Originally created 11/05/06

Augusta Commission District 4 race

Question; What is the major issue in District 4?

Bernard Harper

Economic development and job growth.

Alvin Mason

Economic development. Many citizens feel imprisoned here in District 4 because we have no retail, hotels, sit-down restaurants, entertainment or transportation. Therefore, we constantly go into other districts and deposit our hard-earned monies into these districts and very little tax monies remain in our own district.

Question: Should the commission balance the budget by cutting services and laying off employees or by raising property taxes?

Bernard Harper

Neither. There are other things we should consider before we put any hardship on people. For instance, stop wasteful spending, making sure our department heads are not going over budget, collecting taxes from businesses that owe monies would be my focus. Then I would look at other areas for solving the problem.

Alvin Mason

I believe if we had true accountability within the departments, we may not have a need to do either. There must be check-and-balance systems in place, as well as monthly or quarterly accountability meetings to ensure that we are meeting our stated goals and objectives.

Question: Should garbage service be billed annually on property-tax bills or quarterly on a separate billing system from the solid-waste department?

Bernard Harper

It should be billed annually on property tax bills. There is already a system in place. Any new billing system is just increasing spending and creating more bureaucracy.

Alvin Mason

I believe that the residents of the county should be given the choice at the beginning of the year to decide which payment plan would work best for their financial situation. I believe this is the absolute best way to handle this issue. The only other way would be to put it on the ballot and let the people decide.


Bernard Harper

Age: 55

Occupation: Hotel manager

Political background: Six-year member and past chairman, Richmond County Coliseum Authority

Education: Attended Rutgers University

Family: Fiancee, Darlene Bunch; three daughters, three grandchildren

Alvin Mason

Age: 44

Occupation: Owner of Mason's Grill at Fort Gordon

Education: Master of education; bachelor of science degree in electronic systems technology

Family: Wife, Tonia; daughters, Marquesia and Nia; son, Duane


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