Salaries of MCG administrators soar in 5 years

New infrastructure, additional duties, pay equity behind increases

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It is good to be the boss, especially at Medical College of Georgia.

Salaries paid to the administration have increased more than 50 percent in five years, more than double the rate of salary increases overall at the school, according to an analysis by The Augusta Chronicle. Even from last fiscal year to the current one, when the school was slashing more than 22 percent to meet heavy cuts in state funding, the amount paid to administration increased by nearly $300,000. Administration officials say the increase reflects efforts to retain valuable employees and is not a big increase in terms of the total operations.

The Chronicle examined salary data of those the school identified as administration from the fiscal years 2005, 2009, and 2010. Comparisons before 2005 would be problematic because the University System of Georgia used a different classification system then.

The total salary of administration went from $17.2 million in fiscal year 2005 to $25.8 million in fiscal year 2009, and more than $26.1 million in fiscal year 2010. Salary costs for the school increased 19 percent during the same period. Administration made up 7 percent of salary costs in 2005 and 8 percent in 2010, according to The Chronicle 's analysis. Citing other figures that also show a 1 percent increase, "that's a small increase," MCG School of Medicine Dean D. Douglas Miller said.

Part of it is the result of a planned increase after a review found that salaries "were well below benchmarks for comparable institutions," said William R. Bowes, the senior vice president for finance and administration. The school also recruits nationally, and sometimes that requires paying a higher salary that puts a position out of alignment with similar positions at the school, Provost Barry D. Goldstein said.

"So then you have to take the second step, which is to adjust (others') compensation as well, because we need to retain those individuals who are doing those jobs as well," he said.

A major part of the salary bump could be the school's "vice" system. The number of vice presidents and vice deans increased from 13 in 2005 to 25 in 2010, and their total salaries doubled, from $2.5 million to $5.1 million. Part of that is a reflection of what former MCG President Daniel W. Rahn decided to do when he took over in 2001.

"As an institution, when Dan Rahn came in, the infrastructure of this institution was poor, to say the least," Goldstein said. "And one of the things that he was committed to doing when he came in was to build the infrastructure so that this institution could work properly to support the mission of the institution."

But it also reflects the growing complexity the school faces in terms of answering to different constituencies and challenges, administration officials said.

For instance, to accommodate one accrediting body, the School of Medicine added a program for diversity and a dean to run it, Miller said. Those kinds of administrative changes are probably happening at medical schools across the country "to allow them to better meet the needs that are both internal and external to the organization," said Dr. John Prescott, the chief academic officer for the Association of American Medical Colleges. "Medical schools are probably the most complex institutions of higher learning in the United States. And they do require coordination both across and throughout the entire enterprise. And that coordination usually requires fairly strong administrative support."

There have been other recent administrative additions at MCG, such as Annie Hunt Burriss, a special assistant to the president, whose job is described as advising "the president on mission-centered and market-smart initiatives, optimizing collaboration with strategic partners statewide," according to MCG's Web site.

Her salary in fiscal year 2010 is $175,235. Goldstein said she is worth it to MCG.

Some administrators have gained more than others since fiscal year 2005.

Goldstein, for instance, saw his salary go up $165,500, or 92 percent, to $346,000.

Vice President for Strategic Support Deborah L. Barshafsky went from making just more than $100,000 to $192,759 in fiscal year 2010, an increase of 91 percent.

R. Bryan Ginn Jr., the vice president for external affairs, did nearly as well, going from $110,000 to $203,000 in the current fiscal year, an increase of 85 percent.

By contrast, the salary of Dr. David J. Terris, the chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology, increased 13 percent during the period, from $400,000 to $452,000 a year.

"Over that period of time, there has been a significant increase in the complexity of the institution, the compliance we're responsible for from federal regulations, state regulations, university system, all of the accrediting bodies," Goldstein said. "People take on additional jobs and responsibilities, and you need to compensate them appropriately for doing those jobs."

Some of the large increases resulted from obvious job changes -- Andrew Newton went from being a senior legal adviser in 2005 to serving as MCG's general counsel, boosting his salary from $91,000 to $179,000 a year. Dr. Gretchen Caughman went from associate dean to dean of the School of Graduate Studies, netting her a 67 percent raise.

Some of the recent big swings in administration salary make sense in context. The biggest salary increase in the current fiscal year -- 25 percent -- went to Vascular Biology Center Director John Catravas, who agreed last year to also take over as acting director of MCG Cancer Center. The former director, Kapil Bhalla, took the biggest hit this fiscal year, a reduction of 17 percent or $82,000.

Most of those listed as administrators took a 2 percent cut in pay this fiscal year because of mandatory furloughs, but 21 got a raise and three stayed the same.

All of the recent increases were because of pay equity issues, changes in duties or similar issues, Miller said.

Not all salaries are paid through state funding; grants and other sources support some, officials said.

MCG School of Medicine Dean D. Douglas Miller calls the gain "small."

Data analysis

The Augusta Chronicle used the Georgia Open Records Act to request salary data for the administration of Medical College of Georgia for fiscal years 2005, 2009, and 2010. The school responded by providing data for everyone in certain job categories. A comparison to data before fiscal year 2005 would have been difficult because job categories previously were classified differently. The Chronicle then used Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and Microsoft Access database manager to analyze the data.

What MCG's vice presidents are paid

The Medical College of Georgia's vice presidents or vice deans increased in number from 13 in 2005 to 25 in 2010, and their total salaries doubled, from $2.5 million to $5.1 million.

Betty J. Aldridge, Sponsored Program Administration (senior associate vice president): $172,797.43

J. Michael Ash, Administration (vice president): $192,118.27

Deborah L. Barshafsky, Strategic Support (vice president Strategic Support): $192,759.14

William R. Bowes, Finance & Administration (senior vice president Finance & Administration): $258,274.04

Anna Elizabeth Brigdon, Information Tech Support & Services (associate senior vice president Finance & Administration/chief information officer/associate provost): $215,761.12

Roman M. Cibirka, Office of Academic Affairs (vice president Instruction & Enrollment Management): $198,123.91

James S. Davis, Radiation Safety (associate vice president for Environmental Health & Safety): $136,769.23

Anthony William Duva, University Development (associate vice president): $156,291.79

Ruth M. Fincher, School of Medicine-Academic Affairs-Curriculum (vice dean): $349,153.29

Kevin B. Frazier, Student Services & Development (vice president Student Services/Development): $153,958.19

Ronald B. Ginn Jr., External Affairs (vice president): $203,801.98

Barry D. Goldstein, Provost (senior vice president Academic Affairs & Provost): $346,325.54

James T. Harris, Materials Management-Director's Office (associate vice president Materials Management): $110,148.08

Michael Wayne Hill, Institutional Audit & Compliance (vice president): $140,603.02

James W. Jones, Controller's Office (associate vice president for Finance): $164,360.96

Julia M. Kerlin, Government Relations (assistant vice president Government Relations): $122,115.39

Elizabeth Head Meehan, University Development (interim vice president): $171,465.75

D. Douglas Miller, School of Medicine -- Office of the Dean (senior vice president Health Affairs/dean): $565,455.29

Anthony L. Mulloy, School of Medicine (senior associate vice president Clinical Research Administration): $259,409.63

Charles F. Nawrot, School of Medicine -- Technology Transfer & Economic Development (associate vice president): $142,240.00

Susan A. Norton, Human Resources (associate vice president for Human Resources): $175,235.58

David E. Smith, Facilities Management (associate vice president for Facilities): $135,894.80

Edward J. Townsend, Information Technology Support & Services (associate vice president): $131,398.95

Frank A. Treiber, School of Medicine Research Development (vice president): $307,602.33

Russell A. Williams, Budget, Planning & Analysis (associate vice president for Budget Planning): $140,989.54

Source: MCG

-- Compiled by Tom Corwin, staff writer

Budget cut makes job changes likely

Medical College of Georgia officials say there will likely be personnel changes from an upcoming $10 million cut and perhaps a realignment with the school's clinical system.

As the smoke was clearing from the final budget battles, it appeared the school would take the additional cut in fiscal year 2011, beginning July 1, said William R. Bowes, the senior vice president for finance and administration at MCG. So far, the school has been able to cut vacant positions and nonpersonnel services, but it has run out of those options, MCG Provost Barry D. Goldstein said.

"We're in a situation where we will have to look at personnel," he said.

What services and which personnel have not yet been decided, Goldstein said.

Officials are hoping that is the extent of it but have had to prepare additional midyear cuts the past couple of years after state revenues did not meet projections, he said.

Another factor is a coming realignment. MCG Health Inc. has run the school's clinical system with mostly separate administration for the past 10 years, but the University System of Georgia Board of Regents is studying a plan that would put the system back in the hands of the MCG president and perhaps a new board that MCG Health's board would answer to.

"We're looking at this issue of realignment with the hospital," Bowes said. "And we anticipate there may be some changes associated with that, but that is one of the things that is being looked at right now as well."

Some duplicate positions will remain because MCG Health needs to retain some separate functions, he said.

-- Tom Corwin, staff writer

Biggest Percent Increases in MCG Administrators' Salaries*

* Fiscal years 2005-2010


 Fiscal year 2005 Fiscal year 2010
NameDept.TitleSalaryTitleSalarySalary Change
Andrew NewtonLegal AffairsSenior legal adviser$91,332General counsel$179,043.70+$87,711.70 (+96%)
Barry D. GoldsteinProvostProvost$180,800Senior vice president of Academic Affairs & Provost$346,325.54+$165,525.54 (+92%)
Deborah L. BarshafskyExecutive Assistant to the PresidentDirector of the Office of Institutional Research$100,800Vice president strategic support$192,759.14+$91,959.14 (+91%)
Ronald B. Ginn Jr.External Government AffairsChief External Affairs Officer$110,004Vice president$203,801.98+$93,797.98 (+85%)
Susan A. NortonHuman ResourcesChief Human Resource Officer$100,000Associate vice president$175,235.58+$75,235.58 (+75%)
Edward J. TownsendInformation Technology Support ServicesDirector$75,222Associate vice president$131,398.95+$56,176.95 (+75%)
Gretchen B. CaughmanSchool of Graduate StudiesAssociate dean$105,070Dean$175,886.29+$70,816.29 (+67%)
Joel CovarSchool of Medicine - Office of OperationsDirector subdivision / unit$115,000Director of operations$177,278.22+$62,278.22 (+54%)
Michael Wayne HillInternal AuditDirector division / department$92,926Vice president$140,603.02+$ 47,677.02 (+51%)

Source: MCG

Note: Not all salaries are paid by state funding; some money could come from grants or other sources.

- Compiled by Tom Corwin, staff writer

Comments (109) Add comment
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wizzardx1
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wizzardx1 05/02/10 - 01:18 am
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they need to get rid of more

they need to get rid of more doctors so the administrator's pay can go even higher.we know these administrators are way more important than actual doctors,heck at some point we will be able to elliminate all doctors and be treated by the administrators.this COULD be why healthcare costs are so very high-just a guess.

TrukinRanger
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TrukinRanger 05/02/10 - 04:52 am
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I don't care if they're paid
Unpublished

I don't care if they're paid less that the industry standard... it's disgusting that so many programs get cut and these people make this kind of money. If I had chest pains in their ER I'd ask to be moved to another hospital. MCG and the annoying Physicians Practice Group were a pain in my side for many years... thankfully they're not the only institution(s) in my network anymore!

justus4
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justus4 05/02/10 - 05:31 am
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Great country, eh? This kind
Unpublished

Great country, eh? This kind of pay structure is going to destroy the nation, because the people that REALLY work get peanuts for a salary. However, that's the game and with it U get winners and losers and ultimately the country will lose. Oh, and notice the number of U know who, that don't appear on this salary list.

Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 05/02/10 - 06:01 am
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Not sure how I feel about

Not sure how I feel about this. One part of me says it is wrong but another says look at the market and make the best choices for the entire school.

Brad

soldout
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soldout 05/02/10 - 07:00 am
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As folks learn about advanced

As folks learn about advanced health approaches that are cheap or free the demand for all medical services will go down. These include NAET, EFT, oil pulling, reflexology, more water, more sunshine (without sunscreen) and moderate exercise. God never intended that maintaining your health would be costly or complex. Most health problems are the result of sowing and reaping in our lives. Prayer for the sick beats all advanced and normal medical approaches because it wins the battle in the spiritual realm and then you see it worked out in the natural realm. Just the advanced methods mentioned would drop all health cost by 80%.

Riverman1
93576
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Riverman1 05/02/10 - 07:45 am
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Those raises were out of

Those raises were out of line, especially the recent ones with this economy, state and MCG budgets. Don't forget all these raises happened under Rahn.

Do we understand now why MCG Health, the foundation and the PPG wanted to stay separate from Rahn spending like he was a drug rep footing the bill for dinner? Notice, some of the salaries are paid from grants. I wonder if those who donated realize that.

Corwin, start looking into University Hosp. and you can really find some interesting things.

Riverman1
93576
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Riverman1 05/02/10 - 08:06 am
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Sometimes when you read about

Sometimes when you read about taxpayers' money being wasted like this, you feel like the jockey riding the horse running dead last at the Kentucky Derby yesterday with all that mud being kicked in your face. MCG is definitely not a Super Saver, though.

justthefacts
25022
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justthefacts 05/02/10 - 08:24 am
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You tell'em Pay. Besides,

You tell'em Pay. Besides, once Obama gets through with them it won't be much anyway.

airbud7
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airbud7 05/02/10 - 08:33 am
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When you stay in school and

When you stay in school and get a good education, then you to can make this kind of money.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 05/02/10 - 08:40 am
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Keep in mind, the article is

Keep in mind, the article is about ADMINISTRATORS, in most cases, not clinical people. What kind of raises did the physicians get? Not anywhere near what the administrators received.

When the president of MCG has had total control expenses have soared and the money loss increased.

3doghouse
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3doghouse 05/02/10 - 08:52 am
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Keep in mind that these

Keep in mind that these ADMINISTRATORS might deserve some credit for increasing research funding - money that does not come from state taxes - from less than $40 million to nearly $100 million over this time period.

Why weren't these salaries compared with similar positions at other similar universities? Are they in line or not?

Riverman1
93576
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Riverman1 05/02/10 - 09:01 am
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In this time of state budget

In this time of state budget austerity with people being furloughed and jobs cut, it makes no sense to be adding "advisors" at tremendous salaries. You and I both know what that is. Someone teach the administrators how to Google if they need to know something.

citizensmh
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citizensmh 05/02/10 - 09:13 am
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Yes, a comparison of salaries

Yes, a comparison of salaries at other institutions of the same size should be made. I agree that in a time when people are getting laid off at MCG, furloughed, and have freezes on their bonuses/raises, I don't see how administrators are getting 50-90% pay increases. It makes me feel as though the cuts were to pay for the salary increases.

stacey fortson
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stacey fortson 05/02/10 - 09:15 am
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MCG is also the only hospital

MCG is also the only hospital that takes care of indigent. If you want to look at unusual spending at non-profit hospitals, check out University executive salaries (and bonuses) as well as that advertising budget. Talk about excessive and just wrong.

3doghouse
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3doghouse 05/02/10 - 09:22 am
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Where does it say that

Where does it say that advisors were added or salaries were raised when people were asked to take furloughs?

Riverman1
93576
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Riverman1 05/02/10 - 09:54 am
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3dog, this is from the

3dog, this is from the article: "There have been other recent administrative additions at MCG, such as Annie Hunt Burriss, a special assistant to the president, whose job is described as advising "the president on mission-centered and market-smart initiatives, optimizing collaboration with strategic partners statewide..." Her salary is $175,235. LOL

Also notice from the article that the school had to cut its budget 22%. Finally, MCG said last year they would impose 6 furlough days.

charliemanson
1
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charliemanson 05/02/10 - 10:28 am
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Citizensmh states "I agree

Citizensmh states "I agree that in a time when people are getting laid off at MCG, furloughed, and have freezes on their bonuses/raises, I don't see how administrators are getting 50-90% pay increases. It makes me feel as though the cuts were to pay for the salary increases."
_____________________________________________
Citizensmh: it's called "Wealth Redistribution." Wealth is flowing from the bottom group (who can afford it the least) to the top group (who keeps getting richer).

3doghouse
9
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3doghouse 05/02/10 - 10:08 am
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Looks like she was about two

Looks like she was about two and a half years ago... https://my.mcg.edu/portal/page/portal/News/archive/2007/39E1CDB50BC75E5F...

...the cuts mentioned in the article took place this year.

You seem very eager to bash the leadership of an institution that, for very little local investment, brings about $2 billion into the local economy. .. and you single out the person who's focused on economic development???

My guess is that it takes good leadership to do that, and that brings me back to my point that this artilcle fails to give us comparisons with other universities like MCG.

If MCG administrative salaries don't keep up with other like institutions, they won't keep good leaders.

Unfortunately, this article doesn't explain what the trend for other institutions is. It's like saying "the new Chevy costs more than the old one." - That sounds bad, but if the new Ford and the new Dodge cost more too, it changes the story quite a bit.

Riverman1
93576
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Riverman1 05/02/10 - 10:26 am
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Don't blame this putting the

Don't blame this putting the spotlight on Burriss on me. She is in the article after all for a reason. Corwin correctly pointed out her hiring.

She was Sonny Perdue's assistant. Perdue and Rahn get this dimwitted idea to start another medical school in Athens. No job position at MCG existed for her, but one was created and she became Rahn's assistant at $175,235 a year. Says lots to me.

billm
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billm 05/02/10 - 10:27 am
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I laugh at the consistent

I laugh at the consistent excuse that every public administration uses to justify their constant salary increases. One group raises salaries to jump others and then that increase is used by everyone else as the new benchmark.

Some of these people may be worth the money, but that's not the most common excuse for the salary increases.

And if someone in one of these roles would actually pick up and leave town for a few thousand dollars more then....don't let the door hit you in the rear end on the way out.

citizensmh
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citizensmh 05/02/10 - 10:33 am
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MCG used to take care of

MCG used to take care of indigents, not any more. No one can be turned away from ANY ER. The only level I Trauma in the area is MCG, so they do take on those costs. But the indigent programs in the area have been through University for about 5 years.

The problem with MCG is that there are too many administrators. They are losing faculty, staff, and physicians. If they keep it up, their will be no one left to administrate to. If the research people are paying for their own through grants, then they shouldn't need salary comp.

ClaraBell
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ClaraBell 05/02/10 - 10:45 am
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I'm with 3-dog. Mister Corwin

I'm with 3-dog. Mister Corwin was remiss (if not derelict) by not including comparable salaries. Also about Burriss, who is one of the few MCG administrators with any experience outside of the CSRA. I looked at her bio at the link in 3-dog's and I have to wonder why she would want to be counted among the parochial troops in Augusta. Bet she is unwelcome in an administrative empire of mediocrity.

ClaraBell
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ClaraBell 05/02/10 - 11:06 am
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Corwin, do you or any of our

Corwin, do you or any of our readers know which members of this group were on the wrecking crew that took dissolved MCG relationship with the foundation? Inquiring minds want to know THAT.

jb1234
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jb1234 05/02/10 - 11:54 am
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Stay in school kids!

Stay in school kids!

Riverman1
93576
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Riverman1 05/02/10 - 12:07 pm
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"There have been other recent

"There have been other recent administrative additions at MCG, such as Annie Hunt Burriss, a special assistant to the president, whose job is described as advising "the president on mission-centered and market-smart initiatives, optimizing collaboration with strategic partners statewide," according to MCG's Web site."

Realize the MCG president already had many kinds of assistants to help him in every possible way. I simply find creating another job for someone with a job description as nebulous as this as questionable. Thanks to Corwin for uncovering it.

The position certainly needs to be eliminated in these hard times. This is a state institution with processes in place for obtaining funds.

Robins Williams had a vague job description, too, at the state institution he was assoicated with, but it surrounded his supposed ability to build collaborations (get money) for the mental health facility. When I see such claims, I look with a critical eye.

3doghouse
9
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3doghouse 05/02/10 - 12:15 pm
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River... spotlight, no.

River... spotlight, no. Sexist comments, yes.

Riverman1
93576
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Riverman1 05/02/10 - 12:36 pm
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3D, I think I understand what

3D, I think I understand what you mean. My earlier comment about Splenda in the coffee that was pulled? Actually, I didn't mind it being pulled and it probably was a little sexist, but I can't help it that she is a woman.

Robin Williams was male and I'm sure he put Splenda in the coffee of those at the mental health center, too. I didn't intend it as a sexist comment, but I can understand how the AC and you thought it was. My apologies.

ClaraBell
8
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ClaraBell 05/02/10 - 12:35 pm
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Being employed by business

Being employed by business and accountable to a bottom line, I hope Doctor Azziz will do as business does, and secure letters of resignation from each and every one of these public servants, pending his ability to assess who is worth keeping.

To Riverman: "In these hard times" successful businesses do not make it a practice to cut their sales forces, and cost-cutting, while necessary, is not a path to growth. Augusta has a near-perfect record of missing huge economic development opportunities in life sciences, at least for the eight years I have lived here. (Mayor Deke shows promise of changing that.) This city cannot survive on MCG "business as usual" and one big annual golf party, no matter how big that party is.

Riverman1
93576
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Riverman1 05/02/10 - 12:44 pm
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ClaraBell, I see what you

ClaraBell, I see what you mean, but realize the CSRA is doing well. But please, don't forget Ft. Gordon and SRS.

I slam Deke, he's a nice guy™, but he is trying to keep things moving, misguided as he sometimes is. None of this relates to MCG, but maybe being our size is not a bad thing. To me we are the perfect sized community with all kinds of amenities in a beautiful, low cost setting....2 hours from Atlanta. Stop trying to be Atlanta. Just relax and enjoy.

speeding
0
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speeding 05/02/10 - 12:50 pm
0
0
These public servants that

These public servants that feed at the public trough need some min wages.

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