HomeOpinionGuest ColumnsOp-Ed: Mayor Hardie Davis

Op-Ed: Mayor Hardie Davis

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Nearly eight years ago, I ran to be elected to what would become my first term as Mayor of Augusta. That was a decision I came to after much prayer, thought, and discussion. Before that, I ran and was elected to represent our community in the Georgia Legislature. Again, a deeply personal decision that I, Hardie Davis, Jr., came to.  

In my time as the city’s Mayor, state representative, and as a forty-plus year resident, I have never witnessed the attacks that are currently being lobbed at my staff. This is disgraceful, unfair, and, in my opinion, bordering on libelous.  

As the elected official, the public has every right to question me, voice their concerns, express their discontent, and share their joys. That is what I signed up for as the person who put their name on the ballot. However, my staff members, like other city staff, are not elected officials. Their job is to provide support to my office and assist the citizens who call, visit, and email us for various constituent service needs.  

I worked diligently to ensure the members of our community had a Mayor’s office that was responsive to the unique needs of our citizens, this entailed hiring staff that were born and raised in our city and state. Staff who know the people that were coming into our doors and understood their struggles and triumphs. Dedicated public servants who shared my strong desire to move our city forward to create a better life for all Augustans. That is why I made sure to hire hard working, compassionate, and extremely competent support staff in my administration.  

After serving as President of the African American Mayor’s Association, I was able to convince one of my counterpart’s staffers and another counterpart’s former staffer to join my team in Augusta. They both did so at a tremendous reduction in their salaries, foregoing more prominent and/or lucrative job opportunities, and moving hundreds of miles from already established careers.  

They did this because I was able to convey to them the love and passion I have for how much greater our city can be and I knew they were uniquely able to help our city grow and achieve its full potential. Despite knowing their tenure would end in two years and undaunted by the enormity of the task before them, they relocated to our city because they saw the potential Augusta has to be a world-class city, removed from the shadows of the capital city.  

They also did it because they saw the challenges facing our city and wanted to contribute to solving them, whether it is our rampant blight, rate of homelessness, lack of affordable housing, rampant disparities, and, of course, navigating the impact of the pandemic.  

My entire staff came in with new ways to accomplish the ideas I have for our city. They have grabbed the bull by the horns and coming in every day relishing the opportunity to help address the challenges facing every day Augustans. They did not come here, in the midst of a global pandemic, with the intention of being subjected to attacks on their character, integrity, and work ethic by an organization that is funded by someone who has active contracts with the city.  

I draw the line at attacks on my staff, especially when they have done nothing wrong and have been nothing but cordial to the very people who are attempting to drag their names through the mud for internet clicks. I am the elected official, they are not.  

Sincerely,

Hardie Davis, Jr., Mayor

Augusta, Georgia

31 COMMENTS

  1. First, stop whining Mr. Mayor, public criticism comes with the job, and if your staffer are as intelligent as you claim, they should have known that before agreeing to your job offer. Second, if your staffers did nothing wrong, then why are you defending them as if they did something wrong?, Perhap, if you and your staffers would have put into practice the words of UCLA Coach John Wooden there would have been less criticisms, Coach Wooden said, “Be more concerned with your character then your reputation. Your character is who you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

  2. Well, I guess that this Op Ed makes him feel better; but is really no help to any of the questions that are STILL unaddressed. Is he actually trying to defend them for NOT doing their job? What about the dishonest responses to questions? I would much rather have seen him hold a press conference, address the questions, and “set the record straight” in a manner that is more becoming of an elected public official. Once again, where are you Richmond County commissioners? Gosh all of you are looking so bad and do not seem to be willing to do anything about it. Silence is not the answer.

  3. I left voice message at Mayor’s office a year ago to please call me…still waiting on return call…wanted to commend Augusta Animal Control for their great work. Wonder if a staff member assigned to listed to voice messages and call back citizens/taxpayers? Also we have lots of good local Augusta web site designers and photographers…shop local Mr Mayor.

  4. All of this could be put to rest if the Mayor would address the questions regarding his expenditures, among others. The lack of transparency in his administration is a call for a forensic audit. The silence from commissioners on this point is deafening. The mayor’s OP-ED answered nothing, regarding questions that have been asked. Continue to ask and probe further for the sake of the Taxpayer’s.

  5. He answered one question, his staff consist of people he met while serving as President of African American Mayors Association, and lied when he said he made sure to hire Staff that were residents of GA and Augusta.

  6. I have many concerns about the cover-up of improper use of funds for MBK. The refusal to produce receipts for the credit card and pay pal expenditures in question proves that there is more to know. Mr Davis: quit preaching and find the guts to own up to your actions.

  7. He has personally “Removed Augusta from the shadows of the capital city”?? Seriously? I’m sure Atlanta is worried that Augusta might take the next Superbowl away from them…
    That quote alone lets me know that Hardie is not in touch with reality. My money is on his wife running for his job now. They don’t want to lose the influx of cash.

  8. Mayor Hardie Davis, Jr. has no one to blame but himself for the light that has shone on his staff. Mr. Mayor is short-sighted to assert that he needed to go out of the area to hire people to solve Augusta’s problems. At least one institution of higher learning here in Augusta develops very high quality public servants who are well versed in solving Augusta’s problems. The key here is public servants should be hired to serve the public, not their King. The problems of the city will never be solved unless the current cabal is replaced with leaders who are serious about making Augusta a better place for all of its citizens, rather than a self-serving few. And the veiled threat did not go unnoticed. Just because someone does business with the city, they should not speak out if our resources are potentially misused? To me, it Sounds like a tactic to try to pull more into the cabal. Randall Sutton, MPA
    “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” (Luke 16:10)

  9. I printed his op-ed, shredded it, and spread the shredded paper in our garden. All the plants got greener and I’m sure it will at least double the harvest this fall. You can also read this op-ed to dogs, cats, and children who have eaten poisonous or harmful substances. They will puke immediately. No facts, numbers, transparency, or reality. Just bragging, emotional appeals, and claiming to be a victim. As for his staff being criticized, my mother warned me that I would be judged based on the people with whom I associated.

  10. Right out of the Obama playbook! Please use the race card until the dots are worn off and then print a new deck! Hardie thinks he can use his race and escape any and all forms of non praise for his performance or lack there of. We would be better served if he were to become a airline host and jet around showing off his new suit and of course take his staff with him. They will need to carry his water. Judge Brown thought he too could use his race and power and how did that work out. We the citizens of this town turn and look the other way. We will always encourage free speech and decide once we have heard both sides what side we will take. And it will always be the right one!

  11. His response is total B S but what is so evident and slaps you in the face is that the county commissioners are silent and have been. They are involved it this in some way for sure. Not all of them but most of them and it’s a shame that Augusta cannot elect more honest and respectable people to help govern this city. Once the whole truth come out I think you will start to see his staff starting to leave.

  12. If the Black or White community support and elect this dishonest person to another office, they should all have their right to vote removed, now that it has been proven he is dishonest and working against the best interest of the citizens of Augusta/Richmond County. Even his hiring of people whom he has “meet” at the African American Mayors Convention (which should be illegal since there is not a White American Mayors Convention). This Black racisum has got to be stopped and the commissioners need to make sure no other Mayor ever gets to use the citizens money to go out of town to a “Black only” or “White only” Mayors Convention. The Citizens money is from both races black and white, and the mayor should represent both races, and the City government should be both black and white, so show us the last white person Mayor Davis recommended to hire or hired.

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