Originally created 06/27/04

Augusta's commissioners are ill-equipped to lead, determine spending



I am solidly behind a renewed special purpose local option sales tax, but only for a five-year period, and only to underwrite capital improvements in the public safety, parks and recreation and public works areas.

It is high time for this community to take back our local government from the undereducated, self-serving, leaderless group of commissioners charged with running our local ship of state. Citizens have been held hostage by a commission which insists on marching to their own drummer. They have not earned the right nor deserve to dictate how, when and where $114.6 million will be spent on special projects.

We are considering the expenditure of serious tax monies that the commissioners time and time again proved incapable of managing. Taxpaying voters cannot allow commissioners and a do-nothing mayor to load various venue commissions with clones of themselves who will assure that the various project centers will be poorly managed, leaderless and ultimately waste taxpayer money - current civic center, airport, etc.

Does anyone really believe that our commissioners can manage projects of a magnitude of $ 114.6 million? Recall what has been done with the judicial center. The city commissioners have had a blueprint for the alterations needed in our local government to effect changes for the betterment of Augusta - added authority for the city administrator, the mayor, simple majority rules in meetings etc. They have consistently refused to fix what is obviously broken.

I trust the taxpaying voters of Augusta will be intelligent enough to not allow the commissioners to mangle these expensive quality-of-life projects. We should revisit these projects only when and if a majority of Augustans are fed up enough to vote into office commissioners of intelligence, integrity, foresight, management and leadership ability.

A.B. Cresci
Augusta