Arena calls on Roberts again

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Linda Roberts can do what a lot of men have tried to do and failed: Run the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center without running afoul of the governing board.

The petite grandmother has taken on the job of interim general manager six times since 1994, the latest being after General Manager Robert "Flash" Gordon was fired March 7.

Since then, she hasn't had a day off but has gotten the job done, this time in the middle of the Augusta Lynx hockey season and the kickoff of the Augusta Colts arena football season. And that's why members of the Coliseum Authority, the entertainment complex's governing board, have confidence in her.

Though the politically appointed authority members often disagree on topics ranging from policy to personnel, they seem to be unanimous in their praise of Mrs. Roberts.

Members Mildred McDaniel and Keith Brown consider her to be the best general manager and assistant general manager -- the title she normally holds -- in the country.

"She's fantastic," Mr. Brown said. "She is the most knowledgeable, hardest-working, sincere employee down there. She is also fair. She really is."

"She knows arena management," Mrs. McDaniel said. "She is a detail person. She documents everything. She has a phenomenal memory. If you ask her anything, if she doesn't know, she will go to the files and pull it out."

Other qualities that keep Mrs. Roberts in good stead are her levelheadedness and even temper, Mrs. McDaniel said.

"She treats everybody the same," she said. "She's a kind person, and she has the utmost respect for everybody."

Member Booker Roberson called Mrs. Roberts "the backbone" of the civic center.

"She knows it inside out," he said. "More people know her than they do the general manager. She's an asset to the civic center."

Freddie Sanders and Richard Isdell agree that Mrs. Roberts is very capable.

"She's good for the job," Mr. Isdell said. "She's got the knowledge and experience."

Mrs. Roberts, 49, was hired as civic center office manager in 1991. She is an Augusta native and a Paine College graduate, holding a degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting. She was paid $24,000 a year as bookkeeper. As interim manager, she makes $75,000 a year.

On a recent Friday afternoon, she was on the phone with a promoter who wanted to know why he had to send more deposit money to hold show dates for next year. Mrs. Roberts patiently explained the board's decision to require the deposit and told him she had already had three other promoters ready to schedule those dates. As soon as she hung up, she started checking employee payroll checks and handing them to the finance director until the phone rang again.

She's not likely to get any relief until the authority hires a new management company, which could take several months.

When asked during a brief lull why she didn't just apply for the job permanently, she smiled shyly and said, "You know why."

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

LINDA ROBERTS

POSITION: Interim general manager of the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center

AGE: 49

EDUCATION : Degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from Paine College

Comments (20) Add comment
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justus4
103
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justus4 03/24/08 - 02:20 am
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0
What's wrong with these
Unpublished

What's wrong with these people? If she can perform the duties, hire her. If she don't want the position, have her document her views of the board's structure and suggestions for improvement. And if it's a qualification thing, have the commission adjust requirements to fit her skills. (they did it for fire chief) Everyone has positive comments about her, she has performed as acting Mgr, but she's not hired. Again, what's wrong with leadership in CSRA?

NEone
6
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NEone 03/24/08 - 03:05 am
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justus4: It's obvious that

justus4: It's obvious that she's smart enough to not take the job. How would it look for her number one suggestion to be the firing of the entire commission and starting over? Then you think they would hire her?

NEone
6
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NEone 03/24/08 - 03:07 am
0
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justus4: It's obvious that

justus4: It's obvious that she's a smart woman. Smart enough to not take the job. Her first suggestion would probably be to fire the entire coliseum authority. And then they should hire her?

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 03/24/08 - 04:19 am
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You're right NEone. Mrs.

You're right NEone. Mrs. Roberts' "You know why" response made it pretty clear she's diplomatic enough not to kick the board in the knee, but not so subtle as to confuse those that are aware.

wildman
1157
Points
wildman 03/24/08 - 04:31 am
0
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At first I thought why don't

At first I thought why don't they promote this lady to the job, then I thought if she is as smart as the article indicates I bet she don't want the job. It can't be easy or fun working with that bunch (the authority).

getalife
4
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getalife 03/24/08 - 08:11 am
0
0
She said she didn't want the

She said she didn't want the job. Ms. Roberts may not have the experience or connections to bring in big acts, while she may know how to do the day to day management. Plus, who would want to work for the bunch of boneheads on the coliseum authority.

TrulyWorried
15351
Points
TrulyWorried 03/24/08 - 08:30 am
0
0
Ms. Roberts certainly

Ms. Roberts certainly deserves to get paid more - manager or not - she must feel like a jumping jack - with those strings being jerked every time they need her.
It can be quite true that she does not want this position, she is aware of what goes on behind the scene! The County Commission has shown great improvement, too bad the same cannot happen with these malfunctioning members. Throw them all out and start from scratch - but leave Ms. Roberts - she will have to do their jobs while new members are installed. Wonder if they are even needed???

mojo
0
Points
mojo 03/24/08 - 08:55 am
0
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If this lady is as billed -

If this lady is as billed - the county needs to to get her into the job permanently. If she'll do the job on a temp basis then she can be persuaded to take the job on permanently. With all the problems they've had combined with wanting to start a massive slate of similar venues - talent is the biggest deficit facing running these venues.

RogueKnight
221
Points
RogueKnight 03/24/08 - 09:46 am
0
0
I miss having big name

I miss having big name touring bands come through Augusta. No wonder rock acts stay away from Augusta. Augusta earned a reputation in the 80's as a hostile environment when the local authorities arrested Tommy Lee of Motley Crue for mooning the crowd and Bobby Brown for simulating sex acts with one of his dancers. For a while, we had a lot of good country acts come through, like Travis Tritt, Reba McIntyre and Vince Gill, but even the country acts stopped coming through town. Until The Coliseum Authority can utilize the facilities they have at their disposal, the Civic Center and Bell Auditorium, there doesn't need to be any new discussion about new civic center facilities. Good luck Ms. Roberts. I hope this will resut in a new era of cooperation between the Coliseum Authority and the Civic Center management.

jack
10
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jack 03/24/08 - 09:54 am
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Why any musical group would

Why any musical group would use the civic center is beyond me as it has the worst p[ossible accoustics for music. But rock bands I guess are OK as the louder they play, the more you can't tell they are lousy musicians. Seems Aiken isn't having this problem as they have a facility designed for such entertainment..

crystalball
1
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crystalball 03/24/08 - 10:39 am
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Mrs. Roberts is by far the

Mrs. Roberts is by far the top employee of Richmond County. If other employees, commissioners and the Authority would take heed in the way she treats the public, knowledge of her job, not passing the buck and other attributes too many to list, what an excellent system Richmond County would experience. The growth of Augusta would excel! I have only had business dealings with Mrs. Roberts and everything the Authority is saying is true in regard to her. It sure is nice to know there is one person in the County that deserves the acknowledgement she is being given. Maybe it would help if she was included and listened to in the hiring process of management for the Civic Center. Give her a deserved raise and let her advise the Authority!

nowinna
1
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nowinna 03/24/08 - 11:03 am
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I have been out of town the

I have been out of town the last few days and would like to know about the $5000. deposit that was given back to a promoter that he claimed he gave and no one can find any evidence that it was received.Does anyone know.

iletuknow
8
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iletuknow 03/24/08 - 11:09 am
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Ghetto noise doesn't need

Ghetto noise doesn't need acoustics.

FallingLeaves
27
Points
FallingLeaves 03/24/08 - 11:12 am
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I've said it before, and I'll

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Linda Roberts has been right under our noses all this time, doing an excellent job in her own position AND when called upon to fill in for the others that have left. I have heard nothing but praise from people that have worked with her. Give her an offer equal to what they have offered out-of-towners to do the job, and treat her with the respect she has EARNED, and see what happens. The worst that could happen is that she has other concerns that keep her from saying yes. It sure would be nice to have such a competent and well-respected person in the position who is already excelling in everything she does there right on site. She knows the ropes already, so wouldn't have to go through that awkward "honeymoon stage".

KingJames
10
Points
KingJames 03/24/08 - 11:44 am
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It is obvious that Mrs.

It is obvious that Mrs. Roberts knows that the praises will cease if she assumes the top position at the arena. The same people that like her now will either turn on her, or try to drag her into all the other mess that goes on in Augusta. She is doing herself and her family a great service by not getting involved with all of the headaches that come with service to the city. She seems like she has a humble spirit. Humble people tend to avoid the lime light and the stresses that come with it. They just do what they feel is necessary to make an impact, and move on to whatever else needs attention. I agree that she deserve a raise for having to deal with so much at the arena. Her, "you know why" comment really is her subtle southern way of letting us all know that the powers that be in Augusta are a disgrace and are truly what keeps good people away from trying to fill key positions. She would probably take the job if the leadership was more progressive.

061207
0
Points
061207 03/24/08 - 12:46 pm
0
0
Mrs. Roberts has always done

Mrs. Roberts has always done a great job. Keep up the good work.

imdstuf
10
Points
imdstuf 03/24/08 - 01:03 pm
0
0
I used to think acts did not

I used to think acts did not want to play in the civic center because it was not real big, but I keep seeing ads for bands playing in Aiken. For some of those acts the civic venter might actually be too big, but the bell would not be. Who manages Aiken's center? How are they getting acts so often already?

cottoncandy16
28
Points
cottoncandy16 03/24/08 - 02:11 pm
0
0
iletuknow, you are an

iletuknow, you are an idiot!!! With that said, Mrs. Roberts should be offered a permanent job with better pay.

Just Sassy
0
Points
Just Sassy 03/24/08 - 02:18 pm
0
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Linda is AWESOME and she is

Linda is AWESOME and she is smart enought to stay out of the
Lions den. Do your job girl, do your job.

GSneed
0
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GSneed 03/24/08 - 02:20 pm
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I've dealt with Ms. Roberts a

I've dealt with Ms. Roberts a few years back, when I rented out one of the downstairs ballrooms for an event. She was First Class and somehow convinced me to purchase some of that expensive catering without even realizing it. Great job Ms. Roberts, and good luck!

foxyloxy
0
Points
foxyloxy 03/24/08 - 06:33 pm
0
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Ms. Roberts is a wonderful

Ms. Roberts is a wonderful lady. Too bad they can't give her full control of the whole "show". How sad it is our city is known as "Disgusta, the [filtered word]HOLE of the state" because of the morons running the coliseum authority. I hope you do well girfriend! I guess all of us just need to head up north to Aiken. Whitey ain't in total control their yet!!!!

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