As the talks begin between Richmond and Columbia county governments over mutual financial support for a regional coliseum, I can't help wonder why any other government entity is even seriously considering the prospect of participating in such a project with the Richmond County government, whose own 25-year record in managing such a facility is so poor. Why on Earth would Columbia County, who has always conducted its meetings and business affairs like well-organized public servants, join hands with Richmond County commissioners, who have consistently proven they cannot conduct the people's business in a forum free from petty racial entanglements or payoffs?
Has anyone forgotten Commissioner Lee Beard's outrageous manipulations to remove Bonnie Ruben from the Coliseum Authority? The current Coliseum Authority is, just like the Augusta Commission, polarized by bitter, unrelenting racial division. They cannot manage their own current scaled-down facility. Who actually believes these people can get their act together and run a professional $90 million facility? Do you trust them? I don't!
Columbia County should stay away from any involvement with these people. You can be sure that the black vs. white power shenanigans will continue in this newest proposed venture. Columbia County doesn't need to allow its shining example of good governance to be tainted by the ignorant antics of Richmond County's pathetic legacy.
Lawrence D. Smith, Augusta
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