Column: A tutorial on a first mate search for landlubbers
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Very informative…I suppose the commission decides if Augusta gets a Manager and the pay scale. Re taxes I think they have spun the city up so spendingly much that it is out of control. They need for us to pass an extra sales tax to pay for the mess (oh but there seems to be a vote for a massive arena)
A successful government can only be created by knowledgeable representatives who are elected by a knowledgeable electorate. Where the electorate fails, the government ultimately fails.
I can certainly agree on required schooling for employees and elected officials alike. Just electing people who seem nice or say they are one of us does not jeep the lights on. Responsible spending and forethought is necessary. Great article John. You were a great commissioner and always worked to be transparent. Sure hope you run for District 7 next year.
The Augusta Commission members as currently constituted will never agree to give up their power and prestige to a manager, although it’s what Augusta desperately needs.
See The Augusta Press, May 6, 2023 – “Should Augusta Commission give up authority to hire and fire?”
Commissioners spent Friday with two facilitators from the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia who led them through the pros and cons of giving up direct power over department heads. They also heard the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce’s position that it needs to be done.
Facilitator Hardin Watkins had first-hand experience, having served as an administrator in Suwanee, Ga., as it transitioned to a city manager.
Comment: We need a city that runs like a business. An unpolitical manager with a comptroller that works closely together coordinating a set budget annually with no contributing to every tom, dick, and harry or event. Someone looking out for its taxpaying property owners and the maintenance of our city and control of a set budget.
I have long advocated for the position of City Manager to be filled by one Justine Jones, recently of Kenly, NC. She was instrumental in reorganizing the police force there. She did a fine job managing the small town. She would make a fine asset to Augusta. I wrote to the mayor of Kenly for information on her (her expertise was no longer needed, after only 3 months, she was that good, and she had higher aspirations) to ask her to throw her hat in the ring for City Manager of Augusta!
Wow. TWO “awaiting moderations” in ONE DAY?! I always try to get at least one, but I don’t think I’ve ever had TWO! Sweet!
Me TOO, yesterday…
Have any commissioners quietly stated the ARC government must reduce spending on non-essential projects and programs? Seems they know how to spend, but do not know how to manage and lead by example.
Well done, Sir !! Filled with truth, as usual. I’m sorry, but the current salary for the Administrator is completely absurd. Yes, taxes must continue to rise, as population shifts out of ARC, to other areas. ARC salaries should be competitive with neighboring areas, to attract quality employees. But also, qualifications should be similar.
I agree one hundred percent with Dennis. I will take it a step further and tell the reason why. This majority Commission is elected by the minority community. Unfortunately they only vote for race and not qualifications. Nothing will change unless they elect qualified people, regardless of their race. Facts are facts and can’t be denied. My statement is from a white man that was hoping a black man would have been our next President and that was Alan Keyes, not because of race but he was the best qualified person for the job. Thanks John for this excellent article.
The majority of commissioners are not going to give up their power. Good column Mr. Clarke.
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely..with the exception of 2 or 3 commissioners and the new mayor? Augusta is so full of corruption the honest ones get outvoted on anything meaningful..I used to think there were 4 honest ones but one really disappointed me supporting Kendrick after the crap he pulled in the tax commissioner office..
Should we now call you Prophet Clarke?
Two weeks since this Opinion Column and here we are. Augusta’s Government is shutdown.
You were highly ridiculed for mentioning a forensic audit. Commissioner McKnight picked up the ball. An operational audit with, I am assuming, an internal controls review was commission approved.
I have memories of working with the FBI on bank crimes. It usually involved the computers and always involved money.
No matter what the details of this present crime, there is a way to MITIGATE it happening again.
Excellent documented operations and strong internal controls is a must and should have been years ago.
There will be no more commissioners acting like the Augusta’s government is a candy jar.
It is past time the government acted on behalf of the people. Account for and protect the people’s hard earned money.
Oh and I wonder, what do call an FBI investigation?
Could it possibly be called a forensic audit?