Where Augusta Commission District 3 candidates Mary Davis, Ed Enoch, Cleveland O'Steen stand on key issues

MARY DAVIS

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Augusta Commission

Richmond County school board

Richmond County sheriff

District Attorney, Augusta Judicial Circuit

12th Congressional District

AGE: 42

FAMILY: Husband, Scott; children Morgan and Charlie

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Managed Mayor Deke Copenhaver’s 2006 campaign

EDUCATION: Aquinas High School, 1987; University of Georgia, bachelor’s degree in journalism, 1991

DAVIS ON THE STORMWATER FEE: Our infrastructure is in dire need of being updated and must be made a priority by the commission. I will bring fellow commissioners and department heads together to find funding solutions that will allow Augusta to improve, update and provide the necessary maintenance for our city’s aged infrastructure.

DAVIS ON RAISING TAXES: We are facing a budget deficit and must work diligently to eliminate waste and duplication in our current budget without compromising services. … It has become abundantly clear that residents of District 3 expect their elected officials to cut spending before they consider raising taxes, and that’s exactly what I am going to do.

DAVIS ON THE CONVENTION CENTER: The economic impact of the TEE Center is enormous, and we need leadership on the commission and in the community to get an agreement in place. We cannot afford to lose any additional conventions due to competing agendas. The taxpayers deserve a fully functional and operational convention center immediately.

DAVIS ON THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR: I will work with City Administrator Fred Russell to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars, ensuring that all decisions are made based on the good of all of Augusta.

ED ENOCH

AGE: 52

FAMILY: Wife, Sharon; daughters, Laura and Olivia; son, Noah

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Attorney for Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority, 2003-present; chairman, Hardie Davis for House, 2006; co-chairman, Davis for Senate, 2010

EDUCATION: Rollins College; Washington and Lee University Law School

ENOCH ON THE STORMWATER FEE: I am not opposed to having fees that we designate to a specific use, but we have to look very carefully at how this is being spent. Is it the fairest, most efficient way for it to be done?

ENOCH ON RAISING TAXES: Nobody likes the idea of raising taxes, but I’m not going to take the “no new taxes” pledge because that’s abdicating the responsibility of an elected official. We’re sent up there to make the hard calls. Taxes and user fees always have to be the option of last resort.

ENOCH ON THE CONVENTION CENTER: Having not been on the inside of what happened, it’s hard to say what you do to improve that process. We have conventions booked and we have to have some certainty. What binding commitments do we have with Augusta Riverfront? Once we know the answer to that question, then we can decide the path forward.

ENOCH ON THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR: It’s the role of the city administrator to run the city on a day-to-day basis. Just like any board that I’ve sat on, the board creates policy and makes the big decisions and that person is there to execute that. If I’m on the commission and we get blindsided on an issue, I’m going to find out who should have kept us informed.

CLEVELAND O’STEEN

AGE: 49

FAMILY: Daughters, Raven and Erika

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Trustee, Buena Vista Charter Township, Mich.; policy analyst, Michigan Democratic Party

EDUCATION: Saginaw Valley State University, master’s degrees in political science, criminal justice and educational leadership

O’STEEN ON THE STORMWATER FEE: If we can look at it and see how it’s going to benefit everybody and make it uniform. I hate to raise taxes on people, but sometimes you have to look at that thoroughly. That would be my last resort.

O’STEEN ON RAISING TAXES: I disagree with tax increases because some people who are living on fixed incomes are barely making it now. At the same time, if we can look at cutting some other things before we raise taxes, I would gladly look at that. Sometimes at the bottom line, you would have to raise taxes, but that would be my last resort.

O’STEEN ON THE CONVENTION CENTER: That management agreement was flawed. As an elected official, you should be aware of what’s in the contract; at the same time it’s being pushed down our throats. Around the country convention centers are losing money... Current commissioners and past commissioners should have looked at that and scrutinized it more. I don’t think we need to rush into it.

O’STEEN ON THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR: To me it seems like he’s the administrator, he should have known about those things in there, the TEE Center. He should have kept the commissioners abreast of things because that’s his job.


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