Copenhaver is optimistic

  • Follow Metro

What began as a speech Thursday by Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver on the importance of health care to the city's economy turned into a wider-ranging discussion about the Augusta Commission and his optimism for the future.

Mr. Copenhaver, in one of his first public remarks since two commission seats were decided in a runoff election Tuesday, said he hopes some of the distracting antics that plagued the body are now behind it.

He spoke to about 120 people from 60 local medical practices at a gathering held by Physician Sales and Service, a medical supply company catering to physician offices.

"One of the absolute keys to selling the city is we've got the finest medical community, I firmly believe, in the Southeast," said Mr. Copenhaver, who considers himself the "lead salesman" for Augusta.

That abundance of health care resources is luring both retirees and new industry, with 3,000 new jobs announced just within the past year, he said. There also is tremendous growth in Augusta's hospitals.

"University Hospital is expanding, Doctors Hospital is expanding, Medical College of Georgia is expanding here in Augusta," Mr. Copenhaver said. "Our medical community is an economic driving engine for all of Augusta and really, all of the CSRA."

But when he took questions from the audience, much of the interest was in the commission. Although Mr. Copenhaver had endorsed the opponent of one of the two new commissioners elected, he still thought that all three new commissioners coming on board would bring a new attitude to the governing body.

"I couldn't be more excited about 2008 from a commission perspective," Mr. Copenhaver said. "I've spoken to all three of the newly elected commissioners. They're all good guys."

In addition to being younger, the men have families and jobs that ground them, he said.

"And it's not like they're going to have the time to be down there trying to manage the day-to-day operations of the city," he said, something current and former commissioners have been accused of doing.

The commission spent more than a month this year on what Mr. Copenhaver called "Computergate," the battle by some commissioners to examine Administrator Fred Russell's office computer to see whether he had been using it for personal business, an accusation that proved groundless.

"I thought, if we had taken that month and a half of time and energy and put it into looking at the big picture, planning for the future of the city, how much further along the line would we be?" Mr. Copenhaver said. "I do believe that we have the commission that will really be focused on doing that next year."

Reach Tom Corwin at (706) 823-3213 or tom.corwin@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (8) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
RestoreDowntown
0
Points
RestoreDowntown 12/07/07 - 08:14 am
0
0
We are so blessed to have a

We are so blessed to have a mayor like DEKE! I ohly hope he is willing to stick with us another term. Great news on the commission, and I think we will generate enough revenue downtown to afford this optimistc budget. Now that a couple of real problem commissioners are out of the way, more and more business and people will come downtown. Restoration is continuing.

FormerAugustaResident
101
Points
FormerAugustaResident 12/07/07 - 08:41 am
0
0
I agree that Deke is a major

I agree that Deke is a major asset to this city and can only hope that the commission will be different.

Captain Awesome
0
Points
Captain Awesome 12/07/07 - 09:06 am
0
0
He really is great even

He really is great even though his position does so little. We really need to change the way the Mayor and Commission is set up so the mayor can cast a vote even when commissioners don't vote.

Brad Owens
4455
Points
Brad Owens 12/07/07 - 09:23 am
0
0
DEKE SAID, In addition to

DEKE SAID, In addition to being YOUNGER, the men have FAMILIES and jobs that ground them, he said. "And it's not like they're going to have the time to be down there trying to manage the day-to-day operations of the city," he said, something current and former commissioners have been accused of doing. BUT YET HE ENDORSED DON 'Good Old Boy" GRANTHAM over John Butler who is YOUNG, has a FAMILY (Which was a point of OBJECTION to Good Ol' Don) and has a grounding job and all. I guess we should just chalk it up to 'election antics' HUH? I mean Don said that John should saty home and raise his family and leave the CIVIC DUTY stuff to guys like him who had the time to do it. I guess whatever sounds good say it right? Play to the crowd RIGHT? I just find it a bit IRONIC that the mayors words here do not match his actions. I like people who apply their values to their endorsments.

a crazy old man
30
Points
a crazy old man 12/07/07 - 10:14 am
0
0
oh boy, oh boy I'm optimism

oh boy, oh boy I'm optimism for the future also because maybe now we'll get the drag strip. oh boy oh boy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

concerned_citizen32
0
Points
concerned_citizen32 12/07/07 - 11:20 am
0
0
to Brad: I think you read

to Brad: I think you read into what the mayor said just a little too much. He was referring to Mr. Johnson, and the other new commissioner from District 4---not Don Grantham; since Don is'nt a new commissioner, he was just re-elected. The mayor was talking about the NEWLY elected commissioners, not the re-elected one. Regardless, I am proud to now have Corey Johnson as my new representative.

owensjef
13
Points
owensjef 12/07/07 - 09:55 pm
0
0
Not the chronicle, not the

Not the chronicle, not the chronicle, " Freddy you lied to me" LOL
optimistic for what?

MartinezWest Augusta
2
Points
MartinezWest Augusta 01/08/08 - 03:59 pm
0
0
deke is a good mayor and

deke is a good mayor and wants to do whats right. Augusta is finally starting to grow up. In the next few years augusta will be on another level.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Group demands hearing on commissioner appointment

City leaders appeared to warm to a request Monday by the West Augusta Alliance to hold one or more public hearings before appointing an interim District 7 commissioner to serve until Donnie ...
Search Augusta jobs