2
Amazing

That right there is proof positive that DA isn't only an acronym for District Attorney.

Marion for Sheriff 2016!

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 11/08/12 - 08:01 am
3
2
Base on what little I have read.

Riverman1, Dichotomy, Rebellious, Tullie, SIB4
Was he around (2000-2007) for any of the TEE center deals, if so how'd he vote?

Historically how / where does he fit in regards to wasting or spending Taxpayer funds. How might he vote if the opportunity allows it, on this sham TEE Ctr. Agreement deal?

I do like the part that says "the return of Williams means more questions..."

We sure could have used a lot more questions on this whole deal starting way back.

Riverman1
93637
Points
Riverman1 11/08/12 - 08:11 am
7
2
Open Curtain, Who Knows?

That did cross my mind, too. Could it be anything is better than the downtown cabal that now runs things? If Marion Williams could focus and act nice when called for, he could be dangerous in a good way.

AjavaCafe
37
Points
AjavaCafe 11/08/12 - 08:13 am
7
2
Can you hear the music?

Can you hear it? I distinctly hear the music for Barnum and Bailey's playing in the background. Yes folks, the circus is back in town!!

Riverman1
93637
Points
Riverman1 11/08/12 - 08:21 am
7
3
Williams

Williams beat Harold Jones, an excellent candidate, handily in that district that is half the county without spending a dime. The truth has to be told, he is the most powerful political force in the county now. He will win anything he runs for in Richmond County.

countyman
21630
Points
countyman 11/08/12 - 08:23 am
1
0
How can the most powerful

How can the most powerful political force lose to Corey Johnson a while back?

Little Lamb
49030
Points
Little Lamb 11/08/12 - 08:27 am
3
4
Nice

Did you notice, RM, that the nice guys finished last in a lot of races – local, state, and federal?

Riverman1
93637
Points
Riverman1 11/08/12 - 08:53 am
3
4
LL, of course. Countyman,

LL, of course.

Countyman, the cabal spent lots of money and picked the right spot to pick off Williams. The same as getting Aitken elected. That is well known. Williams' popularity has grown. Harold Jones is well qualified and was an excellent candidate whom Williams smashed. Evita Paschall also got 65% of the Richmond Cty vote for DA. Countyman, you may know where the next Burger King is going, but I know politics.

Fiat_Lux
16422
Points
Fiat_Lux 11/08/12 - 08:40 am
8
4
We really have a trifecta of dismal going here

Clueless Roundtree, Marion the mouth, and Azziz the demigod. Augusta is in such. good. hands.

Oh, yeah. We done hit it big aw'rite aw'rite!

justus4
113
Points
justus4 11/08/12 - 08:44 am
1
0
Wasn't Williams correct on:
Unpublished

Wasn't Williams correct on: The cost to the city on illegal racial firings? On the silly reduction of education requirements for the Fire Chef because a good 'ol boy was selected, which resulted in a disaster of agency morale and performance . Seems to me that the city needs MORE Williams-like individuals rather than less- IF the goal is protecting taxpayers' money and fairness, however, many on the commission are operating with a secret agenda. Williams will expose that agenda.

BamaMan
2687
Points
BamaMan 11/08/12 - 08:46 am
3
1
This world

is not my home, I just a-passin through, my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue, the angels beckon me from heaven's open door, and I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

Msmamm
13
Points
Msmamm 11/08/12 - 08:52 am
6
0
Marion ....

Welcome back!! Continue to shake things up, you should not be predictable ... that's what they want! You are exactly what is needed. You are back because WE chose you! I look forward to change!! God bless.

HenryWalker3rd
2393
Points
HenryWalker3rd 11/08/12 - 09:19 am
5
6
To be honest, the commission
Unpublished

To be honest, the commission needs another African American....just look at what happened when it was 6-4.....I hate to include race in this, but its sad that's the way it is around here.

And yes, Williams COULD VERY WELL BE the next mayor of Augusta....talk about white flight.

Someone who goes against the grain is whats needed around here.

Little Lamb
49030
Points
Little Lamb 11/08/12 - 09:54 am
2
0
2014

I'm thinking the race for mayor will be in 2014 and that Copenhaver is term-limited and cannot run. Does that sound correct?

And I'm thinking that Gov. Deal will have to stand for re-election in 2014, also. Maybe the Save the A crowd can help un-elect him.

Another tidbit — in 2014 the commission (and mayor) races will be held along with party primary elections in July (not in November as they were this time). The commission and mayor's races are considered "non-partisan," but the General Assembly wanted all consolidated government races to be held in July, for some reason. They passed that law specifically to apply to Augusta earlier this year, but a judge said that they had to use November in 2012 (because of the lateness of the ruling), but could go to July in all subsequent elections.

HenryWalker3rd
2393
Points
HenryWalker3rd 11/08/12 - 09:58 am
3
5
You know why they changed
Unpublished

You know why they changed it.
THEY are losing power.

dichotomy
37448
Points
dichotomy 11/08/12 - 10:08 am
7
1
What's he all about?

“They know what Marion Williams is all about"

"Historically how does he fit in regard wasting or spending Taxpayer funds"

I think I know what he is all about.

"Williams might be best remembered for an idea that triggered an inquiry by the Georgia Bureau of In­ves­tigation – a proposed drag strip at Augusta Corporate Park off Mike Padgett High­way, across from which his son-in-law had purchased land before the proposal was made public".

And, does my memory fail me or isn't he the one we bought a church building from him and paid him about 5 times what it was worth based on a "redevelopment" deal approved while he was in office. I could be wrong on that since I am old and my memory isn't great but I think it was. Someone correct me if I am totally wrong and I will apologize.

Yep, I know what he is all about. Williams' "calling to lead" means he has spent what he made last time and wants another shot at profitting from the taxpayers.

And we don't need a noisey drag strip in South Augusta with engines roaring all weekend. If that's the best idea you've got Marion you should have stayed at home. You and your son-in-law need to come up with another, but better, crooked idea.

He is just like the rest of them. If they can't sell their vote to the highest bidder they will figure another way to profit from, or rip off, the taxpayer.

There is no hope for Richmond County considering the lack of standards of the voters in some districts. You can judge the intelligence of the voters by the quality of the people they elect and Richmond County voters are a joke. Just keep electing these retread clowns and crooks. The rest of the state needs a good laugh and we are it.

If there were justice in this world, Roundtree and Williams should be sharing a cell in Sanders' jail. But this is Richmond County where we elect the crooks, tax cheats, womanizers, vote sellers, and backroom conspirators to high office while we penalize South Richmond County with an illegal tax structure and illegal garbage fees to pay for THEIR salaries and all of the "deals" they can profit from.

elyag0
37
Points
elyag0 11/08/12 - 10:09 am
2
0
Marion elected

Did he not have to reside office for an illigal Tax taken on propery he did not live in?

Little Lamb
49030
Points
Little Lamb 11/08/12 - 10:23 am
6
0
Hard Drive

Marion Williams did not resign the Commission. He had served two consecutive terms and, thus, was term-limited out of office.

Maybe he has forgiven Fred (What, me worry?) Russell and will give Fred his hard drive back on inauguration day.

willie7
1047
Points
willie7 11/08/12 - 10:24 am
2
1
Yes, it is sad that Marion
Unpublished

Yes, it is sad that Marion Williams was elected to the 9th District.

He is ignorant and doesn't understand many things that will come before him. Many people like him because he will say anything and create a lot of conflict.

Fiat_Lux
16422
Points
Fiat_Lux 11/08/12 - 10:25 am
8
4
Nah, HW3, you don't mind injecting race into this at all

In fact, it seems to be you're raison d'être, your single-focus agenda issue.

And Marion Williams is a sly, manipulative hack who has and would walk right over the edge of ethics and legality if he safely could. His chief power, his motivational gift, is in producing gridlock in an effort to divert every resource, every endeavor to one, and only one, segment of the Richmond County population.

He's a hypocrite, a deceiver and, first and foremost, a problem that will hinder and obstruct the flow of government in our county. That he has been re-elected all the more makes me believe people should be required to pass a citizenship test and perhaps a fairly simple general knowledge quiz in order to vote.

Fiat_Lux
16422
Points
Fiat_Lux 11/08/12 - 10:30 am
4
1
And if he does become mayor, God help us,

there will be a precipitous drop in Richmond County voter mean intelligence and the mode will skew sharply left.

Augusta resident
1368
Points
Augusta resident 11/08/12 - 10:48 am
4
0
dichotomy

You remembered correctly, so do I. You left out the part where he owed property taxes.
I told him a long time ago and I'll say it again, I'll gladly trade the train track for a drag strip.
I'll shut up before another one of my comments gets removed for being right.

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