Questions linger on proposed stadium

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So if you are one of the citizens who are against the new proposed baseball stadium downtown, you are either against everything anyway or not a resident of Augusta? Congratulations! Stand up and take a bow!

I wonder if owning properties in the downtown Augusta area and paying taxes on those buildings count for anything to Augusta leadership. It's a valid question, considering there are many taxpayers wondering why we are being asked to consider funding this riverfront stadium.

The GreenJackets are a great minor-league baseball team, and Lake Olmstead Stadium is a great ballpark. With that said, we still have plenty of empty seats at this beautiful stadium every game, do we not? Is GreenJackets owner Cal Ripken willing to get private funding in lieu of taxpayers' funding?

Augusta government and leadership has this whole thought process of garnering taxpayer support for the stadium all wrong. Is it not a bit disingenuous at best to label the concerns from taxpayers as nothing more than "Citizens Against Virtually Everything"? Are officials not looking at the economics of the situation?

In a tough economic environment when people are concerned about what is coming around the corner -- such as job layoffs, businesses closing because of constant crime or property owners who struggle with drug dealers and thefts in their community -- asking for more money is not high on the list of our priorities.

With all due respect to Mayor Deke Copenhaver and Augusta Commission members, until they fix the crime and blight that surrounds the law-abiding taxpayers, and support the efforts of existing businesses and property owners, stamping a negative label on us will not make the inner "Pollyanna" come out!

Michele T. Holt

North Augusta, S.C.

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Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 06/29/11 - 03:08 am
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BRAVO!!! Great letter, and

BRAVO!!! Great letter, and 100% on point.

Brad

Taylor B
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Taylor B 06/29/11 - 06:54 am
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A new ball park is just way

A new ball park is just way too much of a gamble for taxpayers to fund. I hope cooler heads will prevail in our city government, and the people are listened to. We have already made one mistake on the Gardens property, lets not make another. Let the private sector and the free market do something with this property, and keep it on the tax rolls.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 06/29/11 - 07:33 am
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Thank you for your letter,

Thank you for your letter, Ms. Holt. We need to be careful in saying that taxpayers should not finance ball parks for privately-owned ball clubs only during recessions. The principle is that taxpayers should not finance facilities for private businesses any time! The fate of the Golf Hall of Fame property rests now in the governor's office. You might want to write a letter to the governor's office letting him know that you support putting the property up for sale to the highest bidder, and real soon.

The longer that property sits in limbo, the more backroom dealing between politicians and businessmen will go on. I pray our commission can keep the mayor from realizing his dream of a taxpayer-funded ball park.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 06/29/11 - 07:58 am
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Mayor Copenhave-Boardman

Mayor Copenhave-Boardman stated at the Commission meeting they could come up with creative ways to finance the stadium besides letting the public have an up or down vote on the matter. He noted what was done with the TEE and Laney-Walker project where the votes only approved $25 million, but they were able to spend $100 million.

One of the commissioners reminded him the Laney-Walker money was a "pay-off" for approving the TEE. An attorney also tried to bribe two commissioners to switch their votes on the TEE. This stuff is hilarious. You can't make it up.

There is no doubt there is a cabal of downtown interests trying to use the money for the entire county to finance undertakings around their properties. They are not only using all the money they can currently get their hands on, but they are committing future money for the next 50 years.

Mayor Copenhaver-Boardman has a slick organization that can take him off the beach in South Carolina and make him mayor. They find Matt Aitken and let the organization run his campaign and he becomes their boy on the Commission. Wake up, folks.

Right on
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Right on 06/29/11 - 08:27 am
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Great article young lady. I

Great article young lady. I have vigourously opposed the idea since it was conceived through the backdoor into the Commission chambers. The Commission has cracked the door so watchout, it is coming weather most of the community wants it or not. Am I one of the few who can rememebr we had minor league baseball downtown years ago. The Augusta Tigers with one very famous player, Roy Cobb. We learn by history. The stadium was located at 15th and the canal, what a beautiful setting with water in the background(now the river). It did not work then so why should it work now.

dichotomy
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dichotomy 06/29/11 - 09:42 am
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The only question I have is

The only question I have is how many of the commissioners got paid off to keep this thing alive when they know 70% of the people do not want it. What does it take in this county to get the commissioner's attention.....a mob with ball bats and sickle blades? Yes, we got suckered with the TEE and it was all because of the Laney-Walker bribe. Who is getting paid off with our tax money on this one? This all goes to show that NONE of the commissioners have the taxPAYERS interest at heart. It's all about bribes and corruption and back room deals. Apparently Guilfoyle is trying to get his name on the "get a lttle sumpthin sumpthin" list. Hey Guilfoyle, can you trade your vote and maybe get us another useless park or traihead. Just so you make sure you help keep all of the REAL spending of our tax money downtown. After all, we wouldn't want anything out this way that might actually encourage commercial or residential development and we certainly don't need police protection, ambulance response, road repairs, etc. Maybe you could get us a "trailhead" that leads to the COSTCO in West Augusta with alternate spurs that go to Mr. S's TEE and Deke's ball park.

AutumnLeaves
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AutumnLeaves 06/29/11 - 11:52 am
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For those who might think it

For those who might think it (and I would consider that a compliment), here is my disclaimer: No, I did not write this letter. But I think I should have and appreciate that Ms. Michele T. Holt took the time to write such an excellent letter. I couldn't have said it better myself and agree whole-heartedly with it. Well done! I'm glad I'm not alone in my perspective of the situation.

chel
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chel 06/29/11 - 12:08 pm
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I wanted to say one more

I wanted to say one more thing about my LTE that because of word limits I couldn't in my first attempt. I want the Mayor and Commission members to realize that I am speaking from frustration but I will always be respectful. You see we used a "butt load" of our own cash to revitalize a once known crack house to open up a non-profit for foster children and their families. We purchased two buildings just blocks away from downtown Reynolds Street. We didn't have the "luxury" as our neighbor did to be in the "clique" and get funding outside of our own bank account. From Nov. 2009 to May 2011 our buildings have been burglarized and vandalized 11 times! We were only able to file an insurance claim on one occasion because we were threatened that if we filed another claim our insurance would be canceled. We were told by RCSD that they were going to look into a task force a year and a half ago because of the copper thefts we sustained (these thieves ripped the wiring out of the walls 4 times for gosh sakes!). I got so sick and tired of the constant thefts and being told by these thieves that our neighbor gave them permission to be squatters in our buildings that I enlisted the help of Scott Hudson. He along with Chris Thomas (WRDW) and George Eskola (WJBF) brought attention to what we were experiencing and the fact that our "neighbor" had connections and was just another example of how certain people have their hands in the cookie jar. We finally gave up trying and shut everything down. Now the buildings are empty and we still don't have the money to put power or air conditioners back at the buildings (and don't ask me why we didn't have security cameras because these thieves had connections to construction equipment and knowledge of electrical wiring like someone who is a professional electrician and they cut the power at the main breakers before yanking all wiring out of the buildings).So this is why I say to the "powers that be": I'm tired of my concerns falling on deaf ears. I'm tired of hearing the excuses of "we are doing all we can" or "we don't have enough manpower" to create an environment where law abiding citizens and tax payers are not thrown to the curb. When the Augusta leadership puts the priority of the tax payers first and deals with the crime and blight in addition to the corruption, then maybe I will feel supportive of their ideas. Until then Lake Olmstead is as good as it gets.

broad street narrow mind
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broad street narrow mind 06/29/11 - 12:55 pm
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will cooler heads prevail or
Unpublished

will cooler heads prevail or is that what's being prevented? watch this stadium discussion vote aka panic at the disco here: http://tinyclip.tv/31192baf

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 06/29/11 - 01:26 pm
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Deke seemed really out of

Deke seemed really out of line the way he kept butting in when Grady Smith was trying to have the motion clarified. Deke seems to be talking about a different motion then the one that is up there being voted on.

broad street narrow mind
348
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broad street narrow mind 06/29/11 - 02:03 pm
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what are the options to
Unpublished

what are the options to correct a parliamentary bungle like this?

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