It's attitude

Better local government lies in fundamental change in thinking

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Ever thought about the difference between disposition and attitude?

The Augusta Commission's disposition can fall short, but the city's full potential won't be realized unless the commission's attitude changes.  TODD BENNETT/FILE
TODD BENNETT/FILE
The Augusta Commission's disposition can fall short, but the city's full potential won't be realized unless the commission's attitude changes.

They’re not the same.

Your disposition is what others see. It’s like the screen on your computer monitor. Attitude, though, is like the software quietly running in the background.

There’s been much discussion here in the past month or so about the disposition of the Augusta Commission, which often is less than exemplary. Commissioners, many of them anyway, admit the group has problems with decorum and manners – toward one another and toward employees and others who speak before them.

But that’s just a matter of disposition.

What’s really needed is an attitude adjustment.

It’s attitude – often malware running in the background – that causes the commission not just to be indecorous, which is bad enough, but dysfunctional – which affects taxpayers, property owners and inhabitants alike.

Just consider the absolute asymmetry of what occurred on Sept. 17: While the Aiken County, S.C., council approved a $144 million development on the river, Augusta Commissioners argued over whether to call downtown a “slum” in order to get redevelopment funds.

In the end, they couldn’t agree – and then they couldn’t even agree to have another meeting about it!

Think about that for a minute. One community is in the process of approving a $144 million development, and just across the river another community’s elected leaders are arguing, without resolution, over whether they should attach the word “slum” to their city.

A while back, the Augusta Commission couldn’t even agree to adding a pedestrian bridge between a parking garage and the city’s new convention center. Of course, they already had argued over the convention center and parking garage for years, too.

We want regional cooperation, certainly. But Augusta leaders also should understand that they are competing with nearby communities – North Augusta and Columbia County, primarily – for economic development.

They just saw their clock cleaned by North Augusta. While they were arguing over the word “slum.”

Much of it comes down to attitude.

Here’s the problem, inadvertently highlighted by Commissioner Marion Williams when he said recently, “When the money comes in, it goes in the same direction. Follow the money. It goes to one side of the city.”

Envy doesn’t get you anywhere. And it’s often misplaced – as noted by the anonymous AugustaChronicle.com commenter who wrote, “(Williams) is right. The city of Augusta is paying Hyde Park residents to move anywhere they choose. Also tenants of Cherry Tree Crossing can get free counseling and education services that will teach them how to move. Augusta has a $37.5 million project to redevelop Laney-Walker and Bethlehem. You are right, Marion, it all goes to the same side of the city.”

You also could add that the big Laney-Walker project is made possible in large part by the new convention center that was so difficult to swallow, as well as a tax on hotel guests.

The disposition could be better. But so could the attitude. When the attitude is one of cooperation, big-picture thinking and of a rising tide that lifts all boats, then Augusta might come closer to reaching its potential.

All the smiles in the world won’t get us there. We’ve got to change the thinking.

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Riverman1
82168
Points
Riverman1 09/29/13 - 05:18 am
7
3
Speedos Too Tight Maybe?

Don't forget our Speedo wearing Mayor. Recently Deke Copenhaver displayed bullying and rude behavior directed at a speaker voicing his concerns about the city finances. Sycophantic City Administrator Fred Russell who walks around passing out sodas to Commissioners like a waitress, breaking Commission rules, shouted out against the speaker, too.

What angered them so much? The speaker was presenting facts of what the slum designation meant and citing Department of Community Affairs guidelines for creating the Urban Redevelopment Area. We need leadership in the Mayor’s role, not a petulant, sulky and crabby figurehead. Copenhaver is the perfect example of a seemingly mild disposition masking a self-interested attitude.

countyman
19716
Points
countyman 09/29/13 - 03:45 am
3
10
Why is the oppurtunity zone

Why is the oppurtunity zone good for everybody but Augusta? I agree the commission can always improve, but I disagree with several other points. Why is the baseball stadium now such a good idea? The biotech park and student housing/retail will bring a lot more high paying jobs downtown. Students living in the CBD will help attract commercial development. The Chronicle wants to mention local areas competing, but has been silent up to now. What about the Whole Foods, movie theater, Michael Kors, Cabelas, H&M, Texas Roadhouse, etc in Richmond county?

Project Jackson should help NA, but let's not get carried away. $43 million is public funds, and its a promise of $100 million. The stadium, apartments/townhomes, and convention c enter will take up a lot of promised funds. The project also promises a new hotel, but Richmond county already has hotel construction. The Home2Suites by Hilton opened recently in the Exchange, and the Residence Inn by Marriott is coming soon. The Holiday Inn Express is underway in the CBD, and the hotel near the common begins in the future. The Hampton Inn is underway in South Augusta.

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 09/29/13 - 08:33 am
6
4
" All the smiles in the world
Unpublished

" All the smiles in the world won’t get us there. We’ve got to change the thinking."
Very soon the democrats will have control the county commission then RC will be on the fast track to being another Detroit. Look at cities where the demos are in control. The sad part is our federal gov't is following the same pattern.

seenitB4
85245
Points
seenitB4 09/29/13 - 09:22 am
5
1
This is funny

Don't worry hahha.....your "leaders" will send you down the river wth money flowing out of the boat on both sides....you can't bake a cake when you don't have the right ingredients....you can make a hoe cake of sorts....flat & tasteless.

seenitB4
85245
Points
seenitB4 09/29/13 - 09:27 am
4
1
All the smiles in the world won’t get us there.

You don't have the votes ....

RC gov has done such a great job running the taxpayers away...this started in the 70s btw....reap what you sow.

I'm not smiling either.

soapy_725
43672
Points
soapy_725 09/29/13 - 09:54 am
0
0
Reputation and Character are distinctly different as well.
Unpublished

Reputation and Character are distinctly different as well.

soapy_725
43672
Points
soapy_725 09/29/13 - 09:54 am
0
0
But ARC's two words are ignorance and apathy. One, two.....
Unpublished

But ARC's two words are ignorance and apathy. One, two.....

soapy_725
43672
Points
soapy_725 09/29/13 - 09:56 am
0
0
Trusting whitie to not steal all of the PIE. There's an answer.
Unpublished

Trusting whitie to not steal all of the PIE. There's an answer.

soapy_725
43672
Points
soapy_725 09/29/13 - 09:57 am
0
0
But then the money people are white and scorpions. Lose, lose
Unpublished

But then the money people are white and scorpions. Lose, lose

Bizkit
30625
Points
Bizkit 09/29/13 - 01:40 pm
2
1
We get plenty of attitude or

We get plenty of attitude or platitudes-neither helpful.

GnipGnop
11839
Points
GnipGnop 09/29/13 - 02:58 pm
5
1
The only way

ARC will turn the corner is to deconsolidate. To stop raping the southside tax payers to pay the way for the rich land owners and power players downtown...6k for a monthly consulting fee? Really? The fact that Billy and Paul run the TEE center and the parking garage? This doesn't make anyone question the leadership of ARC? You can build all the fast food joints and hotels you want but eventually those residents you are screwing are going to move to greener pastures....

countyman
19716
Points
countyman 09/29/13 - 03:35 pm
2
5
Facts

The voters of Richmond County approved the TEE Center.

The private developers building in Richmond County deal in facts, and not opinions.

They don't care that you guys love hype up the areas outside of Richmond County, because the median income in West Augusta/North Richmond for example doesn't lie.

GnipGnop
11839
Points
GnipGnop 09/29/13 - 07:58 pm
4
1
There is no such thing

as North Richmond and once again the voters did not approve the amount that was spent and I bet you dollars to doughnut holes if they knew the way Billy and Paul would make out or the way the Mariott would get a new kitchen for free that vote would have been different. They were sold goods and then were given the old bait and switch. Surely you can't be so blind you think it was a good deal for the taxpayers????

dichotomy
32003
Points
dichotomy 09/29/13 - 08:53 pm
3
1
countyman.....the voters in

countyman.....the voters in Richmond County DID NOT approve anything like what they ended up with. If they had not been lied to on the proposal the TEE would NEVER have been approved for that amount and that CROOKED MANAGEMENT DEAL, along with the PARKING DECK.

What the voters approved and what they finally got SHOULD BE GROUNDS FOR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION OF ALL POLITICIANS AND PUBLIC SERVANTS INVOLVED.

The whole TEE deal STANK SO BAD that I sincerely hope it will be a catalyst for the voters to REJECT each and every upcoming SPLOST and Paul/Billy deal now that they see how crooked these things are in AUGUSTA, GA.

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