Board adopts budget for '08

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Augusta commissioners adopted a 2008 general-fund budget Thursday on a 6-4 vote. You have questions? We have answers.

Q: What is Augusta's 2008 general-fund budget going to cost me?

A: It will cost the owner of a $100,000 house less than a hamburger, french fries and a large drink once a month at a fast-food restaurant, according to City Administrator Fred Russell. It breaks down to $55.48 if you own a $100,000 house and have homestead exemption.

Q: What's in the budget?

A: The $125.4 million spending plan funds government operations, such as law enforcement, fire protection and recreation. Specifics include:

- 3 percent cost-of-living raises for employees

- $2,000-a-year raises for public safety officers

- Increased cost of health insurance for employees

- A program to find businesses that aren't paying property taxes

- A demolition program for code enforcement

- A supplement for Community Medical Outreach

- A disparity study

- $800,000 for city transit

- A $12,000 increase for the Ezekiel Harris House

- A $9,908 increase for CSRA Land Trust

Q: How did they vote?

A: The budget passed on one vote during Thursday's meeting, which had been recessed since Nov. 20 because Mr. Russell could not muster six votes for any of his budget options.

Voting for the budget were:

- Mayor Pro Tem Betty Beard

- Marion Williams

- J.R. Hatney

- Andy Cheek

- Calvin Holland

- Bernard Harper

Voting against the budget were:

- Jerry Brigham

- Jimmy Smith

- Joe Bowles

- Don Grantham

-- Sylvia Cooper, staff writer

Comments (16) Add comment
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mutt
2
Points
mutt 12/07/07 - 05:51 am
0
0
I wonder if Ryan B will still

I wonder if Ryan B will still call Andy Cheek "the number 2 man in the
Klan" seeing that he has once again crossed the isle and sided with the
black commisioners? He's on his way out anyway, so it doesn't really
matter, I'm just curious. Funny how Ryan B. etal can make offensive
racist statments like that, and not one protester shows up, no NAACP or
SCLC, or Nation of Islam, or Black panthers, not even the Klan, or the
local newspaper or TV. I guess it's OK to be Racially offensive towards
whites. Perhaps it only counts if the offender is white. Can anyone say
double standard? Probably not, because that would mean we as a
community would have to admit that we have a problem, and worse yet we
might have to deal with it. Let's just ignore it, and maybe it will
just go away. That's what we've done so far, and Lord knows it's much
easier, and has been so effective to this point. Come on CSRA join me in the mass putting on of our blinders and forgetful hats. "It's a wonderful day in the nieghborhood". Sing along everyone!

pantherluvcik
628
Points
pantherluvcik 12/07/07 - 07:32 am
0
0
Well mutt if you have such a

Well mutt if you have such a problem with it why don't you get a few of your fellow klansmen together and protest. It's a personal choice, be the first to admit you have a problem.

vicktotheend
0
Points
vicktotheend 12/07/07 - 09:28 am
0
0
Why don't you all use your

Why don't you all use your minds to improve the Augusta area and not pollute it with all your verbiage.

BUTTACHE
0
Points
BUTTACHE 12/07/07 - 09:30 am
0
0
I would like to see a

I would like to see a personal beacon credit score for each commissioner that voted for the budget? Now that would be a good laugh!!! It would also prove what a bunch of idiots are handling our money.

pja5529
1413
Points
pja5529 12/07/07 - 09:55 am
0
0
BUTTACHE, what's worng with

BUTTACHE, what's worng with the budget? Do you not think the city employees should get a raise on their jobs just as we do?

BoldTruth
0
Points
BoldTruth 12/07/07 - 10:24 am
0
0
Again, the simple minded

Again, the simple minded people of the CSRA are trying to make something into a racial situation. The vote is what it is, an increase in property taxes. And if I am not mistaken, blacks and whites will benefit from the city employees getting raises.

MyOpinion2
5
Points
MyOpinion2 12/07/07 - 10:51 am
0
0
Making a mental note for the

Making a mental note for the next election, taxpayer.

RichmondCountyResident1
29
Points
RichmondCountyResident1 12/07/07 - 10:52 am
0
0
Mutt, race has nothing to do

Mutt, race has nothing to do with the vote.I do take exception with the commissioners who did not support the budget.I guess you did not want to support a small tax increase.I think it is a small price to pay for safety.It's a slap in the face to our hard working law enforcement professionals. Unfortunatly, we are still stuck with this small minded group. I'd love to see your alternative.Yes, I own two pieces of property in R.C.

KingJames
10
Points
KingJames 12/07/07 - 11:16 am
0
0
At least they finally passed

At least they finally passed something without all the drama.

joebowles
104
Points
joebowles 12/07/07 - 11:36 am
0
0
blitzbarski52, Schoolbus

blitzbarski52,
Schoolbus drivers are not paid out of the Counties Tax revenue. They are paid through the School Board.

KingJames
10
Points
KingJames 12/07/07 - 12:26 pm
0
0
Blitz, have you thought that

Blitz, have you thought that maybe the Goodwill shopping center is either at the end of a schoolbus route or near a school, and that the gas you think the bus drivers are wasting doesn't really amount to much at all? I don't see any harm in stopping by a shopping center if it's on the way and the kids are not effected. Also, have you not thought that maybe the drivers go to that shopping center to wait until time to pick up the kids? It wouldn't make much sense for a driver to go all the way back to the bus yard if all of their routes are far away like Heph/Blythe. Now that would be a waste of gas. Maybe they just park and wait at the shopping center until time to pick up the kids. Some drivers go home to wait until time to pick up the kids if home is closer to the schools than the bus yard. I would have a problem with bus drivers whose routes are downtown deciding that they were in the mood for Sconyers BBQ and driving all the way across town to get some. I think if you have a problem with where they drive those big yellow buses (not exactly like they're riding in the lap of luxury), then you really should ask a bus driver why they keep showing up in your shopping center.

Little Lamb
43803
Points
Little Lamb 12/07/07 - 01:41 pm
0
0
Shame, shame, shame on this

Shame, shame, shame on this vote. It is unconscionable for three "lame duck" commissioners to be allowed to vote on a budget for which they have no future accountability. Williams, Cheek and Harper should have been statesmen and abstained from this vote and allowed the new commissioners to represent their districts and have this vote in January. But statesmanship has been not seen here for many years.

MR.Kojak
0
Points
MR.Kojak 12/07/07 - 05:51 pm
0
0
The raises are not distibuted

The raises are not distibuted fairly. Sheriffs office answered 230,000 calls so far this year and the fire department has answered 14,000, 75 percent of which are medical back up calls for the ambulance service. THe Marshall's Office and the RCCI does not answer calls. Noone is leaving the fire department, the marshalls department nor RCCI for better paying jobs, because they have it made..The bulk of the serving and protecting is done by one agency and every other public safety agency reaps the benefits...Maybe the raises should have went like this 3,000 for deputies, 1,500 for firemen, 1,000 for Marshals and RCCI guards.

pointstoponder
153
Points
pointstoponder 12/07/07 - 10:50 pm
0
0
Great plan Mr. Kojack. It's

Great plan Mr. Kojack. It's bad enough that deputies are leaving. Let's wait until firemen, marshal's deputies and the Corrections officers start to leave before we try to correct the problem. That's thinking ahead.

jojo649
0
Points
jojo649 12/07/07 - 11:56 pm
0
0
To Kojack and points. I don't

To Kojack and points. I don't know where you get your info from. The Guards have been leaving RCCI. They are under staff and under paid just like our brothers and sisters at the Marshal Dept., Fire Dept., and a course the Sheriffs Dept., have been for a few years now. Each one of these Departments have some of the most dedicated and loyal employees you can find in the world, not just in this county.so the next time you think about saying that any of these modern day heros do not deserve a raise, how about you run in a house that is burning and save a old person out of it. Or run down a armed robber by yourself. Or serve a warrent on one. And even better, have that robber clean the ditches and road way in this great county we live in. Until you walk in these fearless and unselfish individuals shoes, don't say what they don't deserve, but how about thank you or what you can do for them.

mojo goat
0
Points
mojo goat 12/08/07 - 09:25 am
0
0
Kojack - The Fire Department

Kojack - The Fire Department has been losing experienced and new firefighters faster than we can hire them for years now- If you don't know what you're talking about, maybe you shouldn't say anything..

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