HomeOpinionJohn Clarke: Augusta needs to establish a new hiring process

John Clarke: Augusta needs to establish a new hiring process



DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS, or so it seems with the hiring practice for filling Augusta's government positions. 

A few short years ago, the longtime director of the Augusta Animal Services retired. The assistant director was just a few months shy of the requirements for applying ...

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  1. Augusta’s budget needs significant trimming and department heads (and other high level supervisors) who are not performing in an excellent manner (so as to justify their high salaries) should be replaced .
    In my opinion, Takiyah Douse has only served as a “caretaker” as the interim Administrator.
    I do not recall her recommending replacing senior level employees when readers of the Augusta Press would conclude that a more competent department head (or senior staffer) is needed.
    I recall no recommendations for cutting spending .
    Mayor Garnett Johnson is doing an excellent job in his first ten weeks as Mayor .
    I trust that Takiyah Douse’s name will not be on the “short list” of candidates that he submits to the Commissioners —- and from which they will select a new Administrator.

  2. In Sunday’s edition of the Augusta Press , it was revealed that the federal government is threatening to penalize the taxpayers of Augusta almost TEN MILLION ($10,000,000) DOLLARS for a bureaucratic foul up . That penalty will be paid by the property taxpayers in Augusta-Richmond County.
    There were more comments posted in the Augusta Press on that article than I recall seeing on any other article.
    State Representative MARK NEWTON and State Senator MAX BURNS can provide that help —- if they will .
    They filed a bill to increase the sales tax in Richmond County —- to build a new Civic Center.
    We don’t need a new Civic Center , —- but we do need property tax relief .
    Amend your bill and provide that the NEWTON-BURNS sales tax increase will be used to roll back the property tax in Richmond County .

  3. Obviously, the people of Aiken County and other surrounding counties need a new Civic center in Augusta paid for by the Rich homeowners in Augusta according to the politicians in Augusta. What they forget is that even the poor retirees and the poor hard workers that can’t afford to go to the fancy new Civic center will have to pay more sales tax on everything they purchase and will have less and less to live off of and to pay their bills. I stopped going to the civic center years ago, and don’t plan on going there ever again.

    • As a North Augusta resident, I am not interested in the new Augusta civic center. Your leaders, your choice. One thing for sure, the CSRA needs to start thinking like a region instead of balkanizing ourselves into small groups that won’t have enough clout to succeed. Like it or not, we sink or swim based on the entire region.

  4. After more than five years of attending the Commission meetings I have observed numerous Department Heads responding to questions from the Commission that were explained in the ‘packet’ each Commissioner gets each week and is available online to the Public. I read the agenda and associated information for each agenda item. Some Department Heads when answering questions seem to me to have an ‘attitude’ with the Commissioner asking the questions – when the information was presented to each Commissioner for their study. Some County Employees who speak before the Commission certainly do have an ‘attitude’ when responding to questions from Commissioners. Watch the videos.

  5. To the majority on this Commission it’s all about Race, not about the best qualified person. This has been going on for years, just look at the problems Augusta has. The salary that they make is unbelievable, especially when they are not doing the best job possible.

  6. The comments on a new civic center made me wonder about the Augusta Futurity. Had not seen the horse trailers and cowboys/girls recently. Turns out, in 2023 it was held south of Atlanta, at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry, Georgia. Billy Morris appears to be shaking all the Augusta dust off his sandals.

  7. We needed a new civic arena when they opened the 1st one because of the small size. It is past time to build a new arena especially since the current one was built when I was in high school and I’m a sr. citizen. I don’t have an issue with using sales tax revenue as the source of funding; had a humongous problem with using property taxes for it. Re: the hiring process, I don’t think that we should change the qualifications to allow an interim employee to apply. Plus, we should be looking for someone to be qualified with experience, education, and character. I also believe that commissioners should only be involved in the final hiring selection process. And whoever was involved in the IRS tax debacle should be fired immediately for incompetence.

  8. It’s time for the city, county politicians to take a reality test. They spend money like the current federal government. Money Augusta does not have. How ever the Last administrator was hired and the salary for the position was determined dug the hole deeper. Since I’ve lived here it’s been a revolving door of high level employees. Never a good sign for a business. Then we have the entrenched crummy employees that can’t find any other job and poison the culture.
    This is no small problem.

  9. QUALIFICATIONS MUST be the critical selection criteria instead of a drive for DIVERSITY!! Augusta, unfortunately has copied President Bidens stupid, forced diversity cabinet appointments. It does not take a rocket scientist to understand the disaster that has brought to America. Just look at Myorgas and our open border as well as Buttigieg and the transportation disasters. The Augusta appointed hierarchy needs a big enema, IMMEDIATELY following a top to bottom AUDIT by an outside independent agency. Has Hardie produced his receipts yet?????

  10. Your “Hiring Panel” makes a ton of sense. While using HR as a Clearing House does make sense, I am now concerned about the Department’s competency, based upon the newly discovered issue, that could clearly cost potentially $10M to the TAXPAYERS of ARC. That was a “Rookie Mistake” that should’ve never happened. As to whether Ms. Douse should be on the “short list”, the question needs to be asked — Does she possess the qualifications spelled out in the Job Description ? Did the previous Administrators ALL possess the qualifications in place, at the time THEY were hired ? If the answer to the second questions is “No”, then you would have a hard time, not putting her on the list. If she is on the list, it does not mean she automatically gets the job. The “Hiring Panel” must look at ONLY the qualifications checklist, and determine the correct choice. We all know that the elephant in the room is her lack of years experience, based upon the current job qualifications. It all boils down to the answer to my second question.

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