Mayor pay raise appears unlikely

Thursday, March 26, 2009 2:56 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010 9:04 PM
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ATLANTA -- Rep. Hardie Davis said he only wanted to start a discussion on whether Augusta should pay its mayors on par with other cities, but many of his colleagues say the timing is wrong.

Davis, D-Gracewood, said he has heard from people of all political stripes that the mayor was underpaid compared to the state's other cities like Macon, Columbus and Savannah.

"Even in these challenging economic times, I simply wanted to start the conversation with a broad audience as opposed to a vacuum," he said. “Nothing would be done in this legislative session. We’re simply creating a forum for discussion.”

He drafted a bill and was prepared to introduce it until sharing his idea Tuesday with three commissioners and local legislative chairman Rep. Quincy Murphy, D-Augusta.

Murphy said Thursday morning that he doesn't think a recession is the right time to consider pay raises even if one is deserved, but he’s not opposed to talking about it, noting that the delegation last week turned down a request to give raises to the city marshal and coroner.

“We’ve got people hurting right now. Some people don’t have a job at all,” he said. “... I would be interested in taking a look at that, but I’m not interested in pursuing a pay raise for the mayor right now.”

Others in the delegation took a similar position when questioned Thursday.

Sen. Ed Tarver, D-Augusta, said a recession may be the time for exploring the issue because it could be discussed dispassionately since a tight budget means it’s not possible now anyway.

“There is some concern that the salary of the mayor is artificially low and that by keeping it artificially low that is in essence sending a message to the community that only people who are eligible or qualified for run for mayor are those folks who are rich or those folks who have sufficient personal wealth that they can accept that low a salary for the requirements of the duties,” he said. “The mayor position is a 24/7 position. You can’t have any other employment, you can’t have any other obligation.”

Davis says he’s not interested in running for mayor or put current mayor Deke Copenhaver in an embarrassing position. It’s a matter of civic pride in the second-largest city in the state, Davis said.

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Riverman1
86712
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Riverman1 03/26/09 - 03:00 pm
0
0
Deke doesn't want more. Keep

Deke doesn't want more. Keep the pay low and only someone who wants to serve will run.

godogs
0
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godogs 03/26/09 - 03:10 pm
0
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That may be true but the idea

That may be true but the idea here was that compared to other similar positions he is still being underpaid regardless of his wealth. I agree the timing couldn't be worse but should be explored when funds are there to bring the salary in line with other counties mayors positions. I commend Mayor Copenhavor for not asking for more, that shows his true committment to our city and the people should back him 100% as he is out for the good of the whole city rather than his own personal agends. But then that is what Christian men do anyway, look out for the good of everyone rather than themselves.

Riverman1
86712
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Riverman1 03/26/09 - 03:17 pm
0
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Christian men??? I thought

Christian men??? I thought Deke was a Hare Krishna who held hands and chanted with the staff as they moved around the office desks loaded with quiche in an unbroken circle?

1941
4
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1941 03/26/09 - 03:26 pm
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Pay raise for what?You don't

Pay raise for what?You don't even know he is in the city! You don't ever see him, or hear him say anything!Why do he get paid anyway? Augusta is the deadest town in georgia!!

truth-now
0
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truth-now 03/26/09 - 03:32 pm
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mimsy, you need to get your

mimsy, you need to get your head out from under that rock. Deke is everywhere in this city, and bringing businesses here. If you think Augusta is dead, turn off the boob-toob and get involved in your city.

double_standard
166
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double_standard 03/26/09 - 04:20 pm
0
0
I think that they should pay

I think that they should pay the city workers more money. Those wages are bs. Augusta calls itself the 2nd largest city in GA. Take some of Fred Russell's salary and those other dept. heads who do nothing. Pay your workforce a respectable salary.

rufus
2
Points
rufus 03/26/09 - 04:23 pm
0
0
Why do he get paid anyway? I

Why do he get paid anyway? I had to see it one more time

Brad Owens
4715
Points
Brad Owens 03/26/09 - 04:49 pm
0
0
AIG is calling...they want

AIG is calling...they want their bonus back

dashiel
176
Points
dashiel 03/26/09 - 05:26 pm
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Cause he do a good job. He

Cause he do a good job. He ought to git payed more gooder.

Rucker1
0
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Rucker1 03/26/09 - 06:51 pm
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0
i don't think "git" and

i don't think "git" and "gooder" are words

Rucker1
0
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Rucker1 03/26/09 - 06:55 pm
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DO IT DEKE!!! what an awesome

DO IT DEKE!!! what an awesome mayor!

No_Longer_Amazed
5143
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 03/26/09 - 08:22 pm
0
0
The Mayor gets $75,844.86 a

The Mayor gets $75,844.86 a year, plus 'perks.' Do Mayors of "the state's other cities like Macon, Columbus and Savannah" get to vote more than just to break ties?

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