Augusta mayoral candidate Lori Myles wants a more 'transparent' government

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 4:20 PM
Last updated Thursday, April 24, 2014 1:52 AM
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Lori Myles says she’ll bring the classroom experience she has gained as a longtime – and sometimes controversial – Richmond County educator and much more into the Augusta mayor’s office if elected May 20.

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Mayoral candidate and high school teacher Lori Myles says the first thing she will deal with if she is elected mayor is the lack of transparency in the city government.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Mayoral candidate and high school teacher Lori Myles says the first thing she will deal with if she is elected mayor is the lack of transparency in the city government.

In an interview with The Augusta Chronicle, Myles said she has advocated for the city since arriving by Greyhound Bus more than 30 years ago from Memphis, Tenn.

Inspired by the leadership of former Augusta Mayor Ed McIntyre, Myles said she’ll quit her job as language arts teacher at T.W. Josey High School on May 21, the day after she is elected.

“When it comes to standing up for what’s right, or whatever, whatever flack I get, I don’t have a problem with it, because not only am I a troubleshooter, but I don’t mind confronting it if it means the betterment of all of the city,” Myles said.

Q: If elected mayor, what are the main issues that you want to focus on?

A: I believe the first things we’re going to have to deal with … is transparency. I truly don’t believe Augusta is transparent. I believe that we have an issue here in Augusta where, No. 1, we’re looking at areas of leadership that many of us are on two different sides of the table.

So what we have done in Augusta because of lack of transparency in Augusta?

We’ve made concessions, concessions for peace. But I believe the concessions for peace have just about run out for us. One of the main things in my platform is to bring that transparency, bring that accessibility, but also of course you know the other aspects of it – the economic development, the revitalization – yes, all of that is a part of my platform … We’re going to have to deal with transparency, accessibility and collaboration as a team as far as the commission and as far as the mayor.

Q: When you say concessions for peace, peace between whom?

A: As they say: You better deal with the elephant that’s in the room. Our commission has so many times dealt with the aspect of or voted on the lines of black and white. Augusta is not a black Augusta. There is not a white Augusta. All the races are here and we should be looking at Augusta as a city. I truly believe that some of the things that we have done as far as voting or not voting, or not showing up are signs of concession.

Q: What do you think about Augusta’s image? Where is it right now, where does it need to be and how do you get us there?

A: I want to put it in as a family. The family knows that our house is, let me put it in the kids’ terminology, “tore up from the floor up.” But the outside still sees Augusta as a historical city with some of the greatest entertainers, educational people, high-ranking writers, novelists, things of that sort. We all know of the legacy of the Masters. When I go home, they still speak of Augusta’s grandeur and what Augusta has to offer. Other people outside, they may see little snippets but for the most part, what are we going to do here in the city to change our image? That’s what I’ve been saying on the floor. No. 1, let’s stop changing the frames on these pictures – let’s change the picture. It’s time for a true makeover of the city of Augusta, and it’s going to need to be done not only by someone who’s in love with the city and is part of the city, but also one who’s willing to bring everyone to the table.

Q: Are you for (the new special purpose local option sales tax)?

A: The answer is yes; let me tell you why. No. 1, this is a reoccurrence of a plan and a decision that has already been made. Many of our commissioners are now saying, “Oh no way, please say no, please say no,” they said, because, one, we didn’t have the public meetings. I said, you’ve got to go back and look in your history. A couple of years ago, you didn’t have public meetings either. All of us were not here? The meeting was called in 24 hours – excuse me, I need you all to know the next SPLOST is coming in 365 days. Nothing has changed.

Q: When did you decide that Augusta needed you as mayor, and how tough was that decision?

A: In 1981 with Ed McIntyre – I saw in our former mayor that that’s someone I would like to be … After hearing his vision and being around the things that he had actually talked about, even with the riverwalk. Inner court secret, as they say, I used to also work right here at the Ramada, the Eagle’s Nest. Since I was the waitress, every day about 5 p.m. our mayor, Mayor McIntyre, along with Mr. Bill Lockett, and of course Mr. Oscar Brown, they all would actually come up, for just a time of relaxation. So I was able to also know them then. That increased my want to see myself as a leader as he was.

Q: What did you learn from Mr. McIntyre?

A: One thing I learned from him is all confrontation is not bad. I say that because as a leader, I saw some of those things from the campaign. One of those things that our former mayor did was he made sure that everyone – everyone – in the city of Augusta was included. He saw, which is really to me the only reason the charter, the consolidation is in place now, he saw a full Augusta. He didn’t see pieces of Augusta. He saw a city that is not only beautiful, not only historical, but a city that it would not matter to him what it took.

Q: What differentiates you from all the other candidates?

A: I already said, on paper, not one of them can touch me. I’m not talking about the doctorate. I’m talking about the community service. I’m talking about being at the table. I don’t have a problem, if I had to use one word, that word would be leadership. And the subtopic word would be empowerment. I had to go there, sorry. One thing about all leaders is, No. 1, real leaders believe in not only teamwork but to empower whoever is next to you or whoever else is in the room.

In other words, I can’t be the effective leaders that I am supposed to be unless my weakest link is as strong as I am. In Augusta, that’s what we’re going to have to realize. That we cannot just strengthen downtown. We’ve got to strengthen south Augusta, west Augusta, excuse me, went the wrong way, east Augusta. We can leave nothing out.

Q: One of the key character traits of a good leader is good judgment. Last year you got into trouble with the two handouts that you gave out that had racial slurs on them. Do you think you showed poor judgment and do you regret having done it?

A: Your question made judgment to say that I did not make a good judgment. And I beg to differ. Let me say why. Because the book Huckleberry Finn … you need to know the whole story. Huckleberry Finn uses the N word over 209 times. One of the requirements of an educator, especially in ELA, is to have our students read and critically think and analyze. What they do or fail not to tell you is what they already know. In reading Huckleberry Finn, the book states because of the way it’s written, and Huck has to deal with it, that the N word is acceptable …

Well, what we did is we took it to three different stages. We took it to the era of the 1960s and we took it to the era of 2014. And we state, in 2014, it’s acceptable for them to use that word once again, as it was used back then with Huck. So don’t get upset when you’re reading and you’re hearing Huck and everybody else called this because now you’re saying, this is a good thing over there. So if it was good there and it was good in the ’60s as well. If it was good in the ’60s and they were told to look at a picture to incite, No. 1, feeling and thought, if you’re looking at this picture right here, immediately, what do you think? Immediately, what do you think Dr. Martin Luther King is saying? What do you think the men that are arresting him are saying? In essence what are they saying: If it’s OK then, OK there, is it OK for you to call yourself that? And is it OK, No. 1, to use it?

The reason that I beg to differ, even in the school now, if at no other time, do they not use the word, they do not use it around me. And that’s a respect from me that says, No. 1, as I told them, some people as they hung from that tree, the last word that they heard was here, here and here. Was it acceptable? And I still tell them that it’s not. May be trouble in your eyes, but I look at it as an eye-opening experience.

Q: So you don’t regret it?

A: No, I think it was great judgment. And I’m still fighting it.

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Just My Opinion
5481
Points
Just My Opinion 04/23/14 - 05:12 pm
2
5
No. 1, see?? I told y'all

No. 1, see?? I told y'all that Lori Myles would be a great addition to those city government meetings? She seems like the type of lady who won't take crud from ANY of those commissioners! The way it is now, Deke just sits there, letting the bully-commishs run the meetings. Dr. Myles won't be as polite as Deke! Like I said before...she's an educated black woman with an attitude!
I'll tell you the thing that sticks out in my mind from what she said on the show held by Channel 6 the other night and that was when Myles said she'd not only keep the Mayor's car and gas account (nothing wrong with that), but she'd ALSO push hard for an official Mayor's HOUSE!! Yeah, something befitting the community position of the Mayor! You know exactly what THAT means, don't you??? BIG house, on the Hill, beautifull grounds (with yardsmen), beautiful and stately furnishings (with servants), a pool for entertaining (with pool-man), etc, etc, etc! $$$$$!!!
Good luck Lori! This is one voter that's definitely for you!
BTW, I actually understand where you were coming from on that whole N-word thing. Discussion is the key to problem resolution.

SRD
441
Points
SRD 04/23/14 - 07:30 pm
10
3
I dont git it

Things that make you go Huh! Sorry I just don't git it! Maybe that Doctorate Degree removed any common sense. What in the world is she talking about now and ever? I'm just thankful I didn't have a child unfortunate enough to be placed in her class room. And I'm more thankful that she doesn't stand a snowball's chance in H____ of winning this election. Augusta can't afford her or her degree!

GnipGnop
11918
Points
GnipGnop 04/23/14 - 09:15 pm
8
2
She's for SPLOST

that's a no vote for me. I never subscribe to the opinion "cause that's the way we did it last time" it stunk then and it stinks now!!!

amarie525
2145
Points
amarie525 04/23/14 - 09:41 pm
4
2
I'm sorry

I can't take her seriously and I think one reason is her hair...reminds me of Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam....just sayin...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5m8lj5DCtI

bubbasauce
20573
Points
bubbasauce 04/23/14 - 09:43 pm
6
2
Absolutely not!

Absolutely not!

justthefacts
21411
Points
justthefacts 04/23/14 - 09:44 pm
6
2
Me thinks

She doesn't know what "troubleshoot" means...

story1
802
Points
story1 04/23/14 - 09:52 pm
6
4
Lori is for Splost

Another reason to vote for Mr. Mason and "No" to Splost.

triscuit
2997
Points
triscuit 04/23/14 - 10:10 pm
7
2
Oh good Lord...how

Oh good Lord...how ridiculous.

gargoyle
16339
Points
gargoyle 04/23/14 - 10:24 pm
7
2
another cull with a

another cull with a disclaimer : Run and win a commission seat or run a business overseeing employees . A ships captain isn't picked for saying the right things when asked, a ship owner looks for proven leadership ability. Ms. Myles in my eyes hasn't got the experience or track record for the helm.

Graymare
3047
Points
Graymare 04/23/14 - 10:29 pm
8
2
No thank you! Her speeches

No thank you! "As they say", her speeches never makes sense. Next!

catfish20
250
Points
catfish20 04/23/14 - 10:43 pm
7
1
Augusta...can wait on you Girlfriend...

TV reporters can only pray this Friendgirl wins or gets to a runoff...I told you early on you CANNOT PAY for this type of entertainment.....We sadly only have ourselves to blame for this slate of candidates...where is Alan Tanner when you need him?

JRC2024
8596
Points
JRC2024 04/23/14 - 11:12 pm
5
3
Sounds like a bunch of BS to

Sounds like a bunch of BS to me. The hair and fingernails are not the thing for a woman with culture and class. Too Too much.

GeorgiaCarolina
164
Points
GeorgiaCarolina 04/23/14 - 11:52 pm
4
2
Is this some sort of joke?

I have seen less hair, makeup and fingernails on an episode of RuPaul's Drag Race.

dichotomy
32177
Points
dichotomy 04/24/14 - 12:05 am
7
2
Okay...I tried to follow her

Okay...I tried to follow her train of thought in those quotes....but no luck. If she thinks like she talks, she never needs to hold a public office. I don't even understand how she got to be a teacher. I don't know what school gave her an advanced degree but....just goes to show you why college degrees are not viewed as highly as they used to be. Her candidacy is a joke.....right?

catfish20
250
Points
catfish20 04/24/14 - 04:55 am
4
1
Right

Right...only in America. The joke's on us Pal. This lady is on the Front page...above the fold...with a picture my friend.....Get the paperwork ready for our new development in Augusta, by the way have you seen the Augusta Chronicle this morning.....well maybe hold that paperwork a little while.................................................................................

Riverman1
82451
Points
Riverman1 04/24/14 - 05:07 am
9
1
ACES Wild

So she had her vision to run for mayor when she was a young woman, fresh off the Greyhound, bringing drinks to the table at the Eagle’s Nest for Ed McIntyre. She admires him greatly and feels that she can emulate him as mayor. Never mind that McIntyre went to prison for years as a sitting mayor due to federal charges of accepting bribes, she remembers him fondly. I suspect he was a big tipper also. With her vision of how the mayor should be funded and treated, she learned well from him. But she’s not the only candidate invoking the name of Ed McIntyre. It seems the black candidates are revisionists of McIntyre’s history. But, whites, don’t worry. She will leave west Augusta alone and go toward east Augusta, she said. I think we knew that already. Now I understand why the Chronicle editors ran an ACES Wild online editorial the other day about what happened in South Africa when black rule replaced white rule. Chronicle editors sitting through these meetings with the candidates must be distressed.

peace4784
115
Points
peace4784 04/24/14 - 06:03 am
0
0
Her first priority should be
Unpublished

Her first priority should be to change her hair style. Its not helping her cause.

seenitB4
85831
Points
seenitB4 04/24/14 - 06:23 am
4
0
Lordy Lordy

The nails & hair will hold you back girlie...I bet you didn't have them when you were waiting on tables...
At least ctyman will like the Greyhound bus arrival..

corgimom
31499
Points
corgimom 04/24/14 - 06:33 am
4
1
Riverman, you and I thought

Riverman, you and I thought the same thing.

seenitB4
85831
Points
seenitB4 04/24/14 - 07:21 am
2
0
River & corgi

Yes, I have noticed yall think alike..:)

grinder48
1901
Points
grinder48 04/24/14 - 08:27 am
1
0
U Can't Be Serious
Unpublished

Certainly no one can take this candidacy seriously on any level. And this is a riot, "Ed McIntyre – I saw in our former mayor that that’s someone I would like to be … " Oh, a thief!

dsterling9
773
Points
dsterling9 04/24/14 - 08:36 am
5
0
MAYOR

The only thing I agree with from her statements is Deke not taking charge at commission meeting and ensuring there is proper decorum. There are rules of etiquette for meetings and in a number of instances are completely forgotten.

As far as her ideas about the SPLOST...WHAT? I have followed and objected to the SPLOST from the beginning. The current SPLOST is illegal and most be stopped.

JRC2024
8596
Points
JRC2024 04/24/14 - 08:52 am
4
0
I just watched part of the

I just watched part of the video. Ramble on. No eye contact and constant back and forth head movement with eyes looking up to the ceiling. My My.

dixieshicksa
50
Points
dixieshicksa 04/24/14 - 08:54 am
9
0
Oh. My. God. Someone who

Oh. My. God.
Someone who cannot even string together intelligent sentences and whose thought process closely resembles confabulation teaches LANGUAGE ARTS to children????
Reading her non-answers to the reporter's questions was like taking a long and winding road, over tall mountains and through deep valleys, to NOWHERE.
The cherry on top: she wants to emulate a convicted felon.
Daffy Duck would make a better candidate for Mayor.

Butterman
3680
Points
Butterman 04/24/14 - 10:53 am
8
0
The Children
Unpublished

And if anyone wanted to know the reason why people are fleeing from Richmond County schools for Columbia and Aiken County.. here is one of your examples right here.

Just My Opinion
5481
Points
Just My Opinion 04/24/14 - 12:28 pm
5
0
Look here! You people are

Look here! You people are not helping things! You act like you don't want someone to get so upset with Marion Williams that she takes off her high heels and throws them at him!! Admit it!...wouldn't you love to see that?? Well, here's your chance!! Not too late! No. 1, just start talking about how great and exciting EVERY DAY would be in Augusta if Myles were elected! No. 2....oh, wait...she never says what No. 2 is!

watchingclosely
31
Points
watchingclosely 04/24/14 - 01:18 pm
7
0
Lawd Have Mercy

Is this best Augusta can do? The saddest thing of it all is that she's dead serious when she states how good she thinks she is. From what I've seen, while observers watch curiously as she struggles to string together cogent sentences and logical thoughts, she truly believes that she's delivered a dazzling oratory or presented a brilliant strategy. She could be even more dangerous than Mr. Harddrive! Heaven help you all.

Fiat_Lux
15146
Points
Fiat_Lux 04/24/14 - 03:09 pm
4
0
What the heck does it matter anyway?

The mayor gets to sit around and watch--when s/he's not out doing PR or meet-and-greet for the city. The mayor is not a position of power in Richmond County, so what does it matter who crouches in that seat?

I reckon Deke didn't make us all look like total idiots to the world at large, and he knows how to talk to people who have good educations, lots of intelligence and power, and money to spend in our area.

The slate of candidates to take over the helm from him are not going to measure up to what he has been, but in this county, I can't imagine anybody any better having much appeal to the people who will decide this election.

Ugh. Just ugh.

Conservative Man
5453
Points
Conservative Man 04/24/14 - 03:14 pm
3
0
Ms. Myles...

…has guts to run..I'll give her that, but my prediction is she'll pull about 2% of the vote..

thauch12
6489
Points
thauch12 04/24/14 - 05:57 pm
6
0
This one has quack written all over her...

I was driving down 15th St. near Josey High School today where I saw one of her billboards that read "Dr. Lori Myles for Mayor". It's fairly common knowledge (especially in academia) that it is in bad taste to refer to yourself as "doctor" anything outside the appropriate setting (be it a hospital, university, school etc.), much less on a billboard. A doctorate is definitely an achievement to be proud of but it doesn't belong on a billboard for political office.

Interestingly enough, I went on her website to see what her "doctorate" was in. There, she claims to have "a Doctorate in Administration, Leadership and Supervision from Georgia Southern" (http://www.mylesformayor.com/#!dr-myles/cjg9). Interestingly enough, GSU does indeed offer a "Doctor of Education" (an Ed.D) degree in "educational administration and supervision" (http://coe.georgiasouthern.edu/edld/).

A little more research onto her personal teacher page on the Josey website (http://josey.rcboe.org/user_profile_view.aspx?id=84526718-bbe9-4b40-81ae...) shows that she has given herself a "PhD" (not an Ed.D as she actually earned).

Something's fishy here...I smell a quack.

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