Re-elect Matt Aitken

'Peacemaker' commissioner deserves to keep his seat

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Matt Aitken may not be a miracle worker. But he may be the work of miracles.

His early years had spun completely out of control, with Aitken selling drugs and popping in and out of jail from age 12 to 29. But when the cold metal doors of prison pealed behind him at the start of a 15-year sentence, he was completely lost and then suddenly found.

“I became a Christian the night a former drug addict who now was Christian told me that we didn’t have to stay addicted and that there was hope and freedom in only one thing: Christ,” he writes on his Facebook page. “That night alone in my cell I gave my life to Christ. I have never been the same since.”

Today, Aitken is gainfully employed as a chemical operator at Olin, raising a beautiful young family, telling his story worldwide in prison ministries – and running for re-election to the Augusta Commission’s District 1 seat.

Matt Aitken deserves re-election in Tuesday’s runoff election.

He brings a gentility, positivity and color-blindness to a commission desperately in need of all three. And few politicians in this city’s post-consolidation era have enjoyed such widespread support across racial lines as Aitken has. Indeed, he is the first white commissioner elected to the majority-black district.

District 1 encompasses the bulk of downtown, with Harrisburg, Sand Hills, Laney-Walker/Bethlehem, east Augusta and parts of Country Club Hills and Summerville.

Mr. Aitken is a safe harbor in a political tempest, a steady demeanor and reliable vote for progress, unity and economic development. Perhaps because of his hard-won faith, and his hardscrabble youth, Aitken is absolutely impervious to the negative winds that too often swirl around him and his downtown district.

“He is a bridge-builder, a peacemaker and a man who is driven by his faith as opposed to the politics of the day,” Mayor Deke Copenhaver told us.

And we think it’s fair to say that that compliment is coming from someone who, himself, is a bridge-builder, a peacemaker and a man who is driven by his faith as opposed to the politics of the day.

Aitken has worked, often behind the scenes, to advance the Laney Walker/Bethlehem revitalization, as well as business district and east Augusta drainage issues – which he helped get moving. He works with the sheriff’s office on crime prevention and youth programs, and is present in all parts of a very diverse district.

His goals in a second term include increased housing downtown for professionals, working with the new sheriff on youth programs that are near and dear to his own heart, and economic development on the river.

Cities, like people, can be redeemed. Augusta needs the spirit of unity and cohesion that people like Matt Aitken can provide.

We urge voters in District 1 to unite for progress and re-elect Commissioner Matt Aitken.

Comments (15) Add comment
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Riverman1
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Riverman1 12/03/12 - 05:18 am
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1
Why the Chronicle Supports Aitken

No wonder the Chronicle supports Aitken. He made a motion at a Commission meeting to approve the original TEE Center agreements that were very favorable to the Chronicle "connections," but were, thankfully, defeated and modified for the good of the city. Harrisburg advocate, Lori Davis, has written of her opposition to Aitken.

Matt Aitken, also, supports the Stormwater Tax. He’s often absent from Commission meetings and he didn’t even show up to vote on next year’s budget. From an article in yesterday’s Chronicle we learn he has received donations from Lewis Blanchard, Rodger Giles, Monty Osteen, Clay Boardman and Braye Boardman.

It seems pretty clear to me the hold of the cabal has to be broken. Aitken is their pawn and we all know it, including the editorial writers.

Techfan
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Techfan 12/03/12 - 08:15 am
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2
Announced in April, but the

Announced in April, but the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report lists no contributions or expenditures on the March 31st or June 30th filings, and none until July filed in Sept. 30th report. Did he really raise or spend no funds until July? That seems to be getting a late start for a sitting Commissioner.

Little Lamb
45332
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Little Lamb 12/03/12 - 09:04 am
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What?

What are we to make of this?

His goals in a second term include increased housing downtown for professionals. . . .

Is he planning to use tax money to pay private developers to build this housing for professionals? Is he planning to use tax money to subsidize housing for professionals? Shouldn't professionals pay for their own housing? Shouldn't professionals choose their own developers?

The city says it has no money to maintain the storm drain system, yet it has money to subsidize housing for professionals? Insane.

Little Lamb
45332
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Little Lamb 12/03/12 - 09:09 am
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Ay, Yah Yay, Yah Yay

From the story:

His goals in a second term include . . . working with the new sheriff on youth programs. . . .

We don't have money to maintain the storm drains, we don't have money to time or trigger the traffic lights for better flow, we don't have money to repair potholes; but we're going to set up youth programs in the sheriff department? Insanity.

Little Lamb
45332
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Little Lamb 12/03/12 - 09:13 am
7
1
River

From the story:

His goals in a second term include . . . economic development on the river.

Well, his employer, Olin Chemicals, is on the river and they're shutting down manufacturing and transferring workers out of state. Is he talking about taxpayer subsidies to those industries who happen to own land on the riverfront?

F4therTime
4656
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F4therTime 12/03/12 - 09:24 am
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1
I'm not a Fennoy fan but...
Unpublished

Aitken is a Deke lackey. He voted for the budget and when Chris Thomas asked him about what was in it he had no clue...Didn't the AC give Pelosi and company hell for the same reasons? Voting for things and not knowing what was in them?

Riverman1
82428
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Riverman1 12/03/12 - 09:38 am
5
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The Second Link Techfan Provided

That link shows ESG Operations, the company that runs the wastewater treatment plant for the county. contributed $500 to Aitken. So companies with city contracts are now giving money to Commissioners? I don't know why I think this is something new.

OpenCurtain
10049
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OpenCurtain 12/03/12 - 10:16 am
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1
F4therTime, Little Lamb & Riverman1 are on point

Some Augusta County Commissioners and dirty diapers have one thing in common.

They become used, full of it and must be replaced/

In the case of Matt Aitken,
I feel he has become a guaranteed Spend and Tax block vote for anything to advance Downtown and to the devil with the county.

HenryWalker3rd
2393
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HenryWalker3rd 12/03/12 - 10:31 am
6
2
My 5 Cents
Unpublished

1. Matt has had his chance.

2. The ACES should learn from the past. (i.e. endorcing candidates)

3. Because Matt is a recovering drug addict, he can somehow relate to the people downtown?

4. ACES get over yourself.

5. I am not a Fennoy Fan either, but Matt has had his chance, and we can see who he ACTUALLY REPRESENTS (cough, cough, same ol, same)

Discussionstarter
478
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Discussionstarter 12/03/12 - 10:52 am
7
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Don't follow this advice

Matt has had ample time to prove himself and he has failed.

Little Lamb
45332
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Little Lamb 12/03/12 - 11:07 am
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Does anybody know

Does Bill Fennoy have a job? What does he do for a living?

soapy_725
43676
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soapy_725 12/03/12 - 12:12 pm
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What happened tp the separation of church & state?
Unpublished

Religion or the lack of same is not a criteria for public office. Matt's church is emphatic about church and state. But not when it comes to federal grant money. Jesus said, "the Pharisees loved money....." While Matt's testimony to the lost and addicted is tremendous, his pulpit should not a political rubber stamp commission seat. Matt is being used. Matt's testimony is being used to advance the economic gains of a few. But this is where we are today and always. Politicians using babies, tractors, bluejeans, rolled up sleeves and born again experience to buy votes. An buying and selling votes is what makes America great.

Matt is dangerous because his conversion from the sinful world would have told him that governments devour innocent humans. Matt is dangerous because he would have us believe you can mix politics and Christianity. That is a lie. All of history says that is a lie.

Matt does not represent the everyday issues and needs of those citizens he claims to represent. Regardless of his culture. A politically transplanted mole.

Matt wants us to believe because he is a born again Christian involved in politics that he will do what is righteous. History says that is a lie.

soapy_725
43676
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soapy_725 12/03/12 - 12:15 pm
0
0
But in ARC as in Washington DC
Unpublished

It is not the elected we see who are "moving us forward". Everyday we are supplied evidence by the AC that the local government is impotent in all things but spending taxpayer money for kingdom building.

Conservative Man
5447
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Conservative Man 12/03/12 - 05:32 pm
4
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LL..

....I believe he's a retired educator..

Also , while no fan of Fennoy, I DO believe for the county to truly move forward something has to change. And I don't think the best choice for District 1 is Aitken...

The ACES called Mr. Aitken a peacemaker....hmmm

..So being quiet and not speaking until being told to makes a peacemaker?....maybe a peacekeeper, but certainly NOT a leader.....

...Taking stances makes a leader and I have yet to see any of that from Aitken,someone who obviously believes in the "Deke school of Milquetoast Politics".....

Also I can't help but wonder if the ACES waiting until today to endorse instead of doing it in Sunday's more widely read edition is indicative of "lukewarm" support for Aitken..
something to ponder..

cm51
145
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cm51 12/03/12 - 06:34 pm
5
1
Spineless AND more.........

Been knowing Matt for over 20 years; he has ALWAYS been the type to "go with the flow"............NEVER one to confront anybody of whom he thinks can benefit him later on.............I think if you look up the definition of a YES MAN; it will say AITKEN, see MATT.

rebellious
20630
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rebellious 12/04/12 - 12:49 am
2
0
Either Way

Augusta Loses.

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