Coliseum Authority chairman steps down

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Coliseum Authority Chairman Keith Brown resigned as chairman Tuesday afternoon after a no-confidence vote earlier in the day by five members who asked him to step down.

Keith Brown: Chairman faced criticism from board members about his decision to cancel Tuesday's meeting.  File/Staff
File/Staff
Keith Brown: Chairman faced criticism from board members about his decision to cancel Tuesday's meeting.

"If I don't have the support of those people before I even have my first full meeting, I'm not the right chairman anyway," Mr. Brown said.

He will remain as a voting member of the board, and Vice Chairman Richard Isdell has assumed the role of chairman and has called a meeting for 9 a.m. Thursday.

"I'll be at the meeting Thursday with bells on, and I will do everything I can to move forward," Mr. Brown said. "I will support the new chairman."

Mr. Brown had canceled Tuesday's regular meeting, but half the board showed up anyway to register dissatisfaction with his leadership.

Former Chairman Harry Moore and Mr. Isdell contend Mr. Brown canceled the meeting because Mr. Moore had placed an item on the agenda calling for re-hiring Julie Huggins as facilities manager.

Ms. Huggins was fired earlier this year, which Mr. Moore said was in retaliation for former Manager Robert "Flash" Gordon's dismissal, shortly before Ms. Huggins was hired.

Those present also criticized Mr. Brown for unilaterally interviewing and attempting to hire a facilities manager without board authority.

In calling for the no-confidence vote and Mr. Brown's resignation, member Freddie Sanders said Mr. Brown "has shown no respect whatsoever" for the board's duty to carry on the public's business in running the civic center complex."

"He should not be down here in a fiduciary capacity doing the business of the taxpayers of this city," Mr. Sanders said.

Mr. Brown said he canceled the meeting because board members' tempers were high and he thought they needed a cooling off period.

"Richard Isdell and Bill Law got in a shouting match and almost got into a fight Friday," he said. "I wanted the members to cool down so we could do the board's business."

At Tuesday's meeting, Mr. Sanders also suggested all 12 board members resign at the next meeting and let the legislators and commissioners who appointed them re-appoint them if they want to.

"There are people on the board who can't get reappointed, and they're trying to destroy this facility," he said.

Concerning Mr. Brown's efforts to hire a facilities manager without the board's knowledge or authority, member Jack Usry said board members decided at an April 22 meeting they would not hire anyone until they got a management company on board to run the entertainment complex.

"On one other meeting we had a vote taken to hold off hiring until a management company was in place, and that motion carried 7-3," he said.

Mr. Brown said when that vote was called to his attention, he suspended the hiring.

Mr. Isdell asked board attorney Ed Enoch whether Mr. Brown had the authority to cancel Tuesday's meeting.

"The bylaws state there will be a monthly meeting," Mr. Enoch said. "The bylaws specifically state no one person has the authority to cancel the meeting."

Mr. Sanders said it was essential the board meet soon because the concessions contract ends Friday and needs immediate action. In addition, the Lynx contract must be approved early next month, and the board needs to decide on fabric for the seats that will be installed in the arena.

Community activist Woody Merry was present at the meeting and also called for Mr. Brown's resignation.

Augusta Commissioner Joe Jackson, who appointed new member Donnie Thompson to fill the seat left open by the expired term of John Manuel, attended and said he was "kind of disappointed" because he wanted to see the board work together.

Mr. Brown said he has worked diligently on Augusta Colts issues, the Lynx contract and the concessions contract, and for some members to vote no confidence in him is spiteful.

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

Comments (33) Add comment
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patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 05/28/08 - 05:42 am
0
0
Mr Brown seems to have

Mr Brown seems to have serious racist issues and doesn't need to have any position of public power until he grows out of them.

Riverman1
78408
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Riverman1 05/28/08 - 05:59 am
0
0
I keep telling y'all that the

I keep telling y'all that the way out of all this is to give the building to Augusta State University.

tomgahunter
0
Points
tomgahunter 05/28/08 - 06:23 am
0
0
You can't make this stuff up,

You can't make this stuff up, what a mess..

PTHS2
0
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PTHS2 05/28/08 - 06:37 am
0
0
I have an idea. Let them

I have an idea. Let them hold their next meeting in a steel cage in the middle of the arena. I'd pay $5 to watch that......

christian134
1
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christian134 05/28/08 - 07:06 am
0
0
Sounds a tad like small

Sounds a tad like small children yelling out "If you don't play by my rules I am going to take my ball and bat and go home"....This is a sad state of affairs....The slate needs to be cleared...

Little Lamb
43408
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Little Lamb 05/28/08 - 07:47 am
0
0
Let us not forget that Ed

Let us not forget that Ed (What's in it for my clients?) Tarver had a chance to re-structure this Authority during the last legislative session, and he killed it. He is a senator with a poor track record. He spends most of his energy trying to get the legislature to provide favors and special treatment for his law firm clients and family members. He should be defeated in the Democratic primary this July.

halffull
0
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halffull 05/28/08 - 08:02 am
0
0
Amen christian132. And the

Amen christian132. And the same childishness is carried out on this page and the reporting newspaper. To call one side racist (blacks) and not take into account the other side (whites) decided to boycott last friday's meeting is childish. Of course you all would not know that because your only source of info doesn't tell you.
Oh and by the way if Mr. Brown cannot hire a manager (and God knows don't let him) before a management company is hired, how can the "other side" (whites) hire one. And a bigger by the way, I thought management hired everybody except the general manager.
The lawyer should read the legislation that started the authority, somebody should find an operations manual and after we clean them "all" out (including the lawyer) follow rules.

paulwheeler
122
Points
paulwheeler 05/28/08 - 08:32 am
0
0
It's this type of civic

It's this type of civic leadership that reminds me of why I'm SO proud of my town!

owensjef2
0
Points
owensjef2 05/28/08 - 08:50 am
0
0
Hey oops they do this every

Hey oops they do this every day, I think they live an a fantasy world called Limbaugh Land!

sjgraci
2
Points
sjgraci 05/28/08 - 08:50 am
0
0
Who would be better to

Who would be better to actually fix the mess at the Civic Center, Ed Tarver or Marion Williams?

WHATDIDIDO
0
Points
WHATDIDIDO 05/28/08 - 08:54 am
0
0
Dang PT, you must have that

Dang PT, you must have that crystal ball out again. Where is it stated that Mr. Brown has some " Serious racial issues"?

NedaKlugh
0
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NedaKlugh 05/28/08 - 08:59 am
0
0
It was not Ed Tarver, It was

It was not Ed Tarver, It was Murphy, Howard and Frazier that held it up by not signing. The board is set in place to set policy - not hire, they need to get out of the way and let the managment that is in place do their job and stop trying to micro-manage.

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 05/28/08 - 09:18 am
0
0
Somebody needs to find out

Somebody needs to find out WHY Dr. Welcher is allowing on Keith Brown to sell Laney items and no one else... someone needs to find out where his donation to the school goes from selling items with Laney's name, emblem, motto etc. Keith has to many irons in the fire to be a chairman, he's to busy.

Safe at Home
0
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Safe at Home 05/28/08 - 09:21 am
0
0
The Coliseum Board keeps

The Coliseum Board keeps fighting and all the while the public misses out on events that could be going on in Augusta. The Board should read some of the messages posted and realize they are doing Augusta no favors by staying on the Coliseum Board. If they can read they will know how poorly the people think of their actions...or non actions.

Dixieman
12468
Points
Dixieman 05/28/08 - 09:52 am
0
0
Here we go again...they

Here we go again...they should sell it to a private business to avoid all this bickering.

Glascock1
0
Points
Glascock1 05/28/08 - 10:08 am
0
0
Does anyone really expect a

Does anyone really expect a facility named after James Brown to operate smoothly?This is just par for the course.Eventually one will be built in Columbia Co and we'll show ya'll how it's supposed to be ran..........

imdstuf
10
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imdstuf 05/28/08 - 10:10 am
0
0
We do not need a board at

We do not need a board at all. Ten years ago it was entirely different people, but much of the same BS. Once they hire a management company the board needs to just sit back and watch.

Brad Owens
4097
Points
Brad Owens 05/28/08 - 11:46 am
0
0
The reason they need to vote

The reason they need to vote to rehire the lady is to aviod her lawsuit that she will win and they will be forced by court order to do it anyway. She will get the money for salary with damages.

jack
10
Points
jack 05/28/08 - 11:52 am
0
0
Sell it to a private company

Sell it to a private company and we wil probsbly sees ome good entertanment and not have these cclowns running it. First step is to get rid of Law, the big mouth. I'm waiitng on his case to come to trial. I will be in the court room to watch him squirm and then get nailed for the racist he is..

booger
0
Points
booger 05/28/08 - 12:03 pm
0
0
Looks like we have replaced

Looks like we have replaced Marion Williams with Keith Brown in local government. If it wouldn't be so embarassing, it would be funny to see Marion Williams trying to pull his stunts in the Georgia Legislature.

whyme
1351
Points
whyme 05/28/08 - 12:14 pm
0
0
Good job! Finally a group

Good job! Finally a group that sticks together and recognizes incompetence and won't stand for it. Now maybe they can get to work. Shame on them tho for letting all the other shenanigans to go on.

createyourfuture
68
Points
createyourfuture 05/28/08 - 02:03 pm
0
0
I'm with Dixieman. Sell the

I'm with Dixieman. Sell the arena, then it will run like a business and the government will be out of the picture. I never have understood what business the government had with owning an arena in the first place.

Toi.Bowie
0
Points
Toi.Bowie 05/28/08 - 02:12 pm
0
0
I am soooooo glad I live in

I am soooooo glad I live in North Augusta, SC!

What4
0
Points
What4 05/28/08 - 02:19 pm
0
0
go augusta!!

go augusta!!

What4
0
Points
What4 05/28/08 - 02:20 pm
0
0
Augusta can't run one

Augusta can't run one building..no wonder we can't seem to run a county.

WHATDIDIDO
0
Points
WHATDIDIDO 05/28/08 - 03:47 pm
0
0
Yeah, like everyone is racing

Yeah, like everyone is racing over to North Augusta, for what? A speeding ticket?

WHATDIDIDO
0
Points
WHATDIDIDO 05/28/08 - 03:49 pm
0
0
ROTFLMAS. JACK called someone

ROTFLMAS. JACK called someone else a racist. Must be BIZARRO WORLD.

tiswhatitis
0
Points
tiswhatitis 05/28/08 - 07:13 pm
0
0
It is only the words you read

It is only the words you read based on one reporters viewpoint . If you choose to believe it is child like behavior then do so, but that it because that's what you read. Have not any of you ranters ever had an argument with ANYone based on the belief you felt ( & knew) they were wrong? It could be possible that Mr. Isdell may have felt the need to express himself based on mis-management issues that still occur for once? I don't recall ever hearing of this (normally quiet) man yelling at anyone much less about to fight him . Come on people, certian people will feed you want some of you most thrive for- RUMORS ! I think Mr. Isdell will do what's right for the city & the people, give him a chance & see if changes happen for the good now. And try to keep a positive attitude, not ALL people are racists ! When everyone comes together & realizes that thus far, the whole thing has been the joke of the city, and ALL people in Augusta want is concerts & events that are current & the happening thing, they WILL come ! But you have to BUILD it first ! Make it Happen Mr. Isdell !!! AND TO THE ONES WHO WANT TO SELL IT> Get a clue, that's not a solution to the problem.

mayhem1999
0
Points
mayhem1999 05/28/08 - 07:48 pm
0
0
I see the problem by the

I see the problem by the picture.

VoteRepublican
0
Points
VoteRepublican 05/28/08 - 09:54 pm
0
0
Yet another INCOMPETENT

Yet another INCOMPETENT Democrat - in a city of full of ignorant DEMOCRATS!

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