Residency idea has merit

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Your Jan. 14 editorial “Hitting them where they live” sounded foul, because it was below the belt.

Augusta Commissioner Marion Williams’ proposal to require city employees to live where they work has merit, and when looked at with eyes of fairness and parity it has the potential to boost Augusta’s tax base and improve the community.

You point out that the state prohibits residency requirements for city employees, but the state needs to reconsider. Georgia has had many laws that have been amended, repealed or abolished that no longer apply. Let’s look at some “compelling governmental reasons” such as absentee slumlords and abandoned-building owners who owe a lot more than the commissioner in unpaid taxes. Are they even trying to pay them?

Figure this: If Augusta public safety personnel as well as city employees, the high-tax-dollar people, were required to live in the city, it would have an immediate impact on crime and eyesore properties. Those who refuse to live where they work may find employment elsewhere. Their choice.

Those wanting better schools and safer environments must create them. And they will, improving the quality of life for all. Requests for improvements would grow the economy, provide jobs and promote the general welfare. Isn’t that what we are supposed to be about?

The black population makes up half of Augusta, but makes up a much lower percentage of high-tax-dollar earners. They welcome more opportunity. Your alleging of decreased quality in services is a myth. City residents are more than capable of providing excellent work, and they will only improve if what Mr. Williams is proposing becomes law.

When so-called carpetbaggers came from outside to help people learn to read and write, among other things, residents cried then that they were more qualified to do what was needed. Qualifications and capabilities never were the real problems. Willingness and opportunity were the chief factors. If Augusta isn’t good enough to live in, why let outsiders suck more life out?

Tunk Martin

Edgefield, S.C.

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deestafford
36780
Points
deestafford 01/28/14 - 11:09 pm
8
1
I see no rationale...

I see no rationale in any of the letter writer's arguments. With the mobility of our society today people working and living in the same county is not as practical as it once was. What would happen if those who work for Columbia County and live in Richmond County were forced to move to CC and take their money with them?

Junket103
508
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Junket103 01/29/14 - 03:56 am
5
1
Offer Incentives Instead

While I agree with the writer's sentiments, the legalities and practicalities are such that a government requirement won't work. What Richmond County should do is offer incentives to employees who chose to live in the County they serve. This may not entice everyone to stay, but it would give employees something to consider. Partner with the School Board and private sector interests to pull together an incentive package that might just work in some cases.

Truth Matters
9464
Points
Truth Matters 01/29/14 - 06:16 am
4
8
Albeit there is much

Albeit there is much improvement needed in ARC, it is disheartening to have the constant barrage of negativity hurled at ARC by those who live as it's neighbors, and may work here. While I am not in favor of restricting workers who live elsewhere, I hope the topic will give pause to the fact that our financial interests are really tied together.

When house hunting many years ago, a realtor who also taught school in Richmond county told me why I should buy in Columbia county. At the time I was teaching at the best school in RC and resented like heck having someone working in this county belittling all schools in RC. It turned out that my current principal at the time was his former principal. Later I learned that he was less than a stellar teacher (and after losing my sale, he was a commission check shorter as a salesman). I have little patience for people who reap the monetary benefits of an area and berate the area at the same time. You are either part of the solution or part of the problem.

david jennings
625
Points
david jennings 01/29/14 - 06:49 am
12
2
We have all we can stand

I'm glad Martin lives in Edgefield, we don't need another Marion in
augusta

seenitB4
108694
Points
seenitB4 01/29/14 - 07:49 am
9
3
Many have tried...sigh

Oh how righteous we sound on here...live where you work & keep the money at home...please save the tears for another day.

Some have tried to do just that...but-- but, after a few break ins & gun shots nearby they gave up....some come on here & PRETEND they don't know where the trouble spots are, that is funny.

There is a legitimate reason for locating in a safe area....STAYING ALIVE!

I lived in Richmond county for a long time & enjoyed most of the years...until, my daughters were bussed to schools that didn't work.....until, home breakins were happening all around me...until, the breakins happened to me......talk is cheap & I can say without ANY guilt that when we move back to the CSRA..it won't be Richmond county...I don't have the energy or want to any more.

seenitB4
108694
Points
seenitB4 01/29/14 - 07:53 am
7
2
Mr T Martin

Your turn....you move there & show us how it is done!

dsterling9
1372
Points
dsterling9 01/29/14 - 10:33 am
4
2
Residency

Why should anyone from Augusta/Richmond County even care what someone from outside the area thinks of the residency requirement? The writer is from Edgefield, South Carolina!

dsterling9
1372
Points
dsterling9 01/29/14 - 10:36 am
3
2
Residency

Could not help but laugh about this when every time Augusta/Richmond County looks to hire someone for top administrative positions or contracts they almost always get someone from outside the area. Marion Williams should move!

countyman
22636
Points
countyman 01/29/14 - 02:31 pm
3
7
Full of crap!!

There are plenty of safe and clean areas in Richmond County were the employees can live.... The outlet mall is coming to Richmond County, because of the demographics in the county...

Truth matters.. The main problem with the city of Augusta revolves around the local population and not the outsiders like Dr. Azziz..

They create very low expections for Richmond County, and then expect for the suburban counties to lead the way.. The lack of high paying jobs compared to the population growth in the suburbs over the last ten years prove the logic is absolutely flawed...

The steering from the different realtors, bias in the local media outlets, etc are the real elephants in the room.

Riverman1
103285
Points
Riverman1 01/29/14 - 02:35 pm
5
2
Why Outlet Mall Is Coming

The company that’s going to build the outlet mall, Ben Carter Enterprises, says on their website that one of the reasons they chose the site was:

“30 mile trade area 627,277 Population and $66,239 Average Household Income”

I wonder where most of the people making the higher incomes live? I doubt they live in the mythical kingdom of “North Richmond County.”

http://www.premieroutletsofgaataugusta.com/

Riverman1
103285
Points
Riverman1 01/29/14 - 02:37 pm
4
2
North Richmond County Logic

Countyman said, "The main problem with the city of Augusta revolves around the local population and not the outsiders like Dr. Azziz.."

Heh, heh, heh. I leave you with that logic, folks.

seenitB4
108694
Points
seenitB4 01/29/14 - 02:42 pm
7
2
Full of crap you say..:)

Hey, don't get ugly on here...you say

"The steering from the different realtors, bias in the local media outlets, etc are the real elephants in the room."

Anytime the media prints the truth you yell bias....you can't stand any negatives about a certain county....the elephant is you my friend...stop pretending everything is honky dory & maybe you would get the response you want..

The outlet mall is going where the money is....I-20 & traffic & nearby neighborhoods with money!! They are smart enough to include Columbia county----learn from them..

seenitB4
108694
Points
seenitB4 01/29/14 - 02:43 pm
5
1
Riverman

Exactly right!

Riverman1
103285
Points
Riverman1 01/29/14 - 02:56 pm
5
2
Extra Compensation Maybe?

At one time police officers and teachers who lived in certain areas of Richmond County received extra compensation for living there. They were thought to be good influences on the neighborhoods. Is that still the case?

seenitB4
108694
Points
seenitB4 01/29/14 - 03:12 pm
5
2
Look at this statement by ctyman

"The main problem with the city of Augusta revolves around the local population and not the outsiders "

Revolves around the TAXPAYERS....long time residents....people with roots in Augusta...sometimes you amaze me ctyman.....why would it revolve around outsiders??

corgimom
43197
Points
corgimom 01/29/14 - 03:52 pm
3
3
I lived in Augusta, and when

I lived in Augusta, and when I came back I moved to North Augusta.

Why?

Because I had a school-aged child, and after 3 years of Southside Elementary, I knew I would never again put my child in a Richmond County school.

Even back in the mid-80's, it was terrible, I made several trips to the principal because of the problems that I encountered at that school.

I never had those problems in North Augusta.

corgimom
43197
Points
corgimom 01/29/14 - 04:05 pm
4
2
But here's the 2010 Census

But here's the 2010 Census figures for median income-

Aiken County $44,399

Richmond County $38,952

Columbia County $67,298

The outlet mall isn't locating in RC because of the low income, they are there because of the location along I-20.

Census figures don't lie.

And I don't think any police officer, firefighter, or teacher can buy a house in a clean, safe area of RC with the dreadfully low wages that RC pays.

We all know that, except for Countyman.

And most of them have kids, and the RC school system speaks for itself.

When an entire school district is on free lunch, that speaks volumes, and drives people away in droves.

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