Originally created 02/13/01

Augusta mayor disputes courthouse claims in editorial

I was disappointed in your Sunday editorial, "Out-of-loop commission." The writer is apparently out of the loop, because a number of facts have been ignored.

First, there has never been a site selection committee appointed by me or anyone else on the commission prior to commission action on Feb. 6.

Second, the decision where the judicial center will be built will be made by a six-member majority of the city commission. At no time have I lobbied any of the commissioners for any site, let alone the mayor's "favorite site" you refer to.

In fact, I have been working for some time to put together a package to build a federal office buildingcourthouse on what you call the mayor's "favorite site."

Let's not forget The Chronicle's favorite site was initially the fairgrounds.

Third, the commission has delayed selecting a site for obvious reasons - initially so as not to add an issue to the SPLOST referendum then to await prioritizing the SPLOST projects.

In the past few days, I have met with representatives from the regional HUD office to discuss grant programs to assist in site acquisition for the judicial center. Plus, I have explored a design-build-lease concept in order to get the project done as quickly as possible without issuing COPS or other tax increase schemes.

I'm sorry the editorial writers are out of the loop. Perhaps, you'll do some better research next time.

Mayor Bob Young, Augusta

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