Originally created 08/31/97

Oliver: on the spot



Two significant Augusta political developments, both involving hard-charging city Administrator Randy Oliver as a key player, loom:

Oliver and commissioners will wrestle to complete his first budget, with controversial additions and cuts.

Oliver could become an issue in at least two fall Commission races.

Regarding the first situation, he and the Commission must walk a tightrope between competing organizations and agencies wanting money. Complicating matters is a proposed 1-cent sales tax hike -- which the Convention and Visitors Bureau opposes -- to help support the National Science Center and Golf Hall of Fame. Then there's a more palatable idea: Reroute excess revenue from beer/motel taxes, now going to the Coliseum Authority, for the Science Center and other deserving entities.

Commissioners Jerry Brigham and Rob Zetterberg desire re-election. Both like Oliver's overall performance, but have poor relations with Mayor Larry Sconyers. Their opponents get along fine with the mayor, but what do Tommy Boyles and L.A. Williams think of Oliver? Would they work with the administrator, or undermine him?