Originally created 05/16/02

Board keeps manager, loses lawyer



Come June 1, the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority will officially gain a manager and lose a lawyer.

The civic center's governing board came to contract terms Wednesday with General Manager Reggie Williams on a one-year deal effective June 1, but finalizing those terms will be the last official action of authority attorney Sam Nicholson.

Mr. Nicholson's decision to resign came shortly after the board voted 5-4 at the previous regular meeting to retain his services. He has spent nine years as board attorney. The board will discuss possible replacements at its next meeting May 28.

"I decided that with the transition back to in-house management, this would be a good time to transition out and bring in new counsel," Mr. Nicholson said, adding that the authority's sharply divided decision to retain his services "speaks for itself."

Mr. Williams' contract, which will keep his salary at $75,000, the same he made as an employee of former management group SMG, was unanimously approved by the board. Mr. Williams had requested a two-year contract with a $13,000 raise for the first year and an additional $10,000 in the second.

The authority also appointed a six-member committee to form management guidelines for Mr. Williams and his staff, who, in the absence of a private management company, will run the civic center and Bell Auditorium for the authority.

"As far as my compensation is concerned, too much was made of it," Mr. Williams said. "The important thing now is that this committee develops a plan in which we go about increasing the number and variety of events we have here and improve the level of maintenance."

Reach John Bankston at (706) 823-3352 or john.banks@augustachronicle.com.