Originally created 02/10/02

For a better Augusta


Changes in government discussed


Your headline in the Feb. 2 edition, "Wanted: Power to hire, fire," should make Augusta aware of the inept city government it is relying upon to conduct its affairs.

How in the world can it expect City Administrator George Kolb to conduct the city's affairs efficiently and in a businesslike manner, without the authority to hire and fire his personnel? It's like asking a man to drive his car without using his steering wheel. Without control, how can there be responsibility?

Mr. Kolb should insist on having control over the hiring and firing of his personnel or else get a letter from the commissioners absolving him from all responsibility for the results.

Evidently the commissioners are more interested in control than efficiency. They should let the administrator do his job without interference. Then they can hold him responsible for the results.

The city should be run like a business, not a political machine. I hope other voters will remember this on election day.

Edward J. Giusto, Augusta

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This is in response to your Feb. 5 editorial pertaining to the position of the Augusta city administrator. I believe the administrator should have the authority to hire and fire department heads.

If the policy requires the Augusta Commission to hire and fire, it seems patently more inefficient. Moreover, it opens the door to hiring based on past friendships and obligations, rather than on qualifications.

I do not know City Administrator George Kolb, so I am not promoting him personally, but I endorse giving his position more authority. The administrator should be the captain of the ship. The commission is the owner of the ship. If the captain's performance is unsatisfactory, the owner may censure or fire the captain, but the captain should choose his engineer, fireman, cook and so forth.

Edward Smith, Augusta

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I concur completely with your Feb. 5 editorial, "Give Kolb answer." City Administrator George Kolb should be given the complete authority to hire and fire and given the authority to govern the municipality within the policy guidelines established by the Augusta Commission. Kolb's situation is analogous to placing a person in the middle of the ocean in a 16-foot boat without oars and tell him to head for the nearest land. Impossible.

Shall we drift along at the whims of the ocean currents and winds? Or do we give the man some sails and oars and let him do the job he was hired to do. If not, it is just a question of time before he bids us adieu and heads for greener pastures. I am highly disappointed in our commissioners. I do hope we can vote them out.

Jack D. Sloan, Augusta

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City Administrator George Kolb is in the unfortunate circumstance of having responsibility with no authority. That is the definition of frustration. This seems to please many of our commissioners. One can only imagine why.

People who work in high-performance organizations employ qualified professionals, provide goals or objectives and then step aside to allow them to perform. That is called delegation. Give Mr. Kolb full authority with reasonable objectives and let him perform. If he succeeds, give him praise. If he fails, show him the door.

So much could be accomplished for Augusta if our commissioners could/would understand the power of delegation. Warning: It is not for the fainthearted.

Hugh Hamilton, Augusta

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It doesn't take 300 words to explain why the Augusta city commissioners would do well to wise up and give the administrator the authority he has been seeking for quite some time now. Augusta/Richmond County is in horrible shape and won't improve until the commissioners "improve" their attitude and behavior.

Let's get the show on the road, gentlemen! Elections are around the corner and the voters should start thinking about this now.

Mrs. A.E. Waters, Hephzibah. Ga.

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The only way we are going to get rid of this bad Augusta government is to only let property owners vote at the local level, because it is our money they spend so unwisely. People who don't own property could not care less who is in office. They are told who to vote for and when. They are mindless because they have no input as to where our hard-earned money goes.

John Cartwright, Augusta