Originally created 03/10/02

Is Augusta history repeating itself?

In 1948, a group of concerned Augusta residents ran the corrupt Cracker Party out of town. Meanwhile, the League of Women Voters attended every city council meeting and questioned decisions made on the community's behalf. Their efforts turned Augusta around. Will history repeat itself?

I applaud our civic leaders who are hosting an open forum to discuss legislation introduced by our state lawmakers who propose changes to Augusta's government structure .

Their goal is to have one compromise bill that will get the required majority vote to pass in the House and Senate. They don't want several bills that will splinter the vote so that one bill will not get enough votes to ensure passage.

As before, civic leaders must take the lead in reshaping our government. There are currently two projects underway. The Citizen's Council is a group of residents who will meet with commissioners on an ongoing basis to discuss the issues of the day and the commissioners' reasoning in their decision-making. This will be done when the commission is not in session.

Citizen's Councils are currently being used successfully in other areas of the country.

The Citizen's Action Committee consists of experts in the fields of finance, personnel, banking, administration and economic development. They will volunteer to meet with the commissioners on an ongoing basis to ensure our government runs efficiently.

Few of our commissioners have professional backgrounds in these areas and should welcome this input. Then again, this could be the responsibility of the city administrator.

This is something to think about as we turn another page in Augusta's history.

Woody Merry, Augusta


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