Originally created 08/15/98

Todd could boost ex-general for panel



Moses Todd may soon recommend retired Lt. Gen. Robert Gray replace him on the Augusta Commission, that is if the former Fort Gordon commander assures him he lives in Augusta.

According to Tuesday's commission agenda, Mr. Todd will rescind Mr. Gray's appointment to the Bush Field Airport Commission, an appointment he only made about three months ago.

Mr. Todd said he placed the item on the agenda to fulfill a promise he made to the mayor and commission.

"If you recall there was some debate when I made that appointment. Other commissioners had their doubts that (Mr. Gray) lived in the city," Mr. Todd explained. "Certainly I've heard about the house he's built in Columbia County and certainly I've heard about him dropping out of the Augusta mayor's race, so I assumed that he planned to move.

"I told commissioners when I made this appointment that, the first time I heard (Mr. Gray) didn't live in my district or in Richmond County, that I would rescind his appointment. That's why it's on the agenda."

Mr. Todd said if his assumptions are wrong then not only will he issue an apology to Mr. Gray, but he'd "highly recommend the general to be my replacement on the board of commissioners."

Earlier this week Mr. Gray said he was confused by Mr. Todd's actions.

Mr. Todd has come into his home, sat on his sofa and discussed the mayoral race only a few short weeks ago, Mr. Gray said.

Whether Mr. Gray will put retirement on hold in order to serve on the Augusta Commission remains unclear.

The retired Army general said he changed his mind about running for mayor because, after serving his country for nearly 37 years, he wanted to rest.

Mr. Todd has invited all citizens he's appointed to Augusta boards and authorities to come to the Municipal Building for a special photo session Tuesday afternoon.

It is at that time, Mr. Todd says, that he wants Mr. Gray to squash doubts about his residency once and for all.

Mr. Gray, whose address is listed in the city directory at 3545 Biltmore Place, said he will supply the board with documentation of his residency.