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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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Sweet son
10104
Points
Sweet son 11/08/12 - 11:51 am
2
1
@Fiat

I think the " voter mean intelligence" was already proven by who was elected Tuesday!

Riverman1
82445
Points
Riverman1 11/08/12 - 01:00 pm
2
1
LL, didn't Deke take over in

LL, didn't Deke take over in midterm with that special election when Bob Young stepped down? That would mean he has one more term if he wants it...I THINK.

galaxygrl
1185
Points
galaxygrl 11/08/12 - 12:45 pm
2
1
Marion Williams

Well we know the people that voted democrat voted straight ticket. This is a sad statement for the commission and the city of Augusta. They really will never accomplish anything now!

HenryWalker3rd
2393
Points
HenryWalker3rd 11/08/12 - 12:57 pm
4
3
"Racisim is still alive, they
Unpublished

"Racism is still alive, they just be concealing it."

Fiat, I must have touched a nerve....am I the only one in AUGUSTA GA that knows most things in this city are based on the race of the person....heck, majority of this country is based on the race of the person....(Civil Rights Era). Why did we have to go through the CR era....keep in mind, we are not too far removed from that era.

Why the double standard? Because I am bold enough to talk about it and call a spade a spade?

O please!

Riverman1
82445
Points
Riverman1 11/08/12 - 01:03 pm
1
1
Something else to think

Something else to think about. Williams handily beat Harold Jones who would have been the most qualified and experienced individual on the Commission including the Mayor. Plus, he's black. Anyone disagree with Jones qualifications?

Little Lamb
45377
Points
Little Lamb 11/08/12 - 02:53 pm
1
0
Back to Copenhaver

Yes, RM, Copenhaver first came to office by defeating Willie Mays in a special election to replace Bob Young. But that was in 2005. Copenhaver won a full four-year term in 2006 and a second four-year term in 2010. Now you know why it seems he's been around forever.

I'm glad Williams has put the drag strip back on the table. It will be a good foil the next time Copenhaver brings Cal Ripken back to town to ask taxpayers for a new ballpark.

Little Lamb
45377
Points
Little Lamb 11/08/12 - 03:05 pm
1
1
Jones’ Qualifications

On paper, Jones would seem to have a lot of political experience. Plus he's got experience working as a lawyer. But the fact is that Richmond County voters have now defeated him at the polls three times — for state representative, for state senator, and now for superdistrict commissioner. Could it be that black voters perceive him as not black enough? Did he poison himself with his constituency by working in Steve Shepard’s law firm?

Fiat_Lux
15137
Points
Fiat_Lux 11/08/12 - 03:13 pm
2
1
HW3, you are right about racism being rampant, but...

You're just completely wrong about who the racists are. The shoe, so to speak, is so far over on the other foot that the only thing left on the old foot is a little sock lint. Sock lint does not exert influence over the path we take, but the shoe sure does.

It says a lot about you that you think the racism of the pre-civil rights era is the same racism of today. Or are you just falling over with your own load of prejudice? I think perhaps you are.

A lot of us worked very hard, especially in our youth, to advance the civil rights of all Americans, to ensure equal access to every opportunity especially for Black Americans. Who with a heart and a brain wouldn't have wanted that? But look what all that effort hath wrought! God help us, the color of my skin makes me the enemy, the target for ripping off, the stooge for scamming and manipulating. I am no more seen as an individual of eternal significance than Tara's overseer looked at Old Mose that way.

The big difference is that Old Mose, fictitious though he was, had no power and no means of doing anything about it, but I do.

Riverman1
82445
Points
Riverman1 11/08/12 - 03:33 pm
3
0
LL, funny. Marion had the

LL, funny. Marion had the hard drive in his pocket he said. Heh.

HenryWalker3rd
2393
Points
HenryWalker3rd 11/08/12 - 03:48 pm
0
4
Forgive but NEVER forget
Unpublished

Do you ever wonder WHY African Americans feel they way they do about the white race?

gargoyle
16263
Points
gargoyle 11/08/12 - 03:57 pm
2
0
As I'm donning a fire suit

As I'm donning a fire suit for protection from the flames from posters a dragstip managed properly and built at time Mr. Williams proposed it could have brought in more visitors and the money they spend than a convention center. Unfortunately that time has passed, others in the region including Charlotte built big show strips filling that slot leaving Augusta a day late and a dollar short. It became very apparent the County Government will not support a motorsport park discouraging private investment so the idea is dead

Fiat_Lux
15137
Points
Fiat_Lux 11/08/12 - 04:02 pm
3
1
And in this city,

if most things are based on race, I would look at the first cause. The way of Marion Williams and others is to obstruct and thwart any progress for the community that doesn't fit with their own narrow, bigoted agenda.

If the response seems racist to you, understand that it never would have occurred but for the first cause. In truth, someone who defends themselves against racism is not automatically being racist, no matter how the relentlessly defensive, like say, Chris Matthews or MSNBC, interpret it in order to achieve their own narrow ends.

Perhaps you noticed a lot of that kind misdirect and deflect when Obummer's groupies in the lame stream media attacked people and slandered them as racists merely because they had the temerity to call the Great 0bamessiah out on destructive policy and his blatant violations of the Constitution.

That is the mentality of racism that is killing us and destroying our national unity today. Well, that and under-reported flash mobs that pound people to a pulp, even little kids, solely because they are white. Those don't promote good race relations either.

I just wonder what you might think white people today are doing to limit or undermine the opportunities and access of blacks today.

Fiat_Lux
15137
Points
Fiat_Lux 11/08/12 - 04:18 pm
4
1
And HW3, make sure you tell the Almighty

what the new definition of forgiveness actually is. It used to be that forgiven wrongs existed no more and that wrongs held against someone were not really forgiven after all. Perhaps there are people whose place in heaven will need adjusting.

But above all, black people who have been wronged or think they have been wronged, or whose ancestors were or might have been wrongs, should absolutely pursue payback. Forget about what opportunities those almost exclusively yet nevertheless untrustworthy white people put in front of them to allow them to escape poverty and second-class citizenship and to get an education and a prosperous life for their families, now and on into the future. Clearly, that counts for nothing. Those untrustworthy, unforgivable white people must have been doing it only out of fear or something like that.

Yeah, I think we get it, Henry. Since we already made the first move, what comes now? More of what we've got today? What will make a difference for all these people who don't trust whites? Affirmative Action clearly didn't help. Do they have to take everything from us bad old white people and grind us under their feet in order to feel equal? Just what else is there?

Why not just let it go and live as an American? That option is totally open to any citizen. No shoulder chip necessary.

Little Lamb
45377
Points
Little Lamb 11/08/12 - 05:08 pm
3
0
Few

elyag0 posted:

Did he not have to resign office for an illegal tax deduction taken on propery he did not live in?

You are probably thinking about Ronnie Few. When he was running for mayor it was discovered he had been claiming a homestead exemption on a house in Columbia County.

You've got to admit Ronnie Few had the best campaign slogan:

Many are called; but Few will be chosen.

:-)

Augusta resident
1368
Points
Augusta resident 11/08/12 - 08:32 pm
0
1
NHRA

If I remember correctly, the NHRA, or something like that, did give us at least one event. Kinda like Bass Pro Shops gave us a chance. We seem to blow a lot around here.

HenryWalker3rd
2393
Points
HenryWalker3rd 11/08/12 - 08:39 pm
2
0
I understand.
Unpublished

Ok thanks Fiat, I now have a deeper understanding of the issue.

HenryWalker3rd
2393
Points
HenryWalker3rd 11/08/12 - 08:47 pm
2
0
Opportunities
Unpublished

But one thing...who knows what the world would be like if Africans were never taken from their native land by the 100,000 ....I read somewhere that there were universities there...and also something called mathmetatics originated there...America's "opportunities"....I can only imagine what opportunities one would have missed out on.

Fiat_Lux
15137
Points
Fiat_Lux 11/08/12 - 10:33 pm
0
0
Yeah, Hank, there were academies and math, and libraries...

...in NORTH Africa, not WEST Africa. Think Carthage and Alexandria.

There is no argument that it was a great evil that brought most West Africans to the United States. And there is no dispute that the years and decades after emancipation offered precious little of the world's goods or respect for the vast majority of those of that lineage. But that is not the way of things today. It is a great mistake to act as though it is.

galaxygrl
1185
Points
galaxygrl 11/09/12 - 12:10 am
0
0
Henry Walker 3rd

I am taking a global history class from Stanford Universtiy and one of the things we have talked about is slavery throughout history. There were many ways this was accomplished but the larger part of slavery from Africa came from battles between the tribes and whomever won got to make slaves or servants of the losers. This along with the islamic empire and the trade to India and China made for rich trade in this matter. As their ancestors learned to navigate the coast lines and the seas from the Chinese to the rich coasts of Africa. People were traded the same way fabrics and spices were. This was way before the Western civilization had developed enough to become a trader in slavery. In fact, Europe was still fuedal for several centuries while Africa and the East developed sophisticated societies. Also slaves came first to the islands of the Caribbeans and then from slave trade to the island and then South America to take over the lands of the Incas, Aztecs and the Mayans as they were destroyed, they were replaced by new slavery from those places from the east. The Spanish colonists destroyed the life of these societies and replaced it with Africans because our diseases had killed of their population because they had no resistence to fight our germs. The largest part of the slaves in the new world were brought here by the Spaini9sh and Portueguse. The Chinese valued those that served them well and so did the islamics. That doesn't mean there wasn't abuse but that can happen any where. I am not justifying it but is happened.

myparrot
18
Points
myparrot 11/09/12 - 01:12 pm
0
0
BALLOT

I early voted and he was on the district one ballot along with Aitken.
Why? Did more than one district vote for the 9th? Sort of confusing. Never voted for two commissioners before.

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