Leaders adjourn abruptly

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Tuesday's Augusta Commission meeting ended abruptly before a shocked audience when Commissioner Andy Cheek moved for adjournment with the issue of Commissioner Calvin Holland's censure still on the agenda.

Andy Cheek: Official moved to adjourn even though the issue of Calvin Holland's censure had not been discussed.  File/Staff
File/Staff
Andy Cheek: Official moved to adjourn even though the issue of Calvin Holland's censure had not been discussed.

The motion to adjourn passed on a 6-4 vote, with the commissioners who voted to censure Mr. Holland two weeks ago voting for adjournment and those who voted against censure voting against it.

Mr. Holland said commissioners who voted to censure him didn't want to discuss it because an independent attorney has said he did nothing wrong when he asked a city employee for information from City Administrator Fred Russell's computer.

"I did not violate the ordinance, and that's what stands," Mr. Holland said. "They know I did not do anything wrong, and this is the reason why they didn't want to discuss it."

"We've done lost our minds," Commissioner Johnny Hatney said immediately after the adjournment. "We can't operate like this."

Mr. Cheek and Commissioners Jerry Brigham, Joe Bowles, Don Grantham, Jimmy Smith and Mayor Pro Tem Betty Beard had voted to censure Mr. Holland.

Mr. Holland was supported in the May 1 meeting by Mr. Hatney, Marion Williams and Bernard Harper, who also voted against adjournment.

An independent attorney hired to render an impartial opinion said last week that Mr. Holland did not violate the law by seeking the information but did violate its intent.

Mr. Holland had placed discussion of the legal ruling and censure on Tuesday's agenda.

Mr. Cheek bolted from commission chambers after making the motion and could not be asked whether he had discussed his motion beforehand with the other five who voted for it.

Mr. Brigham said he voted for adjournment because he thought the people's business had been done, but Mr. Williams disagreed.

"This is the people's business," he said. "They opened this can of worms, and the worms are going to crawl all over the place now. Trust me. They're going to be everywhere. They're going to be all over them. They could have dealt with this today and gotten it over with. All they got to do is say they made a mistake and let it be done."

Mr. Copenhaver said afterward that he did not know that Mr. Cheek would call for adjournment.

Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228 or sylvia.cooper@augustachronicle.com.

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debby
12
Points
debby 05/16/07 - 04:57 am
0
0
Yes, it's a zoo in Richmond

Yes, it's a zoo in Richmond County.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 05/16/07 - 06:02 am
0
0
Williams is still confused

Williams is still confused and will remain so until his term mercifully ends. The Holland issue has been delt with and was delt with again last night when the commission voted not to revisit it. Hopefully people with the advancement and improvement of ARC will replace these clowns.

pantherluvcik
628
Points
pantherluvcik 05/16/07 - 06:12 am
0
0
My God don't they have any

My God don't they have any more important issues to focus on like our PENSION. I'm paying money into a pension plan and have no clue what's going to happen when I retire? Commisioners please focus!!

nofrills
0
Points
nofrills 05/16/07 - 06:15 am
0
0
I only wish for the sake of

I only wish for the sake of Augusta and her peoples that all members stood together in public to say once and for all to Mr. Williams and his blind followers that its over. Wait I will say it.
MR Williams,
This matter is close and now the board must move on with City Business. We dont want nor need any more of the world laughing at Augusta because you are self serving. I would like to thank you for all the laughs.
Respectfully
The City of Augusta

JimCox
7
Points
JimCox 05/16/07 - 06:33 am
0
0
Bravo!!! I hope the can of

Bravo!!! I hope the can of worms includes a full forensic audit of Marion's church by the IRS, and close scrutiny by the GBI and FBI. His term can't end soon enough. Holland needs to be recalled, furthermore, if he is an example of the kind of man who can be the principal of a school in Richmond County, God help the students and parents of Augusta.

KingJames
10
Points
KingJames 05/16/07 - 07:02 am
0
0
This doessn't look good.

This doessn't look good. Even if the commissioners didn't want to discuss this issue, they should have so that it would officially be over. If it was on the agenda, and action was taken to censure at a prior meeting, then it should have ended last night. Mr. Cheek calling for the adjournment and then heading for the door as soon as the meeting was over makes him look as bad as Holland and Williams. Granted, Williams and Holland probably would have had a lot of unintelligent things to say, but at least they could have said it and been done. They would have been the ones that I would have said were wasting time at taxpayers exspense. They will probably put this on the agenda for the next meeting and drag this craziness on even longer. Let them have their say and get it over with. They'll argue about something else later on, but at least this issue will be dead.

Partyman
0
Points
Partyman 05/16/07 - 07:38 am
0
0
This issue needs to be

This issue needs to be disscussed in an open forum.You can run but you can't hide.This issue won't just go away, it must be settled. Mr Holland is being treated unfairly, and the people who ran out of that building know it.My prayer is for justice.

Carleton Duvall
6305
Points
Carleton Duvall 05/16/07 - 07:41 am
0
0
I tend to agree with you,

I tend to agree with you, KingJames. The issue will go on and on until it is addressed. The taxpayers deserve better.

aintryt
189
Points
aintryt 05/16/07 - 07:48 am
0
0
Williams should spend more

Williams should spend more time figuring out how to pay his tax bills on time.

duckweed
0
Points
duckweed 05/16/07 - 07:51 am
0
0
Stupid id as stupid

Stupid id as stupid does---Richmond County commissioners are stupid and so are the idiots that voted them in!

Unbelievable
84
Points
Unbelievable 05/16/07 - 07:57 am
0
0
I think Marion Williams needs

I think Marion Williams needs to keep his mouth shut before the worms crawl on him. What an idiot. And how in the world does a person get elected who says things like, "We've done lost our minds"? 'Officially' Coach Holland didnt break the law, however he violated its intent. Im not 100% sure what that means, I am guessing the 'literal interpretation' of the law was not broken, a.k.a. loophole. Our commission, including 'Stone Cold Andy Cheeks', makes our town look like the backwoods hillbilly town everyone thinks it is. They need to make the commissioners terms 2 years and 2 terms and you are out. No more people getting rich, Marion Williams, and then retiring from the commission.

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 05/16/07 - 08:00 am
0
0
Was Cheek at the prayer

Was Cheek at the prayer gathering the other day, Andy actions spews RACISM out of him, and the other white commissioners as well. Andy and those other white commissioners knew what they were doing, put it on the agenda first next meeting. Get rid of all of the commisioners, ALL of them, RACE is the biggest issue in the commission. I wonder if Bowles felt like that before being elected and if he wasn't why now, he following up Andy, Andy is racial issues embedded in him, so does Williams. Two devils.

Little Lamb
46392
Points
Little Lamb 05/16/07 - 08:00 am
0
0
Commissioner Holland is

Commissioner Holland is quoted in the above article saying, “They know I did not do anything wrong.” When politicians say this (and there are many who do) you know they cannot be trusted. Why? Because we all have done something wrong. People with hardened hearts cannot be reasoned with. They can enter no meaningful discussions. People who cannot say, “I'm sorry,” lead pitiful, bitter lives.

I for one think the parliamentary maneuver to adjourn the meeting was the right thing to do because the atmosphere yesterday in Commission chambers was too poisonous (prayer meeting notwithstanding). It may take two to three months for the ill will to die down. But if Mr. Holland does not search his heart and express some contrition, his stubborn pride will prevent any constructive work for the city.

halffull
0
Points
halffull 05/16/07 - 08:05 am
0
0
What is the difference in

What is the difference in abstaining or walking out to keep from discussing an issue and adjorning to keep from discussing one? Did the mayor pray Tuesday morning? If so, why would he say he did not know this was going to happen,.....anyways. Even if he didn't, why didn't he do the "right" thing and to speak up against the "super six."

WorriedAboutOurFuture
16
Points
WorriedAboutOurFuture 05/16/07 - 08:09 am
0
0
Deke probably did do the

Deke probably did do the "right" thing. If nothing else, he gave Marion and Calvin a taste of their own medicine.

WorriedAboutOurFuture
16
Points
WorriedAboutOurFuture 05/16/07 - 08:11 am
0
0
A taste for Johnny Hatney

A taste for Johnny Hatney too.

WorriedAboutOurFuture
16
Points
WorriedAboutOurFuture 05/16/07 - 08:15 am
0
0
Unfortunately for all of us,

Unfortunately for all of us, just because the meeting was adjourned doesn't necessarily mean the matter is off the agenda. Once there, I believe it must be acted upon in some fashion, even if it gets passed over from meeting to meeting.
I say, next time just deal with it, and make sure all six who voted for the censure are there and not off in the bathroom when it comes time to vote. I really love that Williams and Co. have had the tables turned on them for once. "We can't operate like this" is a statement that should have be coming out of their whiny yaps for years.

Little Lamb
46392
Points
Little Lamb 05/16/07 - 08:30 am
0
0
To "just me," there are a

To "just me," there are a couple of differences in walking out and voting to adjourn. First, if one or two walk out, discussion can go on, and votes can be taken. However, if enough walk out so that a quorum is no longer present, then business must stop. Voting to adjourn puts a majority on record to stop debate. Walking out lets a minority stop debate.

The A Train
0
Points
The A Train 05/16/07 - 08:38 am
0
0
Fire every one of them.

Fire every one of them. Augusta should have elected HB Adams. I am so sick of this crap. This is really tragic, and stupid. An ongoing embarrasment. Augusta politics need to be dipped in the water and hopefully come out with a brand new attitude. Have you ever been dipped?

InChristLove
22480
Points
InChristLove 05/16/07 - 08:48 am
0
0
"just me" how does the Mayor

"just me" how does the Mayor praying on Tuesday have anything to do with knowing that Mr. Cheek and the other commissioners were going to call for an adjournment? Personally I think the Mayor should get rid of all the commissioners and start over again. Even if this debate is brought up again, nothing is every going to be settled. Neither side thinks they are in the wrong.

1980reader
1
Points
1980reader 05/16/07 - 08:53 am
0
0
they say in a democracy, the

they say in a democracy, the people get what they deserve. what does that say about us?

WorriedAboutOurFuture
16
Points
WorriedAboutOurFuture 05/16/07 - 09:02 am
0
0
The best thing any of us can

The best thing any of us can do is to get very well informed about the candidates presenting themselves for the next commission elections, and then go work like it's life or death to get a decent, upright person elected, even if we're working in a district other than our own. Most --NOT ALL-- of us who have the biggest problem with Marion Williams, Calvin Holland, Andy Cheek and Co. don't live in their districts. We need to do something to help good candidates get elected in those districts. Having once lived in Williams' district, I know there are some really outstanding people, black and white, who would consider running if they had some support and encouragement. Helping good people get elected is the key.

dakccb
0
Points
dakccb 05/16/07 - 09:13 am
0
0
I, for one would love to see

I, for one would love to see an audit done on Mr. Williams. They could look into bids awarded to his son-in-law, the insider knowledge given concerning the proposed drag strip, the reasoning as to why Mr. Williams backed Ms. Teresa Smith (ex-Public Works Director) after she was fired. Could that possibly have had anything to do with the some alledged unwanted advances? Mr. Williams do us a favor and go away. Slither back into your hole. Enough is enough.

KingJames
10
Points
KingJames 05/16/07 - 09:19 am
0
0
WorriedAboutOurFuture, you

WorriedAboutOurFuture, you are absolutely right. It would seem that most of the people complaining about Williams, Holland, and Cheek probably don't even live in their districts. The best thing to do would be to encourage the citizens of each district to vote for change at the next election. So long as the people of the districts are happy with their reprsentation, there will be no change. The people have got to see that things could be better if they were presented with better candidates. Someone should run for office who is willing to work for the betterment of all and not just be their own self-appointmented watchdog group, barking at the heels of progress. Until that happens the city can't come together and will continue to be laughed at by the world.

concernednative
28
Points
concernednative 05/16/07 - 09:21 am
0
0
Teresa Smith is now employed

Teresa Smith is now employed by Columbia County. So all of you who think Columbia County knows best explain that.

jmoval
0
Points
jmoval 05/16/07 - 09:31 am
0
0
Wow some of you would rather

Wow some of you would rather switch than fight.

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 05/16/07 - 09:32 am
0
0
Pam Tucker was good for

Pam Tucker was good for Richmond County, as was Sue Townsend for Aiken County. *Where did that come from*

jmoval
0
Points
jmoval 05/16/07 - 09:38 am
0
0
Don G, Jerry B and Jimmy S,

Don G, Jerry B and Jimmy S, yea right they are above criticism. Holland and Williams are always the problem, Let Don G who cares nothing about the poor chair the Hyde park committee.
Ya'll must be losing your minds. Keep speaking out Rev Williams, some folks who look just like you are ashamed of you because you don't follow their plan, like putting housing projects next to 200 thousand dollar homes. unbelievable!

jmoval
0
Points
jmoval 05/16/07 - 09:39 am
0
0
That was a joke Andy Cheek.

That was a joke Andy Cheek.

FormerAugustaResident
101
Points
FormerAugustaResident 05/16/07 - 09:52 am
0
0
Is it possible to have Gov.

Is it possible to have Gov. Perdue declare martial law in Augusta each time there is a commission meeting? I want to see the National Guard surrounding the Marble Palace and the current commissioners ousted.

Surely there is some method to ask the state to take over our city government when the meetings become nothing more than a middle school food fight.

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