Williams believes he can unite school board

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James Williams Jr. says he has the leadership background and "spirit of unity" to be Richmond County's next District 5 school board member.

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James Williams Jr. talks with resident Johnny Usher about his campaign. Mr. Williams is making his third run for the board.  Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
James Williams Jr. talks with resident Johnny Usher about his campaign. Mr. Williams is making his third run for the board.

"I know how it works when it comes to operating budgets," said Mr. Williams, a founding board member of the Neighborhood Improvement Project, which operates a community health clinic in south Augusta.

Mr. Williams, 64, also works as a property manager in Augusta for Nashville, Tenn.-based Taliafaro Inc. and has served on other area community boards.

He said he thinks his way of approaching problems would work well in the board setting.

"I think it takes a spirit of unity in order to work with all board members," he said. "I have that ability to do that, to bring people together."

Mr. Williams, an Augusta native, has run for the school board twice before, unsuccessful bids against Joe Scott in 2008 and A.K. Hasan in 2006.

He said that after "a lot of thoughts and pondering" he decided to enter the political arena again and is gearing up his campaigning efforts.

"I'm still determined to represent the people in a fashion that will give them the kind of representation I felt they needed previously and even this time now that the seat is vacant," he said.

Mr. Williams said that in the midst of state budget cutbacks, he would work to seek other funding sources for the school system.

"I do believe that there are resources, there are ways we can make up those deficits, and I support just the efforts of finding those things," he said.

He said he's a big proponent of an initiative by Superintendent Dana Bedden to expand after-school and summer-school programs.

"That's the kind of effort I support, and he needs the support of the school board," Mr. Williams said. "It's going to take funding to operate that program."

Mr. Williams, an avid gardener, sees similarities between his hobby and the role of a school board member.

"I've always enjoyed watching things grow," he said. "It takes nurturing in order to have a successful plant, and I say the same thing about children."

Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 828-3851 or preston.sparks@augustachronicle.com

JAMES WILLIAMS JR.

AGE: 64

BACKGROUND: Property manager; adjunct instructor at Voorhees College; associate minister at Mount Calvary Baptist Church

LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE: PTA president; chairman, Georgia Youth Advocate Program; board member, National Youth Advocate Program; secretary, Baptist Ministers Conference of Augusta; founding board member, Neighborhood Improvement Project; board member, Antioch Ministries and Neighborhood Improvement Inc.

PLATFORM: "If we invest in our children today, we get a greater return tomorrow;" using best resources; making decisions in the best interest of the system

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lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 10/20/09 - 09:07 am
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"invest in children" hold on

"invest in children" hold on property taxpayers this is a code word for "WE ARE GOING TO THROW MORE MONEY AT THE PROBLEM AND THAT WILL FIX EVERYTHING".....when will the school board realize we spend more money per capita than any developed country and still we lag behind...its not about spending more money for wasteful, useless and ineffective programs...IT'S ABOUT PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT!!!!! invest in children by getting rid of all the dead weight, the disruptive, disrespectful and violent stundets who don't want to learn, this will them increase the amount available to spend on those who do..in addition it will then create an environment conducive to learning..i guess another way to invest in children is to continue building athletic venues for high schools with graduation rates less than 75% on the hope that it will spur academic achievement...never mind there aren't enuff textbooks in some subjects to go around or not enuff school supplies that's not important

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