HomeOpinionJohn ClarkeColumn: Code enforcement, audit discussions seem to be in ‘chaos’ mode

Column: Code enforcement, audit discussions seem to be in ‘chaos’ mode



The brakes on the code enforcement vehicles must not be operating to full efficiency. Maybe they only work when the officer is stopping for lunch or at the favorite hiding spot. They sure don't stop at obvious code violations and write citations for violations.  

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  1. Thanks for the insight on how the Augusta Commissioners are seeing to it that employees can steal time and maybe even other services, without being caught or punished because of the lax way the commissioners have governed.

  2. The only way to know exactly what has happened or if something is happening is via a forensic audit. There is zero accountability within the ranks of city government, nor by some commissioner’s. You make many valid points regarding code enforcement, or lack thereof. Nothing has been enforced or followed up on for years . Think back to Mercy Ministries issues, current issues with Bon Air, and abandoned properties. Anyone who thinks the money to assist with yard/property cleanup and a new “kinder” department will improve the looks of our area much less the efficiency of the department, keep dreaming.

  3. I have been in a one-sided war with code enforcement in regards to 1954 Warren St. This residence is zoned for one residence and there are 4 apartments in this unkept residence. My commissioner has been made aware of this, I have called code enforcement at least a dozen times. Law Enforcement frequently is called to this residence also.

  4. Concerning the Harrisburg problems, why not consult with Clay Boardman. He and his cast of investors have keen eyes for development. Gentrification is a term that nobody wants to speak of because it sounds tawdry — rich people displacing the needy! However, there have been many, many successful turn-arounds in dying communities in our country and state. The Broad Street corridor between Fifteenth Street and Lake Olmstead is a pitiful mess, but a good place to dig in and improve. It is time to take action. Except for the ANGC, Augusta has very few “WOW” factors. It is so sad that Augusta is no longer the Garden City. And we wonder why so many Augustans are migrating to N. Augusta and Columbia County!

  5. ALL Code Enforcement Officers should wear a body camera for their protection and the protection of the Public. I doubt a Forensic audit will ever happen in ARC unless it comes from the State or Feds. I have actually seen Code Enforcement show up at a residence along with the Marshall’s Office and actually get something done about conditions at a residence. Tes it did take four or five visits from Code Enforcement, the Marshall’s Office and also the Sheriff’s Office. But finally the problem was solved as the residents moved to another location. The on going saga with ARC seems ripe for a T&M study where certain departments are addressed on how they perform their assigne duties and how efficient their procedures are to accomplish those objectives. Maybe a Time and Materials study instead of an ‘audit’ might be inorder.

  6. It should be called No Code Enforcement. Just like any Government Job, even the ones that are supposed to be in charge, they don’t care. On Young Forest Dr. there’s a house that has ten junk cars, trucks, and trailers parked over the curb and in the street. Of course none of them have tags. Every several months or so I will see a code enforcement truck ride by, but it’s like they are on a Sunday cruise just killing time waiting to get that Friday pay check.
    Bobby Williams appears to be a loud mouth obstructionist. People like this and their followers only hold up or prevent progress in our city. It’s obvious by the remarks about The Augusta Press that he doesn’t want his people to know the truth.

  7. Code Enforcement has only 7 officers for the entire city. They have the same staffing issues as the sheriff’s department. If you report issues to Augusta 311 and group several properties at once, follow up with emails to your commissioner, Code Enforcement and the Marshall’s Office, you’ll see results. At least that is what is working with our neighborhood. Also, join or create a neighborhood association in your community, invite representatives from Code Enforcement and the Marshall’s Office to speak so you can understand the process and the hinderances, especially with properties owned by persons out of state or properties that have estate or deed issues. Be proactive and not wait around for somebody to ride around and “find” issues.

  8. It seems obvious that the next “Clean Up Augusta” needs to focus on these blighted areas. Is the city willing to provide the equipment and the multiple containers needed to make this a successful volunteer day? I think the community does care about the cleanliness of our city. What we need is leadership to help organize this kind of community effort.

    The need for a forensic audit speaks for itself. Those who oppose it are hiding the ball, if not criminal activity. If the Commission is to regain any integrity and public support the audit must be done and reported in a fully transparent manner.

  9. An audit, I’m sure, would uncover multiple chronic issues of irresponsibility some due to incompetence and probably some that are deemed criminal. I think this much we can agree on prior to an audit. My question is can Augusta make the necessary changes to correct things going forward? Voting patterns need to change to not reflect the racial conflict that is so deeply ingrained here. Qualified Augustans need to get involved in local government. I think our new mayor is a good start after striking out on our last two mayoral elections. Let us vote for the best candidates irregardless of skin color. The task ahead is daunting but we’ve fallen behind for my 40 plus years here.

  10. For a large portion of citizens living in Richmond County the consolidation charter has given us a modern-day form of “Taxation without Representation.” That was how a former neighbor described why he and his wife were moving out of west Richmond County to a new home in Columbia County. If the trend continues unabated Augusta will eventually become a shell of its former self filled with decaying neighborhoods and crime running rampant in the streets.

  11. John’s best line in this “episode” — “Don’t they all just hate it when the light of truth is being shined on them?”. Kind of like when you turn on the light in the kitchen. You make your own inferences….I have made my own — “something” scatters. As I have said multiple times, I am at a loss as to Who/How is spending stormwater money, paying for grass cutting. It is posted on the sign, like someone is proud of what they are doing with the fee money. As far as timeclocks go, now that COVID is behind us, employees should no longer be allowed to clock-in, via cellphone, unless their manager has it documented with Payroll, and audited by that manager, who is responsible.

  12. Perhaps if enough of us contact the State Attorney General, Senator Rick Allen, and the US Attorney General, something would be done. Of course, the same Commissioners are against this. What are they afraid of?

  13. There maybe no wrongdoing to be found, but certainly would shine a light on just how bad the mismanagement has been of city departments and funds. Then maybe they’ll hold personnel accountable and start running the city right. If there is nothing to hide and it’s all good, open the what should be open books and prove it.

  14. No surprise – yesterdays discussion of any audit devolved into chaos and muddying the waters, and nothing moved forward. We have seen this over and over again – failure to take any executive responsibility or action.
    What do the first Commissioners to hit the button to try to shut down any audit have to hide?!

  15. I believe I remember gross utility billing mistakes taking place all over the city. Some utility bills were $500 to $700. The Utility Department responded the billing was correct. Now we hear of Federal money being used to updated old, inadequate and failed meters. THIS OVER BILLING alone is enough for an in-depth functional audit.
    No operational audits have been performed on the utility income accounts? I wonder if there even is an ongoing balancing function?
    Keep beating the drum.

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