Newly appointed coliseum member bows out before being sworn in

One of the newly-appointed members of the revamped Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority has bowed out before being sworn in.

According to Tuesday’s Augusta Commission meeting agenda, Charles E. Harris has resigned, and Shirley Darby will be appointed in his place.

Mr. Harris was the first pick of Mayor Pro Tem Alvin Mason, who wanted to name him to the new panel in April before learning that the coliseum authority restructuring bill would prevent any sitting member from being reappointed for one year after the bill became effective. Mr. Harris, an Army vet and food manager at East Augusta Middle School, later became one of the three appointments by the five Augusta commissioners whose districts fall within super District 9.

Ms. Darby, a professor at Augusta Technical College, had been a pick of Commissioner Calvin Holland, who expressed disappointment to super District 9 Commissioner J.R. Hatney when she wasn’t among the three nominated on May 19. “She will be a tremendous asset to the coliseum authority and I support her wholeheartedly,” Mr. Holland said. Asked why Mr. Harris resigned, he referred questions to Mr. Mason, who did not return phone messages Saturday.

The five other appointees are, from District 9, Augusta Technical College marketing director Bonita Jenkins and Murphey Middle School counselor and former Soul Generals musician Joseph Collier, and from district 10, Fat Man’s Riverfront Cafe owner Brad Usry, insurance agent Louis C. “Hap” Harris and banker David Hogg Sr. The legislative delegation hasn’t yet appointed the seventh member, who will be chairman or chairwoman.

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