More change is coming

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One thing is clear after Tuesday's runoff election: Augustans want change.

At least that's the case for the 7 or 8 percent of eligible voters who showed up at the polls.

But the election to fill the District 2 and District 4 seats on the Augusta Commission, despite the anemic turnout, delivered a definite message -- residents want to see a serious change in the way the commission conducts its business. We're seeing glimpses of that now -- and the assured departure this month of obstructionist lightning rod Commissioner Marion Williams will mark a quantum leap of improvement in itself.

Now city government has two more new faces: Alvin Mason representing District 4, and Corey Johnson for District 2.

Mason rightly stressed effective communication while making his run for office. Past commission meetings were too often rooted firmly in racially tinged politicking that spawned divisiveness. The brand of leadership Mason brings to the table should help cultivate a higher level of understanding among commissioners. We expect the spirit of rancor to be exorcised, and replaced with the spirit of compromise.

As for Johnson -- well, the fact that he won the enthusiastic endorsements of Commissioner Williams and race-baiting radio host Ryan B is an albatross attached to him that is extremely difficult to overlook.

But a slim majority of voters in District 2 chose Johnson's youth and vision over Freddie Handy's skill and experience. Now it is up to the 34-year-old Johnson to deliver.

Voters saw in Johnson a candidate who wants to get people involved in better government, and who wants to rid his district of its all-too-common eyesore properties.

He also wants to revitalize the mind-set of his soon-to-be constituents. Getting District 2 residents to buy into the idea of participating in community improvement is key. "If they know better, they'll do better," Johnson told The Augusta Chronicle's editorial board in October.

Johnson has promised to put personalities aside and to work with all commissioners for genuine, positive change, with a leadership style he describes as "humble but firm."

If he emerges as that kind of commissioner -- someone who reaches out instead of walks away -- then we pledge to support him however we can.

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johnsmith 12/06/07 - 09:11 am
You know, it's about time

You know, it's about time that commissioners stop trying to evade issues, and take a stand one way or the other. That way, even if you get voted out of office, it's because you did what you believed was right and was what most benefited your constituents, and also, you've provided the electorate the opportunity to make itself heard and take some responsibility for its (in)action. Seems like too many pols have the goal of reaching their term limit...stupid, stupid, stupid. Message to new commissioners: I'll vote for you if you do things I disagree with based on honesty and conviction. I won't vote for you if you get up and leave the room

outsider opinion
outsider opinion 12/06/07 - 10:17 am
This is to commend all that

This is to commend all that took part in the running for the betterment and change in Augusta. We know everyone could not win but thank God for them and most of all for the ones that did win. I attended all Forums and watched and listened to them that took a part. As a senor citizen I applaud the 3 young men that has come forth to help this city grow to be what it can be and with the help of God we can and I believe we all will see a better Augusta tomorrow than we see today.So to Alvin Mason and Cory Johnson WE SAY BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE FOR IT IS YOUR TIME AS YOUNG MEN for God called the YOUNG because they are STRONG and have a VISION WHEREAS WE AS SENIORS HAVE A DREAM.

my2cnts 12/06/07 - 12:58 pm
I will take a wait and see

I will take a wait and see attitude with the new commissioners. Who knows if Johnson will not be a "Marion, Jr."? I just hope that the day will come when the voters of district 2 realize that there is no future in electing someone because they convince them that they will take from the rich and give to the poor.

jack 12/06/07 - 03:36 pm
Let's wait ans see if

Let's wait ans see if Williams left his spring in his chair that he used to walk out on key votes. All eyes are on Johnson.

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