Who says economy's bad?

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"We need to have people in office ... who are educated on things. If you hire someone for your company, you're going to have to train them, and you're going to have to continue to train them."

-- Augusta Commissioner Corey Johnson

Our friend Mr. Johnson is right, as far as he goes.

But his logic breaks down if he's talking about continuing to spend big bucks to train an employee who's leaving in a matter of weeks.

That's the case with Commissioner Calvin Holland, who has joined three other Augusta commissioners on a four-day National League of Cities conference in San Antonio this week -- despite the fact that he's leaving office in some seven weeks.

The cost of the trip is about $2,200 a person.

Would Mr. Johnson ever deign to make his argument at a private company? Would he dare try to convince the boss that the company needs to send an employee to San Antonio for training -- mere weeks before his retirement? And in the worst economy in decades?

Of course not. Why? Because it's ludicrous on its face.

The difference is, this is taxpayer money they're spending. They don't have to care. And they don't have to convince the "boss" -- the boss is taxpayers, and they can just take your money.

Indeed, commissioners Holland, J.R. Hatney, Alvin Mason and Johnson went out of their way to spend taxpayer money for this little junket: Having already depleted their own travel budget, they took the city administrator's money instead.

Who says the economy is bad? Not these guys!

Not as long as they can spend your money, that is!

Hardly makes you want to vote "yes" for the proposed new 1-cent sales tax, does it?

Given that the commission is facing an approximately $8 million deficit in next year's budget -- and the fact that they can't seem to agree on important issues, and often break down on racial lines -- you have to wonder if these yearly excursions where commissioners hobnob with their fellow wizards are paying dividends for the taxpayers footing the bill.

"When can we expect to see evidence of the education we've been paying for?" asks one Chronicle reader.

Trouble is, dear reader, you're assuming that's the point.

How can it possibly be the point in Calvin Holland's case?

Comments (34) Add comment
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concernednative
28
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concernednative 11/14/09 - 03:00 am
0
0
I agree the commission should

I agree the commission should pass something that excludes retiring commissioners or those that loose reelection bids.

Riverman1
93341
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Riverman1 11/14/09 - 06:36 am
0
0
I don't disagree it's foolish

I don't disagree it's foolish to take the trip when the city is in debt, but the trip was not some surprise sprung on the county as some believe. Russell and Bonner said yesterday, it is an established event that all the Commissioners can attend. Some of those Commissioners who went said they were going months ago. The policy is the county pays for the Commissioners to attend the conferences even if we don't like it. We need more like old Larry Sconyers who never once filed an expense report for reimbursement even though he attended national conferences on the county's behalf. It could be he didn't know how to make out the form some said, but what the heck, he paid his own way.

Riverman1
93341
Points
Riverman1 11/14/09 - 06:39 am
0
0
Someone said yesterday they

Someone said yesterday they should be required to make public reports on the trip. That would be a big mistake. When they went to Hawaii, they showed slides, ate chicken wings, talked and laughed about the trip and them partying at numerous Commission meetings for hours on end. It was like Uncle Fred and Aunt Alice showing films on the reel projector of their trip to Mexico over and over. Andy Cheek was once seen running out of a Commission meeting screaming "Enough, enough" when they started to put their slides up for about the 20th time.

xanadu
0
Points
xanadu 11/14/09 - 06:43 am
0
0
well, let's see: city is

well, let's see: city is broke, no money. so who cares if they made plans months ago? lots of people make plans to do something, then it comes to pass that the funds are low, so they don't go and they make different plans. this sounds like typical selfish politician behavior. these commisioners are always going here, there, and everywhere, claiming they are 'getting tips on how to do this, that, the other', but as one poster said in another column: "where are the results?" in other words, after fifteen years + of these commish's travelling all over, augusta is still basically screwed. furthermore, if these plans were made 'months ago', wouldn't the money for this have already been set aside, and freddie boy wouldn't have had to steal from peter to pay paul? i say let the commisioners pay for their own fun and games, especially when you see no positive end result from all their running around.

wizzardx1
0
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wizzardx1 11/14/09 - 07:21 am
0
0
See Cloward-Piven/obama.This

See Cloward-Piven/obama.This should enlighten and inform.

justus4
113
Points
justus4 11/14/09 - 07:45 am
0
0
Wonder if ol' Fry and the
Unpublished

Wonder if ol' Fry and the attempted bride of two elected officials finds a place in the cartoon section, because
humor, or a complete joke, is forming in the minds of intelligent citizens. The priority of printing operations should be the exposure of corruption and policies that have an adverse impact on taxpayers. The trip to Texas is neither, so why would efforts be made to smear a commissioner who is leaving, but no effort to smear, report, opinionize, muse, speculate, opine, utter, mumble, speak, say, scream, or guess the status of a high crime and print something that simulates an interest. Time after time, it's Comm. Williams, Comm. Beard, Comm. Holland, Comm. Johnson, Comm. Mason, who all happen to be people of color that appear frequently in print. (check past stories) One can easily conclude that a bias exist, from U know, which is not a positive development considering the failures of the past. Want credibility...? Try exercising some objective opinions that aren't "easy" targets, but go after the ones that sitting next to ya...

Riverman1
93341
Points
Riverman1 11/14/09 - 07:59 am
0
0
Holland is going to say he

Holland is going to say he attended an exhibit in the San Antonio TEE center and Ft. Discovery matches up well for that use.

fred1217
4
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fred1217 11/14/09 - 08:24 am
0
0
Why is it only "OUR" money

Why is it only "OUR" money when Democrats, "non-Conservatives" or people that don't look like the Editor are spending it? Did the Augusta Chronicle Editors complain when George W. Bush, with only 37 days left in office travelled to Iraq? This trip no doubt costs millions of tax dollars using Air Force One, heavily armed motorcades and all the other security needed. It also cost the United States a lot of respect after all Bush accomplished was to get two Size 10 shoes thrown at him to put the final exclamation point on his failed administration. That's the last image of Bush that's etched in the minds of people around the world. I'd rather see more Editorials justifying spending "OUR" money on the TEE Center. $50,000,000 TEE Center vs. $2,200 Calvin Holland Trip, wouldn't the one with the most zeros be more of "OUR" money during this time of Bad Economy?

dashiel
176
Points
dashiel 11/14/09 - 08:27 am
0
0
Commissioner Holland reminds

Commissioner Holland reminds me of the fellow who wore a tuxedo to his vasectomy. ("If You going be impotent, you got to look impotent.") Rick McKee's cartoon today is a masterpiece.

getalife
4
Points
getalife 11/14/09 - 08:28 am
0
0
Even if planned months ago,

Even if planned months ago, when the commissioners spent their budgets, then all should stop. Just because they can move money from one area of the budget to another does not make it right, especially for someone leaving office in seven weeks. In private business a manager would have said no to the spending. No one manages these people, not even the voters!!!

getalife
4
Points
getalife 11/14/09 - 08:29 am
0
0
Rick's cartoon today is

Rick's cartoon today is great!!!

crackertroy
540
Points
crackertroy 11/14/09 - 08:39 am
0
0
fred1217 the difference is
Unpublished

fred1217 the difference is the TEE Center is supposed to generate money. Even though I don't think the TEE Center should be built, the Augusta Commission (half) is confident it will boost the local economy. The difference is $50 million is supposed to generate funds and jobs, the $2,200 is just a total waste.

FaceTheMusic
0
Points
FaceTheMusic 11/14/09 - 09:01 am
0
0
Lord, this economy is such a

Lord, this economy is such a mess. I just pray that President Obama will be able to pull us out of this mess that Bush and the Republicans got us into.

Pu239
284
Points
Pu239 11/14/09 - 09:12 am
0
0
Hey facethemusic.....you need
Unpublished

Hey facethemusic.....you need to turn around and check out the "tunes" your band is playing.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
11036
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 11/14/09 - 09:19 am
0
0
Face doesn't realize his

Face doesn't realize his posterior is the band!!

STAK
27
Points
STAK 11/14/09 - 09:35 am
0
0
toot!

toot!

butler123
1
Points
butler123 11/14/09 - 09:48 am
0
0
Surely all this good advice

Surely all this good advice and such they get at these kind of meetings can be found all over the internet. Hey why don't these guys save some money and do some reading.

Tyler-Ray_Daddy
44
Points
Tyler-Ray_Daddy 11/14/09 - 10:15 am
0
0
FaceTheMusic; what a

FaceTheMusic; what a hypocritical ID name for someone who instantly out of the gate always blames "someone else". Need I remind you that Bush also inherited an economy on the slide as Clinton was exiting; not to mention, Bush then had to overcome the devastating effect of 911 on our economy. Well ... Bush overcame it all relatively quick & provided the U.S. some of our best economical years ever; of course, you would not know it since you likely only get your news from Liberal media outlets. On the other hand, Obama has tripled the debt in just one year; Obama has the longest running recession of any president thus far; and Obama has inflated the unemployment percentages beyond 10%. I could go on and on, but I realize I am speaking to a brick wall; you and others like you must wake up & face the music before it's too late cause things are only going to get worse with Marxist philosophies leading our way.

TechLover
15
Points
TechLover 11/14/09 - 10:17 am
0
0
grandwizzard: That's enough

grandwizzard: That's enough on the Cloward-Piven Strategy, You've found a new buzz word (and from a quick Google search, it looks like it's all over the extreme right wing nutcase sites;inforwars, newsmax, IBD, etc. As far as the conference goes, all we have to do is keep the commissioners from going a little over 18,000 more times and they can build the TEE Center.

humbleopinion
1
Points
humbleopinion 11/14/09 - 10:20 am
0
0
Once again good ol' Justus4

Once again good ol' Justus4 found a way to bring race into the argument. You have to wonder, is Justus really a minority advocate or just a white antagonist trying stir up controversy and then see his name mentioned in later posts. I guess I've fallen into his trap. Either way, he is ALWAYS wrong. It isn't that liberals are stupid, it's just that they KNOW so much that ISN'T true.

FallingLeaves
27
Points
FallingLeaves 11/14/09 - 10:28 am
0
0
He's a champ at it, isn't he?

He's a champ at it, isn't he?

FallingLeaves
27
Points
FallingLeaves 11/14/09 - 10:31 am
0
0
Apparently Calvin Holland

Apparently Calvin Holland hasn't learned anything on his previous educational trips at taxpayer's expense, or he wouldn't have gone on this one. Doesn't he have a conscience? Does he play the fiddle? I keep picturing him playing a fiddle while Augusta self-destructs. San Antonio is a beautiful place to go, but I'd rather go there on my own dime, not the taxpayers'.

butler123
1
Points
butler123 11/14/09 - 10:33 am
0
0
They have really good mexican

They have really good mexican food there.

dashiel
176
Points
dashiel 11/14/09 - 10:54 am
0
0
But the cattle drives aren't

But the cattle drives aren't what they used to be.

Rick McKee
432
Points
Rick McKee 11/14/09 - 10:55 am
0
0
Justus: "Wonder if ol' Fry

Justus: "Wonder if ol' Fry and the attempted bribe of two elected officials finds a place in the cartoon section...?"
Yes: http://tinyurl.com/y9ax4kx
and http://tinyurl.com/ylclrwq

dashiel, getalife, glad you liked the cartoon!

dani
13
Points
dani 11/14/09 - 11:45 am
0
0
Excellent, as usual, McKee.

Excellent, as usual, McKee.

jericojones
0
Points
jericojones 11/14/09 - 02:32 pm
0
0
Richmond County Leadership at

Richmond County Leadership at it's finest. Don't blame Bush, you demo idiots voted these losers into office!. You can tell the four commish's who support the entitlement syndrome--they are all in San An1

corgimom
38280
Points
corgimom 11/14/09 - 02:41 pm
0
0
Joe Bowles came on here and

Joe Bowles came on here and said the TEE center is not designed to make a profit. At least one politician is honest.

corgimom
38280
Points
corgimom 11/14/09 - 02:44 pm
0
0
"The priority of printing

"The priority of printing operations should be the exposure of corruption and policies that have an adverse impact on taxpayers." Like Charles Walker. And like the Augusta Focus did when Charles Walker deliberately defrauded advertisers. And who was the head of the Walker Group when all that happened? Why, Champ Walker. Big Daddy found out he was calling the AC the AWM and made him change it to "printing operations". Because when he gets out of the Big House, he wants to come back, and he needs the AC on his side.

No_Longer_Amazed
5146
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 11/14/09 - 04:05 pm
0
0
Doesn't anyone realise how

Doesn't anyone realise how enlightening this trip could be to the economic future of Augusta-Richmond County? It is an opportunity to see first hand how a coliseum, TEE Center, trolley system, canal, etc. can put a city on the map!

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